Meet the MD: Nancy Thomson of Thomson Ecology

Meet the MD: Nancy Thomson of Thomson Ecology

Although Nancy is an environmental scientist by profession, she is also a serial entrepreneur. BQ caught up with her to find out what she believes makes a great business leader and how she makes everything run so smoothly at Thomson Ecology...

What is it the company does?

Thomson Ecology is the UK’s leading expert in gaining consents and managing ecological planning conditions. We are ecologists.

We have expertise across all ecology services from data gathering, analysis, consultancy and habitat creation.

We advise clients in most sectors on how to comply, in a practical way, with wildlife laws in order to gain planning consent for their developments.

These may be new power stations, wind farms, rail developments, motorway extensions or any large development projects. 

Our expertise covers all ecosystems from ocean floor to mountain tops.


What does your role involve?

As CEO, I am responsible for communicating the vision of our goal clearly and consistently. I ensure that our company values are clear and that we live by them.

Then it is my job to make sure we have the best people and that nothing gets in their way in delivering an excellent service to our clients.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I started my first company when I was 26. It was an environmental consultancy. I sold it when I was 41 and briefly considered retiring.

Then I was chairman of a Scottish salmon farm and a non-executive director of a textile manufacturer. I then bought a boat and sailed around the world with my husband.

That took five years. When we returned I started Thomson Ecology and thanks to a strong team we have become market leaders.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Nerves of steel, a compellingly clear vision, humility, ability to see the big picture and a drive to be the best.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Attracting the best people.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Hard exercise, and alcohol!


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A pilot or an architect.


Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

A lot more clear blue water between us and the rest. Innovating new ways of achieving our clients’ aims. Expansion oversees and possibly diversification.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

You know if you have what it takes.

Are you driven and unreasonable, expect too much from others, too hard on yourself?  Then you have it.