About Us

ECON is an independent well-respected ecological consultancy based near Norwich, Norfolk. Founded in 1990 by its Director, Dr Martin Perrow, ECON became a limited company in 2008. The business is housed in our eco-friendly ground-source heated office set in estate parkland in Little Plumstead


Our aim is to bridge the gap between academia and consultancy by providing expert ecological services and solutions that combine clear strategic thinking with practical skills, experience and understanding. Our passion is to provide a scientifically rigorous and holistic approach to ecological work driven by the needs of sustainable development and conservation. We have remained true to our academic roots, and our work is published regularly in peer-reviewed journals. Dr Martin Perrow has held positions as an Honorary Research Fellow at both the University of East Anglia and University College London.

Our team is highly experienced, with all staff educated to degree level and 40% educated to PhD level. With 25 years experience in ecological consultancy, we are a 'one-stop-shop' for ecological projects of all descriptions in all locations. We undertake all types of work including survey and monitoring design, data gathering, analysis and interpretation, technical and non-technical reporting and client representation to both development and conservation led projects of all sizes. All work is carried out according to CIEEM's (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) standards.

Most recently we have attracted attention for our seabird expertise, and as a consequence we have carried out a large volume of survey and research work fuelled by the demands of the offshore wind industry. Other areas of expertise include coastal and terrestrial ornithology, fisheries, and ecological rehabilitation and restoration, especially of shallow lakes.

We take pride in producing outputs of the highest quality whatever the work, from analysis to mappings, reports, EIAs, HRAs and other official documents. We have also generated a reputation for high quality project management services, resulting from our long-term experiences of trouble-shooting projects and designing bespoke solutions for our clients.

 







 

The Team

Our team structure is shown below. In addition to the core staff, ECON also employs a number of other specialists on a freelance basis as and when required. All of ECON's freelancers work regularly with us, and many have done so for a considerable period of time. We also has have established links with a variety of other individual experts and consultancies, who have complementary skills and we may bring into projects we are managing. Further details are provided on the survey & monitoring page.






Dr Martin Perrow
Director

  • As Founder and Director of ECON Martin's work involves a wide spectrum of activities from the preparation of tenders, to dealing with finances, team and project management and client liaison as well as providing specific professional input to projects. He is also often the public face of ECON by attending meetings and giving talks at conferences.
  • Martin has managed >400 monitoring, assessment, research and review projects for a variety of organisations including developers, Government bodies, and executive agencies, NGOs, utilities and other consultancies.
  • Martin is an internationally acclaimed academic ecologist with >50 published peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. He was the lead editor of the two-volume Handbook of Ecological Restoration (2002) and following >14 years work in the renewables industry, has recently completed a highly acclaimed four-volume series entitled Wildlife and Windfarms, Conflicts and Solutions. These volumes consolidate current knowledge and research into the impacts of onshore and offshore wind farms on wildlife.
  • Martin is currently collaborating with the internationally renowned seabird expert Peter Harrison to produce new and updated set of definitive handbooks on seabirds of the world.
  • As a highly skilled and experienced field worker, Martin often undertakes survey work when new techniques are required or other technical challenges arise. He has a particular interest in seabirds and has led a number of pioneering studies including the visual tracking of terns at sea and the first radio tagging study on Little terns.





Dr Andrew Harwood
Senior Marine & Freshwater Ecologist

  • Andrew is a highly experienced consultant and fisheries expert. He holds a degree in marine biology and earned his PhD in fisheries science, investigating the relationship between otolith (ear bone) formation, growth and environmental variations in North Sea cod.
  • Since his arrival at ECON in 2010, Andrew has been involved with all aspects of the work carried out by ECON. This has included undertaking numerous surveys, data processing and analysis, writing reports and papers, contributing to EIA and HRA, combined with project management. Andrew is responsible for all of ECON's fisheries projects, both freshwater and marine, having considerable experience in both environments.
  • Andrew has been involved with numerous freshwater fisheries assignments, and is highly competent in planning research and monitoring projects in lakes, rivers and streams. He is currently leading ECON's contribution to the Glaven Eel Project, collaborating with the University College London (UCL) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to increase scientific knowledge about eels at the whole catchment level.
  • He is familiar with a wide variety of survey methods and equipment. For example, he has experience with electric fishing, seine nets, fyke nets, bird surveys, marine mammal surveys, shellfish surveys, benthic trawls, surface trawls, grabs, ground discrimination surveys, water quality monitoring sondes and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Andrew also recently led a project to investigate how good surveyors are at assessing seabird flight heights in the offshore environment. This project made use optical laser rangefinders and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to assess the accuracy of flight height measurements.
  • Andrew is also a skilled and valued technical specialist on many projects. He has excellent analytical skills and is experienced in the use of ArcGIS, Geospatial Modelling Environment (GME) software, R statistical analysis software, Distance software, Collision Risk Modelling methods and has experience using the MRSea package to model the distribution of seabirds and cetaceans. Since his arrival at ECON, Andrew has become heavily involved in the production of academic papers and articles and has co-authored four peer-reviewed publications and a number of book chapters.
  • With a flair for developing an understanding of how things work at a technical level and capacity to adapt to specific circumstances, Andrew has the ability to identify and develop bespoke solutions to a variety of problems.






