Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW)

The specialist ecological resource to help you achieve good practice on site and compliance with nature and wildlife law

Site Environmental Consultants are the foundation of Naturally Compliant Ltd., whether your requirements are contractual or policy driven, we can provide the on-site expertise you need to achieve environmental compliance.

Ecological Clerk of Works

Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW or EcoCoW) provide specialist advice on ecological constraints. Using the latest survey techniques and appropriate licenses, the CoW will identify potential constraints and advise on best practice and relevant legislation in terms of mitigation. Our Environmental Clerk of Works are experienced enough to recognise, acknowledge and understand ecological constraints and how to mitigate them; some of our staff were previously ecologists and can often fully fulfill the Ecological Clerk of Works role of a project has only ecological constraints. On occasion however, ecological specialists will be required, most often in the form of a licenced ecologist to deal with a particular constraint. Our consultants identify those occasions, and communicate the need for a specialist, avoiding delays to your project.

Furthermore, there are also two types of ECoW, ‘Advisory’ and ‘Auditing’,  the applicability of which are project dependent and will be determined by the consenting body. The Association of Environmental and Ecological Clerk of Works identifies two slightly different roles as such:

Advisory ECoW

Advisory ECoW operate with developers or contractors to provide ongoing proactive advice and support. They monitor compliance, which allows potential issues to be identified and remedied before they become noncompliance. They also help site staff and clients understand the risks and consequences of non-compliance, giving regulators, developers and contractors extra comfort that issues will quickly be resolved.

Auditing ECoW 

Auditing ECoW monitor compliance with legislation and/or project documentation — they don’t provide proactive support. The role normally includes routine visits to the site, reviewing conditions and environmental reports and monitoring compliance with legislation and required mitigation measures. They report any non-compliance to the developer or statutory body, depending on contract requirements.

If you are looking for an ‘Environmental Clerk of Works’, see our dedicated page here.

More information on ECoWs and their role can be found in The Association of Environmental and Ecological Clerks of Works  (AEECoW) ‘Good Practice Guidelines for Planning Authorities‘.