Organisation First Ecology
Location Somerset and UK wide
Hours Full Time, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with ½ hour lunch break, equating to 37.5 hours per week plus any additional hours as required by the role
Position type Paid and permanent
Closing date Ongoing
Salary Competitive (£38,000-45,000)
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. Our vision is to contribute to the creation of inspirational environments that are enjoyed and valued by people and wildlife.

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, research, conservation and management 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.

All profits generated from First Ecology operations are returned to the parent company, Somerset Wildlife Trust, to support their charitable conservation work across the county.


This Principal Arboriculturist role is the perfect opportunity for someone wanting to move into a more team-driven environment and take their commercial and project management skills to the next level within the growing arboriculture services sector. We are looking for someone who not only has a proven track record of practical and technical arboricultural skills, including surveying, project delivery and reporting, but someone who can inspire and energise a team, and deliver confidence across the external relationships we hold within the county and beyond, to support the growth of this part of our business. It’s a brilliant opportunity for someone ready to take the next step in their career.

The role includes responsibility for setting and managing annual budgets and performance targets and being at the front line of all networking and liaison with clients, contractors and statutory agents.  In addition, you will be delivering specialist arboricultural surveys and the production of high-quality technical reports, where appropriate in collaboration with ecological and landscape outputs. You will also manage and support a growing team of arboriculturists who will be executing projects on the ground. Other responsibilities include:

  • Drive the expansion of the business via the application of industry insight and market trends.
  • Ensure that necessary skillsets and capacity are available to enable project delivery.
  •  Identify viable tender opportunities and inform the proposed service solution.
  • Undertake and coordinate arboricultural surveys to BS5837 (2012), tree risk and woodland management surveys, prepare, review and authorise relevant technical reports and supervise complex implementation works.
  • Ensure the delivery of the arboricultural project workload in accordance with budget, timescale and professional standards.Manage the team of arboriculturists.
  • Analyse performance data and trends to inform changes in resources, systems and operations.


  • Professional experience in a similar role within an arboricultural, or multidisciplinary, consultancy (a minimum of 10 years preferred).
  • An Arboricultural Qualification to NQF Level 5 (FdSc Arb) or equivalent.
  • Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) qualified
  • Professional membership of an arboricultural / forestry industry body (*optional)
  • LANTRA Professional Tree Inspector qualification (*optional)
  • CSCS card holder (*optional)
  • Full UK driving licence.
  • Exemplary professional conduct.
  • Highly competent in the use of office programmes, and mapping software
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Personal qualities consistent with First Ecology values


  • 25 days paid holiday plus bank holidays and flexible working hours if required.
  • Membership of the Arboricultural Association (or similar)
  • Paid training as part of an individual CPD commitment and the opportunity to progress professionally
  • TOIL system, with the potential to work from home
  • Pension
  • Work uniform
  • Company vehicle use
  • Working alongside a positive and friendly team


To apply send your CV and covering letter to The closing date for applications is ongoing.

No recruitment agencies or previous applicants please.