Head of Project Development (nature-based solutions)

tim.mcgrath@wwt.org.uk

About me

I have worked with WWT since 2009 after working the previous 20 years within the Wildlife Trusts. My background is in habitat management and volunteer engagement and have worked in Surrey, Wiltshire, Shropshire and ‘Avon’ before coming to WWT. In 2004 I spent a year with Rural Development Agency working on Exmoor Environmentally Sensitive Area and Wessex Region Countryside Stewardship Schemes.

I have a Masters in Environmental Conservation from Glamorgan University however in my free time I am often found staring out of the window searching for orbiting raptors or cawing Mediterranean gulls…

Work

My work at WWT has always been around developing and delivering wetland projects that provide a benefit to people and wildlife. When I started I was responsible for coordinating WWTs role in the creation of Steart Marshes a 500ha wetland creation scheme on the Somerset coastline. Now managed as one of our 10 sites this nature reserve is an exemplar in community engagement, habitat creation and demonstration for its multiple wetland benefits.

Following this as Senior Project Manager (Wetland Landscapes) I supported the development and delivery of Projects within our Rural Landscapes and Waterscapes Programmes. In particular is the Two Valleys Project a Natural Flood Management Scheme in West Somerset where working with the local communities increases the amount of water stored within the landscape of two river catchments that could otherwise disrupt local village and towns through overtopping banks and flooding properties. This, our work at Steart Marshes and our community engagement work in Bridgwater underpinned our successful £1.6M Green Recovery Challenge Fund increasing the delivery and understanding of wetlands throughout the area.

My role now as Head of Project Development is to create a pipeline of projects and support their development right through to being ready for delivery. One of the main key strategic areas for development is the blue carbon storage potential through restoring coastal wetlands based around the scientific evidence from Steart Marshes and an understanding of carbon off-set markets. I work with academic, statutory and non-government agencies to identify the opportunity to restore coastal wetlands both within the UK and overseas.

Skills

  • Ornithologist - Excellent birder, experienced in Breeding Bird Survey & Common Bird Census
  • Botanist –Phase 1 & National Vegetation Classification
  • Entomologist – particularly odonata & orthoptera
  • Habitat management and land management
  • Practical DIYer and mountain walker

Publications

McGrath, Tim., 1995: Curlew count 1994. A survey of the curlew Numenius arquata in the Braydon Forest area of north Wiltshire. Hobby. 1994( ); 21: 97-104 (Wiltshire Ornithological Society)

McGrath, Tim., 2022: To enable communities to engage with the biggest European tidal flat and saltmarsh restoration project. Coastal Wetlands Restoration Public Perception and Community Development ISBN: 978-0-367-86308. Routledge

Yamashita, Hiromi. McGrath, Tim. et al 2021: Communication and Engagement. Saltmarsh Restoration Handbook UK & Ireland (Environment Agency/Defra)

Pontee, Nigel. McGrath, Tim et al 2015: Delivering Large Habitat Restoration Schemes: Lessons from the Steart Coastal Management Project Coastal Management Conference 2015, Changing Coast, Changing Climate, Changing Minds