Uplands Lead Adviser

Natural England

Crewe, Kendal & Manchester (flexible home-working considered)
£26,224 pa

Paid • Full or Part Time • Permanent

Sectors: ecology, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Sunday, 28th February 2021   1 day left

Our vision: Thriving Nature for People and Planet

Natural England is a unique organisation. As the statutory advisor for the natural environment we play a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. We have an amazing wealth of knowledge and data about nature, and we bring organisations together nationally and locally to agree the right solutions for people and nature.

Our mission is to Build Partnerships for Nature’s Recovery - to work with a wide range of people and organisations to take the action required to rebuild a sustainable environment. We seek to achieve our vision and aims through four strategic programmes:

  • Resilient Landscapes and Seas - protecting and restoring wildlife and natural beauty for future generations.
  • Sustainable Development - creating great places for people to live and work.
  • Greener Farming and Fisheries – supporting those who manage land and sea to operate in harmony with the environment.
  • Connecting People with Nature - promoting health and wellbeing through the great outdoors

The Cheshire to Lancashire Area Team

Natural England’s Cheshire to Lancashire Area is one of great contrast, home to some of the most stunning countryside and natural environments in the country which includes the magnificent natural assets of the West Pennine Moors and Bowland hills, the wetlands of Cheshire and Greater Manchester and the wildlife rich Irish Sea coast. In 2021 the Cheshire to Lancashire Area Team has an ambitious plan to provide environmental leadership within our patch, help create thriving nature recovery networks which will expand, increase and restore wildlife rich places, connect people better with nature, and provide our best advice on proposed developments across the patch.

We are organised to provide advice and advocacy through 5 teams that combine a deep understanding of our rich biodiversity and culture-rich landscapes with the ability to initiate and sustain effective partnerships. We have a collaborative ethos, and seek to maximise delivery by integrating our skills, expertise and influence, with that held by our partners, to deliver a range of conservation activities across the Area Team.

We are looking for an experienced individual with effective working knowledge of upland land management plus sound ecological and conservation skills that will help us deliver Natural England's ambition for the 25 Year Environment Plan and make a difference to the landscape across the Lancashire Uplands, with a particular focus on the Forest of Bowland AONB area.

This is an exciting opportunity to make nature recovery happen in our area and beyond, working with other like-minded people across organisations and sectors. Our lead Advisers work in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including landowners, land managers, utility companies, NGO’s, and other interested parties, to identify opportunities to protect, restore and enhance the existing network of protected sites including Sites of Special Scientific Interest and those with European Designations.

A key part of this role will be focused on facilitating and securing improved condition of the peatland resource in the Bowland Fells SSSI/SPA, both in terms of the habitat and the bird species it supports, enabling a healthy and resilient long term future for the landscape.

You may also be required to contribute more widely across the Area Team, by being a flexible & adaptable team player to support wider team outcomes aimed at creating resilient landscapes, putting people at the heart of the environment and growing the natural capital. Relationship building and communication across target audiences will be an important element of the post holders work.

Key tasks and areas of work will include:

  • Working collaboratively with upland land owners/occupiers and other public bodies to secure favourable management of Bowland Fells SSSI/SPA.
  • Identify opportunities for Nature Recovery Networks which will help link our existing wildlife rich spaces for nature with newly created, expanded and enhanced habitats, so nature can thrive.
  • Working with partners and landowners to facilitate and encourage peatland restoration projects and secure appropriate management of blanket bog, grassland and wider landscape
  • Carrying out field-based and desk-based assessments (site checks, rapid assessments and detailed assessments) on upland, woodland and grassland habitats to understand their condition and design/facilitate interesting conservation and restoration proposals
  • Contributing to the team’s agri-environment work programme by providing technical advice, helping to conduct ecological assessments and developing habitat restoration proposals
  • Provide support to our Senior Advisor, to influence and capture a landscape vision for Bowland and outline how we could secure those long term ambitions and values, including identifying future moorland restoration works, wildfire risk management, and opportunities for species rich grassland enhancement.
  • Leading on upland statutory casework such as consents/assents/advice/HRAs and contribute to enforcement cases/EIAs where necessary; priority habitats

Technical skills and knowledge:

  • An understanding/knowledge of protected sites legislation relevant to priority habitats, SSSIs and European sites or alternative experience
  • Working knowledge of issues affecting upland habitats and species, including experience of upland field work and a good understanding of practical habitat management
  • Good terrestrial vegetation species identification skills;
  • Effective problem solving; involves considering new approaches, testing options, applying sound judgement and interpretation when making recommendations or determining appropriate action.
  • Experience of working collaboratively with others to help design, facilitate, encourage and deliver successful projects to achieve positive outcomes.
  • Experience in managing a full workload with continually changing and often competing demands on your time
  • Good communication skills at a range of levels; ability to explain things clearly on the phone or in writing;
  • Good organisational skills
  • Competence in the use of IT, including ability to work with spreadsheets, databases & presentation packages (experience of Geographic Information Systems is desirable but not essential.

Additional information:

A full driving licence is essential. Willingness to travel regularly to site visits across Lancashire, and potentially, the wider Area Team geography. Travelling to offices for training/meetings may also be necessary. Natural England encourages staff to travel by public
transport wherever this is feasible.

For further details and to apply please click here.

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