Assistant Conservation Officer - Black Grouse


Llangollen, Wales
£26,379 - £28,319 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Sunday, 28th July 2024   5 days left

The Black Grouse is an iconic feature of Wales’ uplands. Its communal leks are one of nature’s most stunning displays, as flamboyant males strut, posture, and fight in front of the females. This display is now becoming a rare sight and we are at risk of their place in the Welsh landscape becoming just a memory.

This project aims to prevent the extinction of Black Grouse in Wales. This will be achieved through building strong partnerships and undertaking conservation action. We are seeking an enthusiastic, resilient individual to help deliver this work in North Wales. 

About the Role

This role will mainly be based around the northern regions of the Berwyn Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI), in the RSPB North Wales Moors Priority Landscape, a hidden gem in North Wales which holds truly iconic upland species. This focal area is not a nature reserve, the successful candidate will work alongside private landowners and the local community.

The candidate should be resilient, understanding and engaging to meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities of working in this area. The Site comprises upland habitats (blanket bog and dry heath), ffridd, and woodland, most of which is active agricultural land.

The overall aim of the role is to deliver the RSPB’s Black Grouse Nature Networks Project, a Heritage Fund delivered on behalf of the Welsh Government. This will include delivering habitat management works, working closely with our partners, and undertaking surveys, all of which will benefit the conservation of Black Grouse in Wales. 

The role will allow the applicant to work outdoors most of the time, and all desk-based work can be completed from home.

The Assistant Conservation Officer will be a key member of the North Wales Moors Priority Landscape Team. Responsibilities will include:

  • Planning and organising habitat management works, ensuring all permissions and consents are in place.
  • Managing contractors and ensuring works are completed within the specified timeframe and budget and all health and safety protocols are followed.
  • Work closely with Natural Resources Wales and be on-site to ensure capital works do not breach consents or damage sensitive habitats.
  • Undertaking of ecological surveys.
  • Build positive relationships with landowners so that RSPB’s policies and messages are understood and furthered.
  • Running demonstration days with local stakeholders and the local community to champion Black Grouse in the Welsh landscape.
  • Reporting on results and progress.

Essential skills and experience:

  • A full, manual driving licence (which will allow you to drive RSPB vehicles).
  • The ability to walk long distances and navigate in remote and rugged environments.
  • Good communication and assertiveness which allow you to organise, lead and direct contractors. As well as an understanding and positive attitude.
  • An organised and reliable approach to managing your own time.
  • Strong problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
  • You will be able to confidently develop strong working relationships with a range of people including farmers, landowners, contractors and other stakeholders.
  • You will have a good understanding of upland species and habitats, including measures required to protect and restore these.
  • An understanding of the culture and heritage of the North Wales uplands. 

Desirable skills and experience:

  • Knowledge and experience in the local area.
  • Competency in GIS.
  • Degree-level qualification in a relevant subject.
  • Experience of productive partnership working.
  • Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites, species, or habitats.
  • Good knowledge of upland land management, Black Grouse conservation, and the key issues driving their decline, knowledge of peatland restoration.
  • Experience of managing and delivering habitat management contracts.
  • Ability to communicate in Welsh. 

This is a full-time, fixed-term contract for 6 months. Part-time options may be considered for suitable candidates. The role will also be available during the following autumn and winter period (2025/26), so would be suitable for a candidate looking to develop their skills and experiences during the autumn and winter seasons. 

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 5th August 2024. For further information please contact [email protected] 

As part of this application you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete a short form. Should you have a cover letter, there is a dedicated tab on the form.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The RSPB is a licenced sponsor. This role is not eligible for UK Visa Sponsorship - the successful applicant will need to have a pre-existing Right to Work in the UK in order to be offered an employment contract.

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