How we can help


All requests for help are first passed to our in-house case director who assesses the most appropriate manner in which ELF can assist. In many cases, a little informal guidance is all that is wanted and required. We deal with such enquiries entirely at this level.

If your enquiry is of such a nature with no deadlines then we will look to refer you to one of the University clinics for work on, by students under professional legal supervision.

In more complex cases, additional help from a specialist lawyer or technical expert may be necessary. When this happens, your enquiry is first prepared for the specialist (this often involves asking you for more information) so that his or her time is used really well.

The specialists will then give up an hour of his or her time – normally charged at hundreds of pounds per hour – without charge. Sometimes, more time is given, but this cannot be guaranteed.

In most cases, the combination of guidance from ELF and pro bono member is at least sufficient to tell you how strong a legal case you have and what you could or should do next.

Will I or my community qualify for help?

We help individuals and communities facing environmental threats and opportunities of a public nature.

We help individuals and communities facing environmental threats and opportunities of a public nature. Typical issues involve air and water quality, noise pollution, threats to wildlife habitat and biodiversity, use of public open spaces and threats to those spaces. We do not discriminate on the basis of what your view, about your environment, is.

This means, to take an example, solar panels can be viewed as both environmentally impactful and environmentally beneficial and there are 2 sides to that conversation. ELF would never position itself to take a view on what is right and wrong and would always assist either side of the argument.

As long as your matter is public interest or environmental we will help. We support all communities particularly those who are disadvantaged.

We cannot help if:

  • You are a business or local authority
  • You are a private individual and the issue affects only you and is essentially personal (e.g. a boundary dispute)


We help the voices of ordinary people to be heard and respected

Here are the areas in which we can help
  • Air pollution – including odours, dust and smell
  • Biodiversity – including hedgerows, wildlife and habitats
  • Built environment – including cultural and heritage sites
  • Contaminated land
  • Environmental Impact Assessment concerns – or lack of one
  • Enforcement for breach of planning conditions
  • Flooding
  • Human Health/Environmental Rights
  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
  • Judicial Review
  • Land – including open space, landscape, Compulsory Purchase Orders, rights of way, visual amenity
  • Light pollution
  • Noise
  • Planning – all aspects of strategic planning and development control including Tree Preservation Orders
  • Radiation – including Radioactive Substances Act
  • Statutory Nuisance
  • Statutory review
  • Town or Village Green applications
  • Transport
  • Vibration
  • Water
  • Waste

Get Help

There are 3 ways to contact ELF for help with an enquiry:
  • Call the helpline on 0330 123 0169 and speak to a member of our client service team who will take down your enquiry details
  • Fill in our online enquiry form below
  • Email ELF directly to

If you would like to contact an ELF executive or trustee please email

Telephone contact: The very lean structure and resources of ELF are such that the facility to telephone us direct is not available. However, if you email with the nature of your enquiry we will normally be able to respond quickly.

    Step 1

    About you



    Step 2

    About your case


    lawyers giving time


    university law teams


    cases each year


    worth of free help each year