Who are Swift Ecology?

Swift Ecology was established in 2007

Based in the midlands but able to work across the UK, we have nationally recognised ecological expertise, and we are highly experienced in habitat survey and management. We offer a unique level of specialist advice among our wide range of services and we hold relevant licences to work with key protected species including bats, dormouse, great crested newt and barn owl.

Swift Ethos

We are a small and flexible ecological consultancy with a strong focus on both professionalism and pragmatism. We work to high professional standards, incorporating a strong ethical approach in conjunction with industry good practice, but recognise the need for pragmatism in finding creative solutions to clients' needs that don't compromise our high standards. Our senior staff work closely with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) to improve standards across the sector.

Members of our team are also active in voluntary conservation projects involving protected species such as dormice, bats and pine marten.


Addressing the environmental impact of car travel

We are informally offsetting carbon emissions from our business mileage via tree planting.

In the financial year 2016 - 2017, based on an estimated 41 kg of CO2 per 100 miles, and on an offset calculation of £ 18 per tonne of CO2, the CO2 cost was £ 212. This amount has been rounded up to £ 220 and has been divided between the two following charities, which between them will plant 59 trees.

Trees for life: A charity aiming to restore the ancient Caledonian forest in the Scottish Highlands

Heart of England Forest: A local charity establishing a native broadleaved woodland in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Our Directors:

Lisa Kerslake BSc MSc CEcol FCIEEM
(Managing Director)

Lisa handles the day-to-day running of Swift Ecology and has a wide range of ecological skills, with extensive experience of habitat and protected species surveys and monitoring and mitigation work. Her main interest is mammals and she holds survey licences for bats, dormice, great crested newt and barn owl, and EPS mitigation licences for bats and great crested newts. She is a Registered Consultant for the Bat Low Impact Class Licence (BLICL).

Prior to establishing Swift Ecology, Lisa held senior positions at established ecological consultancies in the English midlands and has worked in the conservation and environmental sector for over 25 years, including for the Nature Conservancy Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, and she was the first Director of the North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre.

Lisa is very active in CIEEM, being a founder member, Fellow, and currently Vice President (England). She has previously served on both the Professional Standards and External Affairs Committees and now sits on the Governing Board, Advisory Forum and Registration Authority; she is also a Chartered Ecologist Assessor. Outside work Lisa enjoys planning and taking interesting holidays and short breaks with her husband, and always has her eye on the next trip, which will usually involve food and wine. To counter this she tries to keep fit despite hating any exercise that is more challenging than a gentle walk.

Johnny Birks BSc PhD MCIEEM
(Director)

Johnny has worked in wildlife research and nature conservation for 30 years, and has particular expertise in the conservation ecology of European mammals. He holds survey licences for several protected species, including bats, pine marten, dormouse, barn owl and great-crested newt and holds current EPS mitigation licences for bats. He is also experienced in the assessment and management of semi-natural habitats, and in conducting breeding bird surveys. He is a Registered Consultant for the Bat Low Impact Class Licence (BLICL).

Prior to the establishment of Swift Ecology, Johnny worked in universities, statutory nature conservation agencies and the voluntary conservation sector. He is well known for his previous role at the Vincent Wildlife Trust, where he acquired a wealth of knowledge encompassing protected species survey and mitigation, and gained an international reputation in the field of mammal research.

Johnny now works part-time for Swift Ecology; he spends the rest of his time helping with his twin grand-daughters, rowing with Upton Rowing Club, and maintaining his long-term interest in mustelids. He has recently written a book on polecats (published in December 2015 by Whittet) and is currently writing one on pine martens.

Mike Sharp BSc MCIEEM
(Director)

Mike has worked in the ecological sector for over a decade and has a wealth of direct experience working within the planning system, having delivered planning support to a local authority from 2008 to 2014. Mike has extensive experience of delivering ecological services in a wide range of developments including barn conversions, residential developments, pipeline installations and wind farms. He has a particular interest in bat ecology and is experienced in conducting inspection surveys of buildings and trees (and is qualified in tree climbing and aerial rescue). Mike is the named ecologist on over 20 successful EPS mitigation licences for bats in England and Wales and is a Registered Consultant with Natural England's Bat Low Impact Class Licence. He is licensed to survey for bats, dormice, great crested newts and barn owls in England and Wales.

Mike juggles working full-time for Swift Ecology with bringing up four small children with his partner Clare. Outside of work Mike enjoys family walks in the Cotswolds and spending time at the allotment living the 'good life'.

