Organisation First Ecology
Location Callow Rock Offices, Shipham Road, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3DQ
Hours Full time (37.5 hours per week)
Position type Full-time
Contract Seasonal
Closing date Ongoing
Salary Competitive (£20,000-£25,000)
Contact name Helen Ward
Contact telephone 01823 652425
Contact email


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, arboricultural and landscape 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 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:

  • 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 smooth newts.
  • 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 mammals.


  • Consultancy experience preferred but not required; but must have experience of working full time in a professional environment ideally a consultancy (a minimum of 1-2 years preferred).
  • Educated to degree level or MSc level in a relevant discipline or disciplines.
  • Willingness to work away from home each week during the peak survey season (May-October)
  • 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 with a relaxed office atmosphere.
  • 25 days paid holiday pro rata plus bank holidays.
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
  • Paid training as part of an individual CPD commitment (e.g. protected species courses)
  • Flexible working hours
  • Opportunities to progress professionally (e.g. survey licenses)
  • Pension
  • Work uniform
  • Company vehicle use.


To apply send your CV and covering letter to

No recruitment agencies or previous applicants please.