Rural Solutions is pleased to announce the recruitment of two ecologists to form a new division within the organisation, meaning that Rural Solutions will now be able to offer clients ecology specific services alongside its current service offering of rural planning, design and business consultancy.

The team, lead by Principal Ecologist, David Pollard MRSB BSc (Hons) and Senior Ecologist, Sarah Woods AMRSB MSc BSc (Hons), joined Rural Solutions on 2nd December and will be based at our Northern office.


David has worked in ecology for over 20 years and has a passion for the natural world, particularly reptiles and amphibians worldwide.  Within in his career, he has worked primarily in consultancy and has worked in consultation with a number of public bodies across the country, such as Natural England and the Environment Agency. Outside of work he continues his passion; he is a member of the Royal Society of Biologists and is an active member of the North Lancashire Bat Group and also works closely with the RSPCA and local zoos in dealing with and rehoming exotic species. His experience and passion for wildlife will bring valuable input into the emergence of ecological issues in rural planning development.

Sarah is a wildlife management professional who specialises in using modern, scientific techniques to assess ecological value and the biodiverse nature of areas of habitat.

A masters graduate and published academic with over 11 years’ experience in ecological assessment. Sarah is passionate about finding solutions that offer the best possible outcome for both clients and for the wildlife in the rural environment. Outside of work, she has many creative interests such as painting, crafts and photography and also admirably volunteers at her local Brownie group.

I am excited to start her role at Rural Solutions and help to provide more focus on the ecological implications of planning work in the rural environment.


Rural Solutions works side-by-side with clients to shape and deliver their most important rural business, development and diversification decisions and identify that ecology is the most critical service for us to provide alongside our other rural services currently.

The launch of ecology services is an exciting and much welcome addition to our team. Increasingly biodiversity and the conservation of the natural world is an important consideration for our clients, who wish to deliver sustainable, rural development that is environmentally responsible and designed to enhance people’s connections to wildlife and the natural environment.

Additionally, ecological considerations are fast becoming a central and determining factor in planning decisions, with the planning system progressively moving from a position of net biodiversity loss and mitigation, to one of net gain and enhancement. Having two experienced ecologists in house who are passionate about the natural world and who recognise the role that sustainable rural development can play in its conservation and enhancement is a fantastic addition to the team. We can now offer a full range of ecological services to suit our clients’ needs.

The addition of this service also helps to reinforce the holistic approach our clients are looking for, and we know that this offer will combine to add economic, environmental and social value to a wide range of projects.

Rural Solutions will now be able to offer a fully integrated range of ecology services including baseline assessment, enhancement and mitigation strategies and net gain assessments.  David and Sarah’s contribution to the planning team means we will always be able to include a robust assessment, ensuring ecology is considered from the outset of a project, enabling informed choices to be made and the development to be shaped appropriately to give the best chance of success.

Rural Solutions is the only UK professional services firm delivering this multi-faceted service to landowners and land-based businesses and we are delighted to continue to deliver greater value and impact for clients.