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Senior / Principal Ecologist

  1. Milton Keynes

Senior / Principal Ecologist

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 job. We offer an opportunity to make a difference and shape the world to benefit future generations and the natural environment.  We work on challenging and exciting projects across a range of market sectors including transportation, cities, water, energy and defence.

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 is a full time role but candidates only able to commit to a part working week in Milton Keynes will be considered). This role will be a permanent position, transitioning into the wider business at the end of the specified project.

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.

About you

  • A degree in ecology or closely related field;
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM);
  • Excellent working knowledge of UK and EU Wildlife Legislation, planning policies, licensing requirements and best practice survey techniques;
  • Experience of completing BNG calculations on a range of projects including the use of DEFRAs latest metric
  • Be capable at undertaking a range of surveys and a range of reporting;
  • Great crested newt and bat survey licence would be beneficial;
  • Experience in implementing or constructing licensable mitigation such as construction of artificial badger setts, otter holts, bat houses and GCN and reptile fencing
  • A current PTS competence or valid CSCS card;
  • Excellent communication skills; and
  • A full valid UK/EEC driving licence (ability to operate a 4×4 vehicle safely would be beneficial).

What we offer

we understand the need for a diverse and flexible workforce, where a work-life balance is important. So, by default Atkins offers flexible working, where there is no fixed 9 ‘till 5, no need for a 5-day week, no requirement for a full-time contract, and no requirement to spend all your working time in the office.  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. We support staff in achieving and maintaining membership of relevant institutions. 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 the IEMA, CIWEM or others.  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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