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Assistant Ecologist

Salary: £20,000 - £24,000 pa
Location: Coughton
Company: Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants Ltd
Contract type: Permanent
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Assistant Ecologist – Coughton, Warwickshire


Are you looking for a new opportunity for 2021.............We are looking for
an enthusiastic assistant ecologist to work in our ecology team.


The opportunity:


Wharton Natural Infrastructure
Consultants are based in Coughton, Warwickshire with clients across England and
Wales.


As a result of our continued commitment and increased client base, we are looking for
an Assistant Ecologist to both undertake technical work and help to further develop the ecology
side of the company.


The new position is aimed at a self-motivated, individual with good communication
skills who wants to both develop their career, provide ideas to the business and implement
ecology projects.


At Wharton you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team that has a great work ethos and common
values, working on projects varying in scale throughout England and Wales.


Our team provide ecological, arboricultural, landscape and topographical surveys to a range of
clients, and a wide scale of projects from homeowner extensions through to planning
applications for thousands of homes. We are a small and tight-knit team who look out for each
other and always work together to provide pragmatic solutions for our clients.


Company benefits include:


Have an extra day of annual leave for your birthday.

Bring your dog to work (providing they’re well-behaved and get on with the current Wharton
Canines!).

Take part in our quarterly team activity days to celebrate success over the previous
financial quarter. Previously this has included things such as ‘Go Ape’ and cocktail making
masterclasses.

One day per quarter to volunteer for a wildlife charity or organisation of your choosing.

Have access to our Employee Assistance Programme [1].

Have critical illness and life insurance cover [2].

Be part of our project commission scheme [3].

Actively develop and achieve your personal goals and targets [4].



The role:


The main responsibility of the position is to work in the ecology team assisting the
consultants on project delivery from start to finish, and to assist with other aspects of the
service such as sub-contractor liaison and assisting with ecological survey work and reporting.


Working within the ecology team, you will be assisting with and undertaking a range of field
survey work for habitats and fauna (e.g. UKHab, bats, badger, GCN, reptiles, otter, water vole,
and nesting birds) across the UK. You will also carry out desk studies, manage and analyse
field survey data and assist in the production of technical reports.


The management team actively encourage every employee to voice their opinion and provide ideas
for marketing and efficient running of the business, so you will also be expected to input into
the generation of ideas on this basis if you feel you can contribute. If this sounds like the
perfect job for you give us a call, we’d like to chat to you.


Ultimately, we’re looking for someone who is driven to find solutions and who will be a good
fit with our company culture and values. We take our professional work very seriously, but
we’re also a fun and engaging team to work with, so a good sense of humour will help!


Skills required for the position:


The successful applicant will:


hold a Bachelor’s degree in ecology or an ecology-related subject. A post-graduate
qualification is desirable but not essential.

be an excellent communicator, both in written and verbal communication

be friendly, approachable, and honest (these are really important!)

have a basic understanding of survey methods for habitats and protected species

have a basic understanding of legislative issues relating to ecology and the planning
process.

be able to identify common flowers, trees and shrubs to species-level.

have an ability (at a basic level) to identify a range of protected species and their field
evidence such as great crested newt, badger, otter, reptiles, bats etc.

be able to work as part of a collaborative team as well as an individual, taking
accountability for the work they produce.

be diligent and accurate in their work, well presented, trustworthy and punctual.

be willing to learn, grow and provide a consistently high level of service.

be computer and IT literate with experience in using Microsoft Office software, with good
language skills and an understanding of time management.

be confident in providing ideas and feedback to improve our service and internal processes.

have a full UK driving licence and your own car are essential as travelling is an integral
part of the role (we will pay you for any mileage incurred).

Be working towards or have CIEEM membership at least at qualifying level.

Most importantly, be able to provide solutions to our clients.



Duties of the position:


The successful applicant will assist the ecology team with:


completing desk studies and reporting on desk study findings in technical reports.

Undertaking protected species surveys (see Note 1 below) including but not limited to:
great crested newt, bat, badger, otter, water vole and reptile. We do not expect that you will
have protected species survey licences (great if you do!) but we will train you to achieve
them.

Undertaking UK Hab surveys for preliminary ecological appraisals

Production of ecological plans using QGIS software

Completion of basic elements of technical report writing including elements of preliminary
ecological appraisal, ecological enhancement plans, technical appendices for ecological impact
assessment, construction and environmental management plans, landscape and ecological
management plans etc.

Production of basic fee proposals as required

Data management and analysis of bat calls

General maintenance and organisation of survey equipment



The successful applicant will also undertake simpler phase 1 habitat surveys (supervised if/as
required) and will shadow our bat licensed ecologists on initial building surveys to gain
experience and to allow them to write up the reports for those surveys to develop their report
writing skills. We will provide on-the-job training for all of the above duties as required.


Note 1 on species surveys:


If this is potentially your first ecology role, bat and great crested newt surveys (which make
up a lot of our work) are often undertaken late in the evening and/or early in the morning
(think 2am, sometimes earlier for bats particularly!).


You will generally not be on more than three surveys per week (it’s very rare anyone is on 4
surveys per week), and you will be able to reclaim time off in lieu (TOIL) for any hours
incurred in addition to your contracted hours so that you can regain some sleep. We also work
flexi-time to try to ensure our employees wellbeing during the survey season as much as
possible.


We want to be absolutely transparent about what you should expect as an ecologist, and this is
one of those elements of the job that we manage well as a company, but simply isn’t for some
people! If early mornings and late nights don’t sound like something you’re willing to do on a
fairly regular basis between mid-March and September then unfortunately this position probably
isn’t for you!


Salary range:


£20,000 - £24,000 DOE


Final salary and package will be based on qualifications and experience. This is a position
initially based on a 39.5 hour working week and 3-month probationary period.


If you want to develop your career and join a dynamic company that’s genuinely fun to work for,
please send your CV with a covering letter of experience to Peter Wharton (Director) (peter@wnic.co.uk) or Matt Wall (Senior Ecologist) (matt@wnic.co.uk). If you wish to discuss the opportunity and role
further please call Peter or Matt Wall on 01789 459458 for an initial chat.


[1] Provided by Croner and includes health & lifestyle services, legal information, home life
services and work life services. This includes services such as a number of free counselling
for employees.


[2]
Introduced once 3 month probationary period is successfully completed.


[3] Take a percentage of any new business you directly bring to the company.


[4] We like everyone to have their own individual goals in life, whether that be having the
opportunity to take your children to school or travelling the world for a few months. We aim to
make things happen and believe personal growth, as well as professional growth should be
encouraged.
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