Archives for January 2012

Seasonal Ecologist

We are seeking a seasonal ecologist to assist with all areas of our work. The ideal candidate will be a graduate with some previous consultancy experience, and will be experienced in reptile surveys and translocation. Technical report writing, bird and bat survey experience will be an advantage. Of equal importance will be ability to work as part of a team in a flexible way. Candidates will be expected to have a good knowledge of UK guidance for protected species.

Full driving licence will be required, and having your own transport will be necessary due to the rural office location. Physical fitness will be an important consideration.

Salary will be £17-19K depending on skills and experience. Employment period will be for approximately four months, from March till the end of June. The post will be based in Norfolk.

To apply send full CV and covering letter to Robert Yaxley, Wild Frontier Ecology, Unit 2, Cold Blow Farm, Great Snoring, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0HF or by email to

Closing Date 17th February 2012.

Planning for Ecology Surveys

Christmas is well and truly gone, and many people are looking forward to a busy year ahead. If you are involved in submitting a planning application, or working on a new development proposal, our advice is to think ahead, and don’t get caught out by ecological surveys with a restricted season.

Below is our survey calendar, which will allow you to plan for commission of survey in a timely manner. WFE are usually positioned to provide a rapid response to client requests, but inevitably there are very busy periods when this is more of a challenge.

The narrowest survey season is for great crested newts, where at least 4 survey visits are normally spread between March and June. If your development has ponds nearby, these surveys may be required. As with many of the surveys, it can be problematic to remedy a missed survey window later in the season. In the event great crested newts are observed by surveys and considered to be affected by the proposal, it may take a further month or more to receive a development licence from Natural England.

Bat roost assessments for development can take place at any time of year. However, if signs of bats are found, further investigations in the form of evening emergence and/or dawn surveys will be required to support a development licence application. These surveys are seasonal, and would only be meaningful if undertaken in the time of year that bats are active, April to September.

Ecological appraisal and Phase 1 habitat survey, the look-see and scoping surveys for sites, can be undertaken at any time of year – however in areas rich in flora, a return visit may need to be made in the spring/ summer when some plant species are more visible. BREEAM and C4SH surveys are possible at any time of year although spring/ summer is preferable in terms of survey reliability.

Getting all surveys completed at the correct time of year greatly improves the prospect of a smooth and efficient passage towards planning permission, and will provide a sound basis for reaching solutions to any ecological issues. Our team are always ready to discuss particular proposals, so if in doubt, give us a call.


Newt survey season approaches

Newt survey season fast approaches! The mild winter may mean that some species start to wake up from hibernation earlier than usual. WFE’s herpetologists are keeping a close eye on nearby ponds to see when great crested newts will become active. The usual season for survey is mid March to mid June, but surveys may start earlier in favourable conditions. Developers are advised to start planning for these seasonal surveys in good time.

Norfolk Coast Partnership Presentation

Rob gave a presentation to the Norfolk Coast Partnership today, following on from last year’s Norfolk Coast AONB grazing audit. It is hoped that a joint approach can establish grazing, on some important biodiversity rich habitats in North Norfolk where sustainable management is badly needed.