Baker Consultants

In the field with Baker Consultants’ assistant ecologist Jed Weaver

The survey season has started in earnest, and our team is mostly out in the field, day and night carrying out surveys and monitoring activities.

Here, we hear from assistant ecologist Jed Weaver, about one of his favourite sites he’s worked on in the 12 months he’s been with us at Baker Consultants.

“Since starting at Baker Consultants, there is a particular project that has highlighted to me the intrigue, complexity and importance of good environmental consulting.

The site is extensive, with an area upwards of 200ha, comprising a plethora of habitat types, primarily arable land, but also including built infrastructure, semi-improved and acid grassland, woodland, hedgerows, ponds, ditches, and riparian habitat.

Based on these habitats, as well as established species records, a myriad of protected species surveys have been conducted on site. We have conducted the necessary Phase 1 Habitat survey and botanical surveys, with further Phase 2 surveys for bats, birds, badgers, otter, water vole, hazel dormouse, reptiles and amphibians. I have personally taken part in emergence and transect surveys for bats, including nocturnal surveys using thermal imaging technology., and badger surveys, which incorporates bait marking and walkover surveys. The above also includes the analysis of the data from the surveys. This entails bioacoustics analysis of bat calls recorded on surveys to determine species, and the production of maps to highlight badger setts, latrines, tracks, and territorial boundaries, which is informed by geotagged data taken in the field.

The results of these surveys have allowed us to communicate to our client the necessary mitigation measures required to avoid impacts on these species, and to adhere to the legislation under which they are protected.

The project clearly demonstrates how our small team can competently perform ecological appraisals for a large site, and continue to do so. Soon, we shall be carrying out further bat and badger surveys throughout March, once again making use of innovative methodologies such as bioacoustics, thermal imaging and night vision technology, helping to inform our client how best to mitigate potential adverse impacts to these species”.

If you are interested in joining our team, we’re always keen to hear from enthusiastic or experienced individuals seeking to forge a career in ecology, then please get in touch with Baker Consultants via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on