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Greener Farming and Fisheries Senior Adviser

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Location   England (East Anglia)
Town/City   This position is based at Cambridge or Norwich
Salary   £32,438 / Permanent
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Mid Level
Deadline   11/04/2021
Company Name   Natural England
Contact Name  
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:

We are the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide.

Natural England is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Team

The team is responsible for building partnerships for nature’s recovery across Norfolk and Suffolk. We aim to achieve the protection and enhancement of biodiversity and landscapes and to connect people to them for their own and society’s wellbeing, enjoyment and prosperity. We use a range of mechanisms to achieve this including land management and planning advice, engagement with stakeholders and direct management of our own land. As a Team we aim to work flexibly and support each other and collaborate with others across the region to increase awareness and appreciation of our landscapes and wildlife and enable everyone to enjoy and act to improve them. Our successful delivery of nature’s recovery will rely on us explaining the benefits people derive from our special marine and terrestrial environments, fantastic landscapes and helping people and local communities grow and nurture connection with their natural environment.

This role will provide leadership of our Farmland Conservation work both internally as part of the leadership team and leading our advisers, but also externally with partners, with 3 main strands to the role:

1. Team leadership and programme delivery
2. Technical expertise and capacity building
3. Networking and partnership building- internal and external

You will be responsible for overseeing the Farmland Conservation programme - ensuring that our farm advice through Stewardship and Aftercare to landowners is delivering on the 25 Year Plan objectives and Nature Recovery.

This will involve programme coordination, functional team leadership (not direct line management) and capacity building of the team through the provision of training, coaching and mentoring to share your technical expertise.

You will bring partners and our teams together to identify the environmental opportunities in a landscape and direct NE’s farmland conservation tools to these endeavours in collaboration with partners and landowners. We see this role pioneering novel approaches to management of the farmed landscape, inspiring and enabling landowners and communities to realise their environmental ambitions. With the new schemes that support environmental land management being developed, this is an exciting time to be working in this area and our team’s strong expertise in this area is actively contributing to the new scheme design.

It will be essential to collaborate with colleagues to ensure that our work areas are integrated, so that the farmland conservation programme has maximum nature recovery impact in a landscape through delivering alongside our other tools (eg. Planning, Catchment Sensitive Farming, SSSI monitoring and casework, Water investment strategies).

The role will include acting as Senior Responsible Officer for complex casework for Farmland Conservation and Protected Sites; acting as escalation point for risk management and coaching case officers where needed. These cases will range across the habitats in Norfolk and Suffolk - with the key skills required being knowledge of the legislation and scheme rules and the ability to assimilate information and identify the fundamental issues and support the team to find solutions. This will support SRO capacity across the team, working alongside other Senior Advisers leading these types of cases. This part of the role offers a great opportunity to be in on the biggest environmental challenges in our region and be part of finding solutions with the team to protect and restore nature.

You will role model Natural England’s Values by being: Collaborative, Inclusive, Ambitious and acting with Integrity.

Key tasks

• Engage the team in the future direction of Natural England and the ambitions of the Conservation Strategy and Defra 25YEP.
• Lead and coordinate local delivery of the Greener Farming elements of the Greener Farming and Fisheries Programme ensuring that the team is delivering what has been commissioned efficiently and using the right processes, meeting targets and deadlines. Align these tools to help achieve the Team’s priorities and projects, to deliver the best environmental outcomes for Norfolk and Suffolk.

