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 is currently working on onshore and offshore volumes on Wildlife and Wind Farms following >10 intensive years work in the renewables industry.
  • 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.





Mark Tomlinson
Senior Consultant

  • Mark is a highly experienced consultant with particular specialisms in fisheries ecology and database management, although he has recently extended his skill set into project management in relation to the preparation of chapters in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for large-scale national infrastructure projects.
  • Over the past 17 years at ECON Mark has led 25 field-based projects, most notably fisheries surveys using nets, traps and electric fishing in lakes, rivers and streams. His personal tally of individual surveys now extends to >430 individual surveys in freshwaters, although he also occasionally provides support to boat-based marine work.
  • Mark has excellent data management skills and manages all of the major office databases that are gathered and maintained in confidence for several large development companies. It is testament to his organisation of these databases that we are often asked by former and current clients for help in tracing important data that we have held on file. He is also skilled in analysis and graphical data representation.





Eleanor Skeate
Senior Ecologist

  • 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.







Dr Andrew Harwood
Marine & Freshwater Ecologist

  • Andrew is involved with many aspects of the work carried out by ECON from undertaking surveys, processing and analysing data, writing reports and papers, and contributing to EIA and HRA.
  • Andrew holds a degree in marine biology and earned his PhD in fisheries science, investigating the relationships between otolith (ear bone) formation, growth and environmental variations in North Sea cod. Having spent a large amount of time working at sea, he is familiar with shellfish surveys, benthic trawls, day grabs, ground discrimination equipment, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and various water quality monitoring techniques. In relation to the latter he organised and undertook an important study to link primary productivity of surface waters with the distribution of seabirds.
  • His use as a technical specialist on many projects stems from his excellent analytical skills and experience in the use of ArcGIS, Geospatial Modelling Environment (GME) software, the R statistical environment Distance software (v 9) and now Complex Region Spatial Smoother (CReSS) to model the distribution of seabirds and cetaceans after recent training at CREEM.
  • 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.






Dr Lorraine Chivers
Research Ornithologist

  • We were very pleased to welcome Lorraine to the ECON team at the beginning of 2015. She is an ornithologist with over 15 years experience, particularly of seabirds, initially undertaking PhD studies on the foraging ecology and reproductive success of Kittiwake, Guillemot and Razorbill.
  • Lorraine has a proven track record for delivering quality research in challenging circumstances, having also worked in Alaska tracking Kittiwake and in the Falklands tracking Southern Rockhopper and Gentoo penguins. Resilience in physically demanding conditions will be an important quality as she takes her place on our seabird surveys and visual tracking of terns from a high-speed boat.
  • As a result of previous experiences in consultancy, Lorraine has also undertaken surveys of other bird groups including waders and owls in a number of habitats. One particularly important piece of work was a large-scale literature review of key habitat attributes for birds and bird assemblages. Lorraine will be taking this experience forward into all aspects of ornithological work for ECON.
  • Lorraine has a detailed understanding of the issues and challenges arising from integrating research and scientific approaches with conservation issues and constraints. Her excellent writing abilities are reflected by regular publications in peer-reviewed journals, something else she will develop further with us.






Richard Berridge
Marine Ornithologist

  • 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 (Northumerland) 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, including at sea coupled with excellent identification skills means that Richard invariably becomes ECON's principal seabird surveyor. This has extended into marine mammals and he holds the JNCC MMO qualification. Over the past 4 years during his time at ECON he has carried out >75 seabird surveys (>300 days at sea) in many locations around the UK. This does not include the 250 or so days spent tracking terns from a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
  • Richard is proficient in the use of marine coordinates, GPS and ArcGIS, and these skills combined with the ability to liaise effectively with client marine co-ordinators has meant that he now runs the fieldwork component of one of our major projects.
  • Richard's work within ECON involves leading offshore seabird survey teams, vessel liaison, and managing survey logistics. When he is not in the field Richard works inputting the data, constructing and managing databases and ArcGIS files, and compiling reports.






Andrew Green
Ornithologist

  • Andrew's lifelong passion for birds is reflected both in his career and in his personal life as he is currently the bird recorder for the Suffolk Naturalists' Society producing the annual Suffolk Bird Report. In his own time, he also frequently undertakes research trips to other countries including Morocco and Portugal, particularly to search for individually ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls originating from his native Suffolk. More recent trips with colleagues have included surveys and ringing of the Atlas Flycatcher, a recent split from Pied Flycatcher as a new species.
  • Originally trained as a mathematician, Andrew naturally became the 'go-to' person within the ECON team in relation to collision risk modelling, Potential Biological Removal (PBR) and other technical analyses. He is fully conversant with the range of models available to determine collision risk including all variants and versions of models produced by Bill Band for use both onshore and offshore. His presented his comparison between the Folkerts model (for which he is one of the few practitioners in the UK) and the Band model, at the British Ornithologists Union conference in 2012.
  • Andrew's excellent bird identification skills coupled with in-depth knowledge and application of a range of standard terrestrial and coastal bird census and survey techniques (e.g. Common Bird Census, Breeding Bird Survey, WeBS, vantage point surveys) as well as more specific surveys (e.g. shore-based surveys for Little terns for the JNCC), means that he typically leads our non-marine bird survey work.


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