Logo: Canal and River Trust

Canal and River Trust

Ecologist Water Vole Recovery Project Officer

Advertised Salary: £27,381

About us:

** Exciting Fixed Term Project Officer Opportunity - Green Recovery Challenge Fund - West Midlands **

The Canal & River Trust owns and manages 2,000 miles of waterways, with some of the greatest built and natural heritage in the world. We are looking for a Water Vole recovery project officer to transform both their own career and the environment around them for the better. Would you like to be part of a team that makes a difference across a 50km green and blue corridor? We are looking for a person who can transform an area and bring nature into areas to connect with people. Do you want to be part of the recovery of some of our most iconic species, habitats, and a landscape that will eventually link internationally important designated sites to some of our most nature - deprived inner city areas?

We've received a grant of £1.7 million from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, a multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery. Our partnership will develop a nature recovery network across the West Midlands canals. Our work will deliver environmental enhancements including the creation of wildlife corridors reconnecting fragmented habitat for endangered species such as water voles. 50kms of canals will be improved linking seven nature reserves. Seven SSSIs will be enhanced, a 20km community orchard will be planted between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and canals around the Commonwealth Games sites will be improved, helping to make it the greenest games ever.

The Canal & River Trust own and manage 63 SSSI’s. This project is focusing on 7 of these sites locate within the West Midlands region and will cover a wide range of special interests from amphibians to birds, rare aquatic plants to earth heritage geological sites. Managing an allocated budget, you will oversee the positive management and enhancement work to these Special Sites. A key objective of this role shall be working together with all stakeholders on our SSSI’s and producing management plans and monitoring regimes in the interest of moving them into, or maintaining favourable status.

The canal project will also form a partnership with the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, supporting up to 500 schools with environmental learning, to inspire the next generation. Walsall, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire local authorities are all part of the partnership.

We are looking for an experienced Ecologist to join us for his is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of creating priority habitats and recovering nature on a landscape scale project. You will provide the Trust with technical expertise in their specialism (Ecology, bioengineering, habitat creation, water vole conservation) for the West midland’s region.

Join us and our Green Recovery Team to deliver our Green Recovery Challenge Plan ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. This is a 14 month Fixed Term opportunity based remotely, working from home with one of the UK's biggest charities. Join us as we roll out a plan to help our communities & nature to thrive on our West Midlands Waterways.


The role will be based working from home, with the allocation of a nearby Hub for collaborative working in Birmingham

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About the role:

Did you now that water voles were once common on the midlands waterways? Our water vole populations decline is well documented, this project will have the objective of recovering this enigmatic waterway mammal through population monitoring, mink monitoring, wetland habitat creation, improving the canal banks diversity, improving water quality and developing citizen science approach conservation projects.

As Ecologist for the Waterways & Water Voles project you will be working with colleagues,external partners & groups to create priority habitats for nature in communities near Commonwealth Games 2022 sites and other conurbations connected by the green and blue corridor from Worcester to South Staffordshire. As our local expert you will work proactively and collaboratively with all colleagues to delivery this exciting, funded project. You will support and implement the Trust’s protection, improvement and promotion of the natural and historic built environment of the waterways; and provide professional services within to help the Trust achieve its objectives as a waterways and wellbeing charity.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues, contractors, to deliver 1km of improved waterway habitat for the benefit of water vole recovery.
  • Deliver services related to the Trust’s environmental or heritage assets in a region (within their specialism) with detailed knowledge of them.
  • Provide expert technical advice to ensure high quality/ best practice standards are achieved and high confidence in the Trust‘s reputation as custodians is retained.
  • In addressing issues of high concern/ discontent with users/ visitors to improve standards on the network.
  • Represent the Trust’s interests regionally within their specialism with regulators or other parties in aspects of mutual interest/ benefit including the application for and negotiation of regulatory agreements/ consents.
  • Implement relevant inspection/monitoring/ recording and maintenance programmes for the assets within their region. Undertake the necessary field and research work required, assessment of impacts, recording and reporting; commission and work with consultants; and analysis of outputs as required.
  • Deliver awareness training, toolbox talks and facilitate practical training in their specialism for the Trust’s staff, contractors, volunteers and stakeholder or community groups.
  • Contribute to the implementation of a management system for environmental and heritage assets (EMS / Environmental asset strategy; including associated processes & standards) especially with responsibility for monitoring application within their local area and contribution to maintenance of appropriate levels of training & competency (including certification) in their specialism locally.
  • Identify opportunities and lead volunteer tasks within their area of expertise. Ensure an engaging experience for participants.
  • Contribute to national and local programmes of engagement with customers, volunteers, stakeholders and the general public to raise awareness of the Trust, and promote the value of waterways and the work of the Trust. Aim to enhance the Trust’s reputation and influence, and seek to secure additional resources for our work, focusing on our key environmental and heritage priorities/ work.
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Trust’s Asset Management Strategies in respect of environmental/ heritage assets.
  • Deploy specialist skills/ certifications/ competencies across the network for the benefit of the wider Trust, particularly where these are limited resource in the organisation.
  • Display the Trust values and behaviours at all times

About you:

You will be a passionate and effective advocate for our waterways, with an understanding and interest in how to effectively recover water vole populations and enhance our waterways for biodiversity gain. There is a budget for effective monitoring, assessment and habitat creation work.

Knowledge, Experience & Skills:

  • Strong understanding of Ecology including degree or equivalent in relevant discipline.
  • Full membership of relevant institution (CIEEM, CIWEM, CIWM, IEMA )
  • Proven experience in application of specialist knowledge within a business environment. Able to research and identify impacts of proposals and develop appropriate mitigations and controls.
  • Proven evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Able to influence/ negotiate effectively with internal and external contacts to achieve desired outcomes for the Trust.
  • Able to support other areas of the Trust’s business in an appropriate manner, taking account of overall business priorities as appropriate.
  • Knowledgeable of relevant legislation.
  • Good communicator to a range of audiences, ability to adapt style and content as appropriate to audience. Capable in a range of media types – digital and otherwise.
  • Knowledge of, and practical experience of operating within, UK & European policy and regulatory frameworks.
  • Experience of operating within a customer service environment
  • Basic DBS Check is required.

To Apply: click on the "Apply for this job" button and follow the process - complete the application form & upload current CV.

Interviews: Initial interviews will be conducted virtually by MS Teams.

If you have any questions about the role please contact

What We Offer:

You will have access to many skilled colleagues in many disciplines, with an opportunity to develop skills in many new fields alongside ecologists, environmental scientist’s, heritage advisors, engineering, contract management, GIS and enterprise managers to ensure the project is delivered and is sustainable going forward with the additional resources required.

In addition to your salary of £27,381 plus Car Cash Allowance, the Canal & River Trust offers a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, great holiday entitlement (increasing with years of service) and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits, all of which can be found here.

We aim to represent the diverse communities we are part of and welcome applicants from across all sectors of the community. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce brings with it a diversity of ideas, thinking and ways of working which enhances what we do. All candidates will be treated on the basis of their merits, skills and abilities and solely by being assessed against the requirements for the job.

Find out more about us on our website

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Logo: Green Recovery Challenge Fund

Closing Date: 26/10/2021  Location: Working from home, with the allocation of a nearby Hub for collaborative working in Birmingham

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