RSPB • Flexible in England

Head of Sustainable Land Use Policy - England

Employment type:  Full time
Salary:  £42768 - £47446 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

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Job Description

Are you a passionate, talented advocate wishing to make a big impact for nature’s recovery in England?

This decade is crucial if we are to turn the tide for nature, and every year counts. With an ambitious new global deal for 2030 agreed in Montreal at the end of 2022, the UK Government, England’s environmental arms-length bodies and local government throughout England, now all need to show they can deliver action as well as promises. As one of the most influential voices for nature in England, the RSPB has a pivotal role to play in holding those in power to account, and we want you to be a part of that.

This role is an exciting opportunity to lead the new Sustainable Land Use Policy team in RSPB England. Working closely with passionate colleagues in communications, campaigning, science and those delivering nature on the ground, you’ll lead your team to excel. By developing compelling policy solutions, influencing decision-makers and harnessing people power to scrutinise progress you will ensure nature’s voice is heard.

If we are to begin nature’s recovery by 2030, then the promises of a sustainable land use policy framework for England needs to become reality, soon. In this role, you could help make happen.

What’s the role about?

You’ll be leading a brand new team and oversee rural land use policy in England, including agricultural policy, upland land use policy and water policy. As an experienced leader you’ll ensure our policy & advocacy efforts in these areas are directed toward interventions where we can have the biggest impact for nature.

Together with your team, you will develop strong relationships with key external stakeholders, including civil servants, MPs, and partner organisations and use your advocacy skills to persuade them to make decisions that benefit nature. When strong relationships and advocacy aren’t enough you will work closely with campaigning and communications colleagues to influence positive change through media, social media, and the actions of our supporters.

The RSPB is fortunate to have a wide range of expertise and activities for nature which you will be able to draw on. You’ll build strong relationships with Area Teams in England, who manage our nature reserves and deliver nature conservation beyond them, and our conservation scientists. Harnessing their experience of how current environmental and land use policy plays out in practice, you will develop better policy solutions to advocate to government. Through these relationships, your team’s advocacy will also benefit from fantastic places to demonstrate nature’s recovery on the ground and some of the best advocates in the RSPB.

Finally, you’ll work collaboratively as part of a policy and advocacy community across all 4 countries of the UK, and globally, drawing on expertise and experience of policy approaches that work well (or not!) elsewhere.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Knowledge of English environmental policy, including at least one of the areas of agriculture, marine, upland or water policy.
  • Analytical skills to process complex policy concepts and scientific evidence and present them simply.
  • Ability to advocate at a senior level, ability to influence others, build partnerships and negotiate.
  • Experience of managing and leading teams for high performance and building a positive culture.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to present, influence and represent the organisation.
  • Degree level qualification in a relevant subject or able to show equivalent ability through work experience.
  • Ability to lead teams through change.
  • Collaboration skills to build strong working relationships and work cross-organisation within and beyond the policy & advocacy community.

Additional information:

This is a permanent, full-time role, however we are open to consideration of flexible working arrangements to accommodate the right candidate.

During the application phase, we are happy to organise individual discussions to explain more about the role and the RSPB’s policy & advocacy work in England, with opportunities for any questions. Please contact Claire.Jay@rspb.org.uk to organise.

The role can be based anywhere in England, with consideration given to home working and/or working from one of our offices across England (office space allowing). Like many organisations, the RSPB conducts much of its business virtually, although we do also place value on the benefits of working face to face, with colleagues and external stakeholders. As such, occasional travel within England is a requirement of the role.

We are looking to commence interviews for this position from 20th February 2023. For further information please contact Claire.Jay@rspb.org.uk

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.

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, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. 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.

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)


Office locations

Across all 4 UK Countries

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom
What employees are saying

I feel the RSPB is very flexible and this is reflected through the Line Management chain - I know I have the flexibility on a daily basis to start early / finish late, if something crops up at home - I am very satisfied :)

RSPB Employee

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