Who we are

Johns Associates was set up as an environmental consultancy in 2007 and has grown organically from a team of two into a vibrant, multi-disciplinary organisation with a global perspective.  Our head office is located in Bradford on Avon, UK.

We’re a diverse and growing group of motivated, highly skilled professionals with a substantial depth of experience across different environmental and social disciplines. We invest heavily in our people through training and professional development. As a company we’ve attained a wide range of accreditations and won environmental awards for our work. This is supported through the use of cutting edge technology and a can-do attitude. Johns Associates and its team have a range of professional accreditations and memberships that demonstrate our accountability and the professionalism of our work.

We work pragmatically to find the most effective solution for you and your project and our approach is based on the understanding that capable, happy, well supported staff work well with you and deliver high quality work.

The whole company engages in activities that benefit our local environment and community. That extends our positive influence beyond our commercial work. Have a look at our news page for more on our latest pro-bono and voluntary projects.

We’ve recently been awarded the Investors in People Gold Level Accreditation and won the ICE Environment and Sustainability Award in 2013.

If you’re interested in joining the team, click here to see our current vacancies.


Matt is co-founder and Director of Johns Associates. He provides leadership and steers the commercial direction of the company as well as undertaking a range of technical work. He has a background in earth science and geography, aquatic resources, impact and risk assessment and ecology.

Matt has a strong understanding of environmental legislation and policy and how organisations and projects can respond to various environmental challenges and be successful while delivering environmental benefits. He is passionate about good environmental design that delivers multiple benefits.

Matt is the Director responsible for the Planning and Impact Assessment, Landscape, Water, GIS, Fisheries, Contracting and Outdoor Fitness teams within the company.

Prior to Johns Associates, Matt worked for Entec (now AMEC) and APEM, with broader experience gained from glacial research in the Alps, the Royal Naval Reserve, a local Parish Council, Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, Golf Environment Organisation and various academic institutes.

He is married, has three children and a dog and is currently mid-way through a series of four mountain marathons in the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains.

Liz Johns, BSc MSc CEnv MCIEEM

Liz is co-founder and Director of Johns Associates and has led the company from its inception.

Liz has a strong background in environmental biology, aquatic resource management, ecology, (both terrestrial and aquatic) and impact assessment.  She is the Director responsible for the Ecology team as well as Finance, HR, Communication and our Infrastructure.

Away from her technical work, she oversees the financial direction and day-to-day management of the company.  Prior to Johns Associates, Liz worked for the Environment Agency, Mersey Basin Campaign, Hyder Consulting and Nicholas Pearson Associates.  She is able to combine her understanding of environmental regulation with the commercial needs of our clients to ensure Johns Associates delivers robust and efficient services.

She is married with three children, a black labrador and a leopard gecko called Jeff.

Alison Padkin, BSc MA DipLA

Alison has worked as a landscape architect for over 20 years with both the private and public sector.  She has broad experience in various aspects of Landscape Design, including residential, commercial, industrial and ecological schemes.  She has been involved in project design from initiation and consultation to completion, and in the writing of Landscape and Visual Assessments – both stand alone and as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. She also has experience in the production of  Environmental Appraisals, carrying out comprehensive environmental screening of projects prior to submission of planning, in order to inform the client as to the likelihood of falling within the EIA process.

Alison has considerable experience in working within multi disciplinary teams, and has a particular understanding of working alongside architects, engineers, ecologists, arboriculturalists, public artists and environmental consultants. She also has a strong grounding in the development of Landscape Management and Maintenance Plans and the long term care of the environment for development sites covering a wide range of project types.  Alison is a Licentiate Member of the Landscape Institute.

Ben Mitchell, BSc (Hons) MCIEEM

Ben Mitchell is Senior Ecologist and manages our junior ecology staff as well as his own portfolio of projects.  He has over 14 years experience working in the professional consultancy and nature conservation sectors both within the UK and internationally.  Ben holds several EPS licenses in England, Scotland and Wales including bat survey and mitigation licences, great crested newt, schedule 1 bird and natterjack toad. He is an experienced tree climber and has inspected over 400 trees for bat roosts for several large infrastructure projects. He has extensive experience in surveying a range of protected and notable species, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians as well as undertaking specialist bird surveys.

Ben has a good working knowledge of current UK and European legislation and the planning process and experience in compiling targeted mitigation strategies for a range of protected species. He has a strong record of project management from managing complex, nationally important conservation projects, to delivering infrastructure scale ecological surveys for major international engineering companies. He has managed bat licence applications and the delivery of licence conditions for a number of projects from small developments to larger developments containing roosts of multiple species.

Ben is an active member of the Wiltshire Bat Group and currently runs a bat monitoring project at Langford Lakes Wiltshire Wildlife Trust reserve.

Claire Drew

Claire is our South East Office Manager and works closely with the Directors to research and develop new areas of business. She took on the role after returning to work after having a family. Her background is in medical office management, working in a Harley Street practice. Claire is also a qualified aromatherapist which complements aspects of our landscape design and  outdoor wellness work.

Claire lives in a lovely village near Guildford, with her husband, three young children, cat, dog and fish. She enjoys all things creative – indoors and out.

David Grice, MCICM [Grad]

David joined Johns Associates as Financial Assistant in November 2017 to help support the Finance function within the business.
David is a qualified Credit Manager and comes with a wealth of experience in both the Public and Private sectors. David has a strong finance background as a result of working with many UK Government Departments together with the American Airforce and various blue chip private sector companies. He also comes to Johns Associates with a broad set of commercial skills particularly focusing on cash management.

