Logo: Natural England

Natural England

LIFE in the Ravines – Woodland Restoration Manager

Staff Framework level – Civil Service Lead Advisor Grade HEO (£26,224 pa)

Natural England are seeking a highly motivated, professional individual, with a real passion for nature conservation woodland management, to help form and manage a team to deliver a 5-year conservation project, entitled LIFE in the Ravines. Working across nearly 900 hectares of internationally important woodland sites within the Peak District, the Woodland Restoration Manager role will report to the overall Project Manager whilst working alongside other project staff, including the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve (NNR) team. In the delivery of practical manual woodland conservation work the Woodland Restoration Manager role will line manage a Woodland Restoration Supervisor, two full-time Woodland Workers, in addition to a pool of winter seasonal Woodland Workers. They will also manage and oversee contractors, either working alongside the project team or undertaking independent operations within the project.

The LIFE in the Ravines project is an exciting partnership undertaking, centred within the ravine woodlands of the Peak District Dales Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This pioneering project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union to restore these ravine woodlands and mitigate the effects of ash dieback. Led by Natural England, the UK Government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, the project partnership comprises of Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Role title: Woodland Restoration Manager
Staff framework level: H (Lead Adviser)
Reporting to: Becky Plunkett - Project Manager
Location: Bakewell
Hours per week: Full-time - 37 hours per week
Fixed term appointment: Fixed term appointment until 30th November 2025

Role description

Managing and supervising the delivery of site operations by both the project team and external contractors, this role will be wide-ranging - requiring a good practical aptitude, proven experience in Health and Safety and contract management, in addition to excellent team management and communication skills. As well as being a team player you will also need to work independently so will need good initiative, self-motivation and personal effectiveness. To deliver the aims of the project you will need to be physically fit and have the ability to operate safely and effectively in remote locations, as day-to-day tasks will be conducted on steep challenging terrain and require working outside in all weather conditions.

Leading from the front you will be expected to consistently demonstrate initiative and safe working practices, whilst managing, working alongside and supervising staff, contractors and on occasion volunteers. Managing the site team, you will lead on day-to-day supervision of operations, coordinate personnel and resources and plan logistics. You will need to have knowledge and experience in the safe use of tools and machinery associated with delivering manual practical woodland management, namely tree felling, tree planting and aftercare, in addition to instructing and supervising others to do so.

The main tasks associated with the Woodland Restoration Manager role will be:

  • Project management responsibilities including supervising and delivering work to defined project plans and criteria; managing day-to-day project risks (delivering work plans on time & within resource); and working with the Project Manager to help manage overall project risk, problem solving, and adaptive management where required.
  • Work planning, with the ability to forward plan, keep work plans under review and, where necessary, adapt plans, thinking on their feet and all the while ensuring key project staff are sighted and in agreement.
  • Day-to-day work scheduling, requiring logistics management, site access and personnel supervision of the day-to-day operations including record keeping of works undertaken e.g. personnel time, materials stock etc.
  • Being the key point of contact for liaison with land owners and partners to build and maintain effective working relationships to aid delivery of the project.
  • Responsible for co-ordinating and securing local permissions, access etc.
  • Procurement of tools, machinery, vehicles, equipment, and materials.
  • Contract management to include drawing up contract specifications, procurement and contract/contractor supervision.
  • Site surveys to identify areas for work, measuring and marking up of felling coupes and work areas.
  • Monitoring work for deer impacts and biological recording work.
  • Mapping of work areas, through both site survey and desk based IT systems (i.e. ArcGIS).
  • Preparing and applying for felling licence applications and other statutory permissions and consents, road closures etc.
  • Supervise Health & Safety management of the project, through risk assessments, method statements, checks and record keeping.
  • Use IT and other associated technology to support and deliver your work.
  • Woodland management - on very steep terrain - including tree felling with chainsaws, tree planting which includes the logistical challenge of accessing the work site with materials. Other woodland work includes aftercare of newly established trees with pesticide spraying, hand tools, clearing saw and brush-cutter.
  • Operation of relevant off-road vehicles, trailers, woodland management tools and machinery alongside other associated equipment in addition to overseeing their associated maintenance, repairs, checks, and record keeping.