This will include:

1. Pipeline planning and processing of Countryside Stewardship (CS) Higher Tier applications, PA1s & PA2s o CS and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) extensions
2. Proactive and reactive aftercare advice o Input to local CS facilitation funds
3. Casework advice to the Farm and Conservation Service (FCS), including delivery of technical advice to the RPA
4. EIA Agriculture Regulations
5. Driving forward integration of CSF into a broader farm conservation adviser role

• Act as Area Team Lead for Greener Farming and Fisheries Programme, feeding in to and communicating developments in the new schemes to reward environmental land management, ensuring they are well understood by the team and that they are involved in development as appropriate.
• Work closely with other Senior Advisers in the team including Catchment Sensitive Farming, National Nature Reserves, Water, Protected Sites & Nature Recovery Networks to ensure integration and that our AE delivery contributes to SSSI condition improvement and Nature Recovery Networks.
• Act as Senior Responsible Officer for high risk casework on Protected Sites acting as case escalation, supporting case officers in decision making, and building their capability to manage complex cases.
• Provide technical and people leadership to our Advisers on AE delivery, including support, guidance and technical advice with a strong emphasis on coaching and building team capability.
• Champion reform to AE work to deliver an improved service within our resource constraints.
• Build and manage external relationships for example with conservation NGOs, RPA, local FWAGs, large landowners/estate managers and Forestry Commission to enable and support the delivery of shared aims and objectives, and to actively seek new projects to deliver our outcomes.
• Champion and develop adviser project ideas using a project management approach to secure resource, skills and funding.
• Be an active member of key internal networks with other Area and National Teams to fully understand nationally developed commissions, to grow your own knowledge base and share that with colleagues within the team.
• Contribute to NE’s business planning and commissioning process, monitor delivery in year ensuring that it is in line with the Area Team allocation and all resources are being fully utilised.
• Work alongside Team Leaders to ensure Advisers are clear on AE priorities and work is allocated and resources assigned across the area as and when required, making best use of skills available.
• Work with Team Leaders to grow the team capability and capacity for delivering our AE work within the team by leading on a development programme which could include webinars, site based training, coaching and mentoring.
• Ensure our advice is recognised and where appropriate paid for through Discretionary Advice Service.
• Make best use of all available evidence, fully understand current thinking and apply a broad knowledge of Natural England’s purpose when resolving problems, considering new approaches, testing options and using your judgement in making recommendations or determining appropriate action


Competence 1
Professional competency
Leading and managing people


• Set clear plans and expectations for your team, explain reasons behind decisions, be clear on the outcomes to be achieved, and make things happen by sharing and delegating work to the right people.
• Encourage, inspire and support people to be ambitious, creative and innovative, and to reflect, celebrate and learn lessons from their work.
• Facilitate and support the personal development of people in your team, enabling them to share expertise and continuously learn.
• Lead by example, engage and support your team through change

Competence 2
Professional competency
Personal Effectiveness


• Act with integrity, addressing challenging issues and managing conflict through being open and objective.
• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and Natural England and inspire others to act.
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence.
• Share expertise and knowledge with people and networks so that you can develop together.

Competence 3
Professional competency
Putting People at the Heart of the Environment


• Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and Natural England.
• Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver Natural England’s vision, mission and aims.
• Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with local and national issues.
• Align statutory conservation ambitions with evidence of cultural values and what people want for their environment

Competence 4
Professional competency
Work Delivery


• See the big picture so you can set your team’s work within the context of the organisation’s vision, mission and aims, and help them understand how their work relates to and supports this.
• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines.
• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures

Competence 5
Professional competency
Creating resilient landscapes and seas


• Understand and use appropriate agri-environment schemes and other interventions to contribute to a healthy natural environment that benefits people and the economy.
• Design your local projects to have beneficial impacts at the landscape scale.
• Use National Character Area profiles and landscape/seascape character assessment to inform your decisions and projects.
• Understand the environmental value of designated sites and explain that to partners, stakeholders and customers

Competence 6
Professional competency
Specialist skills/knowledge


• Knowledge and experience of delivery of AES schemes and agriculture policy issues
• Knowledge of arable farming systems, habitats and species
• Knowledge of woodlands and forestry in the agricultural landscape
• Knowledge of historic environment management
• Knowledge of Protected Site legislation- Habitats Regulations, SSSI's


Please refer to Job Description


Full UK Driver's Licence


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Please refer to Job Description

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

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