Our level of investment and expertise sets us apart from many other environmental organisations.
Led by Professor David Hill CBE (founding member of Natural England) and James Cross (former CEO of Natural England), and with over 6,000 acres of habitat creation underway, our team are dedicated to nature recovery as the solution to tackle the critical issue of biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse.
Part of the Gresham House British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (BSIF II) portfolio, which operates with an investment philosophy to provide real asset-based solutions to environmental and societal challenges. Environment Bank has secured £240m to establish landscape-scale recovery sites managed with the highest levels of ecological integrity. Gresham House is a specialist alternative asset management group, dedicated to sustainable investments across a range of strategies, with expertise covering forestry, housing, infrastructure, renewable energy and battery storage, public and private equity with assets under management in excess of £6bn as at December 2021.
Working in close collaboration with Natural England and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Bank team have helped shape nature recovery policy and guidance in the UK – one of the most biodiversity-depleted countries on earth – leading to the successful implementation of biodiversity net gain (BNG), one of the most essential pieces of environmental legislation passed in the UK.
Our team has generated enough Biodiversity Units to ensure an effective legislation rollout in early 2024. The recovery sites created to generate these units is providing many landowners and farmers across England with a welcome diversification of income and enormous benefits to nature and local communities.
Our ambition doesn't stop with BNG – working alongside leading biodiversity related organisations and policy makers such as Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science-Based Targets Network (SBTN) and UK Business and Biodiversity Forum (UKBBF), we are now excited to offer nature based solutions, enabling businesses to meet their nature positive goals through our Biodiversity Credits product.
Our leadership team
Prof. David Hill CBE, Founder & Chairman
With a doctorate in ecology from the Department of Zoology at Oxford, David brings an abundance of ecological expertise to the table. A passionate conservationist, he was a founding member of Natural England, a member of the Government’s Ecosystem Markets Taskforce, and a Commissioner with the independent Food Farming and Countryside Commission. When it comes to implementing BNG, there’s nobody better. In fact, he introduced the concept to the UK in 2006 and his unparalleled work has now been embedded into the Environment Act.
James Cross, CEO
James specialises in strategic leadership and board effectiveness with a track record of driving organisations forward. The former CEO of Natural England and Marine Management Organisation, founding CEO of Urban Green Newcastle; a former Board Trustee for the University of Teesside and Chair of its’ Audit & Risk Committee.
Appointed by the Lord Chancellor to HM Assistant Chief Inspector of Courts in England & Wales in 2005, James was invited to review the Northern Ireland Coroner Service following the Good Friday Agreement, and appointed to lead a review into events at Leeds Magistrates Court in 2007. James is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Emma Toovey, Chief Ecology Officer
As a trained ecologist, Emma has over 18 years of ecological consultancy experience across diverse industries, specifically the development sector, working with landowners, developers, planning authorities and a range of stakeholders in the development consenting process. Emma ensures that sound ecological principles and technical integrity underpin every decision we make as a business.
Peter Bachmann, Gresham House PLC
Peter is the Managing Director of the Sustainable Infrastructure division at Gresham House, Co-Fund Manager for BSIF and member of the board of Gresham House Asset Management and the Sustainability Executive Committee. Peter has over 22 years of public and private equity investment and fund management experience and has invested into and exited over 170 infrastructure and technology companies. Peter is also a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Accelerator. Peter is an active investor in early-stage sustainability companies.
Ruth Murray, Gresham House PLC
Ruth is an Associate Director at Gresham House in the Sustainable Infrastructure division. Ruth has 20 years’ of infrastructure experience through her first career as a Projects lawyer during which she worked on infrastructure projects both large and small across a range of sectors. Prior to joining Gresham House, Ruth spent 15 years at a top 100 law firm where she was a senior partner who founded and was the head of the Projects Team, head of the Energy and Waste Sector Team, and she spent 3 years as a member of the firm’s management board.
Alexa Culver, General Counsel
Alexa is a Member of the College of Experts for the Office of Environmental Protection and recognised as one of the most impactful environmental lawyers in 2023 in the ENDS Report Power List. As a lawyer with over 12 years’ experience working on land, planning and environmental projects, Alexa ensures that all legal aspects of our Habitat Bank model are robust, and legal transactions progress smoothly as we bring forward our national network of Habitat Banks.