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The Catchment-Based Approach (CaBA) Support Team comprise representatives representatives of some of the environmental Non-Government Organisations who have been most active in river catchment management over recent years, and who have developed a package of support to sit alongside the local Catchment Partnership Fund grants. The support team organise conferences, workshops and run the website, forum and newsletters to keep CaBA partnerships informed about best-practice, case-studies and training which is available to support their work under the Catchment-Based Approach. To contact us see the helpdesk details at the bottom of the page, and please feel free to submit content for sharing on this site or to suggest improvements that you'd like to see.




CaBA Logo2The core CaBA Support Team, who are delivering the Defra and Environment Agency-funded CaBA Support Programme, is comprised of people from right across the CaBA community nationally. They are responsible for all of the help, support and training resources being created and shared through this website and various other channels.


Alistair Maltby twitter icon

Director North, The Rivers Trust

alistairmaltbyAlistair is a fisheries biologist and catchment manager who has worked on urban and rural community-led catchment restoration initiatives since 1997, with spells at Westcountry Rivers Trust, Thames21, and was Director at Eden Rivers Trust until 2004. Alistair's role for The Rivers Trust has mainly been in the development of the rivers trust movement in the North of England and Northern Ireland. Alistair was project manager of the €6.4M Living North Sea project looking at river connectivity and fish migration issues in the North Sea countries. Alistair has worked with Defra on development of the CaBA policy framework and now works partly on general support to rivers trusts and CaBA partnerships. Alistair is involved in PR14, sitting on United Utilities' Customer Challenge Group, and is a member of the NW Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority. Alistair is a Winston Churchill Fellow on the subject of river restoration and climate change adaptation.


Rob Collins

Head of Policy, The Rivers Trust
robcollinsRob joined The Rivers Trust in 2012 and undertakes a range of policy work engaging with Government and its Agencies and those sectors impacting upon the water environment. In addition to participation in a European water policy project (TRAP) Rob also provides support to the CaBA partnerships and is one half of the CaBA secretariat alongside Ali Morse. Rob has a background in catchment management with a focus upon water quality, water resources and modelling. Prior to joining The Rivers Trust, Rob worked for 5 years at the European Environment Agency where his role encompassed the analysis of information reported across Europe under the Water Framework Directive.

charlie bell

CaBA Secretariat, Shropshire Wildlife Trust


Along with Rob Collins, Charlie is one half of the Secretariat which supports the work of the national CaBA Support Group, providing administrative, technical and policy input to support the group in its delivery and decision making. As Living Rivers Officer for Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust between 2012 and 2015, Charlie has experience hosting the Upper Lea Catchment Partnership.  She also managed several chalk river restoration projects, and campaigned around the issues of over-abstraction and low flows. She is an Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) tutor. Charlie combines her CaBA Secretariat duties with a role for the Field Studies Council, working on their Tomorrow’s Biodiversity project.

David Johnson

CaBA Support Manager at The Rivers Trust

davejohnsonDavid manages updating and distributing of the GIS and Data package, negotiates data access with EA and other data providers and manages the CaBA data to evidence mentoring programme as well as providing content for the website, forum and helpdesk. He is also leading a number of bids to seek longer term sustainable funding for CaBA support.  Before working for RT he worked at ADAS for three years and the Environment Agency in the National Groundwater and Contaminated Land Centre for ten years. Most of his work during this period focused on catchment management with a particular focus on groundwater. Before re-training as a hydrogeologist in the late 1990s David worked as a chartered civil engineer designing and building water treatment works.

Michelle Walker twitter icon

Head of GIS & Data Management at The Rivers Trust 

michellewalkerMichelle manages the programme of Catchment-Based Approach data and information support, including developing and populating the CaBA website, forum, catchment mapping portal , the Evidence Sharing Platform trial and various packages to streamline data sharing. She has been working with The Rivers Trust since 2010, developing and coordinating the use of data and evidence among the rivers trusts in England & Wales. She provides direct GIS and data management support to emerging trusts, promotes awareness and access to data and software, and coordinates wider access to government data for rivers trusts and CaBA partnerships. She helped establish and co-chairs the Catchment Data User Group with the Environment Agency. Michelle juggles her role with looking after two young daughters, and in her spare time she also volunteers for her local Bristol Avon Rivers Trust. 

