<< Back

This job listing is no longer active.
Please use our Environment Jobs Search to find current vacancies.


Senior Advisers – Natural Capital and Ecosystems Assessment (NCEA), SSSI Monitoring and Evaluation Programme and England Peat Map

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Location   England (East Midlands)
Town/City   This position is based Nationally
Salary   £32,438
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Senior Level
Deadline   11/04/2021
Company Name   Natural England
Contact Name  
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:
The Evidence Services Team provides scientific and evidence leadership, services and support to help Natural England operate as an evidence-based organisation. We plan and lead the delivery of Natural England’s single Evidence Programme. The Team provides access to evidence through on-line systems and publications and provides evidence services to others in Natural England; particularly geographic information services. We lead work to implement our Monitoring Strategy and develop new approaches.

Natural Capital & Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) Pilot (2 roles)

The NCEA is a new Defra Group evidence programme which in the long term aims to deliver high quality national and local evidence to assess the state and condition of biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural capital assets across our terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. In 2021 we will be continuing to pilot approaches to understand how best we can identify the condition of environments and ecosystems, identify detrimental changes and improvements, calculate the value of interventions and to develop, test, implement and evaluate policy. Natural England will deliver elements of the terrestrial and marine parts of the Pilot building our skills and capacity in earth observation, data management, analysis & modelling, project and contract management, specialist expertise (habitats, marine, landscape, soils, evaluation, natural capital etc); and ecological survey co-ordination and survey on land and at sea. One of these senior adviser roles will provide leadership within the field survey team and the other will provide technical ecological strategic support working closely with NCEA Principal Adviser on future design of NCEA. We are looking for people with strong field ecological skills and who have experience of functional leadership of others in that field.

NCEA England Peat Map (1 role)

The England Peat Map (EPM) is a Defra ‘Nature for Climate’ funded project within the NCEA Programme, to deliver new improved mapping of England's peat resource. The mapped outputs, derived from a combination of field survey, earth observation, and modelling, will describe the extent, depth and condition of peat across the country. This information will be used to support a range of purposes including estimating carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions from peat, targeting peat restoration activities and wider nature recovery.

Protected Sites monitoring and evaluation (2 roles)

Natural England’s Action Plan for 2020/21 commits to investing in the reform of some of our statutory duties including the way that we monitor and manage Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). These reforms will see us working proactively with landowners and site managers, using new technologies and building on our legacy of Protected Sites to re-establish functioning ecosystems that are resilient to climate change and benefit society.

Protected Sites will be at the heart of the Nature Recovery Network as core network areas that can ‘brim over’ with wildlife. These core areas will need to be in good condition. Unfavourable sites are more likely to be vulnerable to climate change and addressing the causes of unfavourable condition will continue to be a priority. Protected Sites are integral to the resilience of ecological networks, supporting the persistence of species under threat from climate change and promoting the colonisation and spread of species in response to climate change.

The Evidence Services Team will co-ordinate and lead Natural England’s SSSI monitoring and evaluation as part of the Resilient Landscapes and Seas Programme.

For the NCEA Survey Leadership and Training Senior Adviser role:

The post holder will be responsible for co-ordinating & integrating field survey needs (e.g. training, access, kit, location etc), across projects within the NCEA project including the Living England & England Ecosystem Surveys. They will:

• Work alongside other leaders in Evidence Services to plan and lead the integration of a programme of field surveys;
• Work alongside the England Peat Mapping (EPM) Field Survey Manager role to seek synergies across the projects;
• Chair project calls as necessary and co-ordinate inputs from staff across the field survey approaches for different aspects of the field data collection work packages;
• Oversee training & mentoring support to the staff involved in field survey across NCEA works packages to ensure training in new approaches and ensure the field teams have the required skills;
• Set direction and maintain technical standards and methods including storing, analysing and reporting evidence and creating a projects log with links to completed work.
• Develop and oversee delivery of training for staff working on the Living England and England Ecosystem Surveys;

For the NCEA Strategy and Technical Leadership Senior Adviser role:

The post holder will be a technical strategic leader, working with the NCEA Programme Management team to develop strategic leadership capacity. They will:

• Support the technical design and delivery of the NCEA within Natural England, helping to shape the programme.
• Provide technical leadership and support to theme and work package leads.
• Work alongside other leaders in Evidence Services to deliver the NCEA Programme as part of the wider Programme Management team;
• Have ecological expertise but at strategic level to oversee survey design, scale up and ensure that data collected answers key questions of the project;
• Be an experienced leader, able to bring experience of change management to the role;
• Chair project calls as necessary and co-ordinate inputs from staff across the field survey approaches for different aspects of the field data collection work packages;
• Set direction and maintain technical standards and methods including storing, analysing and reporting evidence and creating a projects log with links to completed work.
• Develop strong internal partnerships across Natural England and lead on external engagement when appropriate.

For the NCEA England Peat Map Field Survey Co-ordinator role (1 post):

We are seeking an individual with experience of managing and co-ordinating large-scale ecological field surveys for this Senior Adviser role. They will lead the delivery of a programme of field surveys across England, to capture data on peat depth, land use and vegetation, erosion, drainage and other relevant features, working as part of the small EPM team. The field survey programme will engage both staff and contractors to deliver the work. It will follow a sampling strategy developed by the EPM team, covering a wide range of peatland types including upland and lowland sites, semi-natural habitats and intensively cultivated agricultural land and forestry.

