Project Development Officer

Wild things!

Forres, Moray
£24,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract 01309 690450 Luke Strachan

Reference: PDO

Sectors: environmental education, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Saturday, 23rd February 2019   4 days left

Introduction and Background

Wild things! is an award winning environmental education charity based in Findhorn, on the Moray Firth, in Scotland. We provide inspiring wilderness, nature based, and outdoor learning experiences for all ages and abilities. Wild things! are developing a new project, ‘Silver Saplings: Wild and Well’, which aims to put the elderly and intergenerational activities at the heart of its programmes, providing the opportunity for some of the most vulnerable members of the community to come together, learn about and care for their natural heritage. Whilst taking part in conservation activities and nature experiences, participants will also learn how to engage with their local natural heritage as a means to support their own health and well-being with a life-long “green prescription”.

After a successful Stage 1 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project, Wild things! is now seeking to engage a Project Development Officer (PDO) for a 12 month placement to develop the programme and submit our stage 2 application.

What we are looking for

Wild things! is seeking an experienced project manager who will develop a range of partnerships and relationships with care homes, charities, local groups, businesses and other relevant organisations. Most importantly, the Project Development Officer will be responsible for the production of the Stage 2 Silver Saplings Delivery Application. The PDO will also work with the CEO to secure funding for the ongoing delivery of the programme into 2020 and beyond.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The development phase of the project will provide a blueprint for the delivery phase by:

  • Developing partnerships with conservation organisations (e.g. Marine Conservation Society, Local Community Woodland Trusts, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Trust and the RSPB), community groups, care homes, local clinics and other relevant organisations to source participants and enable their participation in the project’s activities.
  • Testing how ‘green prescriptions’ can be implemented and evaluated.
  • Producing a Stage 2 Delivery Phase application for the Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Able to assist the CEO in applying for further funding to support the Silver Saplings project.

Principal Role and Job description

The PDO will be responsible for:

Planning and reporting

  • The production of a work plan that ensures that the required outputs of this development phase are delivered according to the timetable and budget submitted in the Stage 1 bid.
  • Production of progress reports that will summarise the work that has been undertaken as well as identifying any areas requiring further work.

Financial Management and Administration

  • Liaise with Wild things! Finance Manager to monitor expenditure made during the development phase, ensuring compliance with the approved project budget, and advising the Wild things! CEO of potential expenditure variations.
  • Preparing reports and claims.

Facilitate stakeholder engagement

  • Identify public, private and/or third sector organisations with a view to establishing links for cooperation and/or partnership.
  • Liaise as necessary with collaborators and stakeholders to further the aims of the work in the Development Phase.
  • Where there is opportunity, develop partnerships with other organisations for the better implementation of the Development Phase.

Awareness and knowledge survey

The PDO will work with Wild things! CEO to establish a baseline for knowledge and attitudes of target groups including, but not restricted to, those participating in pilot activities, as to the status and threats to natural heritage and the impact of working with nature on human health and well being. The resulting report will be used to inform the Communications Plan and a participant recruitment strategy for the main project.

Draft and submit Stage 2 application and supporting documents

The PDO will work with the Wild things! CEO, and other staff where relevant, to draft and submit the Stage 2 application, which will include the following:

Activity Plan for the delivery phase with SMART targets, including developing project reporting procedures.

  • A project timetable, budget and cash flow for the project, including the calculation of costs and full cost recovery, post-project income and spending forecasts.
  • An Audience Engagement Plan detailing how the project will engage with its target groups and audiences as described in the HLF Stage 2 Application Guidance
  • A Communications Plan for the delivery phase. This will identify the main tools and key messages for target audiences
  • A Monitoring and Evaluation Plan as per the HLF Stage 2 Application Guidance
  • A Management and Maintenance Plan with costs for sustainability of the project’s activities after the end of the project
  • A Financial Management Strategy for the delivery phase – including match funding and procedures for managing project spend and reporting
  • Finalised agreements with collaborating organisations

C. Management and Organisational Structure:

The project will be managed by Wild things!, whose CEO and Board will provide overall direction, guidance and support. The PDO will be responsible for implementing and/or co-ordinating the development phase work described above and in the Silver Saplings: Wild and Well HLF Stage 1 application. The PDO will report to the Wild things! CEO and work closely with Wild things! Fieldwork Manager and other staff

D. Key skills and qualifications:

Education and Experience:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant discipline.
  • Demonstrable experience in the financial and administrative development / coordination / management of relevant projects or programmes.
  • Demonstrable experience of procedures and record keeping necessary to fulfill grant scheme requirements.
  • Experience in the management and coordination of a wide range of collaborators and stakeholders, including the elderly, teenagers and school children.
  • Experience of working in, coordinating or managing partnership projects.
  • Work Based and Personal Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral).
  • Excellent organisational abilities and able to prioritise, with management support, multiple, perhaps competing, work streams.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Experienced in use of standard computing packages (particularly Excel, Word and Powerpoint).
  • Able to work as part of a small team and on own initiative 
  • Able to think creatively and flexibly in order to achieve the objectives of the work


  • A driving license is essential
  • A willingness to travel across the project area and elsewhere in Scotland as required;
  • A desire to make a real difference to people and environmental management in Scotland and an empathy with the charitable and voluntary sector.

A Flexible Approach

A flexible approach is needed with this role in order to meet the needs of the charity. This may require you to work flexible hours, including the occasional evening or weekend when necessary.


All applications should consist of a CV and covering letter of no more than two sides of A4. The covering letter should explain your suitability to the role in the relation to Section D: Key Skills and Qualifications. 

Your application will be shortlisted on the strength of your Cover Letter.

If you would like to learn more about the role, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01309 690 450.

Please mention when responding to this ad.