Nick Paling

Head of Data, Evidence & Comms at Westcountry Rivers Trust

nickpalingNick is leading the delivery of the CaBA GIS Training Courses and the Online GIS Training Resources programmes and has developed an Ecosystem Services Data & Mapping Manual for CaBA Hosts. Nick is also managing the development of the CaBA website and forum and is contributing to the CaBA Helpdesk. Since joining the Trust in 2010, Nick has played key role in the delivery of spatial evidence, data and mapping for several important strategic projects (including the DEFRA Strategic Evidence and Partnership Project) and he also coordinates and manages a series of large-scale monitoring programmes currently underway at the Trust (e.g. for Catchment Restoration Fund and South West Water Projects). He also specialises in publishing, multimedia and web development to facilitate communication and engagement on environmental issues.


CaBA Communications Manager, The Rivers Trust twitter icon

JayneBioPicJayne joined the support team in 2016 and is working to raise the profile of CaBA nationwide, liaising with catchment partnerships and members of the National Support Group to promote success stories and develop communication materials.  If you have good news about CaBA to share, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet it using the link above.


Lucy butler  

GIS Manager with The Rivers Trust 

lucybutlerLucy provides direct support to CaBA partnerships via the mentoring programme, and also collates data and information to share via the CaBA data package and through the various communication channels. Lucy began her career in the rivers trust movement at Eden Rivers Trust as a PhD student working on the development and application of tools for the rapid assessment of river environments. This included using aerial photography to assess river bank habitat , the SCIMAP model to look at diffuse pollution risk and electrofishing to characterise juvenile fish populations. This information was then analysed using GIS to assess the relationship between habitat contols and juvenile fish populations. Lucy brings this experience to the CaBA movement to support others in managing the use of GIS, modelling and evidence to support integrated catchment management.  


Local Engagement & Communications Officer at the River Restoration Centre  twitter icon

will shadowWill represents the River Restoration Centre (RRC) on the support team. He joined the RRC in 2015 to coordinate their increased support of local and community groups, including WFD catchment partnerships in England. The work has been funded by The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. The RRC is now linking with the CaBA support team to provide its training and advisory services to partnerships where appropriate. Will also helps the team to keep this website up to date, and coordinates the RRC's external communications.

 Polly Couldrick  

Independent Contractor with The Rivers Trust 

pollycouldrickPolly is currently working with RT to collate the information needed to populate the CaBA website. Since joining the Rivers Trust movement in 2002 she has worked for the Westcountry Rivers Trust as a farm advisor, managed and delivered an international project concerned with the conservation of the European Eel and conducted both freshwater and marine consultancy projects. Currently she delivers projects with RT that require the knowledge gained from working within the aquatic environment for over 20 years.




The technical support available to CaBA partnerships from the cross-sectoral CaBA support team is based on the four components of the integrated catchment management cycle:


1. Partnership building to underpin collaborative ways of working;
2. Data and Evidence to underpin a weight of evidence approach;
3. Delivery of interventions to achieve environmental, social and economic benefits;
4. Monitoring and Evaluation to assess outcomes and facilitate adaptive management.

We can help you access tools, training, resources, advice, technical support and mentoring to move your partnership forward and build capacity in all of these areas.  Some support can be provided for free under the national CaBA support budget, or other project funding where available, but to reach a sustainable position, catchment partnerships should look to incorporate technical support costs in to their future funding bids, or bring partners in to your network who can help meet these requirements.  Technical support and mentoring can come from your neighbouring partnerships also - we can help put you in touch with expertise in your area, and you can find more details of your neighbouring catchment partnership's capabilities on the local catchment pages.  

Browse the training pages for some of the courses and supporting material available and browse the catchment planning pages to see the range of resources, including tools, templates, training and guidance which have been developed to support integrated catchment planning. If you would like a demonstration of any of the resources, or would like some advice about where to begin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Here you can find some examples of how the support team have worked with a selection of CaBA partnerships to provide direct technical support, advice, training and mentoring.  For further information about any of these examples please contact us.

SoarCPAGOLthumbSoar Catchment Partnership - technical support costs were covered by a combination of national CaBA support funding, EU WaterLIFE project funding and local partnership funding.  The local partnership have used the technical support to secure £250k of funding already, and it has underpinned a further £2m of funding bids in development.


The support provided included:

  • Facilitation of data sharing between catchment partners to build confidence and support collaborative, integrated catchment planning
  • Spatial analysis of datasets to identify priority areas and summarise complex datasets across the range of themes identified by the catchment partners
  • Development of visualisation techniques to summarise complex spatial data
  • Development and publication of an online mapping portal to support the catchment partnership's activities and publicise their catchment plan


 Click HERE to view a presentation outlining some case studies of the technical support tools, advice, training and mentoring being provided to CaBA partnerships.




The Catchment-Based Approach website is designed to showcase the work of catchment partnerships aross England and Wales and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice in stakeholder-led catchment managment planning, delivery and evaluation.
Email: info@catchmentbasedapproach.org


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