Standing up for our environmental protections

Our ‘green and pleasant land’ isn’t green and pleasant by accident. The UK’s wildlife, countryside and local green spaces are there for us all to enjoy, thanks to strong protections and the public bodies who enforce them.

But our research shows that environmental protections are being weakened. And years of cuts are making it more and more difficult for public bodies to enforce the rules. Polluters are getting away with poisoning our rivers and countryside, while special wildlife sites are being neglected.

Join our campaign to stand up for our strong environmental standards and the public protectors who enforce them.

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Our public protectors are finding it harder to protect the environment

There are a few different bodies whose job it is to protect the natural environment, wildlife and biodiversity – including the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission in England, and Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Wales and Scotland.

Key environmental agencies have experienced huge cuts to their funding over the last ten years – with Natural England and the Environment Agency both seeing real-terms reductions of over 60%.

  • From 2009-18, the number of water pollution samples taken by the Environment Agency fell by a third.

  • Nearly half of Sites of Special Scientific Interest haven’t been checked in the last six years.

  • Serious pollution incidents in the UK from the farming, water and waste sectors are now a regular occurrence.

See more of our research

Your stories


"We were truly alarmed to discover that the Environment Agency was allowing Thames Water to pump untreated sewage into the River Windrush."


“Bepton Down is just below the South Downs Way on a north facing slope with stunning views. It should be a unique area of chalk downland – but it isn’t.”


The first reports of deliberate disturbance were in 2003, when two men were caught attempting to release domestic pigeons, probably laced with poison.


"We used to have a pot of money at the Environment Agency specifically allocated for nature conservation projects. As the cuts happened, we kept thinking - how are we supposed to do our job?"


"I am fortunate enough to live by Northumberland’s stunning coastline. But just over a mile away is Lynemouth beach which has been desecrated by decades of dumping."


There have been many pollution incidents in and around the Watford area involving overflowing sewers, waste from industry and raw sewage as a result of mis-connections from properties.

Help us stand up for strong environmental protections and the public bodies that enforce them

Join the campaign