About this site
- What does the site aim to do?
This site aims to provide information on environmental law and the every day problems we all face. It provides a brief overview of the law on key areas, more specific information and then access to other information providers or the relevant law.
- Do I need special knowledge?
You do not need special knowledge to use the site but you cannot rely or act on the information it provides for legal advice. If you cannot answer your question here or need further help please follow the links to those who provide information to the public or use the Law Society website to find a solicitor. UKELA is not responsible for the content of external links or responsible for any damages or loss incurred or suffered by use of links.
- Can I get further information from UKELA?
UKELA doesn’t have the resources to provide further information either by email or phone. However there is a list of organisations which can help under the “Find Help” section. UKELA is not responsible for information or advice provided by third parties.
- What if I can’t find the information I need?
Please use the feedback form to let us know what further information would be helpful. Also if something isn’t clear or you think is wrong, we’d be very grateful if you could let us know.
- How did the site come about?
The UK Environmental Law Association commissioned research on how members of the public can access information on the law as it affects their environment in 2004. It asked the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), formerly based at Cardiff University to help. This was inspired by the international Åarhus Convention 1998, which highlights the need for the public’s right to access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice in environmental matters. Through consultations with other organisations and internet based research BRASS identified a clear need for an electronic environmental law resource and developed pilot web pages aimed at meeting that need.
We asked other organisations providing information to the public what online resources they had at their disposal. They told us that the problem is that the person in the street in the UK does not have a first stop shop for information about their rights and responsibilities in relation to environmental protection. It is difficult to find out how the legal and regulatory system works. People in deprived areas, which can suffer poorer environmental quality, find it more difficult to access advice which tends to be available only to those “in the know”. This means there is a significant barrier in relation to access to environmental justice and to advice in environmental matters.
Although other websites do provide some advice about environmental law they generally only provide pointers to other websites, aren’t really about the law or do not provide objective information. UKELA’s trustees pledged to plug the gap, put its reserves into building the website and set a target date for going live in spring 2009.
- How can I find out more information about UKELA, or join?
How can I find out more information about UKELA, or join?
Please visit www.ukela.org for more information and an application form to join.
- How will the site be kept up to date?
We aim for the site to provide up to date information. UKELA has set up an endowment fund to make sure the site is maintained. If you are able to contribute please use the feedback form to let us know.
- How is the site funded?
Although UKELA and Cardiff University have sought funding to help with this work, it has not been forthcoming, so UKELA’s trustees have put money from the reserves into it. This fulfils one of our charitable objectives to provide information to the public about environmental law. As it has not had external funding the site is not as complete as we aim for it to be and it presently covers the legal position in England only. Although the site contains some information on the law in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, work on these countries is still at an early stage of development.
These are gaps that we, as a UK based organisation, are keen to fill. We would like to have more case studies on the site so that you, who have experienced the kind of environmental problems this site addresses, can share your experience.
Detrimental environmental impact is felt by a wide range of people across the UK, but it is felt first and hardest by poor people. They are significantly more likely to live in or near polluted areas and their health is much more likely to be compromised as a result. What is even worse is that, according to a report commissioned by DEFRA, many residents of socially or economically deprived areas have come to accept that they will have to live in polluted areas because they feel unable to do anything to stop the harmful developments around them.
The people who will use ‘The Law and Your Environment’ will come from a broad spectrum of society, but they will all be experiencing and having to cope with potentially damaging environmental developments happening near their homes and in their neighbourhoods.
UKELA is urgently in need of funding to complete the site. If you can help please let us know using the feedback form.
- How much money do you need?
UKELA has a target to raise £285,000 to create an endowment fund to pay for the development and upkeep of ‘The Law and Your Environment’. The endowment, called The Lord Nathan Memorial Fund for the Environment should yield £10,000 annually and will help generations to protect their environments better. Lord Nathan who died in 2007 was a past President of the charity and the fund is named after him to recognise the dedication and commitment that he gave to environmental causes and for which he campaigned all his life.
Around 10% has already been raised by UKELA from its membership and reserves, but the charity still has over £250,000 left to raise.
If you would like to make a donation, we would be very grateful. ‘The Law and Your Environment’ is a vital plain english resource which enhances access to environmental justice and understanding of people’s rights and responsibilities. It will help people to help themselves to a better environment.
You or your company or organisation can give any amount, but for those seeking specific guidelines, here is a schedule of suggested levels of gift:
- Individuals are asked to consider giving monthly through a standing order. A donation of £10 – 25 per month for 36 months will make a real difference to this appeal;
- Individuals are asked to consider one off gifts via Gift Aid in the region of £100-£2000. For example, if a higher rate taxpayer makes a donation of £780 to the appeal, UKELA will receive £1000. The donor will get further tax relief of 18% on the £1000 gift, i.e. £180, so the net cost to the donor is £600;
- Chambers and large legal firms are asked to consider donations in the region of £5,000 to £30,000;
- Trust donations of any size are sought from firms who are linked with or have their own company charitable trust;
- Small to medium sized legal firms are asked to consider donations in the region of £2,000 to £3,000;
- Those willing to make gifts of £10,000 or more will be given the opportunity for publicity on ‘The Law and Your Environment’.
- How can I make a donation?
Please send donations to Alison Boyd at P O Box 487, Dorking, RH4 9BH. Cheques are payable to the ‘UK Environmental Law Association’.
Or make a BACS payment to the appeal by transferring funds from your online account to UKELA’s bank: Royal Bank of Scotland: account number 22573376, sort code: 15-10-00 marking the payee reference ‘Endowment’.
Set up a standing order to the appeal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 01306 500090.
Alternatively, you can click on the donate now button on this page.
Donations can have Gift Aid applied, which increases the value of the donation. You must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that UKELA will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year.
- Who has donated money?
UKELA is hugely grateful to its Council members, patrons and wider membership who have donated money to make sure this website is looked after. Special thanks to the Clifford Chance Foundation and to those who wish to remain anonymous.
UKELA's Council has also set up a restricted fund to help support the website in future. Any surplus funds are put into the fund annually.