We want to live in a world rich in wild landscapes, providing a sustainable future for life on earth.
To do this, our mission is to catalyse the creation, restoration and protection of wild landscapes by pursuing projects which address the themes of science, technology, law, economics, and culture.
The Lifescape Project was established in 2017 by a team of individuals at Clifford Chance, AECOM and the University of Cumbria who, motivated by the significant degradation of the world’s ecosystems in recent times, wanted to make a real difference in the protection of the global ecosystem and undertake ecological restoration.
The collaboration stemmed from a previous ecological project which introduced a unique set of industries and individuals to one another, and those involved soon realised that they could combine their expertise in the fields of ecology, law, economics, academia and sustainability with their love for the environment in an entirely new project. This blend of driven professionals across a variety of disciplines helped spawn the idea for an independent charity which could continue to build on the work and relationships initiated under that enterprise. Motivated by a mutual desire to take on innovative and challenging new projects, with the aim of promoting and actively working towards wildlife and biodiversity conservation and restoration, the first steps were taken to establish a charity which could take on ecological projects and make ideas of restoration and rewilding a reality.
In this way the Lifescape Project was born. Since its establishment, the Lifescape Project has sought to foster the passion and expertise of those involved in order make a long-term positive impact on the global ecosystem. At its commencement, all human and professional resourcing came from time donated by individuals and partner organisations, but since 2019 the Lifescape Project has been building its team of core professionals who commit all of their energies to its mission. Since its founding Lifescape has collaborated with a growing list of institutions to achieve its long term aim of promoting global ecological restoration.
Meet the team
Adam is a qualified lawyer with expertise in developing legal and financial mechanisms to aid rewilding projects, as well as leading species reintroduction projects. Adam is a member of the IUCN’s Rewilding Thematic Group, an external rewilding PhD supervisor for the University of Cumbria, and co-author of numerous articles on rewilding published in academic journals. He has also advised multiple NGOs working in the field of wildlife conservation and rewilding. When not working to expand the Lifescape Project’s impact, Adam spends as much time as possible outdoors, trekking, kitesurfing and cycling.
As CEO of the Lifescape Project, Adam’s role involves leading the pursuit of Lifescape’s Mission and Strategy, executing management decisions under the board in all key areas including fundraising, communications, HR and substantive operations.
Our Chief Executive Officer
Deborah is an experienced ecologist with a focus on mammals and the use of species reintroductions as a tool to tackle biodiversity loss at a landscape level. Her PhD investigated grey squirrel culling management and red and grey squirrel behavioural responses. As part of the development team on a multi-species reintroduction project hosted at the University of Cumbria she initiated a pine marten feasibility study in South Cumbria and is currently managing dormouse reintroductions in South Cumbria/Lancashire. With a teaching background in schools, universities and her own outdoor ecology education organisation she is keen to incorporate education, community involvement and novel engagement practices into her work and has experience of hosting community consultation processes across a range of species.
As a founding director and now Lead Ecologist with the Lifescape Project, Deborah is leading our project investigating the ecological and practical feasibility of lynx reintroduction in England and Wales.
Dr. Deborah Brady
Having spent the first part of her career working as a commercial litigator, Elsie’s move to the rewilding sector has allowed her to combine her personal values and ambitions with her professional life. As Managing Lawyer, Elsie is responsible for all of the Lifescape Project’s legal projects, including the Litigation for Nature project and our work as part of the Forest Litigation Collaborative and work to protect wild landscapes through novel legal mechanisms such as conservation covenants and easements.
Day to day, this involves anything from drafting legal submissions to identifying new opportunities where we can use the law to protect and restore biodiversity. Outside of work, Elsie loves being outdoors and spends her time climbing, skiing and swimming in wild places.
Catarina began her legal career in the academia, first as a Fulbright Scholar at NYU School of Law and later as an SJD graduate from UCLA Law School, in the field of international legal studies. Having worked for human rights NGOs and tech start-ups, Catarina found in the Lifescape Project the perfect place to combine her passion for nature with her legal expertise. As Legal Project Officer, Catarina assists Elsie with the organization’s legal projects.
Day to day work involves legal research, drafting, and she is currently managing the legal briefs’ project with rewilding partners in Europe. As an avid hiker and sailor, Catarina is always planning her next adventure in the outdoors. She enjoys tracking wild animals and capturing them on her trap cameras.
Legal Project Officer
Katherine works as a Project Officer on the UK component of the Forest Litigation Collaborative project and is also the secretariat for the steering committee for the lynx feasibility project. She has also assisted with research and report writing for The Lifescape Project’s ecological enhancements work.
Katherine previously worked as an associate at a boutique litigation firm, specialising in commercial and tax litigation. After leaving that role, she volunteered with a local wildlife charity helping to draft policies and completed a master’s degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, including writing a research dissertation exploring the impacts of different funding sources and income streams for rewilding projects on rewilding practice.
John is a solicitor with a keen interest in natural history and environmental restoration. He is currently working to investigate the legal issues that arise out of rewilding, with a view to then taking on some of those issues in order to find workable solutions.
Legal Consultant and Project Officer
Dr Darrell Smith is a conservation biologist currently working in peatland restoration. He works across the UK on upland blanket bog and lowland raised mire projects. Alongside the practical restoration of peatland, he is also interested in the efficacy of restoration techniques, from the carbon costs of the interventions to their effectiveness in returning functionality from a carbon sequestration perspective.
