The Ecology Consultancy is celebrating 21 years of excellence

2020 marks the beginning of The Ecology Consultancy’s third decade of making places better for people and wildlife. Since being founded in 1999 by John Newton, we have grown to become one of the largest dedicated consultancies run buy ecologists in the UK, working on a range of projects, large and small, and developing a reputation for delivering high-quality work

On the occasion of The Ecology Consultancy’s 21st anniversary, take a look back with us to uncover the key milestones in the company’s rich history, and get a glimpse of the numerous achievements and amazing projects we have been involved in over the years.

2020

From humble beginnings to leading ecological consultancy

The Ecology Consultancy has grown to become one of the largest consultancies run by ecologist in the UK

 

From a desk in John Newton’s spare room, to 6 offices and a total of over 100 staff, in the last 20 years, we have grown to become one of the UK’s leading ecological consultancies, offering a wealth of experience and delivering an evermore comprehensive range of services, from the Cornish countryside to the shores of Scotland.

The Ecology Consultancy releases Biodiversity Net Gain guidance note

Biodiversity net gain - green roof

The Environment Bill, formally introduced to Parliament in October 2019 and reintroduced and given its first reading on the 30th January 2020, makes it a mandatory requirement for developments in England to deliver a biodiversity net gain of at least 10%.

 

The Ecology Consultancy has released a guidance note to help you understand the emerging questions surrounding what is the most significant change to biodiversity legislation in this country since the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.

 

Find out more and get in touch here.

Maintaining excellence in our 21st year through our Learning & Development programme

Contributing to industry talent through our L&D programme

Our internal training programme ‘The Orchard’ started the new decade in a flurry of activity, with a comprehensive range of both inward and outward facing training opportunities. We look forward to another year of nurturing internal knowledge-sharing, investing in staff development and contributing to industry talent.

 

Read more.

2019

Projects: eDNA pond surveys for the Natural England District Level Licensing for Great Crested Newt

NE District Licensing - eDNA survey

As an integral part of the proposed District Level Licensing for Great Crested Newt, Natural England is gathering an evidence base across England using eDNA analysis of water samples.

 

The Ecology Consultancy was commissioned by Natural England early in 2019 to carry out surveys for the Norfolk and Suffolk area.The data collected through eDNA pond surveys is now available online as open data.

 

Read on to find out more, and explore what has been happening on just a few of the longer-term projects we have worked on over the last couple of years.

Temple and The Ecology Consultancy celebrate their fourth annual Green Week

Green Week 2019 beach clean

In October, The Ecology Consultancy and Temple celebrated their fourth annual Green Week, a chance to learn about green initiatives, take part in environmental activities and generate engagement and discussion around the sustainability of our planet.

 

Read more.

Evidence of beavers spotted on site for the first time in TEC history!

Beavers are being released to alleviate floods

Two of our ecologists stumbled across evidence of beavers whilst carrying out a PEA of a site near the River Stour, in Kent. And we expect it won’t be the last time…

 

Click here for the full story.

The Ecology Consultancy Sponsors the CIEEM Best Practice Nature Conservation Awards

Sponsors of the Best Practice Nature Conservation Awards 2019

We had the honour of sponsoring the Best Practice Nature Conservation Award, acknowledging projects that have delivered particular enhancements to biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and sustainable development.

‘Acoustic deterrents as a bat mitigation strategy’ research brings home two Noise Awards!

Smiles all round at ANC awards

It was smiles all round in Manchester at the Association of Noise Consultants Awards ceremony when it was revealed that we had won not one, but both categories which we had been shortlisted for.

 

Read more here and see 2016 for more details on the research.

TEC and Temple join forces to impress at the 2019 JLL Property Triathlon

Women Temple TEC team win the JLL Property Triathlon 2019

We joined forces with Temple to take on the JLL Property Triathlon for the second year running.

 

The results were a definite cause for celebration. Our men’s team came a brilliant 23rd of 178 teams in the men’s relay (in the full afternoon summer sun!) and the women claimed an incredible first place in their relay, beating the other teams by a clear 5 minutes!

The leadership team is expanded

The Ecology Consultancy Leadership Team was expanded to include our Associate Directors, helping to build resilience, further define roles and responsibilities, and take the company forward.

