Meet the speakers

Sarah Hendry

Director, floods and water - Defra

Sarah Hendry is the Defra director with responsibility for all aspects of water, flood risk and coastal erosion policy. Sarah’s civil service career spans MAFF, Defra, the Cabinet Office and Department of Health. Her previous roles in government have covered read more

Ed Mitchell

Director of environment and sustainability, Pennon Group - Wastewater operations director, South West Water

Ed is director of environment and sustainability at Pennon Group, the FTSE 250 company that owns South West Water, Bournemouth Water and Viridor.  He is also director of wastewater services for South West Water. Ed is a non-executive director of read more

Pete Fox

Director of water, land & biodiversity - Environment Agency

Pete has worked in the Environment Agency and predecessors for more than 20 years in a wide range of regulatory, technical and leadership roles including climate change, waste regulation, biodiversity and flood risk management. Previous to this he worked in read more

Diane Mitchell

Chief environment adviser - National Farmers’ Union

Diane Mitchell is currently the chief environment adviser. In this role, Diane has an overview across the environment team and the range of agri-environmental policies affecting farmers, which includes agri-environment, biodiversity, soils, waste and water. Diane represents the NFU at read more

Alex Plant

Director of regulation - Anglian Water

Alex became regulation director at Anglian Water in 2017, having spent the prior two years leading on regulatory policy and market reform. Previously he has worked as director of regulation at Royal Mail, executive director for economy, transport & environment read more

Hannah James

Lead advisor, sustainability - Yorkshire Water

Hannah leads Yorkshire Water’s work on sustainable accounting: developing approaches to natural, social and human capital assessments, and embedding sustainable accounting principles throughout the business. She also serves on BSI’s expert committee for the new ISO14007 standard ‘Determining Environmental Costs read more

Ben Earl

Water efficiency manager - Southern Water

Ben Earl is the water efficiency manager for Southern Water where he is developing future strategy, implementing new business models and delivering ambitious water efficiency targets. Ben is chair of the UK Water Label Steering group working with business, NGOs read more

Granville Davies

Manager of asset strategy - Yorkshire Water

Granville Davies is a chartered civil engineer with more than 20 years' experience in the water sector. Prior to joining Yorkshire Water in 2016, his career was in engineering consultancy, where he led projects across the whole water cycle, including read more

Hannah Freeman

Chair - Blueprint for Water

Hannah is senior government affairs officer at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. This is a varied role which covers the broad remit of policy and advocacy which affects freshwater habitats across the UK even delving into salty water at times. read more

Nicci Russell

Managing director - Waterwise

Nicci has been managing director of Waterwise since March 2017. Prior to this, from January 2013, Nicci was a director at Ofwat, where she led Ofwat’s work on resilience and independent regulation and its relationship with the UK and Welsh read more

James Peacock

Product manager - Wessex Water

James Peacock is the product manager at EnTrade. He has 15 years’ experience in the water industry. James has led on the design, development and implementation of the EnTrade platform over the past 18 months – an online tool to read more

Matt Crossman

Head of water and flooding policy - National Infrastructure Commission

Matt is responsible for the flood, water and waste sectors together with cross-cutting issues for the National Infrastructure Assessment. He is a chartered civil engineer and has worked on infrastructure projects for consulting engineers, research organisations and government. Prior to joining the read more

Petrina Rowcroft

Technical director, environmental economics - AECOM

Petrina Rowcroft leads AECOM’s environmental economics practice which focuses on developing and implementing approaches to help governments, businesses and communities to better account for the value of nature and other non-financial capitals in policy and decision-making. She has worked on read more

Steve Ormerod

Chairman, Independent Environment Advisory Panel, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water - Professor of ecology, Cardiff University

With more than 270 scientific publications and 35 years’ experience, Steve Ormerod has been described as the leading applied freshwater ecologist of his generation for research into catchment-scale problems affecting freshwater biodiversity, ecosystem quality and ecosystem function. He has worked read more

Susan Twining

Chief land use policy adviser - CLA

Susan Twining is the chief land use policy adviser at the CLA and manages its land use policy team. This focuses on the big policy issues affecting agriculture, forestry and the environment and on-going policy areas include Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside read more

Yvette de Garis

Head of environmental regulation - Thames Water

Yvette de Garis joined Thames Water in 1989 and has been head of environmental regulation since 2006. She is a member of the company’s senior leadership group and has responsibility for many aspects of environmental and quality regulation. Yvette holds read more