Some of the Arbtech team conducting a hibernating bat check in caves in Somerset

This job is a rare find – it’s not a job you get taught about as you go through education, it’s not a job anyone outside of the industry understands, but it’s a fantastic job for the right person.

What does ‘the job’ involve when you work for Arbtech? Well it involves lots of travelling to different areas of the country for surveys, lots of time spent looking for protected species and their evidence in difficult environments and lots of time spent liaising with people.

So what do you need to work as an ecologist for Arbtech? Immense time management skills, great people skills, and a dedication to finding out exactly what is under that bramble scrub! Arbtech has a unique business model were consultants are based around the country remotely. This cuts the overheads for the business, keeping the costs low for our clients, and gives ecologists a great deal of flexibility and independence.

Working as a consultant for Arbtech is unique in the industry and allows for a great deal of hands-on experience across a wide range of surveys.

A day in the life of an ecologist varies between days, months and seasons. Some times of the year are much busier because many species have long periods of low levels of activity over the winter. Optimal survey season is from spring-autumn for many surveys though some species have very specific survey windows lasting only 4 weeks of the whole year. For example, great crested newt population assessment surveys can only take place between March and April with at least 3 of the 6 site visits needing to take place between mid-April to mid-May. This doesn’t leave a large window for surveys and this is usually a very busy time for ecologists working on great crested newt projects.

So as the daylight hours lengthen so do the hours in an ecologist’s day. At Arbtech this means the opportunity for grabbing lots of overtime and getting to spend most nights watching the sunset and listening for bats…not bad as jobs go.

Working as an ecologist is a balance between being in the field and writing reports in the office. It is a job for people who want to get outside into nature each day, but who also like to grab a cup of tea and put together a scientific report for your clients. Not many jobs offer this balance of field work and office work, and very few allow as much time management and independence as Arbtech does.

One day you can be rummaging around someone’s loft space looking for bat droppings, the next trying to identify grass species in a field, and the next watching badgers you’ve caught on remote cameras. In summary, working as an ecologist can vary dramatically from one day to the next and therefore offer a great variety of experiences and opportunities for an ecologist.

Some essential skills for getting into the industry is experience working on ecological surveys, working towards and obtaining protected species licences and obtaining membership to professional entities such as CIEEM.

Getting into the field can be challenging, however. As with most industries, experience is key but there are very few opportunities to gain experience without paying an arm and a leg for it! Arbtech has always recruited keen recent graduates and offered free training (and even contributes towards travel costs) in an effort to get new blood into the industry (and have first dibs on the up and coming talent!).

This year is the first year that Arbtech are running their FREE training and recruitment day known as ASSET (Arbtech’s Summer Starter Ecologist Training).

Arbtech are conducting two free training courses, one in the north of England near our land in Stone, Staffordshire, and the other in north London. To find out more please check out https://arbtech.co.uk/arbtech-starter-summer-ecologist-training-asset/