Flexible working patterns will generally be accommodated unless stated otherwise. The post may involve some work at weekends including bank/privilege holidays and some unsocial hours, but TOIL will be available in these circumstances.

Limited national travel will be required, which will involve some overnight stays and anti-social hours. Natural England encourages staff to travel by public transport wherever this is feasible.

On taking up this post, the post holder will be required to sign a letter allowing Natural England to use their payroll information and request copies of payslips for project claims and audits.

Person specification and competencies required

Technical/specialist knowledge/qualifications

Evidence required of attaining qualification, or able to demonstrate actively working towards the standard required:


  • A qualification, at Level 4 or higher, in a relevant subject (e.g. countryside management, woodland management or forestry) or a sufficient employment history which demonstrates operating at, or above, that level.
  • A sound knowledge of trees, woodlands, nature conservation, habitat management and ecology.
  • Substantial relevant hands-on work experience, in practical land management, within woodland management, forestry or nature conservation.
  • Experience of planning, managing and delivering practical work tasks (in a relevant field).
  • Experience of managing (line management for staff), supervising and directing personnel (staff, employees, contractors and/or volunteers) in the safe & effective delivery of practical site work (in a relevant field).
  • Experience and skill in partnership working and stakeholder engagement.
  • Contract management experience i.e. writing specifications, identifying suitable contractors, tendering/requesting quotes, letting and managing contracts.
  • Chainsaw qualification, for maintenance, cross-cutting and small tree felling (e.g. NPTC CS30 & CS31 or equivalent), with consolidated experience.
  • A full UK Driving Licence.
  • Experience of driving, reversing and manoeuvring with trailers.
  • A good understanding of health and safety, in particular adherence to relevant good practice and legislation and experience of conducting and implementing risk assessments in relation to site management.
  • IT literate with experience in MS Word, Excel, Outlook and mapping programs
  • A good understanding of relevant legislation in relation to land management, e.g. nature conservation regulations (SSSI legislation), protected species and other relevant regulations.


  • IOSH qualification in Managing Safely.
  • First Aid at Work qualification with +F.
  • Off-road driving qualification.
  • Driving licence with Category B+E (towing trailers over 750kg) and Category D1(minibus).
  • ATV driving qualification (e.g. NPTC or LANTRA or equivalent).
  • Pesticide certificate PA1a & PA6.
  • Brush cutter operation qualification (e.g. NPTC or LANTRA).
  • Advanced chainsaw operations NPTC qualifications (e.g. felling medium/large trees, wind blow, dangerous trees, assisted felling etc).
  • Experience and qualification in winching operations hand operated/vehicle mounted for self-recovery.

Personal effectiveness
Be decisive, combine your professional judgement with evidence to inform your decision-making. Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience. Address challenging issues and manage conflict

Creating resilient landscapes
Understand and apply appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of sites. Identify how a site interacts with the surrounding landscape, habitats and local communities. Assess environmental impacts and identify appropriate avoidance, mitigation and/ or compensation measures.

Work delivery
Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines. Understand and apply relevant policy, legislation, governance frameworks and strategies to your work. Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures

Putting people at the heart of the environment
Develop an understanding of the objectives and needs of our partners and customers. Collaborate, influence and build trusting relationships to achieve pragmatic outcomes. Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with local and national issues.

Working safely
Apply risk assessment and safe working practices to everything you do. Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines.

Job contact
Becky Plunkett – LIFE in the Ravines Project Manager 07748 147846

To apply click here 

Closing date: 28th June 2021

Logo: LIFE in the Ravines

Closing Date: 28/06/2021  Location: Bakewell, Derbyshire

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