Company Personnel

Jonathan Porter – Technical Director

Jonathan is a leading figure in the field of landscape ecology and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). He has contributed greatly to the emerging discipline of Landscape Character Assessment, having developed field survey techniques and pioneered the use of GIS as a tool for landscape planning. As a founding partner of Countryscape, he works closely with landscape ecologists, cartographers and graphic designers, providing consultancy in landscape planning, landscape assessment and GIS. Example work includes designing spatial strategies for planning and development; coordinating national information networks; ecological analysis and habitat Modelling; authoring and editing technical papers and reports; software development, user training and database design. Jonathan is a graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied Natural Sciences, specialising in ecology. Prior to joining Countryscape, he carried out research with The University of Reading and Imperial College at Wye, including researching the link between landscape character and biodiversity, and the development of a habitat creation model for targeting agri-environment schemes.


Paul Mahony – Creative Director

Paul has an extensive track record in creative media and journalism, involving design and communications consultancy, public relations, copywriting and editing. As a founding partner of Countryscape, he works closely with graphic designers, cartographers, event managers and ecologists, developing communication materials and campaigns for a wide range of clients. Example work includes scripting and managing communications strategies; developing publicity materials and brand identities; proofing and editing reports and technical papers; designing and facilitating participatory events. Paul is a graduate in Geography from The University of Manchester, where he specialised in humanism and sustainable development. Prior to joining Countryscape, he worked as a magazine editor and journalist for the Guardian Media Group, and is skilled at writing for a broad range of audiences. He continues to contribute regular articles to environmental publications.


Jemma Brookes – Landscape Planner

Jemma is a highly qualified landscape consultant with an up-to-date knowledge of the new planning system. Her academic background includes an ESRC CASE award PhD at the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology (The University of Manchester), in collaboration with Salford City Council. This work explored new approaches to planning for environmental sustainability by developing a landscape planning and management methodology, focussing on environmental sustainability and its link with landscape, land use and communities. Jemma has a wealth of expertise in landscape character and condition assessments, landscape impact assessments, sustainability appraisals, Local Management Framework development, stakeholder consultation and scenario modelling. She also has experience of using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Example work includes translating landscape character into criteria-based policies in the High Peak, researching the development of a spatial strategy which links landscape character and community visioning work as the basis for a Local Development Framework.


Laura Jagota – Landscape & Urban Planner

Laura has a diverse background in the environmental sector, with experience ranging from community engagement and historical interpretation, to project management and landscape planning. She is a graduate in Geography from the University of Manchester and has completed a MA in Urban Design.

Laura is experienced in stakeholder engagement and has facilitated a variety of consultation events, such as those for the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan and for the proposed extensions to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. She has contributed to the writing of landscape guidelines for the Malvern Hills AONB Landscape Strategy and has also administered the Landscape Character Network (LCN) on behalf of Natural England. Prior to joining Countryscape, Laura worked as a Senior Community Link Officer for the Groundwork Trust, where she successfully managed a wide variety of regeneration projects.


Ivan Gajos – Art Director

Ivan is a highly respected art director and photographer who has worked for a number of international design agencies in both the UK and Australia. His expertise encompasses a variety of contemporary and classic styles, though he is perhaps best known for his clean and functional approach to graphic design, the results of which have been applauded by clients such as the Countryside Agency, IBM, Guinness and American Express, to name a few. Ivan has experience of teaching graphic design software and techniques at a professional level, and continues to gain a reputation as an expert in design communications, applying solid creative principles to an ever-expanding repertoire of media.


Michael Shaw – Web Designer/Developer

Michael has over 20 years experience in design communications, working extensively with both print and web-based media. During this time he has gained expertise in a range of commercial design techniques, including desktop publishing and typography, website design and build, digital mapping, cartography and multi-media applications (including interactive maps and Adobe Flash animation). Example work includes the production of leaflets, reports, websites, maps and other media for government agencies, local authorities and private businesses. Prior to joining Countryscape, Michael developed advertising tools, logos and promotional literature for clients such as Rolls Royce, Sainsbury's and the Cooperative Wholesale Society.


Matthew Brown – Graphic Designer

Matthew is an acclaimed creative designer with proven expertise in communications media. He has a wealth of experience in the commercial sector, developing brand identities, advertising tools and promotional literature for a variety of blue chip clients. He is particularly skilled at conceptual design and is able to translate the most complex messages into clear and meaningful visual form. Example work includes development of national brand identities; production of public and professional print media; icon design for maps and websites; creation of workshop tools and large format display materials. Furthermore, his expertise extends to freehand sketching, illustration and visualisation, which he often applies in the context of community planning and involvement.