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 England and Wales   

 The Environment Agency  - England


About us

The Environment Agency works to create better places for people and wildlife.  We do this by implementing the policies of UK government departments and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). 

We were established to bring together responsibilities for protecting and improving the environment and to contribute to sustainable development.  We seek to take an integrated approach in which we consider all elements of the environment when we plan and carry out our work.  It allows us to identify the best environmental options and solutions, taking into account the different impacts on water, land, air, resources and energy.

We help prevent hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage from flooding. Our work helps to support a greener economy through protecting and improving the natural environment for beneficial uses, working with businesses to reduce waste and save money, and helping to ensure that the UK economy is ready to cope with climate change.  We will facilitate, as appropriate, the development of low carbon sources of energy ensuring people and the environment are properly protected.

The Environment Agency was established on 1 January 1996. Legally our Board constitutes the Environment Agency and is directly responsible to Government Ministers for all aspects of our organization and performance.  We have 12,000 employees and an annual budget around £1.1bn a year.

We are a public body - around 70% of our funding comes from government, and most of the rest comes from various charging schemes. We are independent, but we work closely with the government to get the best possible results for the environment.

What we do

We play a central role in protecting and enhancing the environment in England and Wales. We are responsible for the practical implementation and enforcement of many aspects of European Union and domestic environmental legislation. We also have responsibility for protecting communities from the risk of flooding and managing water resources.

Although we work across England and Wales, we have local offices working closely with other local bodies to develop the right solutions for local environments. We also work with local authorities and others to tackle the immediate environmental issues locally.

Our work includes:

  • Protecting people from flood
  • Working with industry to protect the environment and human health
  • Concentrating our effort on higher risk businesses - those that run potentially hazardous operations, or whose performance just isn't coming up to scratch
  • Helping business use resources more efficiently 
  • Taking action against those who don't take their environmental responsibilities seriously - every year we bring hundreds of offenders to justice, leading to millions of pounds of fines.
  • Looking after wildlife - we complete around 400 projects every year to improve the places where threatened species live.
  • Helping people get the most out of their environment, including boaters and anglers. We sell over a million rod licences a year, many to young people coming into the sport for the first time. All the money we raise goes straight back into improving the places people fish.
  • Working with farmers to build their role as guardians of the environment, tackling pollution we cannot see as well as adding to the beauty of the countryside.
  • Helping to improve the quality of inner city areas and parks by restoring rivers and lakes.
  • Working with government, industry and local authorities to make the environment a priority.

Our structure

Split between Bristol and London, our head office is where we provide technical advice and support Government policy making. Our chief executive and directors are based here, and they are responsible for making sure regulation is implemented consistently across the country, taking into account the environmental, social and economic differences in each region.

We have teams based in six regions in England and Wales. They support the area offices and help co-ordinate their activities. The people who work in these offices are responsible for the day-to-day management of the work activities in the area and working with local communities to meet their needs.

Our priorities

Our focus is to look after the environment and make it a better place. Working with business, government and society as a whole, we will make the environment in England and Wales cleaner and healthier.

We will;

  • Act to reduce climate change and its consequences

We will play a full part in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help people and wildlife adapt to climate change, and put climate change at the heart of everything we do. 

  • Protect and improve water, land and air

We will maintain and improve water quality, promote more sustainable land management, protect and enhance wildlife, and improve the way we work as a regulator to protect people and benefit the environment while minimising costs to businesses.

  • Work with people and communities to create better places

We will reduce the risks to people, households and businesses from flooding and help people to improve, protect, value and enjoy their local environment.

  • Work with businesses and other organisations to use resources wisely

We will further our understanding of the best environmental options for managing waste and promote more efficient and sustainable use of resources.

  • Be the best we can

We will improve the way we work with customers and partners and involve communities.  We will use compelling evidence and knowledge to support decision-making and use the funding available to us to maximise outcomes for people and the environment, while minimising our own environmental impact.


Website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk


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