Specialists in eco-engineering

cbec’s success is built on its dedication and science-led approach

cbec’s record of success across the UK and overseas has been built upon a combination of its fundamental nature and process-based ethos, highly qualified and experienced staff and constant drive for technical innovation. So why has cbec enjoyed such successful and substantial expansion every year since its inception?

Staying at the forefront of the industry through research and development programmes

We specialise in eco-engineering, balancing the demands of traditional engineering and management with ecological restoration and rehabilitation. We provide high-quality and specialist outcomes by employing highly qualified scientists and engineers and always keeping at the forefront of the industry through our important directed research and development programme. We provide innovative, holistic and sustainable solutions for the rehabilitation and management of our water-dependent ecosystems that fundamentally consider nature and explicitly address the increasing pressures of the climate and biodiversity crises.

Why cbec?

Exceptional quality in outcomes and management

cbec’s experience, adaptability and staff expertise come through in a variety of ways for every project. cbec has substantial project experience across Europe. Our international experience includes projects in Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Spain and the United States. cbec’s current services are supported by extensive experience in a broad range of past projects, including managing large, multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder water resources projects in one of our specialised focus areas, providing specific modelling, surveying and data analysis.

We are extremely flexible and adaptable concerning what services we deliver, including small and specific projects up to wide-ranging and interconnected services incorporating scientific and technical services and full project management. We can enter an ongoing project to deliver any particular component or design a scheme for clients in the planning stages.

cbec is fully committed to producing high-quality and affordable work. Our billing rates are extremely competitive. We offer enhanced technical proficiency and client service. cbec has maintained its detail-driven approach after it joined the RSK Group. Our managing directors, Dr Hamish Moir and Dr Chris Bowles, are always acutely involved with each project. Conceptual guidance, quality assurance and quality control are among our chief concerns. We have completed both small- and large-scale budgeted projects. We are always happy to discuss on any level, so please contact us.

UK river experience

cbec has an exceptional portfolio of successful project delivery in the UK and Europe. We have worked with clients and associates across a broad range of sectors, including regulatory bodies, conservation organisations, councils, river/fishery trusts, water/ energy suppliers and engineering companies. Key focus areas include river restoration, natural flood management, fisheries/habitat management, hydropower support and large-scale monitoring programmes. Our projects often comprise multiple stages of assessment and monitoring (e.g., geomorphic/habitat mapping, high-resolution topographic/ bathymetric surveys, hydrodynamic modelling, sedimentology and site supervision), each tailored specifically to the individual site and project objectives.

European Union policy and legislation

The cbec team has a strong understanding of European Union environmental policies and legislation, such as the Water Framework Directive, Habitats Directive (Natura 2001) and the Floods Directive. The Water Framework Directive aims to improve and co-ordinate the way in which the water environment is managed throughout Europe, ensuring waterbodies attain certain quality standards (i.e., good ecological status) in a set timetable. The Floods Directive aims to reduce and manage risks due to floods. The Habitats Directive is aimed at protecting natural habitats. These directives directly or indirectly influence all of our project work. cbec specialises in eco-engineering, water resources engineering services that are concerned with developing and providing ecologically sensitive and environmentally sustainable solutions in the fields of hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology and restoration and rehabilitation design. As such, we provide a set of skills ideally tailored to assisting the implementation of these EU environmental directives.

We focus on innovative and sustainable solutions for the water resources industry while explicitly considering this legislation. Our research and experience enable us to combine the demands of flood risk management with ecosystem enhancement, as well as other considerations such as agriculture, renewable energy production and urban development. Balancing these demands is critical to the future sustainability of our water-dependent ecosystems.


As a company, cbec is committed to promoting sustainability. Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to cbec’s professional activities and the management of the organisation. We aim to follow and to promote good sustainability practice, to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities and to help our clients and partners to do the same.

Zero or low carbon project delivery: the project team recognises that our operations will impact on the environment. We are committed to minimising carbon emissions associated with both our operations and design projects. We offset our carbon footprint through membership of Forest Carbon’s Carbon Club. Each year, 200 trees are planted in Carbon Club woodlands across the UK to sequester 50 tonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere. All trees planted are certified under the Woodland Carbon Code, providing reassurance that the carbon savings we contribute may realistically be achieved. We seek to not only comply with but also exceed any regulations and codes of practice. We work towards this through a programme of continuous improvement across all operations. Integrating sustainable considerations into all aspects of daily business means ensuring that our staff and our customers are committed to helping us have a reduced impact when it comes to both office and transportation activities.

Reducing emissions relating to site visits and fieldwork: utilising locally based staff when possible, avoiding unnecessary travel through teleconferences, aligned scheduling of field work and supporting flexible working arrangements are all part of our policies to reduce travel among staff. Additionally, any travel for meetings and site visits by our Inverness- and London-based design teams is undertaken in our fully electric company vehicles, which help to keep fuel emissions to a minimum.

Reducing ‘whole life’ project impacts: at the heart of our restoration design ethos is the combination of sustainable ecological best practice with innovative methods of environmental engineering. Our overarching philosophy is ‘designing with nature’, which is underpinned by a sustainable ‘process-based’ design approach. By first determining the ‘reference state’ for the river system, tackling the fundamental impacts to water and sediment supply, transport and storage at the largest possible spatial and temporal scale will begin a trajectory of recovery that is more natural, stable, self-sustaining and cost efficient.

Our client list

Our brilliant staff

We pride ourselves on the extensive level of practical and academic experience held by our team

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cbec is part of the RSK group of companies

The RSK group is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business offering bespoke end-to-end solutions to a variety of sectors. Headquartered in the UK but with an established presence throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, RSK helps organisations around the world achieve their business aspirations in a sustainable and efficient manner.