Our People

Our People

Blackdown Environmental Header BannerOur staff bring their passion and drive to every job.  We’re very proud some of the best ecological experts and most skilled operators have chosen to join our team.  Our success is down to their hard work and enthusiasm for what they do.

Stewart Priddle – Managing DirectorStewart Priddle - Managing Director

Stewart has over 15 years’ experience in environmental land management and associated work. Having worked on a varying degree of contracts including road, rail, civil engineering and utilities, he has a wealth of experience in the industry. He has overall responsibility for the company including health & safety and environmental issues. In 2007, the same year that he founded Blackdown Environmental, he was named by Construction News in their Top 30 Future Leaders of Construction.

Adam Bratt – Senior Ecologist Adam Bratt - Senior Ecologist

Adam has over 10 years’ experience in the field of ecology and environmental management. Having worked on a broad range of contracts he is well informed on most aspects of ecological management. He is responsible for tendering and estimating for habitat works and ecological consultancy services, undertaking and supervising ecological surveys, mitigation works and associated report writing to accompany planning applications.

Sophia Priddle – Ecologist Sophia Priddle - Ecologist Director

Sophia has over nine years of experience working in environmental management and ecology with the last five years being in the capacity of ecologist. Projects have included working on a varying degree of contracts such as rail, highways and infrastructure projects. Sophia is responsible for undertaking and supervising completion of ecological surveys for species including bats, badgers, reptiles and dormice, mitigation works and associated report writing to accompany planning applications.

Ed Nicholson – Operations Manager Ed Nicholson - Operations Manager

Ed joins us from the National Trust’s Killerton estate, and brings with him 24 years’ of industry knowledge and skills to assist the team and our clients. Ed’s past work and expertise has included managing all aspects of estate management: from public access, woodland planning and management, parks and grasslands through to management of historic landscapes. Most recently he has led a 4 year project researching and redeveloping the historic designed landscapes around Killerton Parkland, for which Blackdown were the principal contractor.

Sonya Raybole – Office Manager Sonya Raybole - Office Manager

Sonya’s role within the company is to maintain and manage operational systems and ensure compliance with ISO standards, alongside her day to day administration duties.



Rob Speed – Contracts SupervisorRob Speed - Team Leader

With a BSc (Hons) in Countryside Management, Rob leads the work on the ground from tree surgery through to habitat creation and fencing.
Rob is a keen clay shooter and has recently been selected for the Devon English Skeet shooting team. He also enjoys fishing in his free time.


Katie Jones – Senior Ecologist

Katie has twelve years of experience within ecological consultancy, with nine years based in the South-West and has extensive experience of undertaking habitat and protected species surveys as well as reporting, designing and implementing mitigation and monitoring schemes. Katie holds a level 2 bat licence and a low impact class licence for bats and a level 1 great crested newt licence and has prepared and held numerous mitigation licenses with respect to bats. Her main interests lie undertaking preliminary bat roost inspections and habitat surveys, however she also has extensive experience surveying for badgers, water vole, otter and dormice.

Before joining Blackdown Environmental, Katie worked for the consultancy arm of Devon Wildlife Trust where she worked with a variety of clients including housing developers, utility companies, supermarket chains and local authorities as well as private individuals looking to enhance the land for wildlife.

Kelly Martin – Team Leader

Kelly first worked with us as a sub-contractor but then decided to join the team full-time. Kelly has spent time working on both road and rail works as well as been a ranger for the national trust and Teignbridge council. Kelly loves nothing better than to get out on her mountain bike at weekends and jump off very high things!

Bethan Withey – Ecologist Bethan Withey - Assistant Ecologist

With a MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity, Bethan’s role within the company is to undertake a variety of protected species and habitat surveys and associated report writing. Bethan holds a level 2 bat licence and dormouse licence and has over four years’ experience working within the environmental sector. Her main interests lie in undertaking dormouse surveys and bat surveys, having completed a dissertation researching the habitat preferences of bats in urban environments.

Daniel Thomas – Contracts Manager

As part of our ongoing development, we have been able to recruit Dan Thomas to the team, in the new role of Contracts Manager. Dan comes to us from Thomson Ecology, where he was previously an Associate Director. Dan brings with him over 10 years’ experience in the fields of ecological contracting and ecology. Dan has a track record of delivering innovative ecological solutions to clients on some of the UK’s largest development schemes, from a variety of industrial sectors including; Major Infrastructure (Highways, Rail & Airports), Utilities, Renewables, Flood Defence, Residential Development and Commercial Development.

Dan has a wealth of experience in the estimating, pricing, management and delivery of large-scale schemes for major projects including; Wallasea Island, East-West Rail, Dudgeon Onshore Cable Route, M1 ‘J19-21’, Gatwick Airport Flood Alleviation Scheme and Steart Managed Realignment.

Sarah Lashly – Admin and Ecological Assistant

Matt Richardson – Machine Operator

Matt operates our main tractor and excavtor unit with all manner of attachments. His dry northern humour makes him an ideal candidate to work on his own!

Daniel Mason – Land Based Operative

George Reed – Land Based Operative