Ecology student helps Lancaster based company Simply Ecology with wildlife and habitat reporting

Lake District Masthead Ecology

The Organisation

Simply Ecology Limited is a Lancaster based ecological consultancy firm which provides a range of wildlife and habitat surveys for commercial developments or for homeowners.  As well as providing specialist services direct to architects and developers, the company also provides surveys for small developments such as bat surveys in Lancashire.

The Challenge

The company needed an ecologist to provide extra support to its existing team of ecologists.

Skills Sought

  • Prior interest in botany, mammals or ornithology
  • Good communicator
  • Fast learner
  • Excellent report writing skills

The Solution

Lydia Atkinson, a third year BSc Ecology student, was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a 12 week internship with Simply Ecology. During the internship, Lydia developed grass identification skills, assisted with the analysis and presentation of red squirrel forest data into a report, and assisted with crayfish, bat, vegetation and pine marten surveys.

CostSantandar Universities Logo

The internship was part-financed by Simply Ecology at £1,800+VAT, and part-financed by Santander, with a total value of £3,600. ‌


The work completed by Lydia saved management time of Simply Ecology Limited and made the business more efficient. Making use of her knowledge and expertise provided the organisation with extra support and reduced the workload for existing staff members. This had a positive impact all round and as a result we were able to provide a higher quality service to our clients. Lydia's analysis also enabled us to gain valuable insights into the wild animal populations which we monitor and manage.

Benefits to the company

  • Saved staff time
  • Fresh perspective offered insight and helped improve services
  • Extra resources provided
  • Helped provide high quality punctual services for an ever increasing client base

Company Feedback

“Simply Ecology has benefitted enormously through our direct experience of working with students from the University. Lydia's successful internship and that of the other Internships we've had from Lancaster University has helped Simply Ecology to transform and grow as a business. We have been able to establish links with high calibre individuals and whenever possible, this has resulted in Simply Ecology creating full-time jobs.

"As Chief Executive, I am delighted as this has enabled the business to increase our range of competencies, client base and profits. In addition it is always very rewarding to help the former students expand their skills and widen the opportunities available to them in their chosen career path. Simply Ecology will definitely continue to work alongside Lancaster University for Student Internships and recruitment in the future.” Jason Reynolds, Director, Simply Ecology.

Student Feedback

“Not only did I thoroughly enjoy my placement at Simply Ecology, but I also learnt a huge amount. The experience I gained and support I was given proved to be essential when applying for my current job as an Assistant Ecologist" Lydia Atkinson, 3rd year BSc Ecology student, Simply Ecology Intern.

Future Plans

Simply Ecology will continue to work with the University.