Awards 2020 Winner’s Spotlight: Member’s Award

Claire Wansbury CEcol CEnv FCIEEM

This award was sponsored by

Claire’s passion for biology was ignited at the age of seven whilst watching David Attenborough’s Life on Earth. She was fascinated by the sheer variety of living creatures with whom we share this planet. Her first commitment to ecology was saving up her pocket money to sponsor a lizard at London Zoo. From a humble interest in nature, Claire has gone on to influence government policy and projects; deliver innovation in research, encourage and support work and industry colleagues; and promote the aims and objectives of CIEEM.

As Atkins’ Biodiversity and Natural Capital Technical Authority, Claire delivers engaging training on a range of subjects including biodiversity net gain, natural capital, environmental and contract law, bat identification and green bridge design. She actively raises awareness of biodiversity, e.g. as the guest lecturer on biodiversity net gain at the Society for the Environment’s 2019 awards and lectures event. She also gives talks on ecology and biodiversity enhancement to industry specialists including engineers, project managers, planners and designers.

Claire has been involved in discussions on biodiversity net gain for many years. In 2011, she presented evidence to the All- Party Parliamentary Group on Biodiversity about the National Planning Policy Framework and biodiversity offsetting, in which she called for every offsetting project to aim for net gain. More recently she has been one of the key players driving forward best practice in the UK. In 2016, Claire represented CIEEM on the CIRIA, CIEEM and IEMA working group creating the “Biodiversity Net Gain good practice principles for development”. She then went on to chair the Project Steering Group producing guidance on biodiversity net gain. Claire is on the working group creating principles for net gain and people, and the BSI committee creating a British Standard.

A steadfast supporter of CIEEM for decades, Claire has served on the Membership Applications Committee, assessed Chartered Environmentalist applications and volunteered to be a ‘test case’ for the CEcol assessment process, leading to her being registered as Chartered Ecologist number 007! In 2018 she was elected onto CIEEM’s Advisory Forum.

Claire works tirelessly to share her knowledge of, and passion for, the environment by actively supporting work colleagues, industry professionals and academic students to achieve their own career goals. Throughout her own career she has helped junior colleagues by contributing to their technical learning, practical welfare and mentoring. She also influences them to use volunteering days for charities such as London Wildlife Trust, Earth Trust and Bat Conservation Trust.

Over the last few weeks, we have been posting further information on each of the 2020 CIEEM Awards Winners over on our blog. A full recording of the event is now available to watch online. Further details on each project/individual is set out in our 2020 CIEEM Awards Booklet.