RSPB • Strumpshaw Fen

Community and Volunteer Officer - Strumpshaw Fen

Employment type:  Full time
Salary:  £23939 - £26558 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

After a record-breaking season in 2022, we have an exciting opportunity to join our beach-nesting bird team to support our community and volunteer work. The east Norfolk colonies have become some of the largest and highest priorities in the UK yet face significant challenges from various disturbance pressures. Our project thrives on building close relationships with the local communities and benefits from working with and developing a dedicated team of volunteers. We seek a passionate, dedicated and inspiring individual with excellent communication skills to build on the project’s success.

If you are interested in significantly contributing to the conservation of beach-nesting birds and have experience working with volunteers and local communities, then we would love to hear from you.

What’s the role about?

The Community & Volunteer engagement officer will be part of the Norfolk and Lincolnshire Conservation Team, working closely with our Broads reserves and Suffolk Area teams. The post will be based close to the east Norfolk and north Suffolk coasts. The RSPB works with volunteer teams and communities to protect and monitor beach-nesting birds at three main sites: Eccles-On-Sea, Winterton-On-Sea and Kessingland.

You will work directly with our dedicated team of volunteers, providing them the support needed to build on their existing monitoring, community engagement and organisational skills. You will increase their capacity and develop their long-term sustainability as an independent conservation team.

The Community & Volunteer officer will be managed by the Beach-Nesting Bird Team Leader to train and develop a sustainable volunteer team that can continue to deliver conservation work effectively for years to come. You will be working at the forefront of the RSPB’s Saving Nature Through People programme, which aims to build a diverse, inclusive people-powered movement to save nature. The role is also supported by the RSPB's Species Recovery Volunteer Network which works closely with other species specific projects across the country.

Key activities will include:

• Supporting, training and recruiting volunteers to effectively protect Little Terns, Ringed Plovers, and other beach-nesting species
• Volunteer administration, including processing new applications, inductions, managing shift rotas and expenses
• Engaging with the local community to inspire behavioural change and recruit more volunteers to support the conservation of beach-nesting birds
• Identify, organise, lead and attend community events to promote the project
• Communications – support the team leader on the promotion of the project to highlight successes and seek to develop appropriate behaviours around the colonies
• Relationships – work closely with a range of colleagues and partners to generate support for the project and help to resource the work
• End of season reporting – support the team leader in producing the end of season report.

The project is an essential piece of work within The Broads and the Suffolk Coast Priority Landscapes, which provides a focus to direct our resources where they will have the most significant impact..


• Higher level qualification or equivalent experience of community engagement and volunteer development.
• Experience of recruiting, managing and developing volunteers (or staff) including evidence of ability to provide training and mentoring.
• Experience of general public engagement work and working with local communities.
• Ability to manage a work programme and deploy resources efficiently and effectively to achieve objectives.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, with the tact, diplomacy and negotiating skills, to allow you to develop and maintain good relationships with staff, volunteers, partners and stakeholders
• Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) - including an ability to speak confidently in public and to produce written content suitable for traditional and social media.
• Sufficient conservation knowledge of habitats, species and environmental processes relevant to east Norfolk and north Suffolk.
• Competent user of Microsoft Office.
• Able to drive in the UK.


• Knowledge of, and adherence to, legal and practical requirements for maintaining health and safety, sometimes in challenging field conditions, for instance, working with the public and lone working.
• Knowledge of licensing and regulations surrounding field work, for instance, on protected species in protected habitats or when surveying people.
• Demonstrable experience of relevant research or survey techniques of a standard that provides the highest quality data.

Additional infomation

We are looking to conduct interviews on the 28th March. Interviews will be held at the RSPB Office in Norwich.

For further information please get in touch with Paul Davis (paul.davis@rspb.org.uk)

Please note that you will be required to only complete an application form where you can tell us how you meet the criteria set above.

Before applying to this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people on nature's side and more diverse people. People of colour and disabled people are underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sectors. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

Company benefits

Open to part-time employees
Open to compressed hours
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Shared parental leave
24 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced sick pay

The FlexScore® is the result of a rigorous 2-step verification of a company’s flexibility

First we assess the flexibility options RSPB provides and then we anonymously survey a statistically significant proportion of their employees to make sure RSPB is as flexible as they say they are. Our assessment is based on the six key elements of flexibility: location, hours, autonomy, benefits, role modelling and work-life balance.

We ask the hard questions so you don’t have to.

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