Following the introduction of our ‘Meet the Team‘ page comes our mini blog series. Hear personally from our team members about their roles at EcoNorth and more. This week, meet Jamie MacLeod, Project Manager.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I am the Project Manager for EcoNorth and am originally from Newcastle upon Tyne. Over the last few years I’ve become increasingly drawn to the coast and lured into coastal living. I support my local football team Whitley Bay FC and I am often on the terraces shouting for the Seahorses both home and away. I’m interested in the outdoors; you can often find me in or on the sea, swimming, surfing and kayaking. When not at sea, I enjoy walking and climbing. One of my favourite places to visit is Chamonix in the French Alps. I have been lucky to visit there a few times with a group of family and friends. Closer to home, I am keen to explore the hills of the Lake District and Scottish Highlands. If confined to the house, then cooking is my passion and especially using locally sourced produce.
Summarise your role at EcoNorth
I have been with EcoNorth for over 10 months in the role of Project Manager. This was a new position within the company and I am enjoying the diversity that ecology projects offer. The company is currently expanding into a wider geographical area and provides services from residential dwellings to national infrastructure projects. I have become increasingly involved in managing and coordinating these works, building client relationships along the way. I joined the company at the height of the bat season and quickly formed part of the team, offering to help out with the bat surveys. This was a real eye opener, involving late nights and early starts that I hadn’t accounted for but really enjoyed.
What got you in to ecology?
Being an experienced Civil Engineer and Project Manager, I have worked with Ecologists all my career and my interest in the outdoors has led to a greater appreciation of wildlife biodiversity. I couldn’t resist the opportunity of working with EcoNorth and having a further insight and opportunity to contribute positively to local and national ecology. I am passionate about the environment and in particular the local wildlife Northumberland has to offer.
What do you most like about working as a Project Manager?
My main challenge last summer was co-ordinating EcoNorth’s surveyors supporting the ecological work on the HS2 project. I still manage to get on site whenever possible and have even managed to spot a pair of white-tailed eagles recently in Scotland. The work in ecology is very interesting, with the unpredictable streak of working with nature thrown in for good measure. I am constantly learning from others experiences with my Latin species names improving every day.
Describe the project you have worked on that you are proudest of. What did you do that worked particularly well?
I am proud of the local heritage projects we have been lucky to work on. I have also been involved in bat surveys on some fantastic old buildings. To date, the project I have been proudest to contributed to is working in collaboration with Southern Green to deliver the Landscape and Ecological Plan for the Conservation, Enhancement and Maintenance of the Setting of the Angel of the North. It was fantastic to understand a bit more about, and contribute to, the overall enhancement of this iconic landmark.
What do you see for the future?
I see the future of ecology growing in importance as infrastructure investment continues and technology advances. Ecology is becoming front of mind for considerate contractors and I look forward to working on a range of diverse projects. Another area I see as having an exciting future is repeat work with clients and subcontractors which allows us to create solid partnerships and deliver projects with greater success.