The Wakefield office relocates

National Trust Nostell Priory Wakefield

Since 2016, the northern team has undergone a rapid expansion, and in order to maintain stability the growing team moved from a temporary serviced office to their own leased office in 2019. They can now be found in the beautiful surrounds of the National Trust’s Nostell Business Park.

The Working With Wildlife App is launched

The Working With Wildlife App is launched

CIRIA, in conjunction with The Ecology Consultancy’s founder John Newton, launched a mobile app to provide those working in construction and the built environment with easy access to guidance on legislation and good practice to consider when working with wildlife on site.
 
Read more and download the app.

Projects: Technical specialist for the High Speed Two Phase 2b consortium

High Speed Two Phase 2b

Working from the Wakefield office, we delivered over 6000 surveys for HS2 Phase 2b since July 2017. Our ecology team is operating as part of the Mott Macdonald WSP Joint Venture consortium, alongside Temple, delivering the Hybrid Bill and its associated protected species and habitat surveys for the western leg of the route.

 

We are the technical specialists across the Crewe to Manchester leg for reptiles, birds, water vole, otter and Habitat Regulations Assessment as well as holding the role of overall ecology technical specialist for the consortium.

2018

NHSS accreditation achieved

National Highways Sector Scheme accreditation

After a successful audit, The Ecology Consultancy achieved the National Highways Sector Scheme accreditation, allowing us to operate on Highways England projects or any contracts requiring sector scheme approval.

The Ecology Consultancy achieves ISO 9001 certification

The Ecology Consultancy's ISO 9001 certification

Following a rigorous audit, The Ecology Consultancy achieved certification for the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems standard.

The Ecology Consultancy achieves ISO 14001 certification

The Ecology Consultancy's ISO 14001 certification

The Ecology Consultancy achieved certification for the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems standard.

Staff take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Mind

TEC take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

A group from our London office team, AKA ‘The Peaky Climbers’, raised £1,654.99 for local charity Lambeth and Southwark Mind. This small, independent charity provides free, innovative, long-term services that empower and support everyone experiencing mental health problems in the local area.

We are Highly Commended at the 2018 CIEEM Awards

Our School Ecology Workshop s receives Highly Commended in the 2018 CIEEM Knowledge Sharing award

Our School Ecology Workshop initiative was rewarded by being Highly Commended in the 2018 CIEEM Awards Knowledge Sharing category.
 
Read more here and see 2017 for details on the initiative.

Client wins the CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge Client Award

Berkeley Homes: Making Space for Nature and Beauty: Creating Net Biodiversity Gain

The Ecology Consultancy supported Berkeley Homes in developing their Nine Concepts guide to inform their approach to net biodiversity gain – enabling them to commit to net biodiversity gain on all future developments. Read the full case study here.

 

The project won the Client Award at the 2018 CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge.

Team TEC take on the JLL Property marathon

Team TEC score 5th place at JLL property Triathlon 2018

In the heat of summer 2018, three members of our London and Lewes teams took to the shores of Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire, to compete in the mixed relay category. Out of 245 teams, TEC came an amazing 5th!

It’s a big year for moving!

The Lewes, Norwich and Lichfield offices relocate to new premises.

Arbeco Ltd joins Temple Group Management

Directors of Arbeco and Mark Southwood seal the deal on the acquisition of Arbeco

Temple Group Management deliver on expansion plans with the acquisition of Arbeco, an arboricultural consultancy, providing ecology, tree and habitat services.

 

Read more.

Three longstanding members of staff are appointed as Directors

Giles Coe, Jon Riley and Tom McArthur are appointed as Directors to share the leadership of The Ecology Consultancy.

Projects: Protected species surveys & mitigation for the M4 Smart Motorway upgrade

Thermal imaging surveys for bats on highways bridges

Our experts began work on the M4 Junctions 3-12 Smart Motorway upgrade with Balfour Beatty Vinci Joint Venture, on behalf of Highways England.

 

Bat surveys have involved the innovative use of thermal imaging techniques to improve the effectiveness of bat emergence and re-entry surveys on bridges along the route. Find out more about our thermal imaging work here.

