When CGO Ecology first started in March 2008, it was just a one-man band. Now we have four permanent staff, quite a few seasonal staff, and numerous subcontractor associates. In 2014 for the first time, we set up our own Habitat Management Team, so that we could offer heathland restoration, scrub and invasive species removal, and other habitat-related services.
Our Habitat Management Team currently comprises six chainsaw and brushcutter operators: Noel Bergin, Andrew Fear, Wesley Jameson, Sam Manning, Rory Chanter, and Charlie Caldwell.
The Team has a variety of backgrounds in industry and education, with appropriate power tool and
herbicide qualifications, First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid training, CSCS cards, and full insurance.
The Team is managed by Noel Bergin (Senior Ecologist) and works mainly on Dorset's heathlands, carrying out tree felling, scrub and regeneration clearance, stump treatment, herbicide treatment of bracken, sand scrapes, and other forms of habitat creation, restoration, enhancement and management.
Andy Fear came to CGO Ecology from Dorset Wildlife Trust, where he worked on Brownsea Island as part of the Skills for the Future programme, and gained his chainsaw and brushcutter tickets. Prior to that, he worked as a graphic designer and boat-builder with 15 years' carpentry experience at Sunseeker. His survey skills include wading birds, reptiles, amphibians, water voles, deer, dormice, trees and insects.
Wes Jameson formerly worked for Dorset County Council at Avon Heath Country Park, where he obtained brushcutter and cross-cutting licences. He has also put in a lot of volunteer time on practical heathland management for Dorset Wildlife Trust and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. He studied at Kingston Maurwood College.
Sam Manning is a Bournemouth University graduate (Ecology & Wildlife Conservation BSc) with a wide range of practical skills and wildlife survey experience, including barn owl, dormouse, water vole and GCN. Before joining CGO Ecology, he gained his brushcutter licence and a range of countryside skills with Dorset Wildlife Trust. He has also worked as a research assistant, and volunteered for many NGOs and projects, including coppicing, dry stone walling, and humanitarian fundraising. He will shortly be leaving us to take up a post with National Trust for Scotland, in which we wish him well.
Rory Chanter and Charlie Caldwell have recently joined us for the remainder of the current season. Rory is another Bournemouth University graduate who has been developing his ecology skills through volunteering and working with Dorset Wildlife Trust. Charlie runs his own company, Green Finger Solutions Ltd, and joins us as a subcontractor.