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Why Choose Naturally Wild?

Naturally Wild Consultants Ltd was created by Graeme and Julie Skinner in 1998 and has grown from a partnership into a fast-paced expanding company.  Whether you need an expert bat survey, a badger survey or just to find out about venomous reptiles, Naturally Wild are the leaders in the field.  Over the last 19 years, Graeme has endeavoured to build a company based on ethical values, expert knowledge and a passion for the environment and its inhabitants.

“We are a strong, supportive team of skilled and passionate professionals that work hard to deliver quality and honesty.” Graeme Skinner, Director

Naturally Wild’s approach aims to deliver overall value and quality along with openness and integrity.  The team have continued to service our major clients and have been on a variety of other projects around the country with badger work in Gloucester, BREAAM work in Cornwall, newts have featured in Teesside and Wiltshire, reptiles in Dorset and bats have also been a large part of our work across the UK.  

The firm now boasts long-term contracts with Taylor Wimpey in the South-West and South-East of England, whilst also carrying out work for a major company servicing Network Rail contacts in the two southern regions.

In the North-East, Naturally Wild recently carried out ecological surveys for PD Ports and have also conducted extensive ecological survey work ahead of construction commencing on a new large-scale renewable energy plant on the north banks of the River Tees.

They were also contracted to carry out ecological surveys ahead of the redevelopment of the former Spanish City amusement park in Whitley Bay, as well as the site of new housing developments in Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe and the site of the former Tall Trees night club near Yarm. Being a forward-thinking company we have teamed up with a CAA approved drone specialist allowing us to undertake HD and UHD videos of projects.

The new Head Office in Stockton gives us two floors of office space providing four times the capacity of our previous accommodation, with room up to 16 members of staff to fulfil our requirements for the foreseeable future. Graeme, said: “Despite being proud of our major contracts in the South-East and South-West, we’re passionate about Teesside and want to build our business here.  We were previously based in the south for five years and had offices in Fareham and Salisbury, but we returned to our roots here on Teesside and we’re committed to remaining here.   A number of our biggest clients are based in the South of England but we’ve already proved that the distance has no effect on our ability to deliver a quality service on time.”

Our Culture

Naturally Wild Consultants offer ecological services at any stage of a project from feasibility and advice, through to planning, consultation and implementation.  Our expert team of experienced ecologists are trained to help you get your project moving on time, on budget and in line with all current legislation.  We are able to assess and interpret ecological issues to inform designs, development applications, management plans and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). All of our survey work and reports conform to the latest official assessment guidelines produced by Natural England and the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Meet the Team

meet-the-team

Graeme Skinner – Managing Director

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Graeme has been a naturalist all his life with a passion for reptiles and amphibians formed around with conservation and ecology work with the adder and other native herpetofauna, including the great crested newt.  Graeme has been awarded numerous protected species licenses as well as being a registered bat carer.  A keen photographer who has travelled internationally working on conservation projects involving Tigers, Rhino and critically endangered amphibians. Graeme has appeared on many TV programs and is regularly on local radio.

Julie Skinner – Company Secretary

Julie is a highly-experienced field ecologist with 25 years’ practical experience.  During her career, she has specialized in herpetofauna, working with great crested newts, adders and smooth snakes (she discovered a previously lost population in 2005).  She is experienced in expedition work and is skilled in work involving venomous herptiles.  She has been a bat worker and a dedicated bat carer helping to rehabilitate bats for many years.

David Pollard – Principal Ecologist

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David is Principal Ecologist with Naturally Wild Ltd and has been a professional ecologist for the last 16 years.  Within his role, he provides a level of wildlife knowledge to the team and input into reports and projects across the country. He is a specialist ornithologist/herpetologist. Over the years, David has gained extensive project experience on sites of varying sizes, involving a wide range of issues. He has vast experience of development, consultation and implementation of mitigation and enhancement strategies. He has performed as an Expert Witness at Public Inquiries preparing Proofs of Evidence and Rebuttals. David has lectured at a number of schools and colleges particularly on species ecology survey skills and Environmental Impact Assessment.  For as long as he can remember David has been interested in wildlife both in the UK and across the world with a particular fascination for reptiles and amphibians. He also rescues unwanted reptiles in the UK.

Jack Fenwick – Senior Ecological Consultant

Jack has been with Naturally Wild since 2012, following completion of a BSc Hons degree in Zoology.  Jack holds a Class 2 survey licence for both bats and great crested newts with plans to obtain further licences, including Schedule 1 birds (barn owls).  Jack is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, which promotes on going Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and requires working to an Industry Standard.  Jack has a keen focus in bat ecology but has kept his previous experience generalised to obtain a varied knowledge of UK protected species and habitats.  Jack has conducted numerous and varied ecological appraisals across the UK, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and has produced licence documentation for many bat and great crested newt mitigation licences and held a badger mitigation licence.

Matthew Buxton – Senior Ecological Consultant

Matthew has worked in the field of ecological consultancy for several years and has experience of working on a range of small, medium and large-scale development projects, carrying out surveys and mitigation for a range of protected species, including bats, badgers, great crested newts and reptiles. He is also experienced in report writing, including the production of a number of European Protected Species licence applications for bats and great crested newts. Matthew holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Geography from Northumbria University and an MSc in Environmental Consultancy from Newcastle University. He first decided to pursue a career in ecology after a period of working for Tees Valley Wildlife Trust in between his two degrees. Matthew holds survey licences for great crested newts and bats. He is also a member of North Yorkshire Bat Group.

Phil Askew – Ecological Consultant

Phil is a keen naturalist who has been with Naturally Wild since 2014.  He has a degree in marine biology and oceanography, and in the past, he has worked with both Tees valley and Yorkshire Wildlife trusts in voluntary roles.  During the 3 years at Naturally wild Phil has gained a large amount of varied experience and now holds Natural England level 2 survey licenses for bats and great crested newts. In his spare time Phil enjoys birding and wildlife photography.

Sarah Emerson – Ecological Consultant

Sarah has been working with Naturally Wild since 2015 after graduating with an MSc in Ecological Consultancy from Newcastle University. Sarah holds level two class licences for bats and great crested newts and has gained a variety of experience in many other protected species survey works. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys finding new places to take her two spaniels and Jack Russell – Isla, Max and Lilly – for long walks across northern England and Scotland. Sarah is also interested in agriculture and has assisted with lambing and calving on a dairy unit. She is also interested in farmland ecology, previously assisting with nationwide bird counts on a volunteer basis.

Dan Wales – Ecological Consultant

Dan has been an ecologist for two years, joining Naturally Wild in January 2015 after graduating from Newcastle University with an MSc in Ecological Consultancy.  Dan has gained a vast variety of experience during his time at Naturally Wild so far, and holds Natural England level 2 class survey licenses for bats and great crested newts. Dan is a Graduate Member of CIEEM. Dan is interested in promoting ecology and environmental issues to younger audiences whenever possible, and is an active STEM Ambassador.  Dan is also a member of the North-East England Section Committee for CIEEM. In his spare time, Dan enjoys outdoor activities – especially hillwalking in the Lake District and Northumberland.

Taryn Al-mashgari – Ecological Consultant

Taryn recently joined Naturally Wild, having previously worked for various environmental charities in the last six years. She has an extensive background in environmental education, and is working towards bat and great crested newt licenses.

Karen Bell – Administration Manager

Karen is a highly successful administrator with experience from private and public sector companies utilising excellent organisational skills, IT skills and has extensive experience as an events coordinator.  Karen is responsible for the day-to-day running of the office and recently coordinated the office move to our new premises including fixtures and fittings!

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