 

We will be continuing to provide ecology surveys and advice on the M4 project throughout 2020.

2017

Projects: Baseline surveys for the MSG Sphere entertainment venue in the Olympic Park

Baseline surveys for the MSG sphere at the Olympic Park

Our ecologists were commissioned by Trium to begin baseline surveys for the MSG Sphere entertainment venue, located within the Olympic Park, which included black redstart and bat surveys, as well as light spillage, Net Gain and Phase 1 assessments. At the same time, we completed a BREEAM for the new University College London buildings, also located within the Olympic Park.

 

Refer to 2016 and 2011 for more updates on work we have carried out around the Olympics.

The water vole mitigation research results are released

Water vole overwintering research

In Spring 2016, the results of a study led by Principal Ecologist Charlie Dwight, proved that it is not necessary to over-winter water voles in captivity.

As a result, Natural England have now changed their policy for southern England. This approach has also proved cost effective, saving one client £40K and has helped develop strong relationships with NE.

We launch our School Ecology Workshops initiative

Ecologist teaching on The Ecology Consultancy's newsly launched School Ecology Workshops

Our School Ecology Workshops (SEW) initiative is designed to help the construction industry engage with local communities and support their corporate social responsibility activities. Our partnerships and involvement with schools have continued to evolve ever since.

 

Read more about our SEW activities here.

The Ecology Consultancy supports industry talent by sponsoring the 2017 CIEEM Awards

Jon Riley presenting CIEEM award

We were the proud sponsors of the Promising Professional Award, granted to those who have demonstrated above-average competence and commitment to their professional development.

 

Read more.

 

We have continued to sponsor this annual event, see 2019.

Our internal Learning & Development programme is launched

The Orchard training and development programme for staff is launched

‘The Orchard’, our industry-leading employee development, up-skilling and mentoring programme equips employees with the technical and consultancy skills that they need to ensure they have a fulfilling, long-term career in line with their strengths and ambitions.

 

Read more.

Our Bat specialists begin research into acoustic deterrents as a bat mitigation strategy for HS2

Bechstein's bat

The research was initiated to investigate whether it was possible to use high frequency acoustics to deter woodland bats, in particular Bechstein’s bat, from sensitive zones of the railway corridor, in order to prevent potential collision with trains.
 
The project is a collaboration with sister company Temple Group, BSG Ecology, The University of Bristol as well as HS2 Ltd.

Projects: Habitat Creation at the DP World London Gateway Port

The Ecology Consultancy is honoured to have acted as projects ecologists for many years working closely with DP World London Gateway to achieve positive results for wildlife.

This short film provides insight into how the construction of two intertidal mudflats has compensated for the potential loss of habitat predicted to occur during the development of DP World London Gateway Port.

 

Read more here or see 2013 to discover more about our work at London Gateway.

2016

The Ecology Consultancy expands into the north of England

The Ecology Consultancy expands into the north of England

With the aim of expanding our regional operations, we established a presence in Wakefield, led by Associate Director Dr Sarah Cox, chartered ecologist and environmentalist.

This new office represented the next stage in our plans to provide comprehensive coverage for projects wherever they may be situated in the UK.

 

Read more.

The Ecology Consultancy establishes an office in the Midlands

The Ecology Consultancy establishes an office in the Midlands

The launch of the new office in Staffordshire, headed up by Principal Ecologist David Coote, expertly positioned the company to link with operations in our Norfolk and London offices and provide ecology services across the entire region.

 

The Midlands was set to see plenty of opportunity for development with the announcement in 2015 of the government’s long-term economic plan for the area.

 

Read more.

The Leadership Team is created to take over the running of the company

The Leadership Team harnesses the experience and skills of four top level senior staff who had worked for The Ecology Consultancy for a number of years: Giles Coe, Jane Kendall, Jon Riley and Tom McArthur.
All had been instrumental in shaping its success and would henceforth have responsibility for continuing to drive forward the organisation’s 2020 Strategy and Growth plans.

John Newton retires from role as Founder and Managing Director of The Ecology Consultancy

John newton retires as Managing Director of The Ecology Consultancy

John was responsible for the growth and management of the company since its establishment in 1999. His role and responsibilities were transferred to the Leadership Team to drive the company forward, with John remaining as a Strategic Advisor until March 2017.

