I chose Arbtech because it was a company willing to employ me, even though I didn’t have a degree.
I gained experience in ecology by retraining and then subcontracting for four years, and when an opportunity at Arbtech came along in 2019, I applied.
Arbtech has an unconventional organisational structure, and there are no traditional barriers to employment.
I would choose Arbtech again today because I benefit so much from the learning opportunities here working alongside people with decades of experience, and I also benefit from a generous investment in employee ‘well-being’, which now includes:
People here are smart, so I learn a lot.
There are almost no managers – and no unnecessary meetings – at Arbtech.
It has a flat clan-like structure with one chief, it’s a young company, and the atmosphere of the workplace is casual.
The people here are passionate about wildlife and ecology, so they have a lot in common, and the nature of the work means a large percentage of it is varied and interesting.
Employees possess the opportunity to progress, keep learning/training and change jobs within the company while working from home.
In essence, it feels like you get to have your cake and eat it.
There’s nothing much to reveal.
I enjoy a private life with family and friends, and hobbies, including horse riding, music, and reading – particularly physics and astronomy.
I would advise people to watch Jordan Peterson rather than listen to anything I have to say!
The Porsche track day at Silverstone was great.
It was during COVID, so we got to drive the cars by ourselves!
To show off the braking systems, they make you slam the brakes at 70; I used to be a driving instructor but an emergency stop at 70 seemed like too much fun.
I was rubbish at the kickplate but loved the experience as a whole.
A flying version would be fun to see what ‘pulling G’ and flying upside-down feel like.
But I’ll settle for city breaks – all cities, old and new, both in terms of cultures and people: Manchester, Tokyo, Singapore, Addis Ababa – anywhere that’s plugged in.
As Arbtech undertakes larger-scale projects, I’d like to move more into the role of an ecological clerk of works (ECoW).
I’ve held my class 2 bat licence for more than three years now, so I can undertake mitigation for (EPSL and BMCL), and I’ve been directly undertaking ecological watching briefs and translocation of protected species on a range of developments.
I enjoy being on-site, and it’s satisfying to see the results of months of collecting survey data finally turn into something tangible and effective, benefiting and saving wildlife.
However, it can also mean causing delays to development, as I am responsible for prioritising the welfare of wildlife, safeguarding developers from legislation, and putting that above the time constraints of any development.
So far, I’ve been lucky to work with supportive developers. Communication at the early stages – far in advance of mitigation works – goes a long way to smoothing the path.
I’ve grown into this role, and it feels like an obvious and natural path for me.
It would be great to work on large infrastructure projects and developments in London (and elsewhere) in the future.
There are multiple licences and professional memberships that I want to obtain this year.
I aim to be writing my own EPSLs in the next few months.
As previously mentioned, I’d love to get involved in large infrastructure projects. A related goal is to visit The Line – a smart city in Saudi Arabia.
A personal goal is to see the northern lights. Space travel is a fantasy goal I have, but in reality, I’ll be happy just being above ground.
Jo joined Arbtech in September 2019.
Robert Oates, managing director says:
It says a lot about the Arbtech culture when Josephine comes in, brand new, and is a better report-author than quite a few us (me included)–all of whom have been in this game for a decade or more–and yet, instead of being met with envy and politics, everyone is super-keen to share her brilliant work, and jump on her with quesitons about how they can learn and improve. She’s quite literally upped our entire game in a matter of weeks. I’m excited to see what she brings to the table over the coming months and years!
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.