About Us

About Us

Who We Are

 

Established in 2006, Apex Ecology is an Ecology Consultancy in England & Wales. Since then, we have continued to build on our success. We provide sound, high-quality ecological advice and strong customer service, underpinned by technical excellence.

Our team of professional ecologists covers a range of specialisms. With staff experienced in dealing with complex ecological issues, and the ways in which they relate to development, local planning, and land-use issues.

Based in Staffordshire, we work in the local area and nationally. Our work takes us across England and Wales, covering small-scale housing developments and barn conversions. To large commercial and residential developments, infrastructure, renewable energy, utilities, and conservation management.

Each of our employees is a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). They are bound by their code of professional conduct and due to this undertake annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

 

Our Experience and Approach

 

At Apex Ecology, our team provides clear and reasoned advice. This helps us to develop pragmatic solutions, based on commercial awareness, sensitivities to our client’s requirements, and a deep understanding of ecology. We always aim to help our clients achieve their desired outcomes. But, at the same time, achieving the best outcome for ecology.

Our team brings together a wealth of experience in technical disciplines including:

  • Bats
  • Great crested newts
  • Reptiles
  • Badgers
  • Birds
  • Botany
  • Invasive plants
  • Preliminary ecological appraisal
  • Ecological impact assessments
  • Protected species mitigation licensing
  • UKHabs survey
  • Biodiversity net gain
  • Biodiversity off-setting
  • BREEAM ecological assessments
  • Habitat management
  • Conservation management

We provide our ecology services to both the public and private sectors.

Working with developers; planning consultants; construction companies (our staff hold CSCS cards); architects and landscape architects. As well as, local authorities, government agencies, and environmental consultancies. We focus on building strong professional relationships and have developed a diverse and extensive project portfolio with many long-term clients.

Meet The Team

Helen Ball

Helen has over 22 years of experience in professional ecological consultancy, along with extensive voluntary experience. She is recognised for her expertise with bats and with strong botanical skills and wide-ranging knowledge of surveying for various protected species.

A Registered Consultant under Natural England’s bat mitigation class licence, Helen has held and acted as the named ecologist on many individual mitigation licenses for bats. She has held Natural England and Natural Resources Wales (formerly CCW) bat survey licenses for many years and was a Natural England conservation licensed (roost visitor) trainer for both professional and conservation fields for many years.

Helen is an experienced practitioner of advanced bat survey and trapping techniques, holding classes 3 and 4 licenses issued by Natural England for mist-netting and harp trapping and the use of sonic lures. She is also an Appointed Person under two ongoing conservation bat project licenses North Staffordshire Woodland Project (specializing in small Myotis species) and the Peak District Autumn Swarming Project (focusing on monitoring bat populations within cave and mine systems in the limestone district of the Peak National Park).

Helen also set up and co-ordinates a Curlew project, monitoring nesting curlew in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands.

Licensed to survey for barn owl, common dormouse, and great crested newt. Helen’s expertise extends to various other species, including badgers, holding many licenses relating to works affecting badger setts (including closures and live digs), as well as designing and overseeing the construction of artificial setts and implementing bait marking studies.

Helen co-founded Apex Ecology in 2006. She has extensive experience in project and business management, overseeing the day-to-day running of the company, including company finances, health and safety, and staff management. She has been involved with development projects and conservation schemes across the UK and holds expertise in protected species licensing, mitigation, and compensation; the design and implementation of habitat creation and translocation schemes; Ecological Impact Assessment; and the preparation of ecology reports, including Environmental Statements and management plans.

Max Robinson

Max has over 20 years of experience as a consultant ecologist in the private sector, with many years of voluntary experience with involvement in local wildlife groups in his spare time. His experience covers working with a wide range of clients with projects including wind farm development, large industrial developments for local authorities, and varying size projects for housing developers including projects in excess of 500 properties. Along with smaller private developments such as barn conversions and house extensions.

He has been involved in Ecological Impact Assessments for many years, including for wind farms, large leisure complexes, road improvement schemes, and large industrial estates developed on both greenfield and brownfield sites. Max’s academic background is in applied ecology, and he has extensive experience of working in ecology in civil engineering companies as well as purely ecologically based consultancies.

In 2006 Max co-established Apex Ecology in North Staffordshire. He has extensive experience in project and business management, overseeing the day-to-day running of the company, including company financial, technical, IT, and staff management.

Licensed to survey for and apply for development licenses for bats (including as a Registered Consultant) and to survey for great crested newts and white-clawed crayfish. Max’s expertise also extends to various other species, including badgers, holding many licenses relating to works affecting badger setts (including closures and live digs), as well as designing and overseeing the construction of artificial setts and implementing bait marking studies.

Neil Watkin

Prior to his permanent employment at Apex Ecology, Neil assisted us on surveys for several years while studying for a BSc Hons Degree in Countryside and Environmental Management. His avid interest in botany has been apparent since childhood and continues to enjoy botanical forays in his spare time.

Neil is also an active member of two local bat groups and continues to expand his knowledge in varied fields of ecology through CPD and volunteering. He has survey experience for amphibians, reptiles, badgers, water voles, otters, and bats. Neil also provides on-site direction and advice acting as an Ecological Clerk of Works, helping clients and contractors fulfill their legal obligations toward the protection of various protected species. Holding Natural England Class Licenses for great crested newts and bats.

He undertakes a variety of other ecological surveys including Phase 1, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, and UKHabs assessments. Plus, is also CSCS certified and qualified for PA1 & PA6AW safe handling and application of pesticides and undertakes treatment of Invasive Non-Native Species such as Japanese knotweed.

Rosemary Godwin

Rosemary has 11 years of professional ecological experience. Plus many years of technical ecological experience were gained voluntarily with local mammal and bat groups. She has qualifications in Countryside Conservation and Recreation Management and the renowned Certificate in Biological Recording and Species identification from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Rosemary is a highly skilled surveyor specialising in protected species and has a broad range of field skills which she continually expands upon and improves through formal and informal study. Her specialisms include bats, badgers, small mammals, and reptiles.

She has held a Natural England licence to survey bats for over 10 years and is highly experienced in the care and rehabilitation of sick and injured bats having done this since 2007. Leading a number of bat surveys including emergence and re-entry surveys of buildings and other structures, activity transect surveys, and building inspections and is proficient in the interpretation of survey findings and assessment of impacts.