My work experience with Acer Ecology

We know how difficult it can be to gain work experience in ecology; believe us, we’ve all been there. At Acer Ecology we feel strongly that we should put something back into the industry that has supported our careers and consequently is happy to offer short work experience placements to support the next generation of ecologists. Work placements are typically short term, where you can work for a week or two in an organisation and in ecological consultancy will be most enjoyable and relevant in the summer months where there is more fieldwork taking place. We were delighted to have Amy with us for four weeks.

Amy Cole

work experience with acer ecology amy

Amy at Acer Ecology


I’m from Port Talbot in South Wales and I’ve recently finished my second year of studying Conservation Biology and Ecology with Exeter University.

My responsibilities

I have chosen Acer Ecology, as  I wanted to learn about the different aspects of being an ecological consultant and to gain experience and skills in surveying and ID. During my work placement in Acer Ecology, I was responsible among others for writing the background information of reports and assisting on various surveys (bat, phase one and reptiles).

Skills gained

–          Botany ID – from the grass ID course, through making powerpoints to help with ID of plants from family to species.

–          Learnt how to conduct a phase 1 survey

–          Bat surveys – assisting in looking for bats exiting or entering a building proposed for development.

–          Scoping – Building and tree inspection for bats and nesting birds

–          Reptile survey and capture, using refugia mats to attract any present reptiles and capturing them so that that can be moved from a proposed building site.

–          Blog articles

These skills will enable me to know how to conduct surveys for protected species. They will also give me the experience necessary help me work towards obtaining licences to survey some of the protected species (bats, dormice, some amphibians and birds).

work experience in ecology in walesAmy with the team of Acer Ecology in Cardiff Bay

Skills gained – ID skills in reptiles, bats and botany, how to conduct a survey, scoping for bats and nesting birds. This will help me in the future to work in the ecology sector, to ID various reptiles, bats and plants. It has enabled me to have an idea of what an ecologist does to ensure that protected species do not lose their habitats. I have a better idea of the requirements of employees and what the job entails.

Work experience in ecology wales Amy in one of our team building activities

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Acer Ecology. The various tasks that I have completed have given me an array of new skills, knowledge and experience. It’s been fantastic to meet and share an office with so many people from different cultures, all with a passion for ecology and I’m grateful for how much everyone has helped me to enhance my skills. I’m so inspired that I want to work hard and take the time to improve my ID skills as much as I can so that I can work at a similar organisation in the future. I would definitely recommend Acer Ecology to others seeking employment in the same area.

Want to learn more about work placements at Acer Ecology? Read about the experiences of Will Cooke who recently undertook a week of work experience with us.

Read also How To Get Ahead In Ecology Part 1 and Part 2 and stand out from the crowd!