Jo Cullis - Jacobs

Expertise: 
Consultant
Activities: 
River and wetland restoration design
Habitat design for flood and major infrastructure schemes (all project stages from strategy to construction)
Ecological & hydromorphology survey (RCA (MoRPH); RHS; RCS)
Natural flood management
Environmental Clerk of Works and design support on-site
Projects: 
Exeter Flood Defence Scheme, UK. Client: Environment Agency, South West region (Completed Date: Ongoing)

A major multi-million pound flood scheme through the city of Exeter, Devon, including flood banks, walls, structures and flood relief channels. Incorporating habitat creation/enhancement as an integrated part of scheme design and habitat mitigation. Jo was responsible for habitat creation and river restoration specialist inputs, including leading the detailed design of integrated flood risk/habitat creation. Jo managed the ecological survey, protected species risk management and acted as lead environmental clerk of works during construction.

Lower Otter Restoration Project. Client: Environment Agency, South West region (Completed Date: Ongoing)

Project aims to restore the lower Otter to a more sustainable estuarine system, by increasing tidal inundation to the floodplain. Main objectives include creation of at least 14.5ha of intertidal habitat (as compensatory habitat for the Exe Estuary Strategy) and restoration of the Budleigh Brook (breaking out of aqueduct and re-meandering across floodplain), whilst ensuring no increase in flood risk to property and maintenance of vehicular and recreational access. Jo is responsible for feasibility and detailed design of wetland habitat creation areas. Integrated designs are being developed with hydrologists and river engineers to ensure robust, sustainable designs.

River Avon Restoration Project, UK. Client: Wessex water; Environment Agency, South West region (Completed Date: Jan 2018)

A series of projects (contracts) focusing on strategy development, funding approvals, appraisal, design and communications. Overall aim of project was to restore the entire SSSI/SAC River Avon and tributaries to a more naturally functioning system, to better support ecology typically associated with the designated status. All projects have the primary objective of restoring a more naturally functioning river system, ideally through ‘assisted natural recovery’ using sustainable restoration measures to help the river heal itself. Jo was responsible for technical leadership of strategy development and leading design packages, providing expert advice on restoration aims and solutions and managing stakeholder consultation. Designs were developed in close partnership with fluvial geomorphologists and river engineers to ensure robust, sustainable designs.

Jo has over 25 years’ professional experience in nature conservation and ecology, with a strong focus on river and wetland ecology, hydromorphology and the restoration of rivers and wetlands. Jo is passionate about the concept of integrated design, working closely with engineers and fluvial geomorphologists to ensure that we work with natural processes to deliver fully integrated flood schemes, providing multiple benefits for people and wildlife. She has worked on several strategic and policy-informing projects, with a focus on working with natural processes, including river and wetland management and restoration, and natural flood management.