Darrell is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cumbria. He was awarded a PhD from Lancaster University in Conservation Biology for a thesis that explored the incommensurability of values that society gives to nature and how we capture these many values when describing nature’s worth. Darrell is involved in research projects that reflect both the applied nature of his peatland restoration activities and his academic interest in how society incorporates value plurality into land use decision-making across shared (human/non-human) landscapes.
Dr. Darrell Smith
Lily is a lawyer at Clifford Chance within the funds and investment management sector, with a focus on sustainable finance and impact investment. She is particularly interested in the mobilisation of private sector capital for ecosystem restoration projects, as well as how our natural capital is valued. She has contributed time to other environmental causes, including as a member of her local council’s climate emergency working group, and has enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm within communities for protecting and restoring their local wild spaces.
Lily is a keen climber, hillwalker and mountain biker and enjoys the remote places these activities often take her.
Chris is an Associate Director of Environmental Economics at AECOM, London. In addition to his role at AECOM, Chris is also a Member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management. Chris is able to provide the Lifescape Project with specialist economic input and modelling into a wide range of rewilding, environmental policy, and green finance projects. His primary area of work with AECOM focuses on natural capital and ecosystem services: working with businesses and governments to account for their environmental impacts, quantifying environmental values in monetary terms and designing market-based instruments for use in public policy. Chris has led a number of innovative projects which have been presented at the Royal Society, NASA, Royal Geographical Society, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Forum on Natural Capital.
In collaboration with the Lifescape Project, Chris created and manages the Natural Capital Laboratory, as well as the WildSide website.
Ian has spent the last 25 years working on understanding societal interactions with, connections to, and perceptions of, the ‘natural world’. His current interests are focused on public engagement with species reintroductions and rewilding, and he is the lead on the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Back on our Map’ (BOOM) multi-species reintroduction project in South Cumbria. He co-chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Rewilding Thematic Group within the Commission on Ecosystem Management and has been a member of the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas since 2016. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and can usually be found mountain biking or paddleboarding in the mountains and lakes of Cumbria at the weekend.
Ian is currently providing guidance in relation to the Lifescape Project’s investigation of the ecological and practical feasibility of lynx reintroduction in England and Wales.
Prof. Ian Convery
Max currently works on UK biodiversity policy and legislation at DEFRA, and his career to date has focused on the application of environmental economics in business and policy contexts.
His work with the Lifescape Project has focused on collating accessible evidence about the species that are missing from British landscapes and what we might be missing out on in their absence. Max is a keen ecologist and amateur botanist.
In his day job, Roger is a partner at the international law firm Clifford Chance with a range of expertise covering commercial and financial disputes. Roger is co-head of Clifford Chance’s Global Business and Human Rights practice, which advises clients in connection with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. He also advises on climate change-related business risk and is a member of Clifford Chance’s ESG Board.
Roger is a co-founder and chair of the board of trustees of the Lifescape Project and also has roles at the legal charity Advocates for International Development and RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice Islington.
Roger and Emilia Leese own and run the day-to-day management of Birchfield Forest Rewilding, a rewilding project which they collaborate on with Lifescape near Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. In 2021 Roger won the P.E.A. (People. Environment. Achievement) Award for Health and Wellbeing for his work on ESG at Clifford Chance and his role at the Birchfield Forest Rewilding project.
Trustee and Chair of the Board
Sally Hawkins is a South African PhD researcher at the University of Cumbria, a core member of the IUCN CEM Rewilding Thematic Group and a founding trustee of the Lifescape Project. In research and practice her focus is on implementing landscape or systemic change and she is developing a framework for rewilding to implement change though rewilding practice. This work is feeding into the development of rewilding guidelines via the IUCN CEM Rewilding Thematic Group and into rewilding plans at the Natural Capital Laboratory. She is an experienced and published social science researcher with a background in project management for STEM publishing and environmental management.
Steven is a Technical Director at AECOM with over 19 years’ experience in environment and sustainable development with expertise in natural capital, spatial and land use planning, and strategic environmental assessment. Steven co-leads AECOM UK and Ireland’s Impact Assessment Practice Area which numbers some 180 staff specialising in environmental impact assessment, environmental management, strategic environmental assessment, equality, social impact and social value, natural capital and environmental net gain. He has worked on natural capital-related projects for public and private sector clients both in the UK and overseas with particular experience in payments for ecosystem services. Steven is a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (FIEMA).
Simone is a lawyer at Clifford Chance and has been managing the corporate governance of the Lifescape Project for over two years, alongside a team of committed volunteers from the firm.
She has a keen interest in environmental law and, when possible, loves to escape London and enjoy the environmental offerings of the countryside – her role therefore helpfully marries these interests.
We carry out our work in two ways:
Contributing our skills, with a focus on our five core themes, to projects which create, restore, and protect wild landscapes, whether being led by us or by our collaborators.
Running projects to pursue our core themes which we believe will catalyse the creation, restoration, and protection of wild landscapes.
We want to see economic systems that promote the creation, restoration, and protection of wild landscapes.
We want to see scientific evidence generated to support the creation, restoration, and protection of wild landscapes, and for decision makers to follow such evidence.
We want to see laws in place to protect nature, or to enable/require its restoration, and these need to be enforced.
We want to see cultures that appreciate, support and promote wild nature in their landscapes, and its intrinsic value as well as its role in creating sustainable social-ecological systems.