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You are here: Homepage > About Defra > About us

About us

In this section you can learn about how we work, about Defra’s ministers, and how the department is managed and organised:

Key facts

Defra was formed in June 2001 when the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) was merged with part of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and with a small part of the Home Office. In October 2008, the climate team at Defra was merged with the energy team from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to create the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Here are some key facts about the Department:


  • The Department (including its Executive Agencies) had around 10,000 staff in 2009/10.





  • Our staff are mainly based in London, York, Bristol and Alnwick but we have many other offices throughout England.
  • Our main headquarters building is Nobel House, in Smith Square, London SW1.


  • We have changed from being a typical Whitehall department organised by directorates and divisions, into a more flexible, programme-based organisation with our work organised around a series of programmes, ongoing functions and projects.

Page last modified: 5 May 2011