Conservation Planner

3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Employment type
Full time
£28420 - £31529 per annum

Scotland's nature is unique, but it faces serious challenges ranging, for example, from climate change to habitat loss to resource exploitation. The RSPB supports net zero ambitions, but biodiversity must be protected as we rush to decarbonise, and as we respond to changing demographics and lifestyles. The main purpose of this job is to influence positive change that respects and enhances nature through Scotland's planning system.

What's the role about?

RSPB Scotland is proactive in responding to key development proposals and planning policy initiatives, seeking outcomes that protect and encourage wildlife to flourish. Through their technical expertise, and appreciation of opportunities to positively influence change, the postholder will play a key role in a small team which makes comprehensive and often complex representations at key points in planning processes, always with a view to securing the best outcomes for wildlife, in both the terrestrial and marine environments.

We are looking for someone who can quickly come to terms with technical planning, environmental, and scientific information, and with the RSPB's organisational capabilities, to make convincing cases for positive change to reflect, advocate for, and further the RSPB's objectives.

This will involve developing and maintaining technical expertise in defined areas of planning and conservation, providing professional advice to colleagues and external stakeholders, the coordination and submission of high standard representations and evidence on key cases, including those which proceed to public inquiry, and the production of briefings and suchlike. The development of relationships with key internal and external stakeholders will also be important.

You will have the support of a small team of professional colleagues who are dedicated to securing the best outcomes, along with a wider team of RSPB specialists on whose assistance and encouragement you can depend.

Candidates who are working towards qualifications which, along with experience, afford membership of a relevant professional institute are encouraged to apply. The RSPB assists with payment of professional fees.


Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A relevant degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject related to the job, for example, environment or planning.
  • Knowledge and understanding of planning and conservation-related legislation, policy and practice in the UK and Scotland, sufficient to deliver in key result areas described above.
  • Knowledge and understanding of environmental assessment processes (such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats
    Regulations Assessment) sufficient to deliver in key result areas above.
  • Ability to source information, analyse complex issues in a fast paced environment, to act independently and take the initiative and lead on key pieces of work.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills e.g. professional, persuasive, engaging, and strong time management, organisational and prioritisation skills.
  • Self-motivation and interest in this field of work.


Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Membership, eligibility for membership, or working towards membership of a relevant professional body, e.g. Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) or Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
  • Educated to post-graduate level in a relevant subject.
  • Experience of working in the planning system, especially development management and/or public inquiries.
  • Experience of project management of cases, especially at public inquiries/public examinations.
  • Current driving licence to be able to travel to areas not always serviced by public transport.


This is a Permanent role for 37.5 hours per week. Although the job is advertised as being full-time, we are open to the job being undertaken on a slightly less than full-time basis.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on either Thursday 8th or Friday 9th September. For further information please contact peter.hearn@rspb.org.uk

As part of this application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and 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.

Apply now

3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly