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Senior / Principal Ecologist -BNG Specialist

  1. Milton Keynes

Senior / Principal Ecologist -BNG Specialist

At Atkins, our team of ecologists work throughout the UK to deliver a diverse range of challenging and exciting projects that benefit our clients, biodiversity and society.

East West Rail Phase 2 is the first major infrastructure project to commit to delivering 10% Biodiversity Net Gain and to meet our project requirements we are looking for a Senior / Principal Ecologist with a specialism in Biodiversity Net Gain to join our core team in Milton Keynes, UK to work within the East West Rail Alliance. This role will be a permanent position, transitioning into the wider business at the end of the specified project. If this role sounds exciting to you but the location doesn’t suit, please get in touch and we will discuss option with you.

To see behind the scenes check out our Atkins Ecology video We are the Ecology Team on Vimeo.

The Alliance is a Pure Alliance consisting of three Non-Owner Participants (NOPs); Atkins Global, Laing O’Rourke, Volker Rail Ltd and the Owner Participant (OP) Network Rail. East West Rail (EWR) Phase 2 is a programme in excess of one billion pounds which will provide a strategic route linking key centres of economic activity between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Bedford. The ecological elements of this are exciting and involve innovative solutions to complex issues..

What you will be doing

  • Be responsible for updating and executing our Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Strategy and accounting including:
  • Working with Natural England (NE) to update future metrics
  • Liaison with GIS and construction teams to update baseline accounting to reflect the as built scheme
  • Coordination with the landscape team to incorporate changes to final designs
  • BNG stakeholder engagement and lead workshops during strategy conception (internally: Network Rail/EWRA, externally: Wildlife Trusts, OXCAM NEP, NE etc.)
  • Working with the communications team to increase local awareness of BNG
  • Liaison with Network Rail to secure future management and monitoring requirements
  • Ecological Compensation Site ongoing management and monitoring from ecology perspective (including review of management plans, annual monitoring of habitats, landowner engagement)
  • Oversee and help coordinate Habitat and plant translocations
  • Manage offset from conception to implementation (including offset selection, surveys, designs, management plans, consents/planning permissions, construction and monitoring)
  • Work closely with Ecology Manager and Environmental Functional Lead
  • Responsible person for BNG budget reporting to Ecology Manager.

The key benefits

Part-time and/or flexible hours contracts

Paid overtime and/or TOIL system

Competitive salaries and a huge range of other benefits

25 days annual leave, plus paid bank holidays, plus the ability to buy up to 15 extra days!

Paid professional memberships and individual training budgets

Paid for individual I-phone and use of team I-pad’s for work purposes

Tailored training and mentoring schemes to advance your career.

About you

Ideally, you would have the following qualifications / memberships:

Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), chartership, or being on the route to chartership (Atkins to cover membership costs);

A degree in ecology or closely related field;

A current PTS competence and valid CSCS card;

A full valid UK/EEC driving licence (ability to operate a 4×4 vehicle safely would be beneficial).

What we offer

  • Part-time and/or flexible hours contracts.
  • Paid overtime and/or TOIL system.
  • Competitive salaries and a huge range of other benefits.
  • 25 days annual leave, plus paid bank holidays, plus the ability to buy up to 15 extra days!
  • Paid professional memberships and individual training budgets.
  • Paid for individual I-phone and use of team I-pad’s for work purposes.
  • Tailored training and mentoring schemes to advance your career.
  • And so much more…

Our team are proud to promote nature-based solutions across a range of market sectors; collaborating with clients to positively contribute to the carbon net zero agenda and biodiversity and climate emergencies. We are particularly passionate about the implementation of biodiversity net gain on our projects and have placed ourselves at the forefront of this approach. We positively encourage pushing boundaries, promoting innovation, knowledge sharing and ensure staff have time allocated to get involved in our technical network and innovations.

Atkins are committed to promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We have a commitment to identify and recruit from the most diverse talent pool and develop new and improved ways to sponsor talent from underrepresented groups. We have a range of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion network groups encouraging an inclusive workplace where all employees can flourish, including Embrace (supporting minority ethnicities), Enable (supporting visible and invisible disabilities) Equilibrium (for LGBT+ colleagues), Menopause at Work, Neurodiversity (for variations in learning, attention and other mental functions), ParentNet and Empower (providing professional support by and for women).

Here at Atkins, well-being is at the forefront of everything we do. We recognise that there is more to life than work and that making time for the other things is crucial for health and happiness. Therefore, if working from home, working part-time or having flexible start and finish times will help with this, we are more than happy to discuss individual requirements (and to keep these requirements flexible going forward). We utilise a paid overtime and TOIL system, which also helps individuals to make time for the things that are important to them and prevents staff burn out during the busy season.” Our IT systems support home-working, so where you have parental or carer duties; or you simply need to be elsewhere for a parcel, servicing your car, or waiting in for a tradesperson; Atkins will work for you.  Similarly, Atkins’ corporate social responsibility provides the opportunity to give something back to the community, and we run professional networks supporting groups such as local schools, charities, parents, those coming out of the armed-forces and women in engineering.


Atkins develops individuals through a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help you make the best of your abilities and talents. These are reviewed with individuals through an annual development process which is regularly reviewed. You will also be part of our global Technical Networks, which provide a flow of technically orientated information and ideas through the company. Atkins will support you in your professional development, whether with CIEEM, IEMA, CIWEM or others, we support staff in achieving and maintaining membership of relevant institutions, this includes paying your annual membership and providing access to training.

Rewards and Benefits

We offer a competitive salary that is regularly tested against other consultants with a default 25-days leave each year plus bank holidays and options to buy some or sell of that leave.

To support and safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing we provide an employee assistance programme offering advice and support in times of need.  Our offices run their own sports and social club providing activities such wine tasting, as surf trips, and a kids’ Christmas party.  You will also have access to our Flexible Benefits, where you can opt in to a wide range of benefits to complement your work/life balance: such as medical insurance, gym membership, the cycle-to-work scheme, child care vouchers, charitable giving, additional pension contributions etc.

Please refer to our website for details of our full benefits package.

“This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary, it will be discussed with you at interview. If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation) or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

Atkins recognise that there are many well qualified people who are looking to further their career, but who cannot commit to full time employment. We support flexible working arrangements and are interested to discuss how we can accommodate individual requirements. ATKINS, part of the SNC Lavalin Group, is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, we value applications from all backgrounds, cultures and ability.”


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Job Type

Full Time






United Kingdom

Career Area

Natural sciences


SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, with over 50,000 employees worldwide. At Atkins, we offer more than just a



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