Position Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Country: United Kingdom
Contract Type: Permanent
Work Pattern: Full time, Part time
Sector: Water
Discipline: Environment
Job Ref: 67039BR
Recruiter Contact: Steven Johnston

Do you live in Newcastle upon Tyne and surroundings or are you looking for an exciting change?

Our Northern England Environment and Social team, based in Newcastle, is increasing in size in line with our work locally. We are looking to recruit a principal ecologist to establish a new ecology team in our Newcastle office to sit within our team of environmental professionals. We have varied projects in Northern England including renewable, road, and power schemes which the new team would be involved in, as well as working closely with our Leeds, Sheffield Altrincham, and Liverpool teams. You would be part of a team of over 140 ecologists nationally with specialists in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecology.

We are a highly collaborative team across all environmental disciplines, which makes Mott MacDonald a great place to work. While we are an employee-owned company, our ecology teams are small enough to have a family feel but large enough to work on some of the UK’s biggest projects. These are led and supported by a fantastic mix of specialists with a wealth of experience and a culture of supporting and learning from others, coaching, and mentoring.

We pay our ecologists in line with their engineering colleagues with the ability to earn performance-based bonuses throughout the year. Our projects are diverse, interesting, and technically challenging and we excel in offering innovative solutions. Our ecology teams across the UK are highly experienced in their fields and are proactive when working together imparting knowledge. We are a well-respected company with strong values.

We have a dedicated wellbeing network that can help you with advice and information and share key resources. Our Environment and Social division hold environment forums and numerous knowledge-sharing webinars on a range of topics such as biodiversity net gain and climate change, bird surveys, environmental impact assessments and development consent orders, and floating wetlands for water treatment. Through our corporate social responsibility work we aim to make a positive difference and staff are supported to participate in activities to support their local communities.

Our Newcastle office is Time Central, 32 Gallowgate, 6th Floor, Newcastle on Tyne (GBNE01)

We are seeking a principal ecologist who enjoys leading and working within a close-knit team that operates in and is supported by larger regional and national teams. You should have or be developing, an effective record of project and people management and a high level of technical knowledge. You should be able to confidently provide direction and support as an ecology discipline lead on a variety of projects. You will be passionate about using your experience and knowledge for the natural environment and professional excellence, leading the team the development of innovative solutions both for our wide range of clients.

You would contribute to the growth of our people within your team in Newcastle as well as the wider UK ecology team.

You will enjoy rising to a challenge, working across disciplines, finding ways to add value for our customers, using and promoting integrated solutions and innovative technology, and above all, ensuring quality is maintained. Most importantly you will be helping us to build a lasting and sustainable environmental business.
This opportunity is not a one-way street as we will give you an exciting space in which to develop yourself as well as support in developing the team. You will be visible within our business, working with other ecology team leads across the UK and providing you with the opening for your reputation to grow, allowing you to influence peers both internally and across the sector.

Candidate Specification


  • Experience in the UK ecological consultancy market, with a strong external-facing, client-orientated approach.
  • A degree in Ecology (or a directly related subject).
  • Full member of CIEEM.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in the interpretation of wildlife legislation, key policy, and guidance to advise clients and manage ecological projects.
  • Experience in overseeing the design of, and leading, ecological surveys for small and large-scale projects including Phase 1 habitat surveys and protected species surveys (notably bats).
  • Proficiency in writing and quality assurance of reports, ensuring high standards and good attention to detail.
  • Experienced in the production of Ecological Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessment reports.
  • Good commercial awareness, experience of winning work and and the ability to deliver contracts on time and within budget.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent business development skills with drive and ambition to grow these key areas.
  • Willingness to mentor and develop junior staff.
  • Willingness to encourage innovation and digital services.
  • Willingness to travel throughout the UK.


  • A masters or higher degree in Ecology (or directly related subject).
  • Chartered Ecologist or Environmentalist.
  • Experience in people management and training / mentoring junior ecologists.
  • Have held Natural England protected species development licence(s), ideally for great crested newt and / or bats.
  • Experience in using the UKHab classification and the DEFRA biodiversity net gain metric.
  • Basic GIS skills.

If you meet most of what we are looking for, please still apply. We understand not everyone will meet all the requirements, but you might have the skills we didn’t know we need.
We would also consider senior or experienced ecologists looking for a step up.

Job Profile

The Mott MacDonald ecology practice is an exciting place to be; with over 120 full time ecologists with different skills, specialisms and a strong team spirit. Mott MacDonald prides itself on looking after staff and helping people to achieve their potential. We work with a diverse range of clients and projects that provide engaging opportunities for people working at Mott MacDonald.

We would love to welcome forward-thinking individuals to be part of our growing team; we are recruiting a Principal Consultant Ecologist to lead a team in Newcastle.

Why join Mott MacDonald?
We are an employee-owned company and are small enough to have a family feel but large enough to work on some of the biggest UK projects. We pay our ecologists in line with their engineering colleagues, and you would be able to earn performance-based bonuses. Our projects are interesting, technically challenging and we excel in offering innovative solutions. Our ecology teams across the UK are highly experienced in their fields and proactively work together and share knowledge. We are a well-respected company with strong values. We have a strong sports and social team, who have a number of events throughout the year, which is fully inclusive as well as UK wide events such as sports day, skiing trips and environment forums.

Flexible working
At Mott MacDonald, we support our staff to create work-life balance which works for them and welcome candidates looking for career flexibility. The role can include a combination of site, home-based and office work. We are open to discussing flexible working at interview stage.

About the business unit
Environmental and social considerations are central to Mott MacDonald’s Purpose and its offerings across all sectors and territories. Our environment and social business provides essential services and innovative solutions which anticipate our clients’ needs across all sectors.

How to apply

To apply for this role, please complete our 15-minute application via our website. Our talent acquisition coordinators aim to provide feedback within 5 working days with the outcome of your application. More information about our application process can be found here. If you have any questions regarding your application or the role, please reach out to the dedicated recruiter listed who will be more than happy to help.

Mott MacDonald is Work180 accredited – which means we actively support and encourage women to join our work force!

Benefits we offer:

  • Pension matched up to 7%
  • Life insurance
  • An annual professional institution subscription
  • Continuous development opportunities – because we want you to thrive
  • Agile/flexible working – because life isn’t 9-5
  • Enhanced parental leave; shared parental leave policies – for parents and care givers
  • Annual company performance bonus scheme – Subject to company performance
  • Flexible benefits that suit you, including cycle to work & interest free season ticket loans .
  • The opportunity to make a difference; learn more about our social outcomes


Other Information

Equality, diversity and inclusion
We put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of our business, seeking to promote fair employment procedures and practices to ensure equal opportunities for all. We encourage individual expression in our workplace and are committed to creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels they have the opportunity to contribute.

If you have a disability and would prefer to apply in a different format or would like us to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to apply or attend an interview, please contact us at reasonable.adjustments@mottmac.com and we will talk to you about how we can assist.

Agile working
At Mott MacDonald, we believe it makes business sense for you and your manager to choose how you can work most effectively to meet your client, team and personal commitments. We embrace agility, flexibility and trust.

More about Mott MacDonald
We’re a global engineering, management and development consultancy.
Our purpose is to improve society by considering social outcomes in everything we do, relentlessly focusing on excellence and digital innovation, transforming our clients’ businesses, our communities and employee opportunities.
A fundamental part of this is respecting each person’s differences and striving to meet their needs.
Our values: progress, respect, integrity, drive, excellence