This consensus paper presents the results of a workshop held in Essen, Germany in September 2017, called to examine critically the current approach to radiological environmental protection. The meeting brought together participants from the field of low dose radiobiology and those working in radioecology. Both groups have a common aim of identifying radiation exposures and protecting populations and individuals from harmful effects of ionising radiation exposure, but rarely work closely together. A key question in radiobiology is to understand mechanisms triggered by low doses or dose rates, leading to adverse outcomes of individuals while in radioecology a key objective is to recognise when harm is occurring at the level of the ecosystem. The discussion provided a total of six strategic recommendations which would help to address these questions.