James has been a professional ecologist since 1990, when he was employed as a conservation officer in the voluntary sector. He moved into consultancy in 1993, and has experienced the practical application of biodiversity policy across a wide range of projects.
His primary ecological training is botanical and he has worked extensively with protected species including badgers, bats, reptiles, crayfish and great crested newts, holding numerous survey and development licences from Natural England, Welsh Government and DEFRA.
James authors and reviews ecology chapters for Environmental Statements, and regularly provides advice to clients on challenging ecology and biodiversity issues, green infrastructure planning and development proposals. He prepares Habitats Regulations screening reports and appropriate assessments for proposals affecting sites of European importance, and has undertaken several pieces of policy and biodiversity research for various government agencies and departments.
He has experience representing planning authorities and development sector clients at Local Plan and planning appeal inquiries, and has worked on several secondments to planning authorities and the Environment Agency, providing advice to planning officers and members.