The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NH or Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, Hampshire, GU10 4LS
About the job
South England Forest District manages some 46,000 hectares of the public forest estate across West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset & South Wiltshire. Much of the land is of high importance for nature conservation, supporting some 29,000 hectares (ha) deemed to be of national importance for wildlife of which approximately 28,000 ha are also designated as being of international importance for biodiversity as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar sites. The majority of the land managed by the District is also within areas designated for their landscape value, including 4,000 ha within AONBs and 31,500 ha across two National Parks. We are looking for a District Ecologist to cover the east area of our district, including woodlands in the South Downs, Chiddingfold, Micheldever and around Winchester and Southampton. This is a temporary appointment with a possibility of becoming permanent. They will be responsible for supporting the District teams in delivering their work through providing ecological advice and guidance.
The post holder will liaise with external conservation organisations to improve our understanding and delivery of ecological issues in our woods and open habitats. There will be opportunities to work in partnership with other organisations and engage in delivery of species reintroduction projects. You will be required to manage contracts and deliver operational projects at times.
Purpose of the Job
• To lead on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity (species and habitats) in line with current legislation, principally via development of protected areas management plans and input to Forest Plans (FPs) in the East of the district;
• To lead on the provision of ecological advice (concerning protected and priority species and habitats) to colleagues across the East of the district and support/enable the compilation and delivery of planned operational programmes via the Operational Site Assessment (OSA) Process;
• To communicate and liaise with stakeholders regarding our commitments to the environment and nature conservation legislation;
• To support Senior Ecologist with project delivery
Key Work Areas:
Evolving our offer
• Liaise with Foresters to give ecological advice on specific issues, including support for delivery of SSSI plans – work with the beat teams to ensure conservation budgets are planned and work is organised for the year.
• Provide ecological input to Operational Site Assessments (OSAs), submitting advice and comments for OSAs.
• Liaise with Natural England over the SSSI Condition Monitoring.
• Provide ecological support to the Civil Engineering team and the Recreation team.
• Set up and manage survey contracts and operational delivery projects.
Increasing our commercial value
• Link with stakeholder groups to support their survey work and help engage them.
• Provide ecological support to the Estates team e.g. planning applications, post-minerals restoration projects, infrastructure upgrades, development mitigation and biodiversity offsetting opportunities.
• Identify projects in readiness for funding opportunities becoming available across our forest estate.
• Manage existing conservation projects and provide support as required for new projects.
Engaging our customers
• Represent FE at events and steering groups in the east of the District.
• Attend all team and district meetings.
• Build and maintain good relations with partners in statutory and NGO conservation organisations.
• Build and maintain better links with local academia to support the sustainable management of the public forest estate.
• Support the beat teams with assistance in organising volunteering days.
• At least 5 years’ experience of working in the environmental management sector.
• Degree or equivalent in Ecology or Environmental Management.
• Sound knowledge and understanding of ecology.
• Experience working with local stakeholder groups, including: landowners; non-governmental organisations; charities; local government.
• Experience of setting up and managing contracts.
• Experience of providing ecological advice to a wide audience.
• An effective communicator, both written and verbally.
• Competent in IT – Microsoft Office, Arc GIS mapping software.
• Experience of writing and delivering SSSI plans.
• Sound knowledge of the application of environmental legislation to project planning and delivery.
• Experience in running consultations with a range of stakeholders.
• Experience of interpreting scientific records and reports for a wide range of audiences.
• Understanding of protected species and the forestry sector.
• Experience of presenting on wildlife topics, dealing with media and public engagement activities.
• Experience of interpreting strategies and developing them into practical plans for delivery.
• An understanding of UK Forestry Standards and UKWAS certification.
• Experience of setting up and delivering monitoring programmes.
• Understanding of species reintroduction projects.
• Knowledge of and experience in delivering practical Natural Flood Management.
• Member of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
Seeing the Big Picture
• Focus on the overall goal and intent of what you are trying to achieve, not just the task.
• Ability to communicate the wider context of your work to others.
• Keep up to date with issues that affect your work area.
• Take a keen interest in expanding knowledge in areas related to your work.
Making Effective Decisions
• Demonstrate accountability and make unbiased decisions.
• Speak with the relevant people in order to obtain the most accurate information and get advice when unsure of how to proceed.
Communicating and influencing
• Display enthusiasm around goals and activities – adopting a positive approach when interacting with others.
• Identify key players and seek to gain their co-operation in advance of formal communications.
• Actively listens, allowing others to fully express their opinion.
• Be an effective representative of the team
• Listen to, understand, respect and accept the value of different views, ideas and ways of working.
• Build, maintain and improve relationships with different stakeholders at the relevant level to understand differing views and issues.
• Be approachable, open, polite and helpful to others.
• Proactively contribute to the work of the whole team and remain open to taking on new and different roles.
• Build supportive relationships with your colleagues.
• Listen to alternative perspectives and needs, respond sensitively and check understanding where necessary
• Ask for help when needed and support others when the opportunity arises.
Delivering at Pace
• Create regular reviews of what and who is required to make a project/activity successful and make ongoing improvements.
• Remain positive and focused on achieving outcomes despite setbacks.
Degree or equivalent in Ecology or Environmental Management.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
Seeing the Big Picture
Making Effective Decisions
Communicating and Influencing
Delivering at Pace
• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension
• 25 days holiday (If you work full time)
• Bank holidays
• 2.5 extra days leave (in addition to Bank Holidays)
• Ability to buy or sell 2 days holiday
• 3 days volunteering a year
• 5 days a year to develop yourself
• Access to extensive on-line learning (Civil service learning)
• Reimbursement of professional membership fees
• Right to request flexible working and part time hours
• Cycle to work scheme (if full time)
• Civil service healthcare
• Civil service sports and social club (CSSC)
• Civil service motoring association club
• Civil service insurance
• Free parking at Forestry Commission sites and free entry to forestry arboretum
• Up to 15% discount at Forest Live Events and the chance to volunteer
• 15% discount on Forest Holidays and 15% at Go Ape
• Retail discounts e.g. 20% at cycle surgery and Snow and Rock and 10% discount at Enterprise car hire
• 10% discount at Forestry Commission shops