Regulations Manager (Reform)

Forestry Commission

Flexible with regular travel to the Bristol office
£35,167 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental policy & campaigning, sustainability

Closing date: Friday, 27th May 2022   7 days left

Society has never been more interested in the sustainable management of England’s tree and woodland cover and in increasing the coverage of trees and woodland we already have. At the same time, there have never been as many environmental and social pressures eroding England’s woodland cover through pests and disease, illegal clearance, climate change, and lack of management. It is an inspiring time to be involved, and you could be instrumental in helping safeguard England’s trees, woodland, and forestry now and for future generations.

Forestry Commission are the Government’s forestry experts. We work with the forestry and environmental sectors nationally and locally on unlocking the full potential of woodlands, to expand, protect, improve, and connect England’s valuable woodland assets.

We are looking for an experienced manager to work in the Forestry Commission’s rapidly expanding Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) team. The SFM team is one of the Forestry Commission’s national teams and has responsibility for the operation and enforcement of forestry regulations, and for grant support for woodland management, tree health, and woodland creation activities.

Within SFM, the Regulations team has responsibility for the administration and management of all forestry regulations controlling tree management activity in England, such as for tree felling, woodland creation, protecting habitats and species, and for ensuring those activities meet the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS), and has responsibility for implementing enforcement activity where breaches of regulations or criminal offences are identified.

The manager role we want to recruit will be line managed by a new SEO and will line manage a new EO who are also being recruited. All three posts are focused on the development of reforms of legislation, regulation, policy, procedures, and systems used to govern forestry activity in England. The chosen candidate will be key to the successful delivery of necessary regulatory change over the next few years and will be working closely with Defra’s forestry policy team.

Our aim is to have a regulatory environment fit for the 21st century, and a well-informed, self-reliant, and regulatory compliant woodland and forestry sector, but where non-compliance of forestry regulation occurs, to have appropriate enforcement sanctions.

Job description

The SFM Regulations Manager (Reform) will:

Line-manage a EO and work closely with other team managers in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) to ensure team cohesion and a shared understanding of the Forest Service’s strategy.

Work closely with Defra and Forestry Commission policy leads, Natural England, and other public bodies on relevant legislative, regulatory, policy, procedure reform, and system development.

Work directly on the development or updating of forestry legislation, regulation, policy, and of digital ways of working for an improved regulatory experience, to contribute to increased efficiency and lessening the burden of regulation on business.

Become a regulatory ’subject matter expert’ responsible for the development and management of consistent, correct guidance on operational practice, business process, and associated support materials, for use by other Forestry Commission teams, Defra, and other external stakeholders.

Be able to work independently in a fast-paced environment and will adapt to short term deadlines and seasonal peaks and troughs in workloads across the year in a dynamic and efficient way.

Ensure all work on forestry regulation is addressed in a manner which is timely, accurate, and in accord with any relevant regulations, and to seek legal advice when appropriate.

Occasionally provide cover for other SFM regulations team staff, other SFM business areas, and to Defra forestry policy team as well. They may also need to travel to other offices and to meeting venues to support development of regulatory activity.

Contribute to the design, implementation, and communication of the Forestry Commission’s approach to regulation and enforcement and contribute to reducing non-compliant or illegal activity.


The Forestry Commission is recruiting and is growing its capacity across many business areas. The SFM Regulations Manager ( Reform) has the following responsibilities:

Team working and managing people:

  • Co-manage a growing SFM Regulations team (currently of 12 people, to rise to over 20 people).
  • Have direct line management responsibility and manage and monitor individual workloads and performance of those directly line managed, ensuring effective, efficient, and continuously improving use of resources.
  • Work closely with other SFM team managers and with colleagues across the Forestry Commission to ensure the effective delivery of Forestry Commission and Defra priorities.

Change and Development:

  • Deliver the Forestry Commission’s formal review and reform of the legislation, regulation, policy, and procedures used to govern forestry activity, and work closely with Defra forestry Policy on legislative and other change opportunity.
  • Use regulatory reform outcomes to inform the development of new digital systems, business processand guidance, to ensure changes are adequality accounted for in system and guidance design.
  • Keep abreast of changes in the operating and regulatory environment, such as in post EU Exit farming, and on feedback from Forestry Commission customers on our systems and regulatory services; identify opportunities for simplifications, efficiencies, and performance improvement.


  • Ensure the delivery of change in forestry regulations contributes to the government’s forestry policy priorities, Forestry Commission corporate plan targets, and Forest Services Strategy.
  • Ensure a consistent, procedure led, approach to implementing forestry regulatory regimes is maintained and further developed, seeking legal advice where necessary and ensure regulatory reform enables efficient, consistent, and timely delivery of BAU forestry regulation case work.
  • Provide advice and expertise on forestry regulation and reforms to a range of Forestry Commission, Plant Health Forestry, Defra, and forestry sector stakeholder.
  • Co-manage the provision of timely and accurate management information for Key Performance Indicators, system and process performance management, and business improvement.


Maintain a network of contacts across the Forestry Commissions’ national, administrative, and Area teams, Defra policy teams, other Arm’s Length Bodies, and with the wider forestry and environmental NGO sector and sector engagement groups, to achieve better regulation objectives.

Find out more & apply