We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Presentation required at interview – question to be advised.


The MoJ Property Directorate is a customer focused organisation that exists to enable our customers to perform to their very best.  We do this by providing high quality, easy to use services, and working environments that our customers want to work in, which support them to deliver their individual outputs efficiently.  Our job is to manage one of the most diverse and complex estates in Government – hosted by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).  As of 2 April 2021, the Prisons Maintenance Group (or PMG) join MoJ Estates Directorate and the team receives a new title, MoJ Property.   This change will align us with our Profession – the Property Profession – and brings together a property portfolio including Prisons, Probation, and MoJ HQ and Arms Length Bodies.  We also provide property services on behalf of the Home Office.

MoJ Property provides specialist services including facilities management, health and safety, fire safety and security, technical design expertise, and sustainability.  We also have business management teams who support the entire Directorate and each of our partners is supported by account management teams.  We are responsible for a great deal – our portfolio consists of properties valued at £8.5bn for the MoJ alone.  We are part of the Government Property Profession (GPP) and through active membership and engagement we will work with the Office of Government Property to develop the maturity of the profession and also encourage our people to join the GPP. We continue to build our capability through training and recruitment, aspiring to be the best that we can be as individuals and as a directorate.

We continue to deliver new ways of working across our portfolio – leading on the scale and pace of activity for central government – proposing ways to achieve, and then providing more dynamic and flexible workspace, while driving down the cost of the estate.

Team Overview

The new Senior Ecologist is a technical role and provides an exciting opportunity to influence widespread operations in one of the largest landholders in government.  The role will report to the Principal Ecologist in the Sustainable Development team, and be an integral part of formulating ambitious strategy, and embedding consistent and high-quality ecological advice.  The MoJ wants to become a flagship government department in improving environmental performance, and are working at pace to influence MoJ estate, policies and operations.

Our buildings function predominantly as prisons, courts and probation premises, but have more land and ecology potential than you might think.  Working with Facilities Management providers, operations staff, property colleagues and charitable partners, the new role has needs to influence grounds and ecological management across the MoJ estate, and shape future land use policy and plans.

With measures for our statutory conservation sites already in place, the new Senior Ecologist will advise on legislative compliance for species and habitats, ensure best practice, and deliver biodiversity net gain proposals and our Nature Recovery Plan.  We are also increasingly learning about the need for a natural capital approach and are developing tools to apply within our business.

Such sustainable management practices will need embedding into MoJ policy, process and culture, whilst also contributing to wider government climate change adaption and the MoJ aim to reducing reoffending. The context of our work is unique: in amongst our operations, the potential to make a difference to wildlife, places and people is great, and we are very excited to be a part of it.

Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

We work with rural and urban sites across England and Wales, and so you will experience a wide range of habitats and landscape features. Travel to sites will be required and although the team is based in central London, we all have the capacity to work remotely and do so.

Our ecology work is split into 5 themes: compliance, enhancement, offender rehabilitation, staff wellbeing and communications, and embedding adaptation to climate change.  Working within a small team, this position will be responsible for our compliance, enhancement and climate change adaptation technical objectives.

The responsibilities will include:

  • Championing a multi-species, landscape-scale and climate-change resilient approach in all that we do;
  • Completing thorough screening and review of policies, programmes, maintenance plans and capital projects (e.g. new builds, renewable energy installation, asset disposal), to ensure that ecology is considered, promoted, protected and enhanced.
  • Providing a wide range of technical expertise and guidance to project managers and sponsors who may be involved with ecology in their property management: species licencing procedures, review of EIAs, BREEAM assessments, or monitoring/management agreements;
  • Ensuring compliance and sponsoring ambitious land management advice, alongside discussion with Natural England/NRW and renewing Site Management Agreements / Ecological Management Plans;
  • Ensuring INNS and biosecurity risks are identified and actioned appropriately;
  • Delivering an ambitious Nature Recovery Plan for the estate in line with the Greening Government Commitments and achieving a >10% biodiversity net gain;
  • Working with HMPPS, HMCTS, commercial teams and Facilities Management contractors to measure and continually improve their environmental performance, find improved ways of working, and help to trial innovative solutions to maximise ecology within MoJ operations;
  • Formulate, bid, administer and deliver projects with partners, including charities and volunteers;
  • Monitoring and reporting to senior management our progress against legislative responsibilities, such as SSSI condition, Greening Government Commitments, section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and the 25-year Environment Plan;
  • Renew and align MoJ Estates Biodiversity policy(ies), which includes wetlands, peatlands, pollinators, badgers etc, and work to communicate and embed principles throughout all MoJ business and operations e.g. procurement, project delivery, industries, estate management;
  • Promote, coordinate and help to train contract managers, grounds and facilities staff, contractors, horticultural instructors, industry managers, farm staff, volunteers, offenders and others in environmental best practice;
  • Provide a reliable, consistent and expert point of contact and support for non-technical operational staff across the country in helping to deliver ecological improvements;
  • Working with support staff and providing constructive direction and feedback. This may include mentoring and coaching apprentices or fast streamers;
  • Support any sustainability award schemes and promotional staff events, with your technical knowledge;
  • Promoting the work of the Sustainable Development Team through internal and external communications;
  • Embed a new GIS system and ensure data is secure, up-to-date and efficiently reported;
  • Work with the wider team to review the quality and quantity of our natural capital. Help develop future strategies and tools to incorporate a natural capital approach into all that we do.There is the potential for this part of the role to be further developed.

