Farmland Conservation Lead Adviser

Natural England

Crewe & Manchester
£24,120 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Reference: REF1763

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Sunday, 21st January 2018   3 days left

The Cheshire to Lancashire Team area

We provide environmental leadership in an area of 6 million people with magnificent natural assets including the Pennine and Bowland hills, the wetlands of Cheshire and Great Manchester and the wildlife-rich Irish Sea coast.

Urban areas are a focus for major economic growth, and home to millions that not only enjoy the nearby wetlands, hills and the coast, but also rely on the environmental services they provide, such as clean water and high quality food.

The expansive Pennine and Bowland moors contain significant tracts of blanket bog and are home to hen harrier and merlin. Our coastline is dominated by the Dee, Mersey, Ribble estuaries and Morecambe Bay - all of international importance for birds, alongside some of England’s most famous seaside resorts and a busy commercial port.

The Area Team

All Team members work in partnership with communities, businesses, land/sea managers and other partners to build a resilient natural environment that contributes to a healthy, prosperous place to live and work. We do this across a series of geographical Focus Areas that contain landscape scale projects aligned to Natural England’s Conservation 21 Strategy.

Our integrated flexible place based Teams, aligned to Focus Areas, bring together the skills and knowledge to maximise our ability to deliver more nature for more people

We have offices in Crewe and Manchester, and currently use “hot desk” facilities at the DEFRA building (Lutra House) on the outskirts of Preston. We have a reserve base at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve.

Job description

Are you the person who could take on this Lead Adviser role and help drive our ability to deliver more nature for more people? This exciting vacancy falls with our Uplands Team, covering the Forest of Bowland and West Pennines Focus Areas.

The Forest of Bowland with its open fells blanketed by peat bogs sit above lush valleys with meadows, hedgerows and gritstone villages, provides drinking water to thousands of homes and attracts over 4 million visitors. Rising above the Lancashire valleys, the West Pennine moorland mass is fringed by pasture, dotted with reservoirs and provides enjoyment and drinking water for the large urban populations that live nearby.

As a Lead Adviser you will be supporting our Area Teams to deliver the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Our lead Advisers work with partners, stakeholders and land managers to deliver outcomes aimed at creating resilient landscape, putting people at the heart of the environment and growing the natural capital.

The post holder will have a major focus on the development and design of Higher Tier applications, supporting landowners and working with partners and agents to secure agreements and deliver lasting conservation outcomes on the ground.

You will be a team player and be able to work with a range of staff both locally and nationally based. We are looking for a flexible and adaptable individual with effective communication skills who will be able to lead and progress projects, developing shared outcomes with a range of partners that deliver a real difference for landowners and the natural environment.

Key tasks/principal accountabilities

Show leadership in working with local organisations, stakeholders, customers and colleagues, to build and maintain effective partnerships with a view to securing shared environmental outcomes & helping others meet their own objectives.

Work with partners and stakeholders to ensure we put people at the heart of what we do by working constructively with local communities and land managers and in doing so foster a real sense of stewardship for the natural environment

Work with others to secure resilient landscapes through: a range of wider partnership opportunities effective management of existing Agri-Environment agreements the negotiation of new Countryside Stewardship agreements effective and sustainable management of protected sites including SSSI's

Licences A driving licence is essential Qualifications A degree or equivalent ecological or environmental qualification/experience Competencies We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

Professional competency

Skills and Knowledge

  • A degree or equivalent ecological or environmental qualification/experience
  • A drive to learn and further improve technical knowledge and apply it to the job in a flexible, pragmatic and outcome focused way.
  • Knowledge and experience of agri-environment schemes, their objectives and management, both current and legacy
  • Strong ecological skills- able to identify and advise on the management of a variety of upland and lowland habitats and species
  • An understanding of the aims, outcomes and priority actions in the Biodiversity 2020 Strategy, Lawton's 'Making Space for Nature', and an understanding of the work of the Terrestrial Biodiversity Group
  • Good communication skills including the ability to explain technical information to a range of audiences and engage with local stakeholders.
  • Ability to prioritise and deal appropriately with fluctuating reactive workloads.
  • A working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook (ArcView GIS desirable but not essential).
  • A knowledge of farming systems and ecology would be an advantage but not essential Professional competency

Securing environmental improvements -

  • Demonstrate an understanding of current agri-environment schemes
  • Be able to prioritise often competing opportunities for delivering different environmental outcomes and interpret strategic direction into local circumstances.
  • Recognise, identify and interpret environmental features such as priority habitats and species Professional competency

Communicating effectively

  • Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience Professional competency

Building partnerships - Practitioner

  • Collaborate, negotiate and influence in a well-informed and timely way (in line with customer service standards) to achieve pragmatic outcomes.
  • Develop an understanding of the objectives and needs of our partners and customers and how we can contribute to these. Professional competency

Work Delivery

  • Manage and deliver your workload in line with the Area Team’s environmental objectives, working as a team to share your resource and expertise to achieve this.
  • Be focused, but retain flexibility to delivery under tight timescales and be able to work to set guidelines Professional competency

Personal effectiveness

  • A self-starter and strong team player.
  • Share knowledge and information, helping to build your networks and increase your understanding and that of others

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