Baker Consultants

The Importance of Appointing an Ecological Clerk of Works

Whilst we prefer to be involved early in the pre-planning phase of a project, Baker Consultants’ ecologists are often appointed as Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW), and provide Toolbox Talks and oversee work that involves construction work or heavy machinery in areas known to contain sensitive species.

Ecological survey work doesn’t always involve someone walking up and down a hedgerow surveying for birds and badgers – much of the work that an ecologist undertakes involves working with people in other trades, particularly those in the construction industry.

A toolbox talk is a useful way to promote good practice and protect wildlife in these situations, and they are usually undertaken prior to the start of most development work. The toolbox talk will be given by the ecologist to the site operatives who have been tasked with the development work, and it often needs to be repeated, as new crews arrive or rotate their work on site. The talk will detail the sensitive areas or species that may be harmed by the development work, their description, the potential wildlife laws that may be breached and the implications of not following the agreed mitigation measures. Some work can only be undertaken by the ECoW themselves, some can be done under their supervision and other activities can be done at any time, so long as the team have attended the toolbox talk. Anyone who attends one will sign a form to confirm that they understand and agree to follow the wildlife protection measures outlined, so that no wildlife is harmed during the development process and no-one on site is at risk of prosecution for breaching UK wildlife law.

If you need to book a protected species survey, or arrange an ECoW to visit your development site, then please get in touch with us via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on