The post holder will be expected to:

• Support the EPM Principal Adviser planning a co-ordinated set of projects to deliver the England Peat Map, and by providing functional leadership to some members of the EPM team where appropriate
• Work closely with colleagues to plan and prepare, direct, co-ordinate, and manage field surveys by staff and contractors for EPM, and to integrate EPM field methods into other field surveys planned by related initiatives and programmes – eg NCEA England Ecosystem Survey, SSSI Monitoring Programme and forthcoming peat restoration grant scheme
• Let and manage contracts with external suppliers to deliver field surveys according to England Peat Map needs
• Work with NCEA colleagues to develop and provide training for EPM field survey methods
• Work with colleagues, partners and stakeholders to develop standard peat survey protocols for the England Peat Map
• Develop with colleagues and for EPM use, a process, system and data for contacting and managing requests to landowners for permission to visit sites and collect survey data
• Ensure the development, testing and deployment of mobile data capture tools for EPM needs, via NCEA
• Procure survey kit for surveyors as required
• Participate in field surveys if required, to test field protocols in a small sample of representative sites
• Develop and present/promote communications materials arising from the field survey work

For the SSSI Monitoring and Evaluation Senior Adviser (2 posts):

• Co-ordinating and leading specific projects within the SSSI monitoring and evaluation programme. Ensuring effective project, contract and budget management, and meeting key milestones and indicators. Functionally managing members of the project team;
• Supporting and championing the reforms to how we monitor, assess and report on Protected Sites. Ensuring reforms are implemented and embedded in how we work. Providing regular reports to the SSSI monitoring and evaluation group and relevant Protected Sites groups as required;
• Ensuring that our staff have the capacity and capability to deliver efficient, fit for purpose SSSI monitoring. Developing and delivering training; producing and delivering communications plans;
• Maintaining and developing strong internal and external working and partnerships, including with Area Teams, specialists, Major Landowners Groups and NGOs to deliver SSSI monitoring and evaluation and implement new approaches;
• Developing and delivering a communications plan using a variety of tools which suit the intended audience both internally and externally;
• Experience of evaluation both in terms of evaluating the tangible products and the overall impact of the programme.

Additional Information

Each of the post holders will be responsible for liaising with other field survey or NCEA project leads to ensure alignment of the delivery of work (as Evidence Team field staff will work flexibly across a number of delivery activities in particular geographies). The post holder will need to show flexibility in taking on and managing other work should Evidence Team priorities or resources change.
This post will (post COVID) involve some national (England) travel to internal NE meetings, surveys and meetings with stakeholders.
These are all nationally dispersed teams, so location is flexible.
Some travel will be required, likely once or twice a month with occasional overnight stays. This requirement is subject to restrictions to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus and most Natural England staff members are currently working from home.

Please note:

• If we receive a high number of applications the initial sift will be based on candidates’ demonstration of the Technical Skill and Knowledge competency.
• We may use a reserve list of candidates who pass at interview for any future opportunities that arise at the same grade in Natural England where similar skills are necessary.

Below is a guide to the level expected for Practitioner in relation to the competencies:

• You can effectively deal with difficult or complex issues relating to this activity.
• You need little supervision and can be relied upon to work accurately.
• You can make decisions confidently regarding this activity.
• You know where to source detailed guidance and information regarding this activity and use this confidently.
• You can represent Natural England’s position regarding this activity
• You can coach others around this activity.
• Less experienced colleagues would seek your advice and support with this activity.

Providing an example of a specific instance when you demonstrated a competency can allow you to evidence that you are working at the appropriate level. For your competency examples, the STAR format (see candidate information pack) will help you demonstrate how you approached the activity and why you took that approach, the complexities and challenges you tackled, the scale and nature of impact you had and the significance of the results.

Natural England encourages and welcomes applications from all communities, and it is Natural England's policy to accommodate requests for full time, part time and other flexible working patterns whenever possible.


Competence 1
Professional competency
Leading and managing people (practitioner)


Lead by example, engage and support your team through change
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

Competence 2
Professional competency
Putting people at the heart (practitioner)


Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver Natural England’s vision, mission and aims
Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and Natural England
Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek and how these fit in with local and national issues

Competence 3
Professional competency
Work delivery (practitioner)


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
Identify priority evidence needs and seek ways to meet them (eg. through funding or partnerships).
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

Competence 4
Professional competency
Personal effectiveness (practitioner)


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
Share expertise and knowledge with people and networks so that you can develop together
Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication objectives, messages and solutions.

Competence 5
Professional competency
Technical knowledge and skills


All roles:
• Excellent project management skills to deliver a successful programme of work- essential;
• Good written and verbal communications- essential;
• Good experience of working with and functionally leading others to achieve joint outcomes and innovation- essential.
• Experience of field survey, including monitoring techniques – essential.
• Knowledge of Natural England’s Science, Evidence and Evaluation Strategy and Monitoring strategy- desirable
• Experience of Protected Sites condition monitoring- desirable;
• Experience of designing and delivering environmental training courses- desirable;
• An understanding of new (eDNA, Earth Observation) monitoring techniques, survey design and value of evidence- desirable;
• Experience of other environmental monitoring- desirable.
• Experience of large-scale (regional, or England-wide) field survey co-ordination – desirable
• Experience of designing, tendering, awarding and managing field survey contracts – desirable
• Experience of field survey techniques in peatland environments (peat depth measurement, vegetation quadrat survey, erosion and drainage feature recording, dipwell installation and measurement) – desirable
• Knowledge of peat hydrology, ecology, management and restoration – desirable.


Please refer to Job Description




• 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.



Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.


Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :   Josie Allen
Email :   josie.allen@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone :   0208 026 7672
Recruitment team :
Email :   defra-recruitment-enquiries@gov.sscl.com



<< Back