Ecological Clerk of Works

The role of an Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) is to provide an independent service throughout the onsite monitoring of construction activities and advise on the avoidance of risk and impact. The role is sometimes misunderstood and it should be noted that an ECoW facilitates development rather than hindering it, foreseeing issues and advising to minimise delay.

Many large scale developments employ an ECoW and the role is often a condition to the planning consent. An ECoW allows local authorities and statutory bodies to consent to works that otherwise may be restricted due to potential ecological and environmental risk.

An ECoW will enable the development to comply with any Species Protection Plans and/or Habitat Management Plans, provide the mitigation and design detail for Construction Method Statements, and identify need for any EPS mitigation licences.

Pre-construction checks, run-off management, watching brief, toolbox talks, pollution prevention and establishing appropriate exclusion zones are all within the general scope of the role.

An important part of the monitoring is the production of weekly / monthly reports which show the advice given and action taken, and that impact has been minimised and conditions are satisfied.

The ECoW does not ‘police’ the site and is not responsible for construction / engineering methods or contractor instruction.

OpenSpace have a proven track record in ECoW and our background in habitat management means we excel on sensitive sites and in specialist habitat.

Our ecologists are all CSCS registered and we have staff holding Professional 4X4 Off Road Certificates. Our staff pride themselves on excellent communication skills and the ability to work amiably as part of a team, from project managers and principal contractors to the foremen and groundwork contractors. We have gained extensive experience liaising with statutory organisations such as Natural England, the EA, Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA.

Our project experience includes working on large and small scale wind farms and the installation of utility pipelines.

Our team at OpenSpace can advise further. Please call us on 01228 711841 or email

Updated April 2017