Environmental/Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW)

As part of the planning permission for a development, there is often a requirement for the construction phase to be overseen by an independent Environmental or Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW). The ECoW is typically a suitably qualified and experienced environmental professional, who is responsible for overseeing all environmental matters on site, and discussing these matters with the contractor, developer, and local authorities.

ECoW Expertise

Nevis has extensive experience of providing ECoW services across a range of sectors including renewable energy, overhead powerlines, infrastructure (grid, rail, road) and housing developments.  Our approach is to ensure that the sensitivities of the  site are identified early and managed according to good practice guidelines, whilst recognising the need to progress within the required project timescales.

Effective communication is essential to project success and Nevis has a proven track record of effectively liaising with statutory bodies, site contractors and project managers to achieve a successful outcome.

The Nevis team can provide a full ECoW capability, not only in areas of ecology and hydrology but in overall environmental compliance. This includes:

  • Waste and water management and monitoring

  • Dust and statutory nuisance

  • Tool-box talks

  • Incident investigation and training

  • Liaising with sub-consultants and contractors regarding environmental issues on site

  • Ensuring that restoration of the site is undertaken to the requirements of the project documentation and to best practice guidance and procedures

Staff from several different disciplines contribute to the Nevis ECoW service, including environmental planners, town planners, ecologists and hydrologists, to provide a fully informed ECoW service offering.

The ECoW team are all members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Chartered Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). The team hold up-to-date Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards and are aware of Health and Safety guidance and good practice.

ECoW Duties

The Environmental Clerk of Works forms the first point of contact for all environmental issues on site. They are responsible for monitoring all construction activities to ensure that there is minimal damage to the environment, and liaising with the contractor, client and local authority to resolve any issues that arise. The ECoW has the authority to halt construction works on a development should there be an unacceptable environmental risk.

Typical ECoW duties can include:

  • Monitoring compliance with the environmental mitigation works detailed in habitat management and monitoring plans.

  • Preparation of pragmatic Species or Habitat Management Plans prior to construction.

  • Advising the developer on adequate protection of nature conservation interests on the site.

  • Conducting pre-clearance ecology surveys, to include breeding birds, great crested newts, badgers, and other protected species.

  • Carrying out regular monitoring on nearby watercourses.

  • Baseline monitoring and interpretation of peat, hydrology, and water quality via a combination of on-site inspection and use of remote data recorders.

  • Directing the micro-siting and placement of infrastructure for the development.

  • Monitoring vegetation stripping, storage and reinstatement.

  • Monitoring the condition of the undisturbed areas for signs of damage, erosion, pollution, fly tipping and other effects.

  • Providing update reports to the contractor, client, and local authority. Undertaking incident investigation and reporting in the event of a pollution or disturbance.


Nevis provides bespoke town planning consultancy, environmental management and monitoring solutions to clients throughout the planning, project delivery and operational phases. Our clients receive flexible, tailored environmental solutions – working with your team or as your team, we are here to protect your interests and your investment.

If you require more information or independent technical advice on your project, please do not hesitate to contact us.