Complaints procedure

How to make a complaint about Natural England’s services.

We welcome complaints made in a positive manner and recognise they are a valuable source of feedback to improve our services. If you feel something is not right, we want to hear from you.

A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction about the service provided which is not resolved by operational staff as normal business.

You can contact us about any aspect of our services, including:

  • mistakes we have made
  • certain decisions we have made
  • unreasonable delays
  • how you’ve been treated

If we cannot process your feedback as a complaint, we will pass it on to the appropriate team for response.

We will not investigate complaints:

  • about government policy or law
  • that have already been investigated or are currently being investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman or the Office for Environmental Protection
  • relating to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004

If you have a complaint regarding an FOI request submitted to Natural England, contact or call 0300 060 3900.

If your complaint is about a Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship payment, please contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

If your complaint relates to an access to information request, you should contact the individual named in the original response you received or email

How to complain

You can:

Natural England
Complaint Resolution Team
Foss House
Kings Pool
1-2 Peasholme Green

What happens next

We’ll investigate your complaint. If we’re at fault, we will try to put things right. If not, we’ll give you a full explanation. We’ll deal with your complaint as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If it’s going to take longer, we’ll let you know.

Our complaints process has 2 tiers. If you raise a formal complaint, we will:

  • aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 2 working days
  • aim to provide a response to your complaint within 15 working days

If you’re unhappy with the response you received at tier 1, you can request escalation to tier 2 within 30 working days of our response.

If you’re not satisfied

If you’ve been through our complaints process and you’re still not satisfied with the outcome after tier 2, you can:

If you refer your complaint to the OEP, the timeframe in which you must do this will depend on when it’s alleged that Natural England breached environmental law. If it was:

  • less than 9 months before the date of Natural England’s tier 2 response letter, you must make your complaint to the OEP within 12 months
  • more than 9 months ago, you must raise any complaint to the OEP within 3 months of the date of Natural England’s tier 2 response letter

Privacy notice

To find out how Natural England handles your personal data if you make a complaint, see the complaints privacy notice.