Operations Director - Central & Eastern England

3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Employment type
Full time
£60000 - £66563 per annum

Nature is in crisis, and we have a climate emergency. Do you have the exceptional leadership skills to take action for nature and lead our brilliant operational teams in Central & Eastern England?

About us

The RSPB takes action for nature on every front, be it through hands-on delivery of habitats and species recovery, influencing decision-makers, or inspiring the next generation of conservation practitioners. Thanks to our significant base of support, we give nature a voice where it needs it most.

RSPB England has a significant land & property estate extending over 60,000ha of some of the most important internationally recognised places for wildlife. Importantly with 84% of the UK population in England we also have a key role in connecting people, wherever they are, to the mutual benefits of protecting and enhancing nature, and the value that brings to society.

About the role

As part of the England Leadership Team, the Operations Director leads the RSPB’s place-based delivery, primarily across our nature reserves and within the RSPB’s Priority Landscapes & Peoplescapes, where we are working to influence and support others to restore nature and inspire communities within some of England’s most iconic landscapes. The role covers 5 areas, from the West Midlands to the East Anglian coast, and from the Chilterns in the south to the Peak District; encompassing flagship sites such as Sherwood Forest, Minsmere in Suffolk and Titchwell in North Norfolk.

This is a role for an exceptional leader, with a team of approximately 200 staff and 2,000 volunteers; significant budget, commercial visitor operations, project and risk accountability; and responsibility for restoring some of England’s most threatened species & habitats.

We’re looking for talented leaders with experience of managing a diverse and dispersed operational portfolio. You’ll be someone who can build strong collaborations, both internally & externally, and you’ll be comfortable representing the RSPB to a range of audiences, from community groups to executives and Government Ministers. A background in nature conservation isn’t necessary, but you’ll be passionate about our mission and joining the movement to end the nature & climate emergency.

Like nature our survival depends on diversity. Nature has no borders, and neither do we. We recognise that everyone is individual and different and value what that difference brings to the RSPB. We want to support everyone to unlock their potential and better reflect the communities in which we work.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Educated to degree level or relevant high-level experience to effectively communicate complex messages and use management information to undertake responsibilities.
  • Knowledge of the RSPB and its mission
  • Visible, inspiring and effective leadership of own Operational Team, engaging and motivating staff and volunteers at all levels (reserves, sites, project, specialist and area teams)
  • