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Ref1802 - Terrestrial Biodiversity Adviser

Company: Natural England    Location: Manchester
The team

The Cheshire to Lancashire Team area

We provide environmental leadership in an area of 6 million people with magnificent natural assets including the Pennine and Bowland hills, the wetlands of Cheshire and Great Manchester and the wildlife-rich Irish Sea coast.

Urban areas are a focus for major economic growth, and home to millions that not only enjoy the nearby wetlands, hills and the coast, but also rely on the environmental services they provide, such as clean water and high quality food.

The expansive Pennine and Bowland moors contain significant tracts of blanket bog and are home to hen harrier and merlin. Our coastline is dominated by the Dee, Mersey, Ribble estuaries and Morecambe Bay - all of international importance for birds, alongside some of England’s most famous seaside resorts and a busy commercial port.

The Area Team

All Team members work in partnership with communities, businesses, land/sea managers and other partners to build a resilient natural environment that contributes to a healthy, prosperous place to live and work. We do this across a series of geographical Focus Areas that contain landscape scale projects aligned to Natural England’s Conservation 21 Strategy.

Our integrated flexible place based Teams, aligned to Focus Areas, bring together the skills and knowledge to maximise our ability to deliver more nature for more people

We have offices in Crewe and Manchester, and currently use “hot desk” facilities at the DEFRA building (Lutra House) on the outskirts of Preston. We have a reserve base at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve.

Job description

Are you the person who could take on this Adviser role and help drive our ability to deliver more nature for more people? This exciting vacancy falls with our Innovation and Support Team, and will have a crucial role in directly supporting the Coast and Marine Team, covering the Dee to Ribble and Morecambe Bay Focus Areas and more widely, all aspects of our work delivered by the Cheshire to Lancashire Area Team as a whole.

Dee to Ribble has extensive areas of open sea, shifting sand dunes and exposed sand and mud beaches that attract thousands of birds each winter. Whilst Morecambe Bay is the largest continuous intertidal area in the UK, with vast panoramas and shifting channels, surrounded by wetlands, grazing marsh and limestone habitats, a home to rare species such as lady slipper orchid.

Whilst you will be expected to work flexibly, respond to enquiries and queries and actively partake in partnership working, this role will make contributions to delivering a range of priority marine and terrestrial biodiversity outcomes across the coast at a scale that builds resilient landscapes. For example by, using your broad understanding of coastal habitats, particularly of sand dunes and their management, you will:

Support proactive engagement for key coastal Sites of Special Scientific Interest to achieve long lasting environmental improvement that underpin priority Focus Area outcomes.

Innovate in the delivery of your work, identifying opportunities for delivering through partners and stakeholders, recovering our costs wherever possible and looking for improvements to the way we deliver our services.

Liaise with land-use planning and marine colleagues over strategic plans and development proposals that offer opportunities to deliver more for the environment, including spotting opportunities for net environmental gain.

Assist with the identification and deployment of the most appropriate management support tools to achieve sustainable environmental outcomes, including developing innovative incentive approaches that use non agri-environment scheme funding sources.

Collaborate on the use of the full range of Countryside Stewardship Scheme agreement types and existing key Environmental Stewardship agreements to support the delivery of priority Focus Area outcomes.
A full driving licence is essential for the role.
A relevant degree (e.g. ecology, environmental studies, coastal ecology etc.) and practical experience, or alternative qualification and practical experience, or proven suitable relevant experience.
We´ll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

Professional competency

Technical competencies (Professional competency & Qualifications)
This is not a specialist post, and the successful candidate will be expected to have a broad knowledge to enable you to work generally across environmental delivery. The successful candidate will, however, bring the following specific skills and knowledge into the Team:

• A relevant degree (e.g. ecology, environmental studies, coastal ecology etc) and practical experience, or alternative qualification and practical experience, or proven suitable relevant experience.

• Sound ecological skills, including the ability to identify and advise on the management of a variety of coastal related habitats and species.

• Previous work experience within the environmental sector and an understanding of habitat management at a practical level is essential.

• Knowledge of coastal processes, habitats and coastal bird ecology.

• An understanding of protected sites legislation relevant to SSSIs and European sites.

• A working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook (ArcView GIS desirable but not essential).

Professional competency

Personal effectiveness - communication [Basic]

• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience

• Adapt your style, content and approach to communicate effectively with different audiences and across different media

Professional competency

Putting people at the heart of the environment [Practitioner]

• Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with local and national issues.

• Expect and demand excellent customer service, ensure lessons are learnt and success celebrated.

• Develop an understanding of the objectives and needs of our partners and customers.

Professional competency

Work delivery [Practitioner]

• Identify, understand and follow the instructions, policies, procedures and standards relevant to your work and handle data responsibly

• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines

• Consider the financial implications of your work and seek income from our products and services.

Professional competency

Creating resilient landscapes and seas [Basic]

• Understand how a site interacts with the surrounding landscape, habitats and local communities, and where an ecosystem approach can deliver integrated environmental outcomes for the benefit of people and wildlife

• Understand and apply appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of sites

Benefits Pensions Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.