Mapping the environmental third sector in England

Working Paper 98 (May 2013)

The third sector has a long history of environmental action and yet we lack systematic knowledge of the size, scope and activities of third sector organisations with an environmental mission. This research provides the first systematic analysis of registered environmental third sector organisations in England. It is the first attempt to provide a national listing of environmental charities*, and gives information on the number of organisations, their income, sources of funding, functions, distribution and workforce.

As well as providing much-needed data on different aspects of environmental organisations, it draws comparisons with the rest of the third sector, providing insights into the distinctive characteristics of environmental activity. It also draws preliminary comparisons with data from the United States.

The research analyses data from two databases – the Charity Commission Register and the National Survey of Third Sector Organisations. In undertaking this analysis, we highlight the methodological challenges of using these data sources to analyse any sub-sector or industry of the third sector in England.

*See list of environmental charities
This is a list of registered environmental charities in England and Wales. It is sorted by income in 2010, with those with the highest income at the top. Details of the classification process are provided in our working paper. We recognise that no classification will be perfect, and we do welcome feedback. Since it represents perhaps the most detailed attempt thus far to identify environmental charities across the country, we wanted to share this work with others. 

Research contacts:

David Clifford, Frida Geyne Rajme, Graham Smith, Rebecca Edwards, Milena Büchs, Clare Saunders