Logo: Natural England

Natural England

Water Senior Adviser - West Midlands Area Team

Salary: £33,736
Grade: Senior Executive Office
NE Grade: Senior Executive Officer / Senior Adviser
Contract type: Permanent
Business area: Environment and Sustainability
Type of role: Delivery
Working pattern: Full-time (37 hours per week), Job share, Part-time
Number of posts: 1

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future? Do you enjoy working in a team? Can you see yourself advising communities and customers to maximise gains for the Natural Environment?

If this appeals to you, a career at Natural England offers rewarding opportunities to secure environmental improvements and play your part in creating a better future for people and nature.

The priority work Natural England is delivering includes:

  • Establishing a Nature Recovery Network to help wildlife thrive
  • Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change
  • Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods
  • Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature
  • Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing

We are the Government’s advisor for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, an ambitious vision which brings new opportunities to protect and enhance and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.

See more about the work of Natural England here


Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.

Natural England provides excellent opportunities for career progression, training and development tailored to your role. From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Everyone has 10 days to devote to personal learning and development, as well as an additional 3 days to volunteer.

You will have access to Civil Service Pension and benefits arrangements and generous leave allowances (33 day per year pro rata), as well as flexible working, to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you and us.

You will have access to a range of benefits including discounts on shopping vouchers, cycle to work scheme, and childcare vouchers. You can also join the Civil Service Sport club which offer discounts on a range of sports and leisure opportunities as well as social events.

Natural England is a fantastic place to work, where difference is celebrated.

We’re committed to fairness and equality for all, so you feel valued for who you are and what you do. Our shared values help us work together to benefit the communities we serve. Our thriving employee-led diversity networks support our inclusive culture and contribute to our Diversity Action Plan.


Natural England is adopting hybrid working – which means that our staff will work from a flexible range of locations, encompassing home, offices (ours and our partners) and relevant sites. All new staff will be formally linked to one of our 25 offices across England and the expectation is that all new staff will be able to access their local office to be part of the community of staff in their geographic area. Staff members are required to carry out all their duties working in this way and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time. Travel expenses will be paid if work related travel is required but does not apply to travel between home and your associated office.

National team roles can be linked with any Natural England office while Area Team roles will be linked with an office in the relevant geographic area.

View a map of our office locations here

About the Job

As the freshwater agenda continues to grow within Natural England we are looking for a Senior Adviser providing leadership and coordinating the delivery of a breath of work within the freshwater agenda across the West Midlands.

Natural England’s West Midlands Area Team covers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands Combined Authority. Our offices are in Telford and Worcester.

The West Midlands landscape is rich in nature and cultural heritage, from its industrial heartlands to the hills of the Welsh border in the West. We have accessible nature next or near to dense conurbations, home to over 6.5 million people. Most of the area is farmed, with the River Severn and its many tributaries snaking through the landscape. The area boasts a great natural diversity, including rivers, meres, mosses, lowland heaths, uplands, ancient woodland and grassland.

Our vision for the West Midlands reflects the ambitions set out in the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan. We want to see big green connected places, with lots of wildlife, thriving habitats and people enjoying it forever; a West Midlands that is characterised by distinctive landscapes of connected high quality habitats, teeming with a diversity of species. Our urban environments providing high quality green space that connects both people and nature to the wider landscape.

National Nature Reserves (NNR) and protected sites form the heart of many of these landscapes, and the catalysts for building a healthy thriving Nature Recovery Network. NNRs are also places to help people engage and understand the value of nature, and work together to continue to enhance it

Our freshwater work covers a huge range of these unique habitats, from the meres and mosses which are internationally unique wetland sites, to the Severn Estuary and its diverse assemblage of migratory fish. Our protected sites also include the unique Cotswold Water Park, the stunning River Wye, as well as the River Clun and the Teme which hold one of the last remaining populations of freshwater pearl mussels in England. The work is diverse, interesting and challenging and there has never been a more exciting time to deliver our ambitions for water.

The post holder will work closely with the wider leadership team with-in the West Midlands, as well as national staff, to help contribute to the wider strategic water programme in NE and the local area team Nature Recovery ambitions. You will support the lead advisers across the geographical area of the post to deliver their work, providing technical leadership and effective networks to support this. You will need to work closely with a range of partners and stakeholders providing strategic engagement and relationship management - such as with the Environment Agency, Local Authorities, landowners and the Water Companies.

It is expected that candidates will have excellent understanding of freshwater issues. The person should be knowledgeable on water quality and/or resources and how the protected sites system works to be confident to support casework across the team.

Key Tasks/Principal Accountabilities

  • Provide leadership, oversight and direction of the team’s engagement and input into Strategic Water Planning. Identifying and securing opportunities to address the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution etc.
  • Strategic engagement and relationship management of key partners (such as the EA, Water companies etc.) to maximize joined up and effective delivery of opportunities across the West Midlands.
  • Engaging actively with our Strategic Headwaters Projects, embedding landscape scale restoration thinking across the Area Team.
  • Provide leadership in working across the area team with Farm Advice, National Nature Reserves, Protected Sites and Sustainable Development to embed opportunities to deliver our strategic water ambitions.
  • Seek innovative and novel solutions to long standing intractable site-based issues working with other to implement;
  • Champion Nature based water solutions and put our water programme at the heart of Nature Recovery;
  • Build and lead effective networks to facilitate and influence thinking in this area, sharing information across the team.
  • Provide risk oversight and act as the escalation point for high risk casework in the local area team and provide technical leadership on hydrological issues
  • Provide mentoring and training to grow the capability and capacity of our team to provide technical water advice, creating resilience in this work area, and expanding the understanding of water across the whole team.
  • Engage with new tools such as Green Finance, Biodiversity Net Gain and Local Nature Recovery Strategies to deliver our strategic water ambitions.

Support our freshwater Lead Advisers and Advisers with:

  • Technical advice on water related consultations.
  • Completion of Diffuse Water Pollution Plans with the Environment Agency and embed the roll-out of their actions.
  • Provision of Discretionary Advice Service (DAS) work related to statutory water company plans (drought plan, water resource management plan and business plan) in particular Drought Plan Environmental.
  • Work with others to input or develop protected sites monitoring strategy, which integrates all aspects of our work.

How to Apply

For further information and to apply, please click here

Closing Date: 31/05/2023  Location: Telford, Worcester

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