GCN District Licensing - Technical Officer x2

NatureSpace

Home-based
£26,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

naturespaceuk.com [email protected] Sarah Garratt

Sectors: ecology, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Friday, 19th March 2021  


NatureSpace Technical Officer (2 posts) 
£26,000 pa 
Full time, fixed term contract (initially for 1 year but with the expectation of renewal)
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 19th March 2021.
You will be notified by 2nd April if you have been selected for interview.
Interviews will be held (probably virtually) on 13th April.  

How to apply:  

Send your CV and a covering letter to [email protected] before 5pm on Friday 19th March 2021.

The role

This is an exciting opportunity for an early-career graduate to join a ground-breaking project that is delivering a step-change in the conservation of great crested newts. The 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. The postholder will use GIS to analyse impacts of development on great crested newts, following defined processes and protocols. Attention to detail and a meticulous approach to assessments, report writing, and recording, as well as the ability to work within strict deadlines, are paramount for this post. Training and guidance will be provided, and day-to-day support will be available for all aspects of the work. 

Background

Natural England have granted ‘District Licences’ for great crested newts to planning authorities across England. 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 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 South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership, which works with landowners and managers to create and manage ponds and other habitats across the region.

Main duties of the role: 

  1. The Technical Officer will work within the NatureSpace Technical team, providing accurate quotes, assessments, reports and certificates in line with the deadlines, standards and critical requirements of the district licensing scheme. All work will be conducted and delivered to the high standards expected of NatureSpace staff.
  2. The Technical Officer will need to liaise in a professional, confident and knowledgeable manner with: developers (prospective and current clients), ecologists and environmental and planning consultants, Local Planning Authority GCN officers, ecologists and planners, The Newt Conservation Partnership and NatureSpace colleagues
  3. The Technical Officer will be required to complete casework administration to agreed standards and processes, including daily maintenance of up-to-date live casework tracking and recording systems and data management, e.g. to record habitat and impact information
  4. The Technical Officer will be required to undertake or assist with further technical work for the company where required, for example: client meetings to discuss case specific examples, website and other media maintenance and updates, mapping work for publications, presentations, etc as required, internal IT support.
  5. The Technical Officer will need a close working relationship with the Technical Lead and other Technical Officers, the Conservation Director and Newt Officers to ensure that assessments are accurate, informed, communicated effectively and work well within the planning and licensing framework.
  6. The Technical Officer will be responsible for managing their own workload and working independently, as part of a small national team. We are a friendly, close-working team of home-workers. There will be high levels of personal flexibility and responsibility given, but equally high standards of self-management (time recording etc) will be required. The Technical Officer will need to be an organised, motivated and a mature ‘self-starter’, able to manage multiple ongoing tasks. Full training and guidance will be provided for all functions, and day-to-day support will be available for all aspects of the work.

The successful candidates will have: 

  1. A relevant degree (e.g. in ecology, environmental management, geography)
  2. Understanding of ecological impact assessment and biodiversity in planning
  3. A genuine enthusiasm for ecology and conservation in the UK

Essential key skills: 

  1. An excellent communicator with good inter-personal skills - able to liaise proactively and confidently with all stakeholders
  2. A detail-focused analyst, able to deliver critical analysis of projects using knowledge of great crested newt ecology and impact assessment
  3. Understanding of Protected Species legislation and licensing in England
  4. Highly literate, able to prepare documents quickly and diligently to a high standard, following defined processes, protocols and guidance.
  5. Excellent I.T. skills and high competence in GIS, preferably ArcGIS or QGIS
  6. Organised, methodical and conscientious - able to juggle and prioritise multiple cases, enquiries and tasks, and work efficiently to meet tight deadlines
  7. Self-motivated and independent - able to work flexibly with minimal supervision

Desirable key skills: 

  1. First-hand field experience with GCN – surveying, mitigation methods etc
  2. Knowledge and experience of the planning system
  3. Full driving licence and access to a car for business travel
  4. Coding / programming experience (including R)

Employment and location: 

NatureSpace Partnership is a small, growing company. The successful candidates will be joining a friendly, close-working team of home-workers. The post holder will have responsibility for managing workload and working independently, as part of a dispersed national team. The post requires high levels of motivation and high standards of self-management. Location is flexible - this post will be mainly desk based but some site visits and travelling to meetings may be required.


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