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What we do

We are the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues. Our priorities are to grow the rural economy, improve the environment and safeguard animal and plant health.

Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 38 agencies and public bodies.

Read more about what we do

We work on these topics

  1. Rural and countryside

    The interests of rural communities in the UK must be properly represented. Through investing in the rural economy, improving access to the countryside, coast and inland waterways, we will secure the future of these areas and their communities. Read more

  2. Food and farming

    Britain needs to ensure a sustainable supply of food for the UK market and export. Supporting and developing British farming, and encouraging sustainable food production (including fisheries) will ensure a secure, environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food with improved standards of animal welfare. Read more

  3. Environment

    The government is working to protect our environment by reducing pollution, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, protecting areas of parkland, wildlife reserves and marine biodiversity, and enforcing regulations that keep our water and air clean. We also help communities avoid or recover from flooding and other weather-related hazards. Read more

  4. Wildlife and animal welfare

    The government offers advice and guidance to pet owners and also enforces legislation to protect pets against cruelty. The UK has a diverse and unique range of wildlife, but over-exploitation (such as over-fishing), habitat loss, climate change and the impact of non-native species all pose a threat. Read more

Our policies

  1. Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems at home and abroad

    How the government is working to protect and manage wildlife and areas of land, and protect biodiversity and ecosystems.

  2. Simplifying farming regulations

    How the government is making farm regulations easier to understand and use.

  3. Stimulating economic growth in rural areas

    How the government helps rural businesses.

See all our policies


Our announcements

Our consultations

  1. Draft flood insurance legislation

    • 6 September 2013
    • Open consultation
  2. Biodiversity offsetting in England

    • 5 September 2013
    • Open consultation

See all our consultations

Our publications

  1. Neonicotinoids

    • 6 September 2013
    • FOI release
  2. A guide for pig keepers

    • 6 September 2013
    • Guidance

See all our publications

Our statistics

  1. Animal feed production

    • 5 September 2013
    • Statistics - national statistics
  2. Cereal usage

    • 5 September 2013
    • Statistics - national statistics

See all our statistics

Our ministers

Our management

Contact Defra

Office address

Nobel House
17 Smith Square


Make an FOI request

  1. Read about the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and how to make a request
  2. Check our previous releases to see if we’ve already answered your question
  3. Make a new request by contacting us at:

Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) requests

Customer Contact Unit
7th Floor
Nobel House
17 Smith Square


Corporate information

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information.

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