 

Read more.

Projects: Post-Olympic biodiversity monitoring surveys for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Wintering bird surveys at the Olympic Park

As the successful BREEAM projects for Lend Lease and The International Quarter came to a close, we were commissioned by the Landscape Group with the London Legacy Development Corporation to begin the post-Olympic biodiversity monitoring surveys for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the results of which have been used to inform the park’s Biodiversity Action Plan 2014-2019 and its future management.

 

See 2011 to find out about the ecological services we provided ahead of the Olympics.

2015

The Ecology Consultancy offers in-house arboricultural services for the first time

In-house arboricultural services

Our services were expanded to include high-quality arboricultural services, surveys and assessments for every stage of the development process.

 

Our arboricultural consultants, led at the time by Senior Arboricultural Consultant Mark Cannon, work closely with our team of ecologists to provide bespoke strategies for individual developments to meet and exceed project requirements.

 

Find out more.

The London team relocates to Bermondsey

The Ecology Consultancy London team relocates to Tempus Wharf Bermondsey

The London team moved to their new office overlooking the Thames, at Tempus Wharf, 33a, Bermondsey Wall West.

Projects: Ecological Clerk of Works for the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, Suffolk

Ecological Clerk of Works for Bats

The Norfolk team continued their work on this project by providing an entire season of Ecological Clerk of Works ahead of the construction of the onshore elements of the wind farm.

 

Read the full case study here or see 2012 & 2013 for more insight into the work we have done on this project.

2014

Projects: Biodiversity enhancements for the Transport for London East London Line

Wildflower verge on the East London Line north of Shoreditch

As part of the East London Line project, our ecologists began the implementation of a series of biodiversity enhancement measures in 2014, including the sowing of trackside verges with wildflower seeds, and the installation of insect walls at various trackside sites between Dalston Junction and Shoreditch.

Projects: London Borough of Southwark SINC Review

Burgess park, London Borough of Southwark ecological survey of the SINCs

Working for the London Borough of Southwark we carried out a borough-wide ecological survey of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) to inform their Local Plan, offering a basis for enhancements to contribute to London’s biodiversity targets, as well as identifying habitat linkages between sites to promote a more strategic approach to nature conservation within the borough.

 

See the full case study here.

Projects: Multiple ecology surveys for 1050-home development in Bexhill

Habitat creation for Bovis Homes' 1050-home development near Bexhill

In 2012, we began working with Bovis Homes on a scheme for 1050 new homes, a new school and community facilities to be built on an area of countryside in Bexhill.

 

Our ecologists began gathering a robust picture of the wildlife present on the 57ha site and, by 2014, had completed overwintering bird surveys, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, surveys for great crested newt, breeding birds, bats, barn owl, reptiles, dormice, arable plants, hedgerows and woodland. An Ecological Constraints and Opportunity Plan and a Green Infrastructure Strategy were also produced.

 

We are continuing to deliver ecological services on this project to this day.

We launch our ecology training courses for professionals

Ecology trainign courses for professionals London

In 2014 we launched the Professional Ecology Series a programme of specialist courses delivered by professional ecologists with long-standing experience of working in consultancy.

 

Read more.

Projects: Ecology surveys for the Newhall neighbourhood development in Harlow, Essex

GCN surveys at Newhall

In 2014 the Newhall neighbourhood development, a significant urban extension to the town of Harlow in Essex, was delivered to time thanks to our involvement in the project.

 

The site was predominantly farmland, but held several protected species which required specialist surveys and licence applications prior to development. We worked closely with Newhall Projects Ltd to provide specialist ecological input into plans and work over a period of several years.

The Ecology Consultancy celebrates its 15th year!

2013

Projects: Reptile translocation & bat licences for Galloper Wind Farm, Suffolk

Translocation of a juvenile adder for Galloper Wind Farm

After having developed the reptile mitigation strategy in 2012, our Norfolk office ecologists carried out the reptile translocation in 2013. Bat mitigation licences were also obtained for the felling of several trees.

See 2012 for information on how our work on this project began.

