Meet the team
Dave - Environment Agency
Dave has 30 years’ experience in the Environment Agency and it’s predecessors, working with a wide range of stakeholders to protect and improve air, land and water across the North West, benefiting people and the economy. He has worked in enforcement, regulatory and environmental planning leadership roles, and as a result of working with local communities appreciates the importance of accessible environmental information – as much as accessible blue-green space! He is committed to ensuring partners work together to take a longer term approach to the complex problems of water environment in the North West.
Dave is Natural Course Programme Manager, and supported by the Programme Management Office, works with the Collaborative Team at the heart of Natural Course and Executive members from the Rivers Trust, United Utilities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and LA’s, Natural England and the Environment Agency to identify barriers to better working together to improve the water environment, using Natural Course projects to demonstrate the value of sustained collaboration here, and through the LIFE IP network, across Europe.
Craig - Environment Agency
Craig has been working in the environmental sector for over 20 years, 17 of which have been with the Environment Agency. His background is biodiversity and conservation, but he also has experience working in flood risk management and project management and delivery.
He currently leads on Natural Course for the Environment Agency, including several projects on topics ranging from Water Governance to better integrated working.
Mark - Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Mark has over 25-years’ experience of working in the environment sector in North West England, with a focus on water management. Mark has a degree in Geography from the University of Manchester and a Master’s qualification in Rural Resource Management from the University of Wales.
Mark began his career at Groundwork in Oldham & Rochdale before working on a variety of roles at the UK Government-backed Mersey Basin Campaign between 1993 and 2009; supporting the delivery of local projects as well as contributing to a series of EU-funded programmes. Mark also has experience in the low carbon and rural regeneration sectors. He currently heads up the Natural Course EU LIFE Integrated Project team in Greater Manchester, working closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Natural England and the Rivers Trust.
Krista - Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Krista has over 20-years’ experience of working as an environmental planner in the public, private and community sectors and joined the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as Natural Capital Coordinator in 2016. In this role, Krista provides strategic support on delivering a natural capital approach as part of Natural Course, Greater Manchester Urban Pioneer Project and the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Group. Current projects include designing an Environment Fund for Greater Manchester to get more funding into our natural environment; delivering biodiversity net gain across Greater Manchester; supporting planning policies set out in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework as well as a communications campaign to promote the work we’re doing across Greater Manchester to manage our natural environment.
Petula - Natural England
Petula has over 30 years’ experience of working within the environmental sector in Scotland and the North West. She is a qualified Ecologist and Chartered Landscape Architect and started her career working in the private and third sectors on natural environmental improvement projects, highway infrastructure and Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment, followed by 5 years leading on the reclamation of derelict colliery sites in St Helen's. She has spent the last 15 years in the public sector, working on green space strategies, landscape planning and management and delivery of environmental improvement projects prior to joining Natural England in 2017.
Petula leads on Natural Course for Natural England together with managing a multidisciplinary team covering planning and sustainable development, developing and delivering nature recovery at a landscape scale, protected sites, catchment sensitive farming and delivery of partnership projects. Throughout her career she has worked to deliver better outcomes for both people and nature.
Dan - The Rivers Trust
Dan recently joined The Rivers Trust as a Project Manager having previously worked for one of the local rivers trust in Yorkshire for several years. Dan is leading on Natural Course for the Rivers Trust as well as doing a 2 day a week secondment to United Utilities.
Brought up on a large commercial farm and previous experience in other roles, Dan has extensive experience of the agricultural sector. He has a particular interest in Natural Flood Management, recently completing a part time PGcert in Flood Risk and Coastal Management at Lancaster University.
Esther - United Utilities
Esther has a BA in Geography from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of Sussex. Since starting with United Utilities in 2019 Esther has worked with a number of teams across the business including Operations and Maintenance, Central Operations, Customer Improvement and Corporate Affairs. In 2021 Esther moved into the role of Natural Course Strategy Development Manager leading on a number of projects related to catchment operation and understanding. As a sustainability scholar Esther has a keen drive to enhance the natural environment for future generations.