Assistant or Graduate Ecologist Wanted – Cambridge

We are currently interviewing for a graduate or assistant ecologist to join our Cambridge office.  Click here for more details.

Autumn Roundup

Summer has been an exciting time for us here at Prime Environment – we’ve been very busy with newt, badger, bat, reptile and bird surveys along with being onsite helping our clients with licenced work, and taking care of bats while roof works are completed.

Forward Look

Every season brings new challenges to our clients and a change to the services that we can provide. If you have a proposed development or planning application coming up, consider whether you will need any of these surveys over autumn and winter:

• Preliminary Ecological Assessment / Phase 1 Habitat Survey
• Bat Building Inspections (bats do not need to be present for an initial assessment)
• Tree Inspections for Bats (roosting features are easier to find when leaves have dropped)
• Badger Sett Surveys (finding burrows can be easier once summer vegetation has died)
• Bat Box Checks and Maintenance
• Winter Bird Surveys
• Bat Data Analysis

Reflection on the Summer

Looking back at the year so far, we have welcomed Jon Moore, Senior Ecologist to our Midlands and North team, moved our head office from Belper to Cromford, and implemented new project management software across the company. We have also opened a second office in Cambridge, leaving us confident that we can expand our base in East Anglia, the South East and London.

The projects we work on are often in the early stages of the planning process meaning that most of our work remains confidential until complete. We can however reveal that we have been working on an exciting woodland and pasture project on the south coast. We have been helping with detailed bat surveys and managing radio tracking of Bechstein’s bats (one of our rarest species of bat) for two years now. This project has been great, as most of the masterplan has been ecology-led, and the final plan will include a lot of habitat creation measures to maintain bat flightpaths, as well as mitigation for reptiles and dormice.

As well as this, we have also been involved in initial surveys to inform Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for a major sport stadium redevelopment, along with many other projects.

Could you be our next tree expert?

We’ve grown a great deal over the summer and we’re now looking for a Senior Arboriculture Consultant to join our team.We are looking for someone with a passion for trees and ecology with excellent report writing skills to drive and develop this aspect of our business. Click Here

We’re always here to help

At Prime Environment, we take great pride in being a part of your team. Our friendly consultants are trusted by architects, engineers, and project managers. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

To contact us, click here.

New Office in Cambridge

We are really proud to announce that our second office is now open in Cambridge.  It has been a long time coming, especially for our until-now homeworking senior ecologist Hayley Farmell.

We’ve got a lovely site in a rural location just west of Cambridge (in Knapwell), with nice easy access to the A14 and M1 to service our clients across the south east, London and east anglia.


We’ve Moved!

This is just a quick update to announce that our Central office has moved from Belper to Cromford in Derbyshire.

Although we didn’t want to leave Belper (three of us live there, and two could walk to work), we outgrew the office and it wasn’t really fit for purpose for an ecology consultancy – lugging great crested newt traps up two flights of stairs for each survey was never fun!

The new office, which is part of the Arkwright’s Mill complex, means that we are set for our future growth; we have spare desk space, a decent break out area, a private meeting room, outside and inside storage and parking (which seems to be as rare as bat eggs at the moment).

Our new address is Prime Environment, Carriage House, Mill Road, Cromford, DE4 3RQ.

We  look forward to meeting you here.

Jo Pedder



We are recruiting – Seasonal Ecologists


Prime Environment are seeking experienced ecologists in the Midlands for a 5 /6 month contract starting in March.  You will principally be working away from the office on a single, large, infrastructure scheme (HS2), potentially also supporting us on other projects across the UK. You will have 2 or more years’ survey experience, ideally having worked on similar projects. You will hold a GCN licence and have experience with bat and badger surveys.

You will be a highly motivated individual, able to work at a very high standard in a hard-working but supportive company, where collaboration is encouraged and where having happy staff is seen as a sign of success.

There will be opportunities for you to continue your CPD through “on the job” training and paid external training courses where relevant; even on short term contracts we expect staff to leave us more employable than when they started – there may also be an opportunity for this to lead to a permanent position.

Salary dependent on experience.

To apply for the position, email your CV here.

Derby Museum – Notice Nature, Feel Joy

Prime Environment’s Directors paid a visit to Derby Museum late in 2016. We were impressed by the new natural history display – Notice Nature, Feel Joy and were delighted to have the opportunity to show our support with a small donation from the company.

Well curated galleries and collections like this are an excellent opportunity to engage the public, and especially children, in ecology and conservation.  To some, a collection of skeletons and stuffed animals is a morbid prospect; but I challenge anyone with this view to spend an hour here (or any other local natural history museum) with an open mind and not leave in awe of the beauty and variety of the natural world.

In recognition of our donation, we’ve had a lovely little decal (the puffin pictured) put up in the stairwell.  There are many other local names here too – individual visitors, other local Derby businesses like Rolls Royce and even Spring Watch’s Michaela Strachan.

We are looking for a charity to support close to our Cambridge office in the near future.



