Meet the team

Susie Howells

TAP Partnership Development Manager

Susie manages a variety of the projects undertaken by TAP. Susie has worked across most aspects of environmental management, sustainability and corporate social responsibility at senior level in business, as a charity trustee and as a business owner. In recent years she has worked on progressing the partnership, including funding, project programming and impact. Susie’s aim is to increase knowledge, understanding and skills to enable us to manage our natural resources in better ways.

Jess Stone

Support Services Officer at the South Downs National Park Authority

Jess supports TAP in a variety of areas and projects which she thoroughly enjoys. Jess is particularly interested in protecting wildlife, inclusion and helping people to fully connect with the natural world, from their own gardens to green spaces and everything in between.

Amy Jack

Groundwater Technical Specialist at the Environment Agency

Amy provides professional support on TAP projects and helps bid for Environment Agency funding and resources to contribute to TAP’s work. Amy is particularly interested in pollution prevention, tackling it at source to protect the environment through innovative as well as tried and tested methods.

Mita Patel

Sustainability Programme Officer at Brighton & Hove City Council

Mita has spent over 20 years working in sustainability both in local government in the UK and at an international research projects in the Netherlands. Since 2006 Mita has been working at Brighton & Hove City Council leading on key areas of work for mainstreaming sustainability across council strategies, policies and service areas, as well as with partners and communities across the city. Key areas of her work has included building corporate capacity in sustainability; playing a major part in the introduction and development of the UNESCO Biosphere Programme – The Living Coast; leading on the development of a circular economy framework for the city, and in supporting a more strategic approach to the council’s climate emergency declaration and in its commitment for making the city resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Max Woodford

Assistant Director, City Development and Regeneration, Brighton & Hove City Council

“My team at the council leads on sustainability, as well as pushing for sustainable new development in the city, and I represent BHCC on the TAP board. As the local authority for most of the TAP area, the partnership’s work is important in protecting the quality of the water supply and the environment for local residents.

It was the local authority’s predecessors who first bought tracts of downland precisely for the reason of protecting the water supply in the late 1800s, and the issue remains just as important now. Being in TAP brings our councillors (the decision makers) closer to these issues. We are also the local planning authority for much of the TAP area, making decisions about appropriate forms of development, and how those developments should deal with issues like ground water. I am proud of the work TAP is doing to deliver sustainable drainage projects in the city, from ensuring that road run off water is clean before it goes back into the chalk aquifer, to projects that engage school children in designing raingardens to learn about the water cycle.”

Claire Kerr

Countryside and Policy Manager – Eastern Downs,
South Downs National Park Authority

Claire leads landscape and biodiversity work in the area of the National Park that TAP sits within. We bring expertise to TAP in the wider rural environment, nature conservation, ecology, communities & education.

Claire has been a TAP Board member for two years – ‘I’m proud of the SuDS in Schools programme, creating climate adaptation measures which benefit nature and act as an educational resource. It’s fantastic to see TAP engaging young people in tangible actions for the environment!’

Robin Kelly

Southern Water Catchment Officer and TAP rural liaison

Robin works directly with the locals farmers to raise awareness of water quality issues and develop more nitrogen efficient ways of farming. Robin can TAP into nitrate reduction scheme funding from Southern Water to incentivise water friendly farming practices like over-winter cover crops.

Leasa Williams

Southern Water Catchment Management Specialist

Leasa provides strategic support to Southern Water’s catchment scheme in the Brighton Chalk Block which aligns with The Aquifer Partnership project. This involves using the science to understand what’s going on in our catchments and how this might risk the quality of our sources. This information can guide the prioritisation of our efforts to reduce groundwater pollution to solve the problem as quickly as possible, being systematic and pragmatic, and spending customer’s money appropriately.

Melanie David-Duran

The Living Coast Biosphere Programme Manager

Melanie David-Duran supports TAP through the Biosphere programme, speaking about TAP at public engagement events and raising awareness of TAP to relevant organisations and potential new partners.  The Biosphere has supported TAP since the very beginning and TAP is a great example of a project which showcases the global Biosphere objectives of conservation, sustainable development and shared knowledge and awareness.


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