Projects: Bespoke mitigation and habitat enhancement for the DP World London Gateway Site X

DP World Site X Habitat Creation

In 2013, as part of the Mitigation, Compensation and Monitoring agreement for development, the construction of compensatory mudflats began opposite the London Gateway site, in Kent. We worked with the DP World London Gateway Environment Team to establish an ecological baseline and to carry out mitigation in advance of the construction works.

 

Read more here or go to 2017 to find out how we have worked closely with the client to achieve positive results for wildlife on this site.

Projects: Ecological surveys in support of the Hybrid Bill for High Speed Two

Habitat assessment for High Speed Two

After our work on the HS2 Phase 1 Appraisal of Sustainability in 2010, The Ecology Consultancy was contracted in 2012 to complete the ecological assessment for the Environmental Statement, which would later inform the HS2 Hybrid Bill. 2013 saw us double in size as we oversaw many thousands of field surveys, started assessing the impacts on a very sensitive population of rare bats, and completed the detailed ecological impact assessment of a 90km section of the route.

The London HS2 team grows and the whole office moves to Southwark

Map - 72 Borough High Street

With the team working on High Speed Two expanding, the whole London office relocated to a new office at 72, Borough High Street, to accommodate the extra members of staff.

The development of our mobile mapping services commences

GIS mobile mapping

To begin moving away from paper-based mapping to digital mobile solutions, all surveys were henceforth carried out and digital data collected with hand-held mobile devices and accurate GPS units. This was a significant development allowing for our field work to be more efficient and the data more accurate.

John Newton & Mark Southwood agree on the acquisition of The Ecology Consultancy

Temple Group acquires The Ecology Consultancy

After 15 years of working with us on multiple high-profile projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and High Speed 2, Temple Group acquired The Ecology Consultancy.

 

“The fit was perfect – we have worked together for many years, are both headquartered in London and both firms have grown extremely well recently. Temple brings project management skills and a specialist capability in environmental impact assessment and town planning, while we will strengthen biodiversity in their sustainability offering.” – John Newton.

 

2012

Projects: Reptile Mitigation strategy & public hearing for Galloper Wind Farm Ltd, Suffolk

Reptile tranlocation and receptor site enhancement for Galloper Wind Farm

Continuing the work we started in 2010 for the onshore aspects of the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) involving the installation of 56 wind turbines off the Suffolk coast, with the capacity to generate up to 353 megawatts (MW) of energy.

 

Read full case study.

Projects: Project ecologists for 3,520-home sustainable mixed-use development in Norfolk

Ecology chapter for environmental statement for Beyond Green sustainable housing development, Norfolk

Beyond Green commissioned The Ecology Consultancy to act as the projects ecologists for the 3,520-home sustainable mixed-use development in Norfolk. Our team worked closely with Beyond Green to turn ecology into a positive boost for what was at the time said to be “the most authentically sustainable new development ever built in the UK”.

 

Read more.

Projects: Green Infrastructure Audit for London BID districts

Projects: Green Infrastructure Audit for London BID districts

The Ecology Consultancy and sister company, the Green Infrastructure Consultancy, were commissioned to carry out Green Infrastructure Audits and Feasibility Studies for three London Business Improvement Districts (BIDs): Better Bankside, Team London Bridge and Hammersmith.

 

Read more.

2011

Working with wildlife guidance is revised and reissued

Workign with Wildlife guidance reissued

The second edition of ‘Working with wildlife: guidance for the construction industry’ was issued by CIRIA. Upon publication, this edition was dedicated to the memory of Barry Nicholson.

 

You can acquire a copy of the guidance here.

The Ecology Consultancy expands north of the border with a new office in Edinburgh

The Ecology Consultancy establishes a presence in Edinburgh

We established an office in Edinburgh, where colleague Phil Davey, previously at Natural England, set out to spread the word about our services. From this location it was to become much easier for us to deliver our brand of ecological expertise to Scotland and the north of England.

New, prime city centre office for our Norfolk team!

Norfolk team moves closer to the city centre

Our Norfolk team moved to an office closer to Norwich city centre to be much nearer to many of our clients (and to enjoy the wonderful view over the Whitlingham Broad Reserve).