Ecological Consultants:

Nick Underhill-Day BSc PhD MCIEEM
(Principal Ecologist)

With 13 years' experience in cutting-edge scientific research, Nick has skills in project management, collaboration on multidisciplinary projects, scientific analysis and evaluation. These attributes, in conjunction with his technical writing abilities, have culminated in publication in respected peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international academic symposia. He is now focused on ecological sciences and has experience of conservation research and various habitat and species surveys, particularly bats, badgers, riparian mammals, amphibians and breeding birds. Nick holds NE licences for bats and great crested newts.

Nick has a life-long interest in Natural History and, when not with his family, spends his spare time enjoying the outdoors, walking and climbing. He undertakes surveys for the BTO, Butterfly Conservation, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and various local groups, including the Herefordshire Mammal Group, with which he is actively involved.

Anna Dudley BSc MSc MCIEEM
(Principal Ecologist)

Anna has worked in ecological consultancy for over a decade, and has extensive experience of undertaking habitat and protected species surveys, as well as designing and implementing mitigation and monitoring schemes. Her main interest lies in undertaking habitat and botanical surveys. She is licensed to survey for bats in England and great crested newts in England and Wales, and also has many years' experience of surveying for otters and reptiles.

Before joining Swift Ecology, Anna worked for a well-established ecological consultancy where she worked on a wide variety of projects, including large residential developments and major infrastructure projects.

In her spare time, Anna enjoys baking, reading and going for muddy walks.

Joshua Humphries BSc GradCIEEM
(Assistant Ecologist)

Josh has worked in ecological consultancy for over a year, and has experience assisting with general habitat surveys and dedicated species surveys (reptiles, bats and newts), and writing up subsequent reports. Josh is particularly keen on mammals, and holds an NE licence for bats.

Prior to joining Swift, Josh was trained in identification and surveying techniques on the LEMUR+ Scheme, whilst on placement as an Assistant Ecologist with another local consultancy. Josh has also been involved within the conservation and ecology sector over the past three years, working as a Research Assistant, Bat Surveyor and Seasonal Ranger; and volunteering for various Wildlife Trusts, the Wyre Forest District Council and Operation Wallacea. Due to his voluntary efforts, Josh received the Worcestershire Wildlife Trustís Conservation Award whilst he was graduating with a First Class (Hons) in Conservation Ecology.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys hill walking and camping in national parks with his father, and playing a few tunes on his ocarinas. Josh is also on the steering committee of the Worcestershire Mammal Group, and is an active member of the bat group.

Charlotte Long BSc MPhil GradCIEEM
(Assistant Ecologist)

Charlie joins Swift Ecology having worked in conservation and ecology for the past four years, after studying for a degree in Ecology at Durham University.

After conducting research into plant DNA barcoding at the National Botanic Garden of Wales as an undergraduate placement student, she continued working in conservation genetics researching the rare Spreading Bellflower for her MPhil. She then joined the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust as a trainee, gaining experience in habitat and protected species surveys, and subsequently spent two survey seasons as a field botanist in Wales for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Charlie has volunteered with numerous local conservation organisations and is a member of several recording groups, including the Herefordshire Mammal Group and Bonkers on Botany (BOB), a group of reasonably sane people who enjoy botanising in Herefordshire. She works part-time for Swift Ecology and spends the rest of her week working on the restoration of her dilapidated cottage with her partner Alex.

Associates

We work closely with many other experienced ecologists who bring to Swift Ecology a wide range of skills thus enabling us to provide the full range of ecological surveys, including crayfish, other invertebrates, and specialist botanical surveys.

All our staff are members of CIEEM

The Swift Ecology head office electricity supply is 100% renewable energy

The Swift Team in Volunteer Projects

"What more can I say than a huge 'Thank-you' for your honest, quick and professional service."


Buy 'Polecats' by
Johnny Birks

Johnny always gives that extra bit more... his enthusiasm and positive outlook are infectious!

SOME OF THE TEAM'S PUBLICATIONS:

Expansion zone survey of pine marten (Martes martes) distribution in Scotland Categorising our 'cats': a case for pragmatism Distribution of the pine marten(Martes martes) in southern Scotland in 2013 Backlash against Bats? In Practice (CIEEM bulletin), March 2012 Insects in the diet of the hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius): a pilot study using DNA barcoding Molecular comparison of historical and contemporary pine marten (Martes martes) populations in the British Isles: evidence of differing origins and fates, and implications for conservation management Bat mitigation - are we working in the dark? Article in Mammal News, Autumn 2015 Bats and bureaucracy. Article in Mammal News, Summer 2010 Sample diversity adds value to non-invasive genetic assessment of a pine marten population in Galloway Forest