We are a key funder in this area and we will work to increase our visibility, effectiveness and reach. We aim to address environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, and challenge environmental inequality in people’s lives. We fund organisations that see people and communities as an asset to support the sector’s sustainability and take positive and practical action to address environmental challenges. 

Over the last five years, we have made £26 million of grants to work in the environment sector, £4.3 million of which was in 2015.


Funding priorities:

  • Connecting people with nature

We fund organisations that know their communities well and encourage them to engage with nature, enjoy it and take action to protect it. They can sustain this and, where appropriate, develop it into more meaningful engagement to improve the environment. We are particularly interested in projects that prioritise groups that may be disconnected from nature, for example in urban areas.

  • Large-scale conservation of natural environments on land and at sea

We favour conservation work on land delivered at a larger scale rather than confined to specific locations or species (i.e. conservation along ‘linear pathways’ such as hedgerows, cycle routes and canal towpaths to emphasise the interdependence of the natural world).  This approach is ambitious, involves expansive thinking and planning, and relies on collaboration, for example between landholders, communities and statutory bodies.

We want to build resilience to the multiple threats faced by our seas through raising awareness and adapting practice to strengthen the health of sea life in the UK’s coastal waters. We aim to protect and encourage a better appreciation of its natural heritage. This is linked to the economic viability and cohesion of coastal communities that depend on the sea for their future prosperity and, in turn, relates to their culture, heritage and sense of place. 

  • Countering the effects of damaging human activities

Poor quality environments have an unequal impact on communities (e.g. people without access to parks and open spaces are more vulnerable to the effects of pollution). We are therefore interested in work that exposes and challenges harmful practices at all levels - in local communities as well as UK-wide. We also support work that mitigates the effects of climate change through community based projects, especially those that can demonstrate both social and economic value (e.g. renewable energy to reduce fuel poverty).

  • Lesser known plants, animals and organisms

We recognise the vital value of plants, animals and organisms in sustaining and improving life. Many are little acknowledged and so we support work that increases understanding of their value in underpinning life and important systems. We want to highlight the value of aspects such as soil health and uncharismatic plants in enhancing the natural environment and our quality of life. We are one of the few who fund in this area.

As a result of our funding, we hope to see:

  • Greater and long term individual and community involvement, ownership and stewardship.
  • Change in culture and systems through engagement with statutory, policy and regulatory decision-makers, as well as change in broader attitudes and behaviours.
  • Work that appeals beyond ‘green’ audiences and provides practical solutions.
  • Outcomes that are not exclusively environmental.