Funding for environmental education

A significant element of environmental education still relies on funding outside of  business or local government budgets. There is a wide array of funding and priorities of funders change on a regular basis. This resource is designed to point to any known funds relevant to environmental education and outdoor learning provision or development.

The Wild Ideas team can support you to identify the best funding opportunities and can deliver your bid writing, project development and staff training around environmental education.  Get in touch and we will provide help where it’s needed.


Outdoor learning funders

These listings are not exhaustive and represent funders who have previously provided financial support for delivery of outdoor learning. If you are aware of other supportive funders please let us know

The People’s Postcode Lottery

Since 2009, People’s Postcode Trust has awarded more than £14m to over 1800 projects across Great Britain. In 2017 People’s Postcode Trust aims to help people – ensuring they have the skills, opportunities and rights to improve their lives.
They seek applications for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights, equal rights and conflict resolution for some of society’s most vulnerable groups.

People’s Postcode Lottery

Garfield Weston Foundation

The Foundation aims to be responsive to where need is greatest and therefore supports a wide range of charitable activity including ArtsEducationYouthHealthEnvironmentWelfare

The Trustees have a preference for charities directly delivering services and activities to those in need, and are especially keen to see applications from charities in the Welfare, Youth and Community sectors and also in regions of economic disadvantage.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Esmee Fairbairn fund across four main sectors – Arts, Children and Young People, Environment and Social Change – as well as through their Food funding strand. Across all their funding they aim to unlock and enable potential, back the unorthodox and unfashionable, build collective networks and catalyse system change.

Esmee Fairbairn

DM Thomas Foundation for Young People

The Foundation is dedicated to helping disadvantaged and vulnerable young people and children transform their lives. Their priority is to make a difference through targeted grant support, helping local and regional community groups and charities across the UK and Europe to deliver projects which provide access to opportunities and improve well-being.

DM Thomas Foundation

Heritage Fund

The fund use money raised by National Lottery players to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

Heritage Fund

Big Lottery

The Big Lottery deliver funding throughout the UK, mostly through programmes tailored specifically to the needs of communities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well as some programmes that cover the whole UK.

The Big Lottery

Big Lottery – Awards for All

Awards for All offers grants for grassroots and community activity that aims to improve life for local people and neighbourhoods. It doesn’t have a deadline and you can apply at any time.

Awards for All

Andy Fanshawe Memorial Trust

The Trust funds projects that give disadvantaged young people the chance to develop an existing interest in the great outdoors. Outdoor activities means walking, climbing, cycling, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and residential courses at outdoor centres.

Andy Fanshawe Memorial Trust 

Pears Foundation

Independent British family foundation, rooted in Jewish values, that promote understanding of key issues through research and education programmes; drive engagement in social progress across the UK and globally, particularly in young people, and support organisations focused on wellbeing for everyone, especially those with a tough challenge to face.

Pears Foundation

Biffa Award

The Main Grant scheme Recreation and Community Building project theme requires an active Biffa operation to be within 5 miles of the project site OR an active Biffa Landfill site within 10 miles. The scheme awards grants to projects that provide or improve biodiversity, community spaces, cultural facilities, and places for outdoor recreation.

Biffa Award

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Youth Fund

The Fund supports organisations which work with young people experiencing disadvantage in a way that recognises and builds on their strengths and potential – we refer to this as an asset-based approach. Such approaches can include ‘strengths-based’, ‘advantaged thinking’, or ‘asset-based community development’ practices.

PHF Youth Fund

BBC Children in Need

BBC Children in Need awards grants each year to organisations supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

BBC Children in Need

Royal Geographic Society

The Society’s Grants Programme develops new knowledge and advances geographical science, supporting geographical research in the UK and overseas.

RGS research grants

The Ironmongers Company

The Ironmongers’ Company wishes to support projects that provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to fulfil their potential. The Company is looking for projects that deliver clearly defined educational benefits to a specific group of children or young people.

The Ironmongers Company 

Heart Research UK Healthy Hearts

We award funding of up to £10,000 to selected projects that promote heart-healthy lifestyles to help communities to live healthier, happier, longer lives. Funding is restricted to specific areas of the UK.

Healthy Hearts Community Grants

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Our funding programmes offer short and long term grants. Support is adapted to the needs of small and medium-sized charities that are committed to delivering work which breaks or prevents cycles of disadvantage.

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Veolia Environmental Trust

The Trust supports community and environmental projects located close to Veolia sites.

Veolia Trust

Coastal Communities Fund

The CCF encourages the economic development of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs One further funding round in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is expected to open in late 2017. Details regarding future funding in Scotland are still to be advised.

Coastal Communities Fund

Frederick Soddy Trust Schools Award Scheme

The Trust aims to encourage interest in field studies by providing modest financial support for expeditions and fieldwork which include the ‘study of the whole life of an area with major emphasis on the human community’.

Frederick Soddy Trust Schools Award Scheme

Salix Funding

Salix, in partnership with the Department for Education, provides funding for maintained schools to improve their energy efficiency, lower energy bills and create a more comfortable learning environment.

Salix Funding Scheme