Projects: Mitigation & restoration strategy ahead of the London 2012 Olympics

We carried out ecological impact assessments and prepared mitigation strategies for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

 

Our work included a mitigation and restoration strategy for rare acid grassland habitat affected by the equestrian event at Greenwich Park, and mapping and assessment of important habitats affected by the 29-mile cycling event though Surrey, including the internationally important chalk grassland habitat at Box Hill.

Projects: Wealden District Council Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

Wealden District Council PEA

Our Sussex office team was commissioned to provide ecological and green infrastructure appraisals of 13 Strategic Development Areas identified for housing allocation across the district of Wealden. The extensive nature of the work resulted in a 1500-page report divided into 20 chapters that was made publicly available on the council website.

 

Read more.

2010

Founding Director Barry Nicholson passes away

The late Barry Nicholson

In 2010 we experienced the sad loss of our friend and mentor Barry, who is still sorely missed by all.

Projects: Our journey with High Speed Two begins

The ecology Consultancy provides ecological advice on High Speed 2

2010 is the year we embarked on our long journey working on the nationally significant High Speed Two (HS2) rail project aiming to connect London with the West Midlands.
The Ecology Consultancy carried out a major assessment of proposed routes, which later became known as HS2’s ‘Appraisal of Sustainability’. We also prepared a scoping report for a Habitat Regulations Assessment of the preferred route option.

 

Read more.

The London office continues to grow and moves to Borough

Cole Street, Borough, London

Our involvement in the HS2 project meant that the London Team was expanding further. In the search of extra desk capacity, the London team moved to 6-8 Cole Street, Borough, London SE1 4YH.

2009

The Sussex office swells and relocates to a more rural location

As the Lewes team began to grow, they fled the “hustle and bustle” of the city (town) and upped sticks to an old granary barn on a country lane nearby.

Projects: Compensation for bats and other protected species at the site of the sealing of the Magna Carta

Bat compensation at Runnymede

The Ecology Consultancy was commissioned by Environ to survey the development of Runnymede from university campus to mixed development site.

This project was particularly interesting for our bat experts, as the site supported potential habitat for the rare annex 2 species Bechstein’s and barbastelles.

Working alongside the Surrey Wildlife Trust, the local Badger Group and the National Trust, we conducted Phase 1 surveys, followed by extended badger, bat, reptile and dormouse surveys and a full tree assessment. Bat roost compensation, such as the bat loft featured above, was recommended and we were pleased to find that a small Victorian building on site, The Mews, was to be retained, as it housed a maternity pipistrelle roost.

Our involvement in this project continued over the years, applying for licenses for bat and badger mitigation and contributing to the Environmental Impact Assessment

Ecology Consultancy Ltd rebrands on its 10th anniversary

Ecology Consultancy rebrands as The Ecology Consultancy

Ecology Consultancy Ltd celebrated 10 years of making places better for people and wildlife, and began operating under its rebranded name: The Ecology Consultancy.

2008

The Norwich office moves to Bawburgh 

With the expanding Norfolk team having outgrown the old offices, they moved to Lodge Farm Barns, a newly converted complex beside a series of lakes in Bawburgh.

2007

Projects: River Corridor Survey for Lea Valley Regional Park

River Lea corridor survey

The survey covered about 80km of the Lea, the largest tributary of the Thames in London and was carried out for the Lea Valley Regional Park to inform their 10-year biodiversity action plan and establish management priorities for the river.

 

Report production was a massive exercise in data collation, mapping and illustration but the output was magnificent – Otters, water vole, grass snake, roosting bats and rare plants were among the special wildlife we recorded.

A specialist GIS team is established in London

Specialist GIS team

A GIS and Systems Manager was appointed to handle the considerable amount of data generated by our survey work. 

 

This marked the beginning of our extensive portfolio of habitat mapping services delivered to a range of clients, from multidisciplinary engineering companies, developers and architects, to local authority planning departments, ecology and landscape consultants, and statutory agencies.
Our GIS specialists work closely with our professional ecology team to provide highly accurate geospatial support and mapping services.

