What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£20,000 – £25,000
Please describe the work that you do.
As an Assistant Ecologist, I get to carry out a range of work, from going out and surveying sites that are planned for development, to carrying out secondary surveys including bat emergence surveys, dormouse and newt surveys. This is then typically followed up by report writing so it’s a really varied role.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love being able to get out and explore different sites. Surveys are such great fun, especially when you get to find things! I love seeing slow worms hiding under reptile refugia and my highlight of the year was finding my first ever torpid dormouse. It’s definitely a seasonal job though as the majority of outdoor work is carried out from spring to autumn so you get a lot more office or home-based working during the winter.
What inspired you into this career?
I’ve always cared for my local environment and I think it’s important to recognise the fact that development is always inevitable. In my role, I feel like I am able to do my part to protect individuals using sites, helping to move them out of harms way before permission for development is granted.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
My company are incredibly supportive in progressing my career so I am very lucky in that sense but the seasonality of the role can definitely limit your ability to progress. For example, you can get into the swing of things with newt surveying and handling and then the season is over and you have to wait until the following year to continue your training.
What education/training did you have?
I completed a BSc and MSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia and have also carried out a lot of volunteering work in my local area.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
The best way to get involved is to just jump straight in, signing up to your local wildlife groups is a great way to get started – especially when it comes to protected species licences. Botany is also an incredibly important skill in Ecology (one that I still struggle with)!