Logo: Natural England

Natural England

Somerset Senior Reserves Manager - Wessex

Shapwick NNR, Avalon Marshes Centre
£27,273 pa
Paid • Full Time (part time considered)
Closing date: Sunday, 8th October 2023

Do you have a passion for nature, farming and the environment?

Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future?

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.

Natural England Wessex Area Team is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic individual to lead and inspire the Somerset National Nature Reserve (NNR) team. The successful candidate will contribute to the delivery of Natural England’s programmes, particularly ‘Creating resilient landscapes and seas’ and ‘Connecting People with Nature’. In addition, there will be a need to contribute to the delivery of Natural England’s wider work, to secure Nature Recovery in the broader landscape by collaborating with stakeholders and colleagues.

NNRs are exemplars of conservation management. The role requires a combination of technical and practical land management skills, knowledge of the ecological requirements of the habitats and species and strong leadership and partnership building skills. The successful candidate will help to ensure the NNRs are managed to maximise their contribution to biodiversity and to the wider landscape

National Nature Reserves also contribute to our objective of connecting people with nature, for example, through volunteer groups and events. The postholder will be required to use their conservation expertise to identify opportunities, promote and deliver engagement and education activities for the NNRs, including through partnership projects.

The Somerset Senior Reserve Manager (SRM) will play a key role in the development of nature recovery and partnership working across the Somerset Wetlands NNR, including management of our flagship Shapwick Heath site, NE owned land across the Somerset Levels and Moors and newly acquired land at North Moor. As well as managing Natural England’s own landholdings they will play a leading role in the Somerset Wetlands NNR Partnership, developing the over-arching Management Framework for the newly created ‘super’ NNR. The Somerset Wetlands NNR Partnership brings together seven organisations including Somerset Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the Environment Agency.

The SRM will be responsible for managing the Somerset team, liaising with facilities and estate team colleagues and developing Defra Capital projects for the NNR.

The Senior Reserve Manager will be responsible for budget management on their reserves and for procurement, including writing specifications, letting, and overseeing contracts. They will be responsible for ensuring health and safety legislation is adhered to at all times.

The post will be based at Natural England’s Shapwick Heath workbase at the Avalon Marshes Centre and will require some weekend, public holiday, and evening work.

Key tasks and responsibilities

  • Identify how sites interact with the surrounding landscape, habitats, and local communities and help deliver our landscape scale ambition for Nature Recovery, with Somerset Wetlands NNR at the heart of our work in places.
  • Oversight and implementation of Health & Safety (H&S) procedures, ensuring that staff, volunteers, and contractors are working safely.
  • Line Management and Functional management responsibilities for the Somerset NNR team, supporting and championing their personal development, setting clear plans and expectations, and making sure that Health & Safety and Wellbeing are put first.
  • Provide advice to and work in partnership with, colleagues, stakeholders, volunteer groups and the local community.
  • Lead the development and implementation of NNR management plans to enhance our NNR suite and strive to achieve Favourable Condition for SSSI’s on our sites.
  • An understanding of the importance of people accessing and engaging with the natural environment, how to balance their needs with nature conservation objectives and the promotion of equality of access to nature.
  • Identification of research and monitoring opportunities to support the delivery of NNR Management Plans along with contribution to relevant site condition monitoring work.
  • Lead the development and delivery of the NNR work programmes.
  • Financial management of the allocated NNR budget and attraction of additional resources through external funding opportunities and commercial income generation.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure that Area Team priorities, including strategic solutions and projects are delivered effectively. Use the NNR to test/trial and innovate new approaches to build a more resilient and climate proof landscape.
  • Project management of Defra capital projects, develop income streams / green finance opportunities for our NNR estate in Somerset and the wider Area Team.

A full driving licence is essential.

Apply now here


Closing Date: 08/10/2023  Location: Shapwick Heath, Avalon Marshes Centre, Somerset

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