Giles Coe and Ben Kimpton establish an office in East Sussex

The Ecology Consultancy establishes an office in Lewes

With excellent local ecologists, and no shortage of projects in the area, the time seemed right – John Newton agreed for Giles Coe to spearhead a new regional office in Sussex. Along with Ben Kimpton, Giles began operating ecology services from a small room in the little town of Lewes.

Projects: Improving the green spaces for social housing – Natural Estate

Wildflowers

We worked on the Natural Estate guidance publication, prepared to provide principles, practical advice and case studies of tried and tested schemes to encourage a more wildlife rich landscape around social housing. The guidance was commissioned by English Nature on behalf of Neighbourhoods Green with an intended audience of social landlords and community projects.

 

We have continued to apply our expertise and experience to produce guidance to support developers to enhance the landscapes on housing projects. See The Nine Concepts guide in 2018.

Projects: Facilitation of the Ebbw Vale Railway Line

Ecology advice for Ebbw vale railway

The Ecology Consultancy worked alongside contractors Costain and, latterly, Amey Infrastructure Services to achieve the re-opening of the disused rail line, construction of new track, stations and Signalling and Telecoms.

 

We undertook a scoping survey of 17 miles of track and trackside habitat, advising on potential constraints from reptiles, badgers, bats and otters, completing the translocation of reptiles from a number of station sites, mapping and advising on the control of invasive Japanese Knotweed, and providing watching brief and supervision for fencing installation, habitat management and implementation of appropriate mitigation measures.

 

We invested in Personal Track Safety (PTS) training for staff for this, which also enabled us to continue working on railside projects for other clients.

2005

The London team expands and moves to the Bon Marche Centre in Brixton

The London team only stayed 18 months at Porden House – being linked to the infamous ‘Fridge’ night club, the letting arrangements were less than secure – before moving into a relatively spacious office in the historic Bon Marche Centre, opposite Brixton tube.

2004

Projects: Ecology services for the regeneration of Betteshanger Colliery, Kent

Tranlocated lizard at Betteshanger Colliery

Once Kent’s largest coalfield, Betteshanger Colliery, closed in he 1980’s leaving behind 120ha of high-density industrial brownfield land contaminated by more than 60 years of coal mining and landfill use.

 

On behalf of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Peter Brett Associates and Fitzpatrick appointed Ecology Consultancy to provide the ecology services for the regeneration of Betteshanger, aiming to bring environmental, ecological, social, leisure and an economic improvement to the site.

The first edition of the Working with Wildlife guidance for the construction industry is produced

First publication of the Working with Wildlife guidance

In collaboration with CIRIA, John Newton and Barry Nicholson launched the first edition of the Working with Wildlife resource and training pack.

 

The aim was to offer information and guidance to a wide range of people involved with the construction industry helping them to stay within the law relating to wildlife, as well as understanding and implementing good practice in protecting wildlife on development and construction projects.

 

The Working with Wildlife guidance has undergone exciting advances over the years, see 2004 and 2019 to find out more.

2003

Projects: Habitat Creation & Management Plan for Brighton & Hove County Council

Chalkhill Blue at Crowhurst Corner

Crowhurst Corner Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) lies on the northern edge of Brighton’s urban fringe and is a Local Wildlife Site with public access. Our experts were appointed to carry out extensive habitat creation and the implementation of a long-term management plan.

 

We worked closely with Brighton and Hove County Council and Linkwood until official handover in 2011 and continued to have piecemeal involvement in the form of BREEAM assessments and ad-hoc advice until 2014.

 

Read more.

The London team moves to behind the Fridge…

London team moves to behind the Fridge

The London team had grown to 5 and moved to a small office in Porden Road, behind the ‘Fridge’, an infamous Brixton night club.

 

Among the project worked on this year was Betteshanger Colliery, described in previous milestone.

2000

Humble beginnings for the Norfolk “office”

The Norwich office (or should we say spare bedroom?) was established, in the home of co-director Barry Nicholson, employing just one other ecologist.

1999

John Newton founds Ecology Consultancy Ltd

After years of offering ecological input for development, John Newton saw the potential for ecological consultancy. Seizing the opportunity, he founded Ecology Consultancy Ltd in 1999, operating from his (rather small) spare room. He soon invited his colleague from his days at the London Wildlife Trust, Barry Nicholson, to join as a Co-Director.

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