First Ecology (Somerset Wildlife Trust)
First Ecology is an environmental consultancy committed to upholding best practice standards
whilst also achieving pragmatic project outcomes. To deliver services of the highest quality,
First Ecology is committed to the recruitment and training of talented individuals with the
expertise to provide technical advice and support on development and conservation schemes
across the UK. We specialise in ecology services but routinely work collaboratively as part of
multidisciplinary teams. Due to our dedicated work ethic and positive approach, we have
established a broad customer base which extends across public, private and commercial sectors.
This affords a diversity of project types from minor habitat management tasks to participation
in national development projects and ensures a varied and interesting project portfolio. As
well as offering an engaging and rewarding career, your work will generate unrestricted funds
which will be returned to the parent company, Somerset Wildlife Trust, to support their
charitable conservation work across the county.
First Ecology is committed to supporting you as you start your career in ecological consulting.
From the outset, we will ensure that you are informed of First Ecology’s systems and operations
and properly introduced and integrated into the team. We will guide you through the process of
applying for CIEEM membership and CSCS certification essential for operation as a consultant.
Though ongoing mentoring, we will help to improve your awareness of best practice guidelines,
planning policy and wildlife legislation. We will also provide formal and informal training to
ensure that you gain the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to independently undertake
a wide range of protected habitat and species surveys.
The role involves undertaking ecological survey work at a range of sites across the southwest
of England with very limited stay-away from home working. It will provide the opportunity to
gain skills and experience in a range of protected habitat and species surveys. You will become
competent in preliminary ecological appraisal, badger, bat, bird, great crested newt, hazel
dormouse, reptile, otter and water vole surveys:
- Preliminary ecological appraisals: assist with site inspections to learn to distinguish
standard habitat types and identify the presence and potential presence of protected species.
- Badger surveys: undertake walk over surveys with experienced ecologists to gain the skills
to accurately identify badger field signs and those associated with other species.
- Bat surveys: accompany licensed bat surveyors to locate signs left by bats and objectively
assess the potential value of a structure/feature for use as a bat roost; and complete dusk and
dawn roost and activity surveys using a range of bat detectors to identify species or groups of
species and record behaviour.
- Bird surveys: help to inspect suitable habitat and practice locating bird nests and
identify different species nest types.
- Great crested newt surveys: be taught to assess habitat potential for great crested newts
and assist with pond surveys at dusk and dawn to identify great crested newts, palmate and
- Hazel dormouse surveys: help licensed surveyors assess habitat potential for dormice,
identify dormice and their field signs.
- Reptile surveys: learn to assess habitat potential for reptiles, spotting ‘foci’ within
habitats and identify reptile species and their field signs.
- Water vole and otter surveys: join experienced surveyors to assess habitat potential of an
area for otters, identify otters and their field signs and distinguish them from similar sized
Permanent seasonal contact for six months (1st May – 31st October).
- Consultancy/professional experience preferred but not required.
- Educated to degree level or MSc level in a relevant discipline or disciplines.
- Willingness to work anti-social hours during the peak survey season.
- Willingness to work outdoors in all weathers.
- Full UK driving licence.
- Exemplary professional conduct.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Personal qualities consistent with First Ecology values.
- Work in a friendly and supportive team.
- 25 days paid holiday pro rata plus bank holidays.
- Flexible working and time of in lieu (TOIL) system.
- Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
- Paid training as part of an individual CPD commitment (e.g. protected species courses).
- Opportunities to progress professionally (e.g. survey licenses).
- Company vehicle use.
The closing date for applications is midnight on 3rd March 2023. Please note that we will
review applications throughout the advertising period and may close the advert early if a
suitable applicant is found.
No recruitment agencies or previous applicants please.
We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals
are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation,
pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.
The role involves undertaking ecological survey work at a range of sites across the UK. It will
provide the opportunity to gain skills and experience in a range of protected habitat and
species surveys. You will become competent in preliminary ecological appraisal, badger, bat,
bird, great crested newt, hazel dormouse, reptile, otter and water vole surveys.
Find out more & apply
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