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DIO is passionate about ensuring that we are a top performing organisation and a great place to work. We host a diverse range of talent where everyone feels valued and supported enabling our people to flourish, bring greater creativity and innovation to achieve higher organisational performance. We are committed to be an equal opportunities employer and creating a culture where everyone can bring their whole self to work and individuality is truly appreciated.
As part of the MOD’s Ecology and Natural Capital Team, the DIO Senior Ecologist will lead on biodiversity and natural environment issues in the South East of England (and other regions, subject to requirement and capacity); and on ecological aspects of major development and disposal programmes and projects across the MOD’s built estate; and overseas tasks as required. The postholder will work closely with the other DIO Senior Ecologists, MOD stakeholders, regulators, consultants and contractors and will line manage a specialist subteam of three ecologists. The South East region includes ~10,000ha of highly designated lowland heathland, scrub, woodland and coastal training areas, and a similar area of undesignated land including barracks, airfields, fuel and munition depots, naval bases and communications sites. Current built estate development and disposal programmes include major port and harbour works in Portsmouth, Plymouth and the Clyde; the nationwide Defence Estate Optimisation Programme and Accommodation Optimisation Programme; Estate Management Plans and Project Prometheus (large scale roll-out of solar photovoltaic installations across the UK defence estate).
Tilshead, Wiltshire – SP3 4RS. Other DIO locations in the South East and South West may be considered, subject to availability and business need. Discussions to take place at interview or Offer stage.
Leadership and Management
• MOD ecology lead for SE region, built estate and coastal development
• Line manager for three Ecologists
• Promote strong working relationships both within the Ecology and Natural Capital team and with other teams across DIO and MOD
Policy, Guidance, Advocacy and Assurance
• Supporting development, review and advocacy of MOD policy and guidance on ecology and the natural environment
• Advising MOD stakeholders on compliance
• Co-ordinating and undertaking assurance monitoring
Estate Stewardship Plans
• Reviewing and updating MOD Integrated Rural Management Plans (IRMPs) and Grounds Maintenance Plans in the region
• Representing the MOD as a Competent Authority in leading assessment and approval of IRMPs under the UK Habitats Regulations
Estate Stewardship Delivery
• Developing, maintaining and delivering a costed and prioritised programme of required works to improve and maintain MOD SSSIs and other biodiversity assets in the region
• Advising on and, where appropriate, undertaking ecology survey, Ecological Impact Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and approvals for major built estate development and disposals programmes, particularly port and harbour developments and dredging, defence estate optimisation and disposals
• Advising on ecology survey, impact assessment and approvals for regional development projects, as well as proposed changes to military training and operational activities, and supporting infrastructure
Stakeholder Communications and Management
• Supporting natural environment communications and PR including input to Sanctuary Magazine and Awards.
• Giving presentations and briefings within the MOD and to external stakeholders to raise awareness of nature conservation responsibilities and achievements
The post will require outdoor working in remote locations across the UK and potentially overseas.
Essential Experience, Licence and Memberships
• Essential Experience:
1. Co-ordinating and undertaking Ecological Surveys, Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessments for terrestrial and/or coastal developments or activities
2. Protected Species casework
3. Assenting / Consenting processes for activities affecting SSSIs
4. Designing and/or reviewing habitat management plans and SSSI management plans for sites
• Essential Driving Licence:
This role covers a large number of often very remote rural establishments across the UK (and potentially overseas), usually with no public transport, and the postholder will need to reach and self-drive around these sites to undertake scoping and assurance surveys of the habitats, species and landscapes
• Essential Membership:
Full Membership of CIEEM, or able to demonstrate equivalent combination of relevant specialist qualifications and experience (see here for further information: https://cieem.net/i-am/membership/membership-grades/)
This is a highly specialist technical role and candidates with less than a relevant degree and at least five years specialist experience (or equivalent combination) will not be suitable. Full Membership of CIEEM is a recognised minimum standard within the sector for this grade.
Essential – Full Driving Licence.
Essential – Associate Membership of CIEEM, or able to demonstrate equivalent combination of relevant specialist qualifications and experience.