In his free time David likes to play golf – although he describes himself as enthusiastic rather than competent, together with walking football and country walks.

Deborah Long, BA (Hons) MSc

Deborah is Johns Associates’ Office Manager and provides office and administrative support to the staff.

After living and working in the USA for ten years, she returned to England to work in Health Promotion for the NHS before moving to the National Osteoporosis Society where she was responsible for helping to improve osteoporosis strategies in Primary Care.

Deborah is married with three children and a large collection of animals. Her hobbies are gardening, tapestry, yoga, pilates, singing in a local womens’ choir and chickens.

Jenny Bennett, BSc MSc MCIEEM AIEMA

Jenny is Associate Director and member of the Senior Management Team.  She leads the ecology team and provides technical direction across the business. A highly experienced ecologist, Jenny gained experience in consultancy prior to working as the ecologist for Wiltshire Council for a number of years.  She holds a number of protected species licences and has strong botanical skills.  Jenny has a very strong understanding of ecological processes, techniques and legislation. As such she is highly competent in using ecological data to inform strategic decisions on project design so that key impacts, risks and costs are avoided or minimised.

She has a very successful track record in resolving ecological issues at all levels including the provision of highly respected evidence to the High Court. Jenny’s experience also enables her to provide a strong technical lead at a Project Director level for Environmental Impact Assessment work.

Jenny is enjoying life as a new mum and settling into a new house in the chalk downs of Wiltshire.

Joanne Stokes

Jo is the Finance Manager at Johns Associates. As a qualified accounts technician, she brings a strong background of finance and office administration to the operations of the company, which she has gained from working in the UK and Gibraltar, and from ACCA qualifications. Jo is a member of the Senior Management Team.

Having completed Health and Safety Management training, she achieved our CHAS certification and proactively promotes a ‘be safe out there’ approach to keep us all health and safety conscious, and Johns Associates up to date with health and safety compliance.

Jo is keen to embrace challenges and is currently learning Mandarin Chinese.

Kerry White, BSc (Hons)

Kerry holds two protected species licences to survey in England and joined Johns Associates in January 2018 as an Assistant Ecologist. After completing a BSc (Hons) Ecology of Wildlife Conservation in 2013, Kerry joined the conservation placement scheme with Avon Wildlife Trust and gained experience in all aspects of wildlife conservation including species surveying and practical habitat management. Following this, she spent two field seasons working for Bristol University as a research assistant and two field seasons with a local Ecological Consultancy where she gained valuable experience in protected species surveying.

In her spare time Kerry enjoys exploring new places in her campervan and assisting with a number of national species monitoring programmes.

Leo Wirtz, BSc

Leo is our Senior Countryside Services Consultant and heads up our Countryside and Wellbeing Team. Leo has a strong background in land management with over 20 years of experience working in both public and charitable sectors.

Prior to working at Johns Associates Leo worked for Wiltshire Council and managed a portfolio of over 30 countryside sites across the county.   He has worked for the National Trust in Devon, both on the West Exmoor Coast and at Buckland Abbey on Dartmoor, gaining experience controlling non native invasive species.  Leo has worked closely with a number of organisations to help deliver mental heath projects across the sites he managed and is committed to promoting the understanding of the relationship between the natural environment, health and wellbeing.

Leo is married with two children and when his wife isn’t making him build kitchen extensions he is a part time surfer, has a long held interest in traditional woodland crafts and likes to challenge himself on the occasional obstacle course race too.

Lis Weidt, BSc (Hons) Grad CIEEM

Lis holds a number of protected species licenses to survey in England and Wales and joined Johns Associates in November 2015. She has various experience in surveying for bats including building inspections, activity surveys and radio tracking a number of different species. She has taken on a wide range of schemes, which require ecological input, from residential developments, recycling centre facilities and military buildings.

Lis has experience in site and environmental appraisals, ecological assessments, ecological clerk of works and protected species surveys particularly for bats and dormice.

In her spare time Lis is an active member of the Wiltshire Bat Group and the Wiltshire Mammal Group and can be regularly found in the woods of Wiltshire surveying for bats, dormice and other species of interest.

Mari Webster, BSc MA MRTPI

Mari has over 15 years of planning experience in both the public and private sectors. She has managed projects and determined applications relating to major EIA schemes including mineral extraction and subsequent restoration schemes, new school and Academy developments, strategic waste management facilities, renewables and waterfront development. She has also been involved in the formulation of planning policy and led public consultation events and liaison committees.

Mari is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and has also been a regular on the judging panel for the Civic Trust Awards.

She is married, has two children and an ever-shedding Labrador and also enjoys singing with local groups in her spare time.

Mark Sherlock

Mark joined Johns Associates in January 2016, as a member of our contracting team. He has been working in the tree industry since he qualified in woodland estate management back in 1992, and before he joined us, was running his own small business and subcontracting for other tree companies.

Mark has all the relevant NPTC chainsaw qualifications and worked for a year out in Australia back in 1995. His knowledge of trees and tree management, along with his very keen interest in wildlife conservation, is a very valuable asset to the Johns Associates contracting team.

Matt Maynard, BSc (Hons) PGDip

Matt is our GIS Consultant and has seven years experience working to find innovative solutions to technical problems in environmental and planning projects.  His projects have included phosphate discharge modelling in the Hampshire Avon, drone based habitat mapping, site habitat and risk assessment.

Prior to joining Johns Associates, Matt worked at Wiltshire Council with the planning, ecology and landscape teams.  He was responsible for the SHELAA update and the upkeep of  housing monitoring systems.  Matt is currently working towards an MSc in Urban Planning.