Taking action on environmental issues in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

  • Grant Range: Under £2,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme
  • Apply Online

The Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF)

LEAF helps people deliver projects that tackle environmental issues in their area and covers Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. It is backed through a funding collaboration which includes the Community Foundation, the Shears Foundation and a private donor. LEAF provides an opportunity for these partners to work together to support environmental projects and share learning with grant-makers and voluntary and community groups.

What will LEAF support?

Projects should have very clear environmental focus, but also show how they have a positive impact on the quality of life of communities, particularly in areas of severe environmental and economic hardship. Applications should demonstrate one of more of the following outcomes:

  • Encouraging communities to get involved in environmental activities
  • Changing behaviours leading to more local environmental action
  • Having a positive impact on the environment
  • Sharing learning about the environment with others

We are most interested in projects that can show that they have a demonstrable change and immediate impact on the environment, but we will still consider ones where they are also working to raise awareness, education and change behaviour.

While LEAF will consider applications for projects focused on any environmental themes (except those outlined in the exclusions), priority in 2017/18 will be given to applications covering one or more of the following specific environmental themes:

1. Pollution and litter
2. Woodlands and trees
3. Sustainable transport (e.g. walking and cycling schemes)

Who can apply

We are particularly keen for small local voluntary and community organisations to apply. Larger environmental charities are eligible to apply, but they must be able to demonstrate significant need and involvement from the local community in the
development of a project proposals and its planned delivery.

Size of grants available

Grants of between £250 and £20,000 are available to voluntary and community organisations for revenue and/or capital projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Occasionally grants may be made over more than one year.

Application process

You can apply online via the Apply button above.
Applications for amounts up to £2,000 can be submitted at any time under a fast track system, and do not have to wait for a specific funding deadline in order to apply.

Applications for funding between £2,000 and £20,000 will be considered twice a year in September and March only. Deadlines for applications are 1st August and 1st
February. Applicants are advised if successful within 1 month of these meetings.

Please note that as of April 2017, LEAF will no longer accept applications for community garden/allotment/food growing projects via the fast track scheme.

These kinds of projects are only eligible to apply if you are seeking over £2,000 via the main LEAF funding rounds in September and March. If you have a community garden/ allotment/ food growing related project of up to £2,000 then you may wish to consider submitting a general application to the Community Foundation.

LEAF assesses and monitors applications against key impact themes in the Environmental Benefits table below. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their projects are meeting at least some one or more of these themes. If you are unsure what this means, or how to calculate the outputs, please call Katie Wellstead to discuss.


Impact theme Outcomes Outputs
Resources Reduce, reuse, recycle Waste reduced (tonnes)
  Efficient water use Mains water reduced (m3)
  Local food production No. of people growing food
Biodiversity Habitat conservation Area of habitat improved (ha)
  Native species protected  No. and type protected
  Alien species Area of removal/ management (ha)
Awareness Environmental education No. of participants in educational sessions
  Environmental awareness No. of people with raised awareness
  Environmental networks No. of networks/events created
Resilience Adapting to climate change No. of projects with adaptation benefit
  Severe weather impacts No. of projects reducing impacts of severe
  Climate change awareness No. of people with raised awareness
Quality Urban environments Area of urban environment enhanced (ha)
  Green infrastructure Area of new green infrastructure (ha)
  Local activity No. of participants improving local
environmental quality
Energy Energy efficiency Amount of energy reduced (MWh)
  Renewable energy Installed renewable energy capacity (kW)
  Carbon emissions  Carbon emissions reduced (tonnes CO2e)

Exclusions/ what LEAF is unable to support

  • Conservation of charismatic well supported species or non-native species
  • Enhancement of habitat for sporting purposes
  • Expeditions or fieldwork outside of the UK
  • Playground or school ground improvements (unless there is significant wider community use)
  • Individuals
  • Zoos, captive breeding and animal rescue centres
  • Beautification competitions (e.g. Villages in Bloom)
  • Generic annual festivals
  • Capital costs of renewable energy projects.
  • Community garden/ allotment/ food growing projects unless the application is over
    £2,000 and you apply via the main LEAF funding route.

For more information contact

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