Expectations of post holder in executing the role

The post holder is expected to be a good communicator, have a positive can-do attitude and work well in a team to progress shared tasks.  They should display a commitment to ambition, continual improvement, and be capable of working independently and confidently at pace. The ability to prioritise, and present clear and concise recommendations is essential, alongside being able to think “big picture” and pragmatically across the estate.

The Senior Leadership Team expects all team members to operate in a culture of openness and honesty, demonstrating a commitment to change through involvement and empowerment, and by delivering results.

Skills and Experience


  • Creating positive working relationships across (multidisciplinary) teams, with internal and external stakeholders, and those with a varying understanding of ecology;
  • Technical knowledge of a wide range of species and habitat management measures, and experience of implementing creative and multiple-benefit enhancements;
  • Experience in working with the Defra metric, net gain planning, and the principles of mitigation hierarchies and the new Nature Recovery Networks;
  • A positive, forward thinking and thorough approach in reviewing plans, contracts and KPIs to maximise biodiversity;
  • Understanding of the planning and project management process, ideally with a knowledge of natural capital, BREEAM and other construction considerations;
  • Experience in preliminary ecological assessment/EIA, mitigation measures and recommendations;
  • Preparing consistently high standard of reports and site management agreements / ecological management plans;
  • Balancing workload and priorities to achieve an ambitious delivery programme;
  • Acting as an advocate for change by giving effective and clear recommendations, and influencing others;
  • Confidence in thinking of the big picture and working at scale across multiple sites;
  • Experience of working with partner organisations and volunteers, and preparing bids for matched funding;

Highly Desirable

Membership of the Government Property Profession or Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) or The Chartered Institution of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is desirable.

  • Experience with natural capital decision making and evaluation;
  • Experience with GIS mapping software;
  • Holding protected species licences or working with them, especially bats and GCNs;
  • Delivering tree-planting or pollinator improvement projects;
  • Experience of procurement processes and budget management;
  • Wider knowledge of ecology relating to sustainable food production, agriculture, horticulture or renewable energy;
  • Knowledge of sustainability policy and its application in property or other infrastructure; or experience working within estate management.

Government Property Profession (GPP) Technical Skills

The GPP Framework is aimed at staff working in property or property-related roles and consider property to be their career anchor profession. This usually encompasses posts where professional qualifications and experience are directly relevant to the work being undertaken. However, it is also applicable to those who are currently not qualified property practitioners but wish to make this their profession of choice. Those with a property background at any level are encouraged to register with the GPP, which exists to support property practitioners at all levels. Details of the GPP Career Framework can be found at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-government-property-profession-career-framework–2

This role falls under Technical Specialisms & Assurance – Environmental Sustainability: Senior Practitioner and some or all of the following Technical Skills will be tested during the selection process:

  • Sustainability – Level 3


We will assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Communicating & Influencing
  • Changing and Improving
  • Delivering at Pace

Flexible working hours

The Property Directorate offers a flexible working system in many teams.

Requests for reduced hours contracts will be considered in line with business needs.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. We are happy to accommodate any reasonable adjustments you may require during the selection process. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

The Property Directorate offers flexible working subject to local agreement.

This post is advertised as Permanent & Full Time, part-time applicants will be considered     under job share arrangements. The unit is supportive of and encourages flexible working and compressed hours candidates will also be considered. Non-civil service candidates would typically start on the pay band minimum.

Additional Information

CTC level National Security Clearance is required for this role. Central Government policy dictates that applicants for National Security Clearance must be a resident in the UK for these minimum periods:

  • CTC – 3 years
  • SC – 5 years
  • DV – 10 years

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

1-     To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);

2-     To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);

3-     To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.