Richard Berridge
Senior Ecologist

  • Richard is a highly accomplished ornithologist with a specialism in seabirds. He is involved with all elements of ornithological work conducted by ECON including designing and leading surveys, managing projects, processing and analysing data, and contributing to reports, EIAs, and research papers.
  • Richard's lifelong interest in the marine environment, first led him to study for a degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography. Following this he went on to work for the National Trust as a Warden on Exmoor (Devon), the Farne Islands (Northumberland) and Blakeney Point (Norfolk). During this period Richard was involved in reserve management, wildlife monitoring and survey work, predominantly focused on breeding seabirds and seals.
  • His aptitude for working outdoors in challenging and remote environments coupled with excellent identification skills makes Richard a particularly valuable member of our team. Over the past 8 years at ECON, Richard has spent >400 days at sea conducting seabird surveys at many locations around the UK. He is also an experienced Marine Mammal Observer and holds the JNCC qualification.
  • Richard has spent considerable time and effort on visual tracking work, following terns in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat. This challenging but extremely valuable work is providing exciting new data on the offshore behaviour of a number of tern species. Tern tracking data gathered by Richard and ECON has had multiple uses from EIA for offshore wind farms, to modelling and identifying important offshore foraging areas (the technique has since been adopted by the JNCC for the latter purpose). Richard has most recently worked on Arctic terns at Skerries and Roseate terns at Rockabill as part of the RSPB Roseate Tern LIFE project.
  • Richard has also become increasingly involved in ECON's fisheries ecology work and now has extensive experience of surveying lakes and rivers using electric fishing and a variety of netting methods and has also carried out seine netting surveys in coastal and estuarine zones.
  • Richard has recently designed and undertaken novel studies focused on the monitoring of terrestrial bird disturbance and has worked extensively on intertidal areas, most notably undertaking low tide WeBS counts in particularly difficult locations.






Eleanor Skeate
Office Manager

  • Over the past 10 years working at ECON Eleanor's role has incorporated project management, general management of the team, reporting, EIA of large-scale infrastructure projects and fieldwork.
  • Eleanor has undertaken a wide range of both terrestrial and marine survey work but with particular specialisms in marine mammals (especially seals), marine invertebrates and seabirds. She is a certified Marine Mammal Observer and a natural at sea even in difficult conditions and was instrumental in the development of visual tracking of seabirds (terns) from rigid-hulled inflatable boat. This published technique went on to be used by the JNCC in their determination of important foraging areas for breeding terns.
  • Eleanor is also proficient in the use of marine coordinates and GPS navigation systems, and frequently liaises with vessels to ensure that all work runs smoothly and is carried out to the highest standards.
  • Technical abilities include a high level of proficiency in ArcGIS and a range of analytical software including Ranges (tracking) and Adobe Illustrator as well as the suite of Microsoft standards.
  • Her excellent written skills honed during her 1st class degree from the Open University have been used to good effect and she has authored and co-authored a large number of reports and papers.
  • Eleanor currently responsible for a range of administrative tasks which ensure the smooth operation of the office.




Credentials

We have successfully completed around 600 projects with individual costs from £100's to £1.2 million, for statutory government bodies, non-government bodies, developers, utilities, other consultancies, universities, private companies and individuals. Our business is underpinned by an infrastructure of policies designed to protect our clients, staff, the public and the environment. The following provides a flavour of important elements that in-combination allow a rapid assessment of our organisational credentials.


Health & Safety

The health and safety of our staff is of prime importance to us. Consequently, all activities we undertake comply with all relevant H&S legislation and our H&S policy, that is available on request.

We have a named person responsible for H&S within the team and also retain an independent Health and Safety specialist (The RedCat Partnership) to ensure the highest standards are met. RedCat are on the Occupational Health and Safety Consultants' Register (OHSCR) with more than 20 years of experience in Health and Safety. RedCat are corporate members of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

All staff have undertaken appropriate health and safety training. Formal risk assessment is undertaken on all projects with this extending to a full HSE plan in relation to offshore activities. Specific management of offshore activities is undertaken with full compliance to MCA guidance and all staff have valid appropriate medical certification and have received sea survival training.

Insurance

We carry a full range of insurance policies to protect staff, the public, clients and equipment to the level specified:

  • Public and products liability - £10,000,000
  • Employer's liability - £10,000,000
  • Professional indemnity - £5,000,000

  • Copies of certification are available to our potential and confirmed clients.

    Quality Management

    We have measures in place to ensure the quality of the services we provide is consistent and always of the highest standard. With each and every project we assess the best way to ensure and maintain quality suited to each client and the project requirements. We maintain a quality management policy and a range of quality control procedures on the various services offered.

    Sustainability

    We are committed to promoting sustainability. Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to our professional activities and the management of the organisation. We aim to follow and to promote good sustainability practice and to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities. We maintain an environment policy that focuses on product sourcing, reduction of consumption and minimisation of waste, active promotion of recycling and reduction of our carbon footprint.

     
    ECON Ecological Consultancy Limited © 2014 | Registered in England & Wales Company No. 6457758 | Updated 01/04/2014 | Privacy policy