Assistant Ecologist

Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants Ltd

Coughton, Warwickshire
£20,000 - £24,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

www.wnic.co.uk [email protected] 01789459458 Peter Wharton

Reference: ECO012

Sectors: ecology, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Saturday, 15th May 2021   3 days left


Assistant Ecologist – Coughton, Warwickshire

Are you looking for a new opportunity for 2021.............We are looking for an enthusiastic assistant ecologist to work in our ecology team.

The opportunity:

Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants are based in Coughton, Warwickshire with clients across England and Wales.

As a result of our continued commitment and increased client base, we are looking for an Assistant Ecologist to both undertake technical work and help to further develop the ecology side of the company.

The new position is aimed at a self-motivated, individual with good communication skills who wants to both develop their career, provide ideas to the business and implement ecology projects.

At Wharton you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team that has a great work ethos and common values, working on projects varying in scale throughout England and Wales.

Our team provide ecological, arboricultural, landscape and topographical surveys to a range of clients, and a wide scale of projects from homeowner extensions through to planning applications for thousands of homes. We are a small and tight-knit team who look out for each other and always work together to provide pragmatic solutions for our clients.

Company benefits include:

  • Have an extra day of annual leave for your birthday.
  • Bring your dog to work (providing they’re well-behaved and get on with the current Wharton Canines!).
  • Take part in our quarterly team activity days to celebrate success over the previous financial quarter. Previously this has included things such as ‘Go Ape’ and cocktail making masterclasses.
  • One day per quarter to volunteer for a wildlife charity or organisation of your choosing.
  • Have access to our Employee Assistance Programme [1].
  • Have critical illness and life insurance cover [2].
  • Be part of our project commission scheme [3].
  • Actively develop and achieve your personal goals and targets [4].

The role:

The main responsibility of the position is to work in the ecology team assisting the consultants on project delivery from start to finish, and to assist with other aspects of the service such as sub-contractor liaison and assisting with ecological survey work and reporting.

Working within the ecology team, you will be assisting with and undertaking a range of field survey work for habitats and fauna (e.g. UKHab, bats, badger, GCN, reptiles, otter, water vole, and nesting birds) across the UK. You will also carry out desk studies, manage and analyse field survey data and assist in the production of technical reports.

The management team actively encourage every employee to voice their opinion and provide ideas for marketing and efficient running of the business, so you will also be expected to input into the generation of ideas on this basis if you feel you can contribute. If this sounds like the perfect job for you give us a call, we’d like to chat to you.

Ultimately, we’re looking for someone who is driven to find solutions and who will be a good fit with our company culture and values. We take our professional work very seriously, but we’re also a fun and engaging team to work with, so a good sense of humour will help!

Skills required for the position:

The successful applicant will:

  • hold a Bachelor’s degree in ecology or an ecology-related subject. A post-graduate qualification is desirable but not essential.
  • be an excellent communicator, both in written and verbal communication
  • be friendly, approachable, and honest (these are really important!)
  • have a basic understanding of survey methods for habitats and protected species
  • have a basic understanding of legislative issues relating to ecology and the planning process.
  • be able to identify common flowers, trees and shrubs to species-level.
  • have an ability (at a basic level) to identify a range of protected species and their field evidence such as great crested newt, badger, otter, reptiles, bats etc.
  • be able to work as part of a collaborative team as well as an individual, taking accountability for the work they produce.
  • be diligent and accurate in their work, well presented, trustworthy and punctual.
  • be willing to learn, grow and provide a consistently high level of service.
  • be computer and IT literate with experience in using Microsoft Office software, with good language skills and an understanding of time management.
  • be confident in providing ideas and feedback to improve our service and internal processes.
  • have a full UK driving licence and your own car are essential as travelling is an integral part of the role (we will pay you for any mileage incurred).
  • Be working towards or have CIEEM membership at least at qualifying level.
  • Most importantly, be able to provide solutions to our clients.

Duties of the position:

The successful applicant will assist the ecology team with:

  • completing desk studies and reporting on desk study findings in technical reports.
  • Undertaking protected species surveys (see Note 1 below) including but not limited to: great crested newt, bat, badger, otter, water vole and reptile. We do not expect that you will have protected species survey licences (great if you do!) but we will train you to achieve them.
  • Undertaking UK Hab surveys for preliminary ecological appraisals
  • Production of ecological plans using QGIS software
  • Completion of basic elements of technical report writing including elements of preliminary ecological appraisal, ecological enhancement plans, technical appendices for ecological impact assessment, construction and environmental management plans, landscape and ecological management plans etc.
  • Production of basic fee proposals as required
  • Data management and analysis of bat calls
  • General maintenance and organisation of survey equipment

The successful applicant will also undertake simpler phase 1 habitat surveys (supervised if/as required) and will shadow our bat licensed ecologists on initial building surveys to gain experience and to allow them to write up the reports for those surveys to develop their report writing skills. We will provide on-the-job training for all of the above duties as required.

Note 1 on species surveys:

If this is potentially your first ecology role, bat and great crested newt surveys (which make up a lot of our work) are often undertaken late in the evening and/or early in the morning (think 2am, sometimes earlier for bats particularly!).

You will generally not be on more than three surveys per week (it’s very rare anyone is on 4 surveys per week), and you will be able to reclaim time off in lieu (TOIL) for any hours incurred in addition to your contracted hours so that you can regain some sleep. We also work flexi-time to try to ensure our employees wellbeing during the survey season as much as possible.

We want to be absolutely transparent about what you should expect as an ecologist, and this is one of those elements of the job that we manage well as a company, but simply isn’t for some people! If early mornings and late nights don’t sound like something you’re willing to do on a fairly regular basis between mid-March and September then unfortunately this position probably isn’t for you!

Salary range:

£20,000 - £24,000 DOE

Final salary and package will be based on qualifications and experience. This is a position initially based on a 39.5 hour working week and 3-month probationary period.

If you want to develop your career and join a dynamic company that’s genuinely fun to work for, please send your CV with a covering letter of experience to Peter Wharton (Director) ([email protected]) or Matt Wall (Senior Ecologist) ([email protected]). If you wish to discuss the opportunity and role further please call Peter or Matt Wall on 01789 459458 for an initial chat.

[1] Provided by Croner and includes health & lifestyle services, legal information, home life services and work life services. This includes services such as a number of free counselling for employees.

[2]  Introduced once 3 month probationary period is successfully completed.

[3] Take a percentage of any new business you directly bring to the company.

[4] We like everyone to have their own individual goals in life, whether that be having the opportunity to take your children to school or travelling the world for a few months. We aim to make things happen and believe personal growth, as well as professional growth should be encouraged.


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