Suntrap Environmental Trust

Do you want to support a charity which has the backing of David Attenborough?

We need your help to drive us forward on our mission - to create opportunities for children, young people, adults and families to protect, discover and enjoy Epping Forest and the wider natural world.

What will you be doing?

Since opening in 1967, Suntrap has welcomed primary schools, secondary schools, sixth form colleges, nurseries, children centres and family groups to explore the natural environment within Epping Forest. Students are given the opportunity to learn in and about a natural environment close to where they live, bringing nature nearer. Children and young people growing up in diverse and deprived communities in East London often do not have the opportunity to experience and grow to understand the natural world. The Suntrap Environmental Trust’s main aim will be to address this challenge.


A dedication to delivering memorable, first-hand experiences of nature that educate and inspire; developing respect for the natural world.


Building on our environmental legacy, we will continue to nurture a collective responsibility for the world which future generations will inherit by creating opportunities for children, young people, adults and families to protect, discover and enjoy Epping Forest and the wider natural world.

Suntrap history

Suntrap Forest Centre has been owned by the London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) since 1967. Subsequently in 2018, LBWF pledged £4.5 million for major refurbishment of the centre. Planning permission was agreed by Epping Forest Council in April 2019 and building work is expected to complete for a launch that coincides with start of the Academic year 2020/21. In support of LBWF’s climate emergency strategy, it has been identified that a Board of Trustees will be able to support the development of Suntrap as the East London’s Climate Emergency Education Hub.

The future

Be part of the team that shape a new five-year strategy for the Suntrap Environmental Trust. This will chart the development and expansion of Suntrap’s work enabling a greater number of children and young people are supported.

Who are we looking for?

We’re now looking to recruit trustees to help us shape the future of the charity and Suntrap Forest Centre. The Board will meet four times per year at the Suntrap Forest Centre, High Beach. You will be expected to join one of the sub-groups – Finance, Education or Operations - which also meet four times per year. You'll provide support and strategic guidance to the Head of Suntrap. Trustees are sought who have the knowledge, skills, and passion to take the renovated centre forward and be part of an environmental movement to address the climate emergency. What is required are individuals who understand what it takes to scale an enterprise, how to get the best out of new technologies, and the role that marketing and communications play in driving success.

Skills, knowledge and connections in the following fields:

• Fundraising

• Digital innovation

• Marketing and communications

• Senior leadership experience in the voluntary sector

We particularly welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds.


What difference can you make?

The vision for Suntrap is to deliver memorable, first-hand experiences of nature that educate and inspire; developing respect for the natural world.

To deliver this mission we have three mutually reinforcing objectives:

• Children and young people develop an understanding of the local natural environment.

• Learn ways to respect and look after the natural environment.

• Children and young people to be leaders in the community on best practice on protecting the natural environment.

As a trustee of the charity you’ll play a crucial role in driving forward our ambition to plan and deliver on our new five-year strategy. Working alongside the Charity Manager and staff you’ll provide strong leadership and ensure the Charity complies with all relevant laws and regulations, is financially stable and properly manages its resources and funding.

Why volunteer?

It’s an exciting time to be part of this new charity. Suntrap has been closed for a £4.5 million refurbishment. With the launch of this environmentally ground breaking environmental centre our mission to nurture a collective responsibility to the natural world is ready to take the next step, to grow and expand to support even more children and young people while using the evidence of our impact to advocate for a protected environmental future. As a trustee you’ll play a key role in driving forward our new five-year strategy and helping a centre with a distinguished legacy, to chart its future addressing a very timely and modern issue.

Before you apply

Applicants who meet the criteria will be invited for to a face to face interview in London.

Where Board meetings take place at Suntrap Forest Centre.

Time Mostly outside office hours  face-to-face or on a conference call.

Estimate of time needed: 0-5 hours / month

Suntrap Environmental Trust’s Board meets 4 times per year (2hrs).

Trustees are expected to join one sub-group which also meets 4 times per year (1hr)

Contact us