In the distant past, after completing my master’s degree in Ecology at Imperial College London in 2011, I briefly took up a volunteer post at a small nature reserve in London to help them out with the maintenance and learn some practical skills.
It was there that I heard about the opportunity to take on sub-contractor work (night bat surveys) for Arbtech, which I did for a season before joining them as a trainee in 2012. Since then, I’ve gone from a ‘paper qualified’ graduate ecologist to a principal ecologist and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) lead within the company.
I feel that the culture that has been created – principally by Rob but reinforced by everyone – to practice ecology and arboriculture consultancy as a discipline with complete freedom of recommendation and given the flexibility to solve problems for the client, but without compromising on conservation, is the reason why I love working here.
We are trusted to work autonomously but can easily also work collaboratively when required, and I’m in constant contact with the rest of the ecology team in real time.
Managing my own work schedule is one of the other biggest benefits of working for Arbtech, who truly understand the value of trust-based, adaptable and remote working, and have done since I started and before.
I have a significantly better work-life balance than those at other companies might have as a result. I am comfortable in the knowledge that I am trusted and respected enough to achieve this without overbearing oversight.
Team expertise and enthusiasm for nature are also huge draws for Arbtech. There are people I have worked with for 10 years, who I am proud to have grown alongside, as well as newcomers who I can support, help and nurture. I am overwhelmingly proud of how much effort we put into our employee experience, and it gets better all the time.
I have played some form of football for most of my life and have been meeting up with my local five-a-side team once a week for many years now. Occasionally, I even play in an 11-a-side charity match (which is always difficult!).
I also enjoy looking after my wildlife pond and garden, and I am generally a fan of PC games but also have done tabletop gaming in the past with friends.
In addition to this, I’ll sporadically make a model aircraft, with varying results.
I enjoy history and geography documentaries, and sometimes, I grumpily accompany my wife to weird or alternative music places that she has somehow come up with.
Most problems are solvable if you don’t panic.
Use the expertise and knowledge of those around you (and yourself), and subsequently never be afraid to ask questions.
Having been at the company for over 10 years, this is a very difficult question to answer, as I have been on so many fantastic socials.
The trips abroad to Austria, Madrid and Prague have been massive highlights, all filled with great activities, experiences and adventures. However, the quad biking we went on in Wales and the Porsche driving experience at Silverstone were my absolute favourites so far.
I enjoy a city break, which gives me a chance to eat and drink new things, as well as soak up lots of cultural activities, with a favourite being museums, especially any relating to aircraft.
I’ve been to many European cities over the years, but a few that I would still like to visit include Dubrovnik, Athens, Lisbon and Oslo, or even leave the continent for the first time.
Still working at Arbtech but having developed better processes and products to react quickly to developments in the field.
I want to be up to date with the latest CPD and be able to lead and support others with their work.
Arbtech will no doubt be thriving in a maturing Biodiversity Net Gain sector, which I view as one of the major improvements to UK ecology in my lifetime.
At the time of writing this, my wife Helen is pregnant, and I am going to be a father for the first time this year.
It is a very different type of challenge that I’ve not faced before, but I am extremely excited about meeting my son and building our future together.
Supporting him and my wife – and (hopefully) being a good role model for him and teaching him about the environment – would be my biggest achievement to date.
Craig joined Arbtech in July 2012.
Craig showed me back in 2011 that he is conscientious and more than capable of learning how to perform new tasks quickly and correctly. This skill is extremely valuable at Arbtech, where autonomous working and self-discipline is by necessity, considered very important. True to this, he has consistently demonstrated that he is willing to put in the time and effort to progress himself professionally.
In fact, Craig was the first person to successfully go all the way through our in house training programme for graduates, which takes a person from a ‘paper qualified’ graduate ecologist, to a consultant capable of undertaking surveys and reports to a professional standard. Since then, he’s been promoted, twice, and is known internally as “The Merc”, for his mercenary-like ability to take on anything, and get it done twice as fast as we could hope for! Thank you, Craig!
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.