Principal Ecologist

Country/Region:  GB
Field:  Engineering

York, Manchester, Birmingham, GB

Type of Contract:  Permanent
Level of experience:  Any
Job number: 

Around the world, SYSTRA’s specialists plan, design, integrate, test, commission, project manage and deliver mass transit and mobility solutions that are relied on by more than 50 million people every day.

For more than 60 years, the Group has been committed to helping cities and regions contribute to their development by creating, improving and modernising their transport infrastructure with sustainability, accessibility and innovation at the heart of our designs. With over 10,300 colleagues globally and around 1000 in the UK & Ireland we are growing significantly and seeking out the very best talent to join the SYSTRA signature team and be part of leading the way in infrastructure design.


SYSTRA are looking to expand our Signature Team in the UK, working on high profile infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and HS2, we are building on our 50 years of success in the UK by growing our team and looking for passionate people to deliver projects across our portfolio.


We are now seeking to strengthen and grow our Environmental Services and Ecology team across our network of offices, initially working as part of our Main Works Civils High Speed 2 project team, by recruiting an experienced Ecologist.


The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a range of experience within the Civil Engineering/Transportation/Infrastructure sectors.


This is a fantastic opportunity for an enthusiastic Ecologist to further their career in a highly motivated and inspirational environment.


Main Duties of the role:


  • Effective liaison and coordination with multidisciplinary design teams, as well as client facing liaison with statutory and non-statutory bodies
  • Programming and coordination of data sets and site surveys and organising specialist ecological surveys as and when required. Ensuring tasks are correctly priced and seeing through delivery on time and to budget.
  • Maintaining and constantly improving the ecological surveying and reporting procedure to increase effective information transfer throughout the schemes delivery process.
  • Advise internal and external clients / colleagues on ecological matters
  • Leading site walkovers / surveys
  • Report writing and review of less senior ecologists site reports and associated documentation.
  • Facilitation and project management of ecological mitigation design
  • Undertake ecological assessment work as part of EIA’s
  • Implement ecology related strategic documents such as management plans and minimum requirements
  • Liaise with designers, contractors and the client regarding ecological elements of schemes.
  • Apply for licences and consents and understand undertakings and assurances associated with planning commitments.
  • Deliver ecological training/workshops and element specific toolbox talks.
  • Advise sub-contractors and in-house teams working on ecologically sensitive works.
  • Actively promote Health and Safety in the workplace, setting a good example to other employees and ensuring awareness of and compliance with all legal requirements via the processes set out in the Health and Safety Procedures. Ensuring Team compliance on H&S for site visits
  • For all works - ensure compliance at all times with European and UK Environmental and Wildlife Laws.
  • Support the Environment Discipline Lead for the UK and Engineering Leads  on all project works including - commercial aspects - accurate Fee Estimate production, forecasting, early warning notification etc including meetings with internal and external client Project Managers and specialists where fee estimate and programme justification is required.
  • Recommendations for environmental innovation and improvements for engineering schemes including the promotion of sustainable design solutions.


Required Skills and Experience:


  • Degree in a relevant environmental subject
  • Membership of a relevant professional body
  • Chartered status or working towards
  • Holding relevant licences i.e. GCN and/or bat licence is essential.
  • ECI Contract experience on infrastructure projects would be an advantage.
  • Standardised habitat survey methodologies (Phase 1, NVC etc.)
  • UK protected and invasive species
  • Key Environmental/Ecological legislation
  • Faunal survey methodologies
  • Biodiversity Action Planning
  • Habitat creation techniques
  • Ecological Management Plans
  • Habitat management theory and practice
  • UK species identification and taxonomy
  • Conservation management and planning
  • Environmental condition assessment
  • Arboricultural Expertise
  • Experience in Biodiversity off setting / No Net Loss


In return, we offer a very competitive salary with a comprehensive and attractive benefits package with opportunities for flexible working and career development.


Please note, we do have a preferred supplier list for the provision of recruitment services and we will not accept unsolicited CVs from suppliers not currently on our PSL.



Our three core values: Excellence, Connected Teams and Bold Leadership are kept at the heart of everything we do. We strive for the highest levels of technical excellence, achieving the best results through teamwork, both locally and internationally, and reward innovative thinking through encouraging all colleagues to think as leaders. We offer clear and well supported pathways for career development and qualification attainment, a competitive remuneration package including a bonus and private healthcare, an electric car scheme and a broad suite of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle.

Because we value who you are as much as what you do, we want you to feel supported at work. We offer hybrid working, balancing the benefits of working from home with time in our modern, well-equipped offices for that crucial in-person contact, team development and collaborative working. We also recognise that life doesn’t always run to the same schedule for everyone, so we have a dedicated flexible working policy to support you in tailoring your work life to reach your full potential, for more details on this, please get in touch.

Diversity & Inclusion

We provide a warm welcome and encourage applications from a diverse range of people who can enrich our company and offer perspectives which will drive better solutions in a truly inclusive environment. Our employee led working groups and clearly defined strategy help us to keep at the leading edge of important issues and keep us accountable. We want our colleagues to feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work and continually seek new ideas and contributions to ensure we continue to grow and develop in this space.


It’s no surprise that people do their best work when they feel physically and mentally supported. Our SYSTRA Wellness Programme offers a wide range of support; from Wellness champions, to free health checks, healthy eating workshops and regular seminars, alongside access to a wide range of external support. We offer two paid days for charity work and an ever-growing social calendar.

Apply and find out more about how Systra can support you in your career journey. If you require any adjustments or financial assistance to support you in your application or interview process please email: where your request will be treated confidentially and with respect. We pledge to offer an interview to any candidates with a disability who apply for a role and meet the minimum criteria.

As we are always looking to expand our team, we would still be interested in hearing from you if you fulfil most, but not all, of the relevant criteria for the role – you could still be just what we are looking for.