Welcome To Acorn Ecology

Acorn Ecology Ltd was established by Sue Searle in 2003, a licensed bat worker and bat trainer with over 13 years experience of ecological consultancy. Sue has lectured in Ecology and Conservation at both Exeter and Bristol Universities and has run several courses for The Mammal Society, FSC and CIEEM. She also runs her own professional development courses through Acorn Ecology Ltd. In 2009 she won a National Training Award. She is a full member of CIEEM and subject to a Professional Code of Conduct. She takes personal responsibility for all projects that the team undertakes.

Acorn Ecology’s Head Office is located in Exeter, Devon, but now also has branch offices in London & South East headed up by Sarah Lyne, and Bristol, lead by Steph Attwood.

About our Company

Acorn Ecology Ltd was established by Sue Searle BSc, PGDip, MCIEEM in 2003, she was joined by her first full-time ecologist in 2007. With Acorn’s HQ located in the heart of Devon, The Granary at Westpoint on the outskirts of Exeter, the team has grown over the years and in 2014 the company opened two new branches – Guildford and Bristol. Acorn Ecology now covers the whole of the south of the UK.

The company continues to thrive under the direction of Sue and each branch is run by competent senior staff – Sarah Candlin, Sarah Lyne and Steph Attwood. The future brings expansion of all branches, especially Guildford and Bristol who have greater geographical catchments than Exeter. And continued commitment to develop the staff to the highest standards of competency.

We are the only ecological consultancy in the south of Britain that offers a full ecological consultancy as well as a comprehensive range of training courses for ecologists.
Acorn Ecology Ltd is nationally recognised as one of the top ecological consultancies and ecology training centres.
The business provides a top quality service so that customers use us again and again and recommend us to others. We seek customer feedback to ensure that we are getting it right. The business provides a comprehensive survey and advice consultancy for everything involving wildlife for developers and strategic infrastructure projects.

We attract some of the larger developers and architects in the country as well as providing a service to individuals, and training to would-be ecologists, to enable them to make a start in their careers. The team consists of highly professional ecologists and trainers. The business will continue to grow our three branches – Exeter, Bristol and Guildford. We will strive to be the BEST.

We constantly strive to improve and be better than all our competition. We aim to be easy to work with whilst being totally professional. Our reputation is excellent, we aim be fair in all our dealings, keep our word, work hard, aim to make a difference and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

We aim to leave the world a better place.

Scientific Integrity

Scientific integrity is at the core of our decision-making and problem-solving processes. We promote scientific integrity through advising current best practice and upholding the CIEEM Code of Conduct. Our reports follow guidance set out by CIEEM and BS42020 Biodiversity – a Code of Practice for Planning and Development. Our employees take part in continual professional development, and we provide a framework for the promotion of scientific standards through our comprehensive training programs.

Sharing Knowledge

Collectively, we have over 70 years experience working as ecological consultants. We believe in sharing our knowledge with each other and with future ecologists; sharing knowledge underpins Acorn Ecology’s culture and our commitment to excellence.


At Acorn Ecology, we promote a friendly, professional and respectful workplace. Respect for each other and for the needs of our clients helps us create a happy working environment, which allows us to meet our other core principles.


We believe the key to achieving excellence is the promotion of scientific integrity and providing well-written and concise reports, which are inclusive, proactive, solution-based and of the highest standard.


We provide a supportive workplace for our employees so that our employees can provide support to our clients and uphold and execute our core values and objectives. We listen to our clients and respond to customer feedback, so that we can provide them with solutions, which best support their objectives, whilst promoting current best practice.

about us and our location map in Exeter Bristol and Guildford
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About Our Clients

We work with a wide range of clients from individuals who want to convert a barn or loft to large housing projects, quarry extensions, highways projects and even conservation research projects. Our team have great relationships with our clients and we aim to work closely with them to ensure the projects run smoothly.

WSP UK Limited (formerly known as Parsons Brinkerhoff) The Complete Oak Home King Edward VI Community College
Green Hedge Energy Barn Limited Plymouth City Council Upton Pyne PCC
Kier Construction Harvey Water Softeners Ltd Mott MacDonald
Village Developments Strategic Land Ltd AEE Renewables Ltd Rayners (Buildings) Ltd
Chichester Homes Developments Ltd AECOM Infra & Environment UK LTD X L Planning and Design Ltd
Innovation Property Solutions (UK) Ltd Wainhomes (SW) Ltd Teign Housing
Devon County Council Old Windsor Parish Council Castel Limited
Somerset County Council OCS Group UK Ltd Jacobs UK
E & JW Glendinning Ltd Halsall Construction Ecology Consultancy
Moorhurst Interiors Ltd The Gordon Foundation PM Asset Management

Acorn Ecology Staff in our Exeter Branch Training Room – working hard gathering resources and writing a training course