Ecologist/Senior Ecologist/Biodiversity Net Gain Specialist

Dorking Ecology

25 Jun 2022





20000 - 35000 GBP

Our Dorking office is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Ecologist and Senior Ecologist based in the South-east of England to join our team developing best practice ecological advice and taking a leading role in the development of Biodiversity Net Gain.

Are you an experienced ecologist looking for the next step up in your career? Are you looking to increase your exposure to complex and rewarding projects? Do you want to join an established consultancy practise that prides itself in offering a great place to work? Are you looking to take your engagement in the rapidly evolving policy around Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) to the next step? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

We encourage everyone at all levels to be fully involved so they can really make a difference, not just for FPCR, but importantly for you and your enjoyment in coming to work.

Why FPCR? 

FPCR Environment and Design Ltd is one of the UK’s leading integrated design practices working extensively throughout the UK. Over the last 60 years the practice has developed a valuable mix of multi-disciplinary expertise in masterplanning, environmental assessment, urban design, landscape, ecology, architecture, arboriculture and green infrastructure. Working together, we have implemented many award-winning schemes in environmentally sensitive locations. 

FPCR have been at the forefront of the development of BNG since 2012, and we are now looking to make appointments to strengthen this position. The team have recently been heavily involved in the development of the 2.0 and 3.0 metrics, lead a consortium to develop the small sites metric, and completed a contract to design and build the BNG GIS templates. We are currently looking to diversify further to take advantage of new opportunities that are emerging because of the evolving legislative and policy framework in the UK. 

At the start of 2021 FPCR became an Employee-Owned business. Our people and culture are vital to the service we provide, and we feel this is the best way forward for the future of the practice. Employee Ownership will enable the whole team to share in the future growth and success of the business, whilst the practice can remain responsive, independent, and adaptable. 

Our ecology team is led by three directors who each joined the company in junior positions and are committed to providing the same supportive and fostering environment that is at the heart of our practice. Our team of over 90 ecologists work out of four offices across the UK. 

Could you be one of the experienced, talented and energetic professionals helping to continue the development of the team, responding to our clients and keeping FPCR moving forwards whilst responding to new challenges in ecological practice? The positions provide the right candidates with an ideal opportunity to be a part of a motivated team offering technical advice to a diverse range of clients covering projects across all aspects of ecology. 

 What will you be doing?

It is envisaged that this will be a hybrid role, joining our team of ecologists who are taking a leading role in the development of BNG and having a lasting impact on UK developments. As a member of the team, you will be providing best practice ecological advice to our clients within a broad range of specialisms, while taking an active role within our established BNG team.

This is a rapidly evolving work area, and the specific responsibilities will develop based on your experience and will likely change over time as the industry adapts to the changes brought about by the Environment Act. This hybrid role will contain a degree of flexibility and the responsibilities of this role will develop depending on your prior experience, areas of interest and aspirations for career development. It is envisaged that alongside offering ecological expertise, the role will provide opportunities to maintain a flexible and adaptable attitude and approach with regard to the development of BNG.

Initial broad work areas are outlined below: 

  • Undertaking habitat surveying fieldwork, including monitoring;
  •  Protected species surveys (Senior Staff are expected to complete no more than a single nights survey per week);
  • Preparation of Preliminary Ecological Appraisals and Protected Species Reports;
  • Preparation of Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) and Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRA);
  • Preparation of management plans and documents required to secure projects;
  • Project Management and Client Liaison;
  • Liaison with various stakeholders including developers, local authorities, landowners, environmental NGO’s;
  • Engagement with developers, landowners, land managers and local delivery partners in relation to biodiversity net gain;
  • Engagement with LPA’s to develop arrangements to deliver the policy at a local level; 
  • Land management advice and habitat restoration;
  • Overseeing habitat creation projects;
  • Biodiversity net gain assessments, including use of biodiversity metrics and design and delivery of net gain solutions; and
  • Associated consultancy services in support of the practices core business.

What we are looking for

As this is a hybrid role, there is a great degree of flexibility around what prior experience and skill we are looking for. Ultimately, we are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced ecologist that has a range of the following skills:

Core skills:

  • Good knowledge of best practice survey techniques, relevant wildlife legislation and protected species licencing;
  • A competent understanding of ecology and wildlife protection in the context of the UK planning system;
  • Knowledge of BNG principles and processes and experience in the use of the 3.0 metric and condition assessments;
  • specialist knowledge in a particular field of ecology and a class licence for one or more protected species
  • Degree level or equivalent academic qualification in Ecology or related field;
  • Membership of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), eligibility for membership or other similar is desirable;
  • A level of competency in Microsoft Office Software and preferably (although not essential) some knowledge of GIS Package;
  • Project management experience;
  • Experience in delivering training and support to junior colleagues;
  • Excellent Communication Skills; and
  • A full, clean UK driving license and access to a vehicle.

Skills of interest include:

  • Demonstrable experience in complex report writing, inclusive but not limited to Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) reports, Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA), Shadow/Informative Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) documents, Protect Species Reports and Habitat Management Plans;
  • Demonstrable Experienced in delivering a range of surveys for UK Bird species
  • A level 2 bat licence;
  • BSBI FISC 4 or equivalent botanical expertise across a range of habitat types;
  • Experience using UKHAB classification;
  • MoRPh 5 Rivers and Streams training;
  • GIS use (preferably QGIS or aptitude to learn);
  • Demonstrable experience in managing junior staff;
  •  Experience in Stakeholder engagement;
  • Experienced in preparing EcIAs and HRAs;

What you can expect in return: 

Salary: £20-35K dependant on experience

Our employees really are our greatest asset, representing a wide range of skills and experience from across the field of UK ecology. We are proud to offer our staff at all levels the opportunity to pursue their individual interests as this helps us to facilitate shared learning across our practice. 

We are offering a competitive salary (dependent on experience and skills) with permanent staff having the opportunity for annual bonuses, enrolment on our pension scheme and 25 days holiday and a holiday purchase system. Everyone is enrolled in a BUPA health and wellbeing cashback scheme. 

FPCR offers many workplace benefits, including activity and social events. FPCR is an equal opportunities employer. We offer opportunities for flexible working to allow you to fit work around other commitments such as carer and parental responsibilities. We are also happy to discuss opportunities for remote-working or hybrid remote-working/working from home.

If you feel you are the right candidate or feel you can offer FPCR’s ecology team other relevant experience and skills, please submit your CV along with a covering letter, together with any supporting documentation that you feel may be of interest.