The corona virus crisis has arrived at a time when the Shared Earth Trust is going through a period of change internally.
In recent years the Charity Commission has established a new form of charity called a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), which is designed to be a stronger legal entity that can trade up to a limited amount.
The Shared Earth Trust was established over 30 years ago as a charity governed by a trust deed, as such it could not operate functions such as letting accommodation in the Eco Lodge and a separate trading company had to be set up with any surplus fed back into the charity. Following external advice from the voluntary sector The Shared Earth Trust has changed to become a CIO, which will enable the Ecolodge to be owned and operated by the charity. Establishing the CIO has taking a considerable amount of time and the current health crisis delayed matters further.
Having one organisation instead of two will help with overhead costs and simplify the management structure. Externally people will not notice any difference, because the charity is still called the Shared Earth Trust, although it has a new charity number. We hope to emerge from the current crisis in our new form and we hope that nature and biodiversity might benefit from any long-term changes that result from the reduced human activity.
Glenn Strachan – Chair of the Trustees