Meet our Team


All training courses are taught by professional and practicing Ecological Consultants.

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Sue Searle Acorn Ecology

Sue Searle Bsc (Hons) PGDip MCIEEM


Senior Tutor, Principal Ecologist, Managing Director of Acorn Ecology Ltd.

Sue is an experienced tutor and has won awards for her training. She holds protected species licences for dormice and bats. Sue is committed to training future ecologists and sharing her passion for wildlife.

Sue started Acorn Ecology in 2003 and now runs three branches across the UK.

Sue Searle Acorn Ecology

ecology training

Sarah Candlin BSc (Hons) MCIEEM


Exeter Branch Manager and Principal Ecologist at Acorn Ecology Ltd.

Sarah is involved in a lot of the background course organisation/administration and is a highly knowledgeable consultant, with expertise in European Protected Species Licences for bats and dormice.

Sarah joined Acorn in 2007 as a Trainee Ecologist and is currently on maternity leave.

Sarah Candlin Acorn Ecology

Colin Bonfield, Sue Searle and Sarah Candlin Acorn Ecology Exeter

Colin Bonfield Bsc (Hons) MSc MCIEEM


Tutor and Senior Ecologist at Acorn Ecology Ltd.

Colin has over 12 years experience and is a highly skilled Ecological Clerk of Works with extensive experience of working on large infrastructure projects such as natural gas pipelines and roads.

Colin joined Acorn in May 2013, and is a knowledgeable tutor for some of our Exeter courses.

Sally Blower Acorn Ecology Exeter

Sally Blower BA (Hons) PGCE


Finance Manager at Acorn Ecology Ltd.

Sally deals with the day-to-day administration of all of our Training Courses and is an invaluable member of Acorn, providing vital administrative support to our Ecologists.

Sally has recently rediscovered her passion for running and ran the London Marathon in 2015 raising over £4k for the children’s charity DEBRA.

Sally Blower Acorn Ecology Exeter

Sarah, Martin and Nick: Guildford


Sarah Lyne CEnv Bsc (Hons) MCIEEM: Guildford Branch Manager and Principal Ecologist

Nick Gray BSc (Hons): Ecologist, Guildford

Martin Roche MSc (Hons) Grad CIEEM: Assistant Ecologist, Guildford

The Guildford branch, led by Sarah, teach Phase 1, PEA and Badger Ecology and Surveying. They also take Certificate students on placement throughout the summer.

Steph and Hannah: Bristol


Steph Attwood MSc DIC BSc (Hons) MCIEEM: Bristol Branch Manager and Principal Ecologist

Hannah Whitfield BSc (Hons): Assistant Ecologist, Bristol

The Bristol branch, led by Steph, teach Phase 1, PEA and Surveying Trees for Bats. They also take Certificate students on placement throughout the summer.

Steph is also a tutor during the Certificate course core week.

Jess Smallcombe, Assistant Ecologist, Acorn Ecology Exeter

Jess Smallcombe BSc (Hons) MSc


Jess Smallcombe BSc (Hons) MSc: Ecologist, Exeter

Jess has worked abroad, conducting ecological surveys in the tropics including in Borneo and Madagascar. Jess holds NE licences for bats, dormice and GCN.

Jess teaches the Phase 1, PEA and dormouse courses in Exeter and assists during the Certificate course. She also now oversees all of our incoming trainees and work placement ecologists in Exeter.

Sam Pickering


Sam Pickering

Sam teaches our Bat Ecology and Surveying course. She has a wealth of experience about bats and has an infectious enthusiasm! She is a bat carer and bat awareness speaker at North Devon Bat Care.

To find out more, click on the link above.