15–17 Backfields Lane
Stokes Croft,
Bristol, BS2 8QW

Pollen People: Tom Rothero

Posted by Cat How, March 23, 2018
Tom Rothero heads the Bristol office of the Ecology Partnership – an independent ecological consultancy offering environmental surveys, appraisals, and mitigation and translocation services to support planning applications and other projects.  Tom has extensive experience in both habitat surveying and all protected species surveys, particularly great crested newts and barn owls.

What do you love most about your work?
I think I love the connection with the natural environment. The definition of Ecology is the study of the relationships of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. I think once you grasp the concept of how human interventions within our natural environments actually affect the flora and fauna within them you gain a greater awareness of what’s really around you and become more conscientious… I also just like being outside!

What are you currently working on?
I guess the most interesting thing I’ve got on at the moment is re-homing a maternity colony of lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros if you want the Latin) in Somerset. Lesser horseshoes are one of the UK’s rarer bats that almost exclusively reside within the south west and are a European protected species. The old stables building they are currently roosting and breeding in throughout the summer months has become more and more dilapidated and needs to be demolished for health and safety reasons.

So we have secured a mitigation licence from Natural England and have designed a bespoke “bat house” (currently under construction) that will act as a replacement for the dilapidated garage. Once the “bat house” construction is complete we will then demolish the existing building before the bats return for the summer and hopefully they will move into there new home, which will be part of an on going monitoring project.

What do you like most about Pollen Place?
I worked from home for three years before moving to Pollen Place and so was a bit apprehensive about being around other human beings again, but I shouldn’t have been. I think the people are the best thing about the space; everyone has been really friendly and welcoming. The atmosphere is great, relaxed and fun but maintaining the professionalism needed in a workspace… And there were orange Clubs in the biscuit jar the other day!

Outside of work, what is the one thing that you love most about Bristol?
Having never been a fan of cities, I only lasted 2 months in London before running away, I was sceptical when we moved to Bristol 3 years ago but I love it. It’s the perfect city, small enough that everywhere feels like home but big enough that whatever your interests are there is something for you.

What would be your perfect meal?
My wife is vegan (not militant but fairly hard core) so I do try my best to follow in her lentil-fuelled footsteps but I love burgers…and as far as I’m concerned the best burger in Bristol is at Asado on Colston Street. So my perfect meal would be their “El Don” burger washed down with a pint of Wiper & True’s Kaleidoscope.

What is the motto you live your life by?
Just be kind…

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