Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) – Fast Track System

Pendower Good Neighbour Project received £7,527 to clear wasteland for a community orchard which brought together many members of the community.

What is the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF)

Established in 2006, the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) is a grant-making Fund dedicated to supporting and inspiring communities in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to tackle environmental issues in their local area.

It is a collaborative Fund and the pooling of donations allows for maximum impact at a local level. Current funding partners include the Shears Foundation, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and Greggs Foundation, as well as individual and corporate donors. The Fund is hosted by the Community Foundation.

LEAF supports high quality local environmental projects that reduce prevent or mitigate global climate change. In doing so, they have a positive impact on local people’s lives. The Fund encourages communities to be active and pioneer new ways of addressing environmental issues. Voluntary and community organisations can apply for grants of up to £20,000 from LEAF for revenue and/or capital projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The Fund will consider projects focussed on any environmental issue, although it does set specific environmental issues as priorities and reviews these annually. Normally grants are for one year, although occasionally they can be for longer. As of January 2016, LEAF has awarded over £1.6m to over 200 projects

 Why LEAF is needed?

Supporting resources

About LEAF brochure (October 2014) Download | View Online

Information for groups – how to apply (May 2014)

LEAF Environmental Benefits (September 2013)

Impact Evaluation Report (January 2011)

Fund Guidelines (April 2016)

LEAF Grants

Grants of up to £20,000 are available to support environmental projects that have an immediate impact on the environment and are able to demonstrate one or more the following outcomes:

The Fund has particular priority themes which are reviewed annually. For full details of these and other criteria for LEAF please read the latest LEAF guidelines.

The fund meets twice a year in September and March for applications for grant funding from LEAF between £2,000 and £20,000. For applications for grant amounts under £2,000, community groups can apply at any time. Please read the guidelines for further details.

Donating to LEAF

By donating to LEAF you will be joining the increasing network of donors who want to demonstrate their commitment to their local environment and their local communities.

Your donation will help to increase the funding available to support more projects that tackle local environmental, and through this, social issues.

You will join a partnership of like-minded donors which, by pooling donations, will achieve maximum strategic impact at a local level, supporting the environment and communities where you live and work.

If you are a business in particular, you can donate the financial equivalent of your carbon footprint to LEAF. By doing so, you will demonstrate your commitment to corporate social responsibility, enhancing your credibility, reputation and competitiveness. Local Law firm Muckle LLP for example donated £3,100 to LEAF, which helped to support a LEAF grant to Stamfordham First School. This project transformed a previously underused site at the edge of the school grounds into a community garden.

Your support for LEAF will ensure that this pioneering environmental philanthropy initiative will continue to build on it’s successes, and lead the way as a sustainable and forward-thinking model of regional sustainability.


To find out more about the fund, or to make a donation please contact Katie Wellstead, Principal Advisor, Environment on 0191 222 0945 or email kw@communityfoundation.org.uk.


Flexigraze was awarded a grant from LEAF to involve local volunteers in developing its conservation grazing scheme on semi-urban sites in Tyne & Wear.