Merry Christmas

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to our wonderful clients, colleagues and friends for your support over the year.

It has been a great year for us at Prime; we’ve been privileged to get involved in some amazing ecology and arboriculture projects and work with fantastic people.

So on behalf of the team here, we wish you a very merry Christmas and we hope that 2017 is happy and prosperous.

We are recruiting – Senior Ecologist

Prime Environment, a family owned ecology consultancy with bases in Derby and Cambridge, are looking to recruit a Senior Ecologist to join the Midlands office.

Working in collaboration with the Directors, you will deliver field work, reporting and client management in the Midlands and North. You will be responsible for managing clients and their projects, keeping to budget and managing subcontractors. You will be encouraged to contribute ideas and innovation to improve the quality of our technical output and improve the efficiency of our work.

You will have at least four years’ experience in consultancy, will have good technical skills (surveying, concise technical writing, tendering, communication) and experience in EIA, planning applications, licencing and mitigation.

You will be a highly motivated individual, able to work at a very high standard, in a hard-working but supportive environment, where collaboration is encouraged and where having happy staff is seen as a sign of success.

To apply for the position, email your CV here.

We are recruiting – Principal Ecologist

Prime Environment, a family owned ecology consultancy with bases in Derby and Cambridge, are recruiting a Principal Ecologist to lead the delivery of our services in the South East.

Working with the directors and the existing senior ecologist, you will develop and grow our team in the region. You will be responsible for the technical output of the office. You will undertake surveys, manage projects and client relationships, support your staff and report KPIs to the directors. You will be expected to contribute creative ideas and innovation to improve the quality of our technical output, the efficiency of our work and the wellbeing of our staff.

You will have at least seven years’ experience in consultancy, good technical skills (surveying, concise technical writing, tendering, communication) and a wealth of experience in EIA, planning applications, licencing and mitigation.  You will also have experience of managing a team and developing and mentoring staff.  You will be a highly motivated individual, able to inspire colleagues in a hard-working and supportive environment where collaboration is encouraged and where having happy staff is seen as a sign of success.

To apply for the position, email your CV here.

Prime Environment – a Carbon Neutral Company!

Going Carbon Neutral

Since the earliest days of Prime Environment we have been talking about “going carbon neutral”. It felt like the right thing to do for the company and for the planet and in October we decided the time was right. But how to do it? An extensive internet search and several phone calls later I had established that the Carbon Neutral industry is a huge and complex minefield of dubious projects, pushy salespeople and vague investment pledges. I did, however, find several excellent carbon footprint calculators (carbonfootprintcarbon-target  and climatecare  are just three of the hundreds available). Calculating the business’ footprint was a useful exercise in itself, we have a large array of solar panels on the roof of our premises which does wonders for our electricity bills, but our diesel consumption, essential for undertaking wide-ranging ecology surveys  is extensive. Eventually I arrived at a figure of 9 tonnes of carbon for our annual footprint. That is almost certainly an overestimate but we decided to err on the side of caution.

By this time my tentative enquiries had resulted in my phone number ending up on the “warm leads” lists of several huge multinational carbon offset organisations. The phone was ringing hourly and the sales patter was full of puff and no substance. I wanted to know exactly where the money would go and exactly how carbon capture was being achieved by those projects. They wanted to tell me how the accolade “Carbon Neutral since 2013” could benefit my business. I admit that from a marketing point of view carbon neutrality is very attractive – all the cool young start-ups are doing it! But we felt strongly that this wasn’t all about the kudos, we really wanted to do the right thing. We decided to flip our perspective and start again. If we could find projects of ecological value, where carbon sequestration was a measurable guarantee and it was a benefit to biodoversity, maybe we could invest and become carbon neutral almost as a by-product of our investment. It felt like a daunting prospect until a contact on LinkedIn mentioned Saving Species.

It was a revelation! Here was a company funding transparent, scientifically based conservation projects, worldwide. They aim to conserve biodiversity by identifying the most at-risk areas in the world and then helping local organizations raise funds to connect, protect and restore habitats. They find and buy strategically chosen pieces of degraded land, and restore them into rich, biodiverse habitats, soaking up carbon from the atmosphere and help endangered species at the same time. They work with NGOs to ensure the local communities are involved and engaged and they do not siphon off donations for expenses. All donated funds go directly to projects, which are tracked by satellite photos, enabling us to see the actual impact of our contributions. Perfect!

One of my favourite Saving Species projects at the moment is their efforts to protect the recently discovered Olinguito. Read more here.

Baby Olinguito – a new mammal to science and now discovered on SavingSpecies reserves


Based on calculations of how much carbon is sequestered in the forests that they restore over time, we calculated that, to offset our 9 tonnes of carbon for the next year (2014) we would need to fund SavingSpecies to protect and restore 1.8 hectares of tropical forest.

The money was transferred and we are now officially Carbon Neutral!

We are really looking forward to seeing our money used to benefit biodiversity and local economies in impoverished parts of the world.