Newt Officer

NatureSpace Partnership

£24,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract Sarah Garratt

Sectors: ecology, conservation & wildlife, environmental management

Closing date: Monday, 10th August 2020   6 days left

Newt Officer South Midlands District Licensing Project – Bedfordshire region
£24,000 pa
Full time, fixed term contract (initially for 1 year but with the expectation of renewal)

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 10th August 2020.
You will be notified by 17th August if you have been selected for interview.
Interviews will be held (virtually) on Monday 24th August.

How to apply:

Send your CV and a covering letter to before 5pm on Friday 10th August 2020 – subject heading Newt Officer (Bedfordshire) Post Vacancy.

The role:

This is an exciting opportunity for an early-career graduate to work on a ground-breaking project, working to deliver a step-change in the conservation of great crested newts.

This role would suit an early-career graduate looking to join a small, friendly company that is working with planning authorities and NGOs to deliver better conservation outcomes.


Natural England have granted a series of ‘District Licences’ to a number of planning authorities in the South Midlands and Gloucestershire. The scheme allows planning authorities to authorise (under strictly defined terms) activities which affect newts at the same time as they grant planning permission. The District Licensing scheme has significant advantages for newt conservation (and wider biodiversity benefits) through a fully funded region-wide conservation strategy that creates high quality habitat at a landscape scale and delivers long-term management and monitoring for newts. The scheme benefits developers because the licensing process for great crested newts is simplified and streamlined.

The District Licensing scheme is administered by NatureSpace, is adopted by the Local Planning Authorities, is regulated and approved by Natural England and is fully supported by the country’s leading amphibian and freshwater NGOs – Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust. The habitat creation, management and monitoring are delivered by a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society – the Newt Conservation Partnership, which works with landowners and managers to create and manage ponds and other habitats across the region.

Main duties:

  1. Raise general awareness of the district licensing scheme
    a. With developers, agents, planners, consultants, etc. – through LPA webpages, literature, meetings, etc.
    b. Within the LPAs – to promote the scheme and the conservation strategy amongst staff and Members
  2. Enable good planning decisions
    a. Ensure LPA staff are familiar with the district licensing scheme and the processes and protocols
    b. Provide specific and general advice to planners on reports, certificates and authorisations under the district licence
    c. Help ensure that licence requirements are appropriately translated into planning conditions
    d. Help ensure that all developments properly address their ecological impacts
    e. Monitor developer compliance with any newt-related planning conditions under the scheme
  3. Provide a point of contact for newt-related matters for the LPA(s) to liaise with NatureSpace Partnership, the Newt Conservation Partnership and Natural England as required.
  4. Ensure relevant LPA staff and Members are informed of the outputs and outcomes of the district licensing scheme, as appropriate
  5. Participate in and contribute to the Newt Officer network across the wider District Licensing area. Including bi-monthly catch up meetings and regular NatureSpace and Newt Conservation Partnership meetings.
  6. Any other duties and functions as are deemed necessary to best implement the District Licensing scheme on behalf of NatureSpace.

The successful candidate will have:

  1. A relevant degree in ecology or environmental management
  2. Knowledge and understanding of ecological impact assessment and/or biodiversity in planning
  3. Knowledge of European Protected Species legislation, planning and licensing policies
  4. A genuine enthusiasm for ecology and conservation in the UK
  5. A full driving licence with access to a car for business travel.

Essential key skills:

  1. An excellent communicator with good inter-personal skills - able to liaise proactively and confidently with clients, consultants (e.g. ecologists, planners), planning and other regulatory authorities, NGO partners and colleagues
  2. Highly literate, able to prepare documents quickly and diligently to a high standard, following defined processes, protocols and guidance.
  3. Excellent I.T. skills
  4. Organised, methodical and conscientious - able to juggle and prioritise multiple cases, enquiries and tasks, and work efficiently to meet tight deadlines
  5. Self-motivated and independent - able to work flexibly and with minimal supervision, as part of a small dispersed team
  6. Willingness and ability to travel as necessary

Desirable key skills:

  1. Experience in great crested newt survey and or mitigation practice
  2. Competence in using GIS software, preferably ArcGIS or QGIS

Employment and location:

NatureSpace Partnership is a small, growing company. The successful candidate will be employed by NatureSpace Partnership and seconded to support local planning authorities in Bedfordshire. The postholder will be expected to spend the majority of their time working alongside planning and ecology colleagues within Council offices as well as working remotely from home where necessary.

The post will be mainly desk based but will also require site visits across both relevant local planning authority areas. There will also be additional travel requirements for attending annual meetings and/or training sessions. The post requires high levels of motivation and high standards of self-management (time recording etc. will be required).

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