The Environment Fund can provide grant aid to not-for-profit organisations and councils towards the delivery of key environmental outcomes. There are two elements to the Fund: Multi-year strategic funding and In-year funding: Ulster Way and NIEA properties, and land purchase.

Funding priorities

The Environment Fund has 2 priority themes:

  • theme 1: ensuring good habitat quality, landscape and species abundance and diversity
  • theme 2: promotion of health, well-being, resource efficiency and sustainable economic development, realising the full value of our environment

The priorities for funding under these themes can be downloaded here.

Multi-year Strategic Environment Fund

The Environment Fund Strategic Fund is currently closed to new applications

For the 2015 Environment Fund multi-year competition, not for profit organisations or councils were able to submit a single[1] grant application for projects that will deliver key environmental outcomes at a province wide scale, regional landscape scale, or on DAERA owned/managed natural environment sites.

[1] Except where a council is applying for an Air Quality project – this could be submitted as a second Environment Fund application.

The Department allocates the budget available to those projects which, together with current activity, will most effectively help to deliver the Environment Fund priorities.  Around £2.5 million annually is allocated through this fund.

A list of funded projects under the 2016-19 Environment Fund can be downloaded here.

In-year Environment Fund

When sufficient budget may be available, In-year funding may be available for high priority projects which could not have foreseeably applied to the Strategic Fund.  Applications for these grants can be submitted by eligible organisations at any time after advice is sought from the Grant Team.  The key areas where this funding may be considered are:

Ulster Way and NIEA properties

Grants for essential works to the Ulster Way and NIEA properties, such as essential maintenance and health & safety works.

Land purchase

Grants for land purchase under the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands (NI) Order may be considered for projects that will deliver significant conservation or access benefits. The applicant must show that:

  • the resource or feature cannot be effectively protected, enhanced or created by other more cost-effective means
  • their constitution enables them to buy and manage land, and provide public access where applicable and the proposal is within the applicant organisation’s strategic land policy priorities for land purchase and management
  • they have the ability (resources and experience) to manage the site long term for conservation or access purposes

Applications and guidance

An example of the guidance notes for applications are available to download.

An example of the general conditions of offer are available to download.

If you propose applying for an Environment Fund In-year grant you MUST contact the grant team to discuss any possible application.  If it is agreed that an application for in-year funding might be appropriate, the current electronic Application Form and Guidance Notes will be emailed to you for completion.

Contact us

For information about the Environment Fund please contact or 028 9056 9610

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