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Andrew Whitelee – Director/Principal Ecologist


I have had a varied working life, starting off in computing in the 1990s and running my own IT consultancy in the 2000s. In 2003, I made the decision to change careers, return to university and follow my passion for wildlife, the outdoors and the environment.

Since 2007, I have been working in conservation, firstly as a lecturer, then running my own wildlife tourism business and latterly, ecological consultancy. In 2013 I moved up to Scotland to work as an upland ecologist and ornithologist and have been up here ever since. My aim is to offer practical advice and pragmatic solutions to clients’ needs and problems and help them find a way to complete their projects. I started Purple Plover Consulting at the end of 2021 and now provide freelance ecology services to companies such as NKT, SSE and Jan De Nul.

Biodiversity Net Gain

Andrew’s skills at a glance

Ecological Watching Briefs
Mammal Surveys (excluding bats)
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

Project Experience

Some of the recent projects that Andrew has worked on.

Shetland HVDC Interconnector

Working as an Environmental Clerk of Works (ECoW) for NKT on an underground cable project in Shetland.

Key Activities of the Role

  • Nesting bird checks
  • Otter surveys and licensing
  • Ecological watching briefs
  • Silt mitigation advice and monitoring
  • Habitat restoration advice and monitoring
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Reporting and client liaison
  • Community outreach
Shetland Community Outreach example
Shetland Community Outreach example

Before starting Purple Plover in 2021, Andrew worked on many large infrastructure projects across the UK, some of which are listed below.

Glen Kyllachy Wind Farm

Glen Kyllachy Wind Farm is a 50MW onshore wind power project located south of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Worked as Environmental Clerk of Works during the construction phase of the project carrying out environmental compliance checks such as waste management, water quality management and silt mitigation. Undertook wader and raptor surveys across the site.

Wind power

South Wales Overhead Line 400kV Upgrade

Balfour Beatty were employed by National Grid to upgrade the overhead power lines from Pembrokeshire in the west of Wales, all the way across South Wales to the English border and up in to the Breacon Beacons. Working as the Environmental Advisor on the project and managing a team of ecologists and ECoWs on the ground.

Melgarve Substation

Melgarve is situated adjacent to the River Spey within the Monadhliath Mountains west of the Cairngorms. The works involved the construction of a new 400 / 132 kV substation adjacent to the Beauly to Denny 400 kV overhead line. The substation comprises Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) on a platform with a footprint of approximately 172 m x 120 m and was designed to carry the electricity supplied by the Stronelairg Wind Farm. Employed as the contractor’s Environmental Clerk of Works carrying out tasks such as water quality monitoring, silt mitigation monitoring, Schedule 1 bird surveys, otter surveys, reporting and community outreach.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc (Hons) in Computing Science (Aston University)

BSc (Hons) in Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management (Nottingham Trent University)

Fellow of The Linnean Society (FLS)

Member of Institution of Environmental Science (MInvSc)

Member of the Association of Environmental Clerk of Works (MECW)

Associate Member of IEMA (AIEMA) and member of the North of Scotland Regional Steering Group