The consultancy functions according to a three-tiered structure. The first structure comprises the two members that are in continual contact with the client, then the full-time, permanent staff members which assist with the day-to-day running of the consultancy, report writing and field work.

It is the basic team that assists on each project. We then have a close association with various other professional consulting professionals, who we exclusively utilize on specific projects. Lastly, we have a large database of professionals or consultants who we call on, on a tender basis. The complexity of the project determines the composition of the final team.



Cathy graduated from Rhodes University with BSc (Hons) in Botany, specialising in Environmental Management, Impact Assessment and Ecology. In 1992 she started HilLand Environmental primarily in the fields of Environmental Impact Assessments and Rehabilitation Ecology.

During the past 28 years her personality & communication skills allow for effective facilitation between clients, authorities, project managers, professional teams & contractors.

She has developed specialist techniques in Rehabilitation, Environmental Control & Monitoring of large developments.

Gavin HellstrÖm

Gavin graduated from Rhodes University with Hons in Botany and Geography (Plant Ecology, Surface Water Hydrology, Biogeography and GIS), a MSc in Environmental Impact Assessments, Coastal & Dune Ecology & Planning, & a Higher Diploma in Journalism. In 1992 he took up a position with Cape Nature Conservation, and in 1998 left the department as a Principle Nature Conservation Scientist. Work there included evaluating development applications & environmental planning.

He joined HilLand Environmental, as a partner, to assist the rapidly growing consultancy in facilitating development proposals, spatial & environmental planning and co-coordination of international projects in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Namibia, Tanzania and Seychelles.

Tragically, Gavin lost his battle to cancer in July of 2014. He is severely missed at HilLand.

Permanent Staff

Our permanent staff consists of environmental consultants, support staff, private assistants and administrative staff.

Environmental Consultants

The environmental consultants have a wide range of training and experience in nature conservation, conservation ecology, zoology, botany, resource management and fresh water management. All the environmental consultants are practicing Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAP’s) with extensive Basic Assessment Reporting skills – in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) – with extensive experience in environmental control, monitoring and auditing. They all undertake general mapping, computer aided mapping and use geographical information systems (GIS).

Some specialist fields of the consultants include:

  • forest and woodland ecology,
  • silviculture,
  • fire ecology,
  • woodland ecology and community forestry,
  • terrestrial and aquatic ecology,
  • zoology, entomology and botany,
  • environmental management,
  • landscape planning,
  • aquatic parasitology and biodiversity,
  • geology and geography,
  • microscopy

PA’s and Admin Staff

Private assistants and administrative staff assist in communications, accounting, debtors / creditors, business administration and management, and legal administration – specifically ensuring meticulous record keeping in terms of the Environmental Regulations of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and other legislative requirements. Their extensive computer knowledge, good organizational skills enables the consultancy to function extremely efficiently, allowing the members to focus on the consultancy. They also undertake general record keeping allowing the consultants to focus on their specific projects.

Support Staff

The support staff assist the environmental consultants in carrying out detailed environmental specifications. These may include the cleaning or removal of alien invasive plant and animal species, rehabilitation of degraded environments, maintenance of rehabilitated areas and construction activities.


During all the years (since 1992) that HilLand Environmental has been consulting we have developed a wide range of associates that we can rely on to assist us with any component of a project. There are projects that require specialist input – such as a Lepidopterist, Ground Water Hydrologist, Agronomist, Town Planner, Surveyor, Legal experts, Archaeologist and Sociologist – the expertise which we do not have in-house.