National Nature Reserve Ranger

Natural England

Stiperstones NNR, Minsterley, Shropshire
£25,064 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Thursday, 1st August 2024  

The team  

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future? Do you enjoy working in a team? Can you see yourself helping to manage a National Nature Reserve to maximise gains for the Natural Environment? 

If this appeals to you, a career at Natural England offers rewarding opportunities to secure environmental improvements and play your part in creating a better future for people and nature. 

The priority work Natural England is delivering includes:

  • The management of 134 National Nature Reserves
  • Establishing a Nature Recovery Network to help wildlife thrive
  • Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change
  • Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods
  • Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature
  • Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing

We are the Government’s advisor for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, an ambitious vision which brings new opportunities to protect and enhance and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.

Find out more about the work of Natural England at

This is a local role, based in Natural England's West Midlands Team.

The successful candidate will be based at the Stiperstones and will be part of a small team working on the Stiperstones and Downton Gorge NNRs.

Job description

The reserve ranger will support the local team with the annual work programme at the Stiperstones and Downton Gorge National Nature Reserves, working on a range of habitats including upland heathland, upland oak woodland, hay meadow and riverine woodland.

Based at the Stiperstones, in Shropshire, you will help deliver habitat works, infrastructure maintenance and repairs and biological surveys, working closely with our team of volunteers and ensuring everyone works safely and in accordance with risk assessments. You will help maintain vehicles and equipment and update health and safety records. 

Working as part of the small Stiperstones NNR site management team, you will be expected to be flexible, able to work alone and used to working largely outdoors. The role may also require occasional working on other NNRs across the West Midlands. 

The Stiperstones NNR is owned and managed by Natural England and is an upland heathland site with important acid grassland, upland oak woodland, mires and hay meadows. The site is important for its upland birds, invertebrates and flora. It is managed in conjunction with common grazing rights holders, graziers, contractors and volunteers. Natural England also run their own flock of sheep and some ponies. Management includes: tree clearance, heather cutting and burning, gorse control, bracken management, path upkeep, coppicing, fencing etc.

Downton Gorge NNR is a riverine valley woodland which is leased from a local estate. It is important for its woodland flora, lower plants, fungi, invertebrates and birds. Management includes coppicing, deer fencing, path and ride management.

Role requirements

  • Deal with day to day reserve management and estate maintenance tasks and activities
  • Work as part of small management teams to deliver the NNR management plan targets through daily work
  • Ensuring a high standard of upkeep of the visitor facilities
  • Deal with day to day problems to complete assigned tasks, processes and activities
  • Species management including pest and invasive species control
  • Supervise volunteer groups to carry out management tasks 
  • Assisting with some monitoring and survey work
  • Helping control undesirable activities
  • Liaise with landowners, graziers and contractors as necessary
  • Build constructive relationships within the team
  • Assist with health and safety management e.g. risk assessment, maintaining servicing records
  • Have a passion for nature and National Nature Reserves (NNRs). A basic knowledge of the key habitats and species would be desirable.
  • Be willing and able to work outside in all weathers in a variety of remote locations. 
  • Be physically fit as the work involves a range of manual tasks.
  • Be able to work as part of a team.
  • Have excellent attendance and timekeeping.
  • Have a desire to learn more about the reserves, their special features and management. 
  • Be self-motivated, organised and enthusiastic and used to working without direct supervision, having a confident and innovative approach to developing ideas and projects. 
  • Be able to ensure the safe working environment for staff, contractors and visitors.
  • Have a full UK driving licence.

Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.

Natural England provides excellent opportunities for career progression, training and development tailored to your role. From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Everyone has 10 days to devote to personal learning and development, as well as an additional 3 days to volunteer.

You will have access to Civil Service Pension and benefits arrangements and generous leave allowances (33 day per year pro rata), as well as flexible working, to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you and us.

You will have access to a range of benefits including discounts on shopping vouchers, cycle to work scheme, and childcare vouchers. You can also join the Civil Service Sport club which offer discounts on a range of sports and leisure opportunities as well as social events.

Natural England is a fantastic place to work, where difference is celebrated.

We’re committed to fairness and equality for all, so you feel valued for who you are and what you do. Our shared values help us work together to benefit the communities we serve. Our thriving employee-led diversity networks support our inclusive culture and contribute to our Diversity Action Plan.


This role will be based at the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve base south of Shrewsbury in South Shropshire.


Alongside your salary of £25,064, Natural England contributes £6,792 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Find out more & apply