Über die Biodiversität hinaus Net Gain-Training Konstruktive Stimmen

Paula Wakelin, Associate Ecologist & Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) specialist

Professionally, I have worked in ecological consultancy for over eighteen years and am a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Paula Wakelin Atkins GlobalI am a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) specialist and an active member of the AtkinsRéalis Ecology Policy Network, HRA Network and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) Network. I like to employ a bit of strategic thinking and find the current emerging changes to legislation and policy fascinating, especially as they will affect environmental assessment as we know it.

In terms of education, I have a Master’s in Restoration Ecology, which felt very forward-thinking in 2001. Since then I have been an advocate for habitat restoration and habitat creation/translocation, and trying to understand where rewilding could fit in from a consultancy perspective.

There is scope for improving habitat quality, connectivity, and ultimately resilience through BNG, Local Nature Recovery Strategies and other national schemes, which makes this an exciting time to be working in this sector.

My interest in nature and wildlife I inherited from my father, and despite growing up in suburban Liverpool, I was able to take respite from exam revision by walking in Childwall Woods. At the time ‘forest bathing’ hadn’t been heard of, certainly not in Merseyside, but that was essentially what it was and it provided much-needed stress relief.

On family holidays too, my father would point out the wildlife we didn’t see at home; bats and buzzards sticking firmly in my mind. I guess that’s where it started for me and it has influenced my choices with respect to my education and career.

Now I am the parent and hope that I am nurturing the same love of the natural world in both of my daughters. You certainly won’t see them running away from any wildlife and both currently have plans to live or work with animals, which is great!