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Conservation Manager (Central Area)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location England (South East) - UK
Salary Additional Information c.£31-£35,000 p/a
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 13/12/2023
Company Name Surrey Wildlife Trust
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Surrey Wildlife Trust logo
Directory Entry : Surrey Wildlife Trust is committed to restoring nature across our county. If you are interested in a career with the Trust, please visit our careers page. For other conservation jobs visit www.environmentjobs.co.uk
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Job Profile

Job Title: Conservation Manager (Central Area)

Reports to: Director of Reserves Management

Direct Reports: team of Reserves Officers, Trainees, Interns

Biodiversity – Restoring Surrey’s Nature

Our challenge is to restore Surrey’s nature following Lawton’s approach for a bigger, better, more joined up ecological network.  We will do this both on our own land holding and by working with other land-owners and managers in partnership.

One of the essential and most ambitious aspects of the Strategic Plan is delivering biodiversity objectives not only on land we manage, but also on land owned and managed by others.  This approach is built on our knowledge and expertise within partnership working.  We will aim to embed our objectives for increasing biodiversity with those who make decisions and have influence over the way in which land is managed. 

Not only is successful partnership working key to mission delivery, so is our ability to demonstrate exemplar land management. Delivery of actual habitat and species improvements on land we are directly responsible for demonstrates our ability to deliver wildlife conservation at all levels and to the highest of standards. It supports our knowledge and acts as primary evidence for those considering coming to us for support or advice as well as achieving our core objectives of restoring biodiversity and bio-abundance in Surrey.

Overall Purpose of the job

  • To develop and implement the Trust’s key strategic aim of restoring nature by creating bigger, better and more joined up areas of land for biodiversity benefit through direct conservation land management and key relationship management.
  • To contribute to the overall mission of the Trust so that we can restore Surrey’s Nature as outlined in our Strategic Plan.
  • Oversee the delivery of successful habitat management practices across reserves in the East Centre of the county whilst working closely with Reserves Management staff generally to support nature conservation across Surrey.

Key tasks

In consultation with the Director of Reserves Management ensure that the Trust’s policies and conservation objectives are implemented through the management of sites and associated management plans and other policies/ strategies.

The following duties will be the core responsibilities of this position:

  1. Manage the conservation interest of Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) sites within the SWT Central area; liaise with landowners and managers throughout this area. This to include preparing, implementing, and reviewing site management plans, obtaining the required consents and implementing work programmes to enhance conservation and biodiversity on sites. Specifically, the role is to deliver high quality land management via the implementation of ELMs schemes and project work. This work will be assisted by the Operations Manager, the Estate Coordinator and Surveyor.
  1. Deliver the Trust’s mission and enhance its reputation and influence within the North Downs and SWT Central Area. Build relationships with Surrey County Council (SCC), Borough and Parish councils, neighbours and site users through a personal approach and a variety of appropriate media.
  1. Administer both contractor and volunteer work, utilising recording systems where necessary, so that the monitoring and reporting requirements can be satisfied. Manage the access for SWT staff, contractors, volunteers and third parties.
  1. Line-manage a team of Reserves Officers (RO’s) to assist in the delivery of the work programme across the area of responsibility. Provide clear and supportive leadership to the direct reports. Motivate and develop staff and assist with work programmes. Conduct monthly 1:1’s and annual performance reviews in consultation with the Directors and other Conservation Managers, as appropriate.
  1. Ensure that SWT staff and external contractors working on sites follow organisational health and safety procedures in line with the SWT Policies, Risk Assessments and Practice Notes.
  1. Assist in the welfare of the herds of livestock on those sites when they are present. This will allow the safe implementation of the grazing programme to ensure the day-to-day husbandry and welfare of livestock while achieving conservation aims and particularly to consider the safety of the public.
  1. Communicate, in a variety of appropriate media (including walks and talks), the management plans and work programmes to stakeholders.
  1. Manage the relationship with volunteer groups as required depending on the site. This will include working with Voluntary Wardens and “Friends of” groups.
  1. Engender public support and understanding of land management for nature conservation and other Trust policies.
  1. Co-operate and work with other Trust staff to achieve the overall aims and enhance the reputation of the Trust.
  1. Any other appropriately directed tasks and responsibilities as required by the Director of Reserves Management.

Person Specification:

A strong and practical people manager who can help deliver the Trust’s Biodiversity objectives, logical thinking, project management skills and with the imagination and determination to expand and explore alternative approaches.

  • proven ability to handle challenging conservation delivery and drive plans forward by empowering others and work co-operatively as part of a team; prioritising effectively, responding to swiftly changing demands and dealing with complex issues.
  • High level of commitment and enthusiasm, highly motivated, with a self-disciplined approach to work and an ability to inspire others.
  • Innovative, imaginative, resourceful and focused on the wonder of nature.

Experience & Knowledge

  • Practical land-based background in Countryside Management
  • Practice of ecology and nature conservation (woodlands and calcareous grassland habitat management knowledge and experience would be advantageous)
  • Understand and pay attention to the statutory requirements relating to land management, agriculture, livestock management and wildlife conservation.
  • To be aware of environmental and wildlife issues at local, regional, and national levels.
  • To possess a full driving licence which will ideally include the ability to pull trailers (Category B+E), a first aid certificate, chainsaw, and pesticide qualifications.
  • Extensive knowledge of machinery use and maintenance.
  • Extensive experience in managing teams of people and volunteers.
  • Experience of livestock management especially related to cattle and/or sheep
  • Managing and developing a diverse programme of activity
  • Good knowledge of contractor management
  • Confident team player who is also able to work on own initiative
  • Methods of planning and implementing work programmes, budget controls and staff management.
  • Statutory requirements relating to health & safety
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Professional with a high level of commitment and enthusiasm with good attention to detail
  • Resourceful, reliable, flexible, and adaptable
  • Good general level of health
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