Ian Craft, Principal Ecologist

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I have over seventeen year’s experience of working in an ecological field and am a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. Having qualified from Newcastle University in 2001 and completed a Masters degree in Environmental Resource Assessment I have undertaken roles with the Rural Development Service and Natural England which has provided me with extensive knowledge of the UK legislative process in regard to the environment and of the various regulatory and enforcement agencies.

I have experience of undertaking Ecological Impact Assessments as well as project managing a range of large scale developments including windfarms, housing estates, quarries and landfill sites. I also carry out a range of surveys including extended phase 1 habitat surveys, national vegetation classification surveys, reptiles, birds, great crested newts and bats. I currently hold a bat survey licence, barn owl licence, great crested newt survey licence and am a registered consultant on the Bat Low Impact Class Licence scheme.

Karen Devenney, Senior Ecologist

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I have over sixteen years experience of working in an ecological field, having worked for Total Ecology for over 8 years. I am a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. I have a degree in Zoology and Masters in Wildlife Conservation and Management. I have extensive experience in surveying for riparian mammals, particularly water vole and otter, through my MSc dissertation and through my role at Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT) where I carried out otter and several water vole projects.

I undertake a range of survey work including extended Phase 1 habitat surveys, Local Wildlife Site surveys and condition assessments as well as bat, reptile and amphibian surveys. I have successfully applied for Natural England EPSM licences for bats. I currently hold bat and great crested newt licences.

Sacha Elliott, Ecologist

I’ve worked within the environmental sector since 2009, gaining traineeships and employment with several leading conservation organisations, including the RSPB, Durham Wildlife Trust, and Spurn Bird Observatory Trust. In 2014, I began my career in ecological consultancy and joined the Total Ecology team in 2015 after completing a BSc (hons) degree in Environmental Science at Newcastle University.

Since then, I’ve worked on varied projects, ranging from large-scale developments to small-scale residential schemes, providing appropriate guidance and mitigation strategies as required for protected species and habitats. I’m experienced in designing and implementing surveys, in addition to, evaluating results and writing the associated reports and mitigation plans for licensable works

I’m currently a Graduate Member of CIEEM, hold a Level 1 Bat Licence, and I’m working towards several other protected species licences. In addition, I’m an active member of the Durham Bird Club Projects & Surveys sub-committee, Northumbria Ringing Group, and Tanfield Lea Countryside Group where I undertake surveying and environmental conservation activities in my spare time.

Victoria Telford, Ecologist

Victoria has worked within the planning/ ecological industry for over six years, first being employed as a seasonal bat surveyor in 2010 following graduation of her bachelor’s course. Consequently, Victoria completed her Master’s course from Newcastle University in Wildlife Conservation and Management and became full time administration support for a team of Ecologists, undertaking tasks such as drafting reports and collating background data searches, whilst helping out with occasional bat work during the busy season

In 2014, she was promoted to Graduate Ecologist and then to Assistant Ecologist in 2016. Victoria has now been a full-time Ecologist for over three years and has progressed rapidly, able to undertake extended phase one habitat surveys and numerous protected species surveys including Bats, Badgers, Reptiles and Great Crested Newts. She holds a Great Crested Newt survey license and a Bat survey license (level 1). Other related tasks include assisting licensed bat exclusions, reptile translocations, Habitat Regulations Assessments and several ecological clerk of works supervisory roles. She is currently registered as an associate member of CIEEM (ACIEEM), a professional membership for environmental consultants.

In her spare time she has contributed to several local conservation groups and attends numerous CPD courses every year to enhance her knowledge.

Laura Thompson, Assistant Ecologist

I have 6 years’ experience in field surveying, specialising in bat surveys, which I have been carrying out since 2011. I graduated with an honours degree in Biology in 2012 from Newcastle University, since which I have volunteered, completed bat surveys as a subcontractor and continued to attend courses to improve my ecological knowledge.

Currently I complete a range of ecological surveys including Phase 1 habitat surveys, a variety of bat surveys, great crested newt surveys, and surveys for water voles and otters as well as being the ECoW on a number of sites for bats, birds and great crested newts. I am currently an accredited agent on a bat licence and I am in the process of applying for my own bat and great crested newt licences.