RSPB • Lough Neagh

Conservation Officer - Lough Neagh (Fixed-Term)

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £28,420 – £31,529 per annum

4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

RSPB Northern Ireland are currently recruiting for a Conservation Officer in the Lough Neagh area. We are looking for a candidate who is self-motivated and prides themselves on delivering high standards. You will have excellent ecological skills and knowledge, particularly of wet grassland and raised bog habitats and their conservation. A background in landscape scale conservation, farm advisory and nature conservation delivery mechanisms is desirable, as is an in-depth knowledge of breeding waders (curlews, redshanks, lapwings and snipe), their habitat requirements and relevant survey techniques.

About the role

As part of the Northern Ireland Operations Team, you will deliver a range of work for priority species and habitats across the Lough Neag landscape. In this varied role, you will provide advice directly to farmers and land managers, coordinate and undertake surveys, and help deliver conservation projects to help nature thrive across this priority landscape.
This role will sit within the West NI Area Team and reports to the Conservation Manager. You will have an important external role, building positive relationships with key partners and stakeholders so that RSPBs policies and messages are understood and furthered within relevant partnerships.

This is a fantastic opportunity to play your part in delivering RSPB's conservation work within a landscape rich in wildlife and important for people. If this sounds like the job for you, we would love to hear from you!

You will be responsible for:

• Providing advice, training and information to local communities, landowners, land managers and land use advisers on priority species and habitats, in close liaison with other members of the Conservation Team
• Undertaking and overseeing species/habitat surveys and monitoring work on sites to ensure delivery of site/s objectives. This includes mapping, and the gathering & management of electronic data.
• Demonstrating best practice in terms of collaboration & communication, working with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.
• Managing medium and small projects using the RSPB’s Project Management Framework
• Supervising contractors to carry out work on sites safely and legally to deliver project targets.
• Building positive relationships with key decision-makers, external partners and stakeholders so that RSPB’s policies and messages are understood and furthered by decision-makers and within relevant partnerships and fora.
• Manage and develop volunteers to ensure the delivery of an ambitious work programme maintaining focus on priority species and habitats

Essential Knowledge, skills and experience:

• Degree level qualification in a relevant subject or ability to show equivalent work experience.
• Sufficient understanding of species and habitats of Lough Neagh.
• A strong knowledge of breeding wader ecology.
• Sufficient knowledge of a range of delivery mechanisms, including agri-environmental schemes, for conservation work in Lough Neagh.
• Ability to work effectively as a team player both internally and in external partnerships.
• Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) - including an ability to speak confidently and cogently in public to a variety of audiences.
• Ability to rapidly analyse significant quantities of information, prioritise and balance a diverse workload often to tight deadlines.
• Proficient at using Microsoft Office packages including Outlook, Excel & Word.
• Experience of negotiating with the public or private sector, to deliver biodiversity benefits.
• Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites, species or habitats.
• Experience of managing staff or volunteers and setting clear work priorities.
• Experience of productive partnership working.

Desirable criteria:

• Experience of delivering conservation works through contractors.
• Competency in use of GIS.
• Effective project management skills.
• Understanding of the concept of landscape scale conservation and the pressures on land use in the operational area of this role.

This is a Full-Time, fixed-term contract for 2 years. We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on 9th February 2023. For all application enquiries, please contact

As part of this application process you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

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

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.

Working at RSPB

Company employees


Gender diversity (male:female)


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Across all 4 UK Countries

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United Kingdom

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Industry awards 2023
Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2023
2nd – Charity & Tech For Good

2nd – Charity & Tech For Good

Industry awards 2022