Key Team Members

Professor David Hill CBE


David is chairman and founding owner of The Environment Bank Ltd which he set up in 2006 to introduce the concept of compensation, via biodiversity offsetting and habitat banking, into the UK because of his concerns at the way biodiversity was treated within the planning and development sector. David’s concept of biodiversity compensation, ensuring developments provide net gains to biodiversity, has been embedded in the government’s 25-year Environment Plan and National Planning Policy Framework. In March 2019 the Government announced that the idea is to be made a mandatory requirement of the planning and development control system.

David is also a Board Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and chair of its Audit and Risk Committee, chairman of Plantlife International, the organization that promotes the conservation of wild plants, a Commissioner with the Food Farming and Countryside Commission and chair of the Northern Upland Chain Nature Partnership covering the vast upland areas of the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Parks, Nidderdale, North Pennines and Forest of Bowland Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

David co-founded the NatureSpace Partnership in 2018, raising investment to establish the enterprise as a private sector company partnered with an environmental DNA business and two leading conservation NGO’s, setting up a not-for-profit delivery agency under a Community Benefit Society model. NatureSpace provides district licencing solutions for protected species involving the creation of habitat to improve the way the species are conserved within the planning system.

David was a founding member of Natural England, the governments’ statutory advisers on the natural heritage, a Board Member from 2006 – 2016 and its Deputy Chair from 2011 – 2016. He was also chairman of Natural England’s Remuneration Committee. He was a member of the Board of the UK government’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (2006- 2016) and a member of the government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce (to its conclusion in 2013). 

David has a doctorate in ecology from the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. He worked for a number of NGO’s before establishing one of the first environmental consultancies in the UK, which he merged with a plc in 2002.He has a strong professional and personal interest in environmental management and biodiversity conservation and has worked in the planning and development control and conservation sectors for over 27 years, advising corporate clients and developers on the environmental impacts of their projects across a range of client businesses including ports, minerals and waste, housing, distribution centres, energy/renewables, recreation, highways, airports, infrastructure and water.

David lives with his family at their farm in the Nidderdale AONB (the whole farm is dedicated to conservation) and they also have a small farm in the Yorkshire Dales National Park which includes part of the Muker Meadows Special Area of Conservation (a site of European conservation importance), listed as one of the nations 60 Coronation Meadows, an initiative instigated by HRH The Prince of Wales. He was awarded the CBE in the Queens birthday honours 2015 for services to nature conservation and the economy. He is an avid birder and wildlife photographer.  

Louise Martland

Senior Project Adviser

Louise began working for Environment Bank as project officer for the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull pilot, developing processes and guidance for use throughout the sub-region, whilst sourcing and supporting compensation providers and habitat banks. Louise now also works to develop and deliver the system nationally, supporting biodiversity accounting and Environment Bank brokerage of compensation sites across the UK.

Rob Wreglesworth MCIEEM

Project Advisor

Rob joined the Environment Bank team in 2018 and works on biological impact assessments, offset site searches and delivery. Rob also has experience in botanical surveying and in creating habitat management plans which he helps to monitor and advise on for Environment Bank’s offset sites. 

Rob has over 7 years experience working as an ecological consultant in the private sector. 

Richard Wheat ACIEEM

Project Advisor

Richard joined the Environment Bank team in 2018 and is responsible for all aspects of project delivery including biodiversity accounting assessments, offsetting site searches and scheme development, review and monitoring. 

Richard has worked for both private sector consultancies and nature conservation organisations and has extensive experience in planning and biodiversity issues, strategic conservation planning, ecological field surveying, biodiversity accounting and compensation design and management.

Abby Thomas

Programme Ecologist

Abby joined the Environment Bank team in March 2020 after completing her masters in Conservation Ecology at Oxford Brookes University.
During her masters, Abby focused her research on Biodiversity Net Gain and offsetting policies, comparing various Biodiversity Metric calculator tools. This experience helps her within her roles, including Biodiversity Accounting Assessments.

Dana Foster

Operations Manager

Dana joined the Environment Bank team in March 2020 and is an experienced Business Manager with a demonstrated history of working at senior level. 

Dana has worked within the voluntary and hospitality sectors and has strong organisation and administration skills, with her skillset being focused around team and employee management and well-being. 

The Board

James Cross

Board Director

James joined the Environment Bank in 2019.

In addition James is the founding Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, Chair of Newcastle Parks Enterprises, the founder and Chair of Teddy’s Towers Charitable Association, a Trustee with the University of Teesside and a Trustee of Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency.

Previous roles include the Chief Executive of Natural England, the Chief Executive of the Marine Management Organisation and a member of the Executive Committee of The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


James is a Chartered Director, Chartered Manager and a qualified Executive Coach. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Nigel Reader CBE


Nigel was previously Board member of Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Marine Management Organisation and Animal and Plant Health Agency. Previously Chairman of Natural England’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and member of Defra’s Audit and Risk Committee as well as of the Audit Chairs Group for all Defra bodies.

Dr Tim Norman


Tim is Managing Director of Niras Consulting based in Cambridge, previously a Senior Director with the Crown Estate, a Senior Director with RPS Group plc and Head of Ecology with Ecoscope Applied Ecologists.

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