You don’t really need a professional ecologist to find out whether there are deer, badgers, etc. there. A few judiciously located camera traps should find out fairly easily. I appreciate that they aren’t always the cheapest, but probably much easier than finding a qualified ecologist to check for you, and they may very well suggest the same thing anyway. Camera traps are also very rewarding and something which I imagine your group would find interesting as well as being a good way of enlisting more support. But they will also help to monitor, ongoing, what is happening at night, when you can’t be there.
I recently purchased a new night cam from Naturespy Shop https://shop.naturespy.org/ A non-profit organisation. I found them very helpful (spoke to them on the phone) and was very impressed by their helpfulness and prompt service. Even though I rang in the afternoon, the camera arrived next morning – in the week before Christmas!