The Environment Agency has paid £100,000 to become the biggest ever sponsor of volunteer group CSV's annual Action Earth campaign, which launches today and asks people to organise projects to improve their local environment.
The campaign, which began in 1990, will be known this year as Environment Agency Action Earth 2004. Agency chief executive Barbara Young described it as "the largest ever environmental tie-up between a government organisation and the voluntary sector."
It represents one of the non-departmental public body's first moves towards meeting the Government's goal to increase volunteering and community involvement by 5 per cent by 2006.
Young added: "The money is leverage to use the voluntary sector's power of outreach to bring thousands of groups to take direct action for World Environment Day on 5 June. It's one of many links we are hoping to make to get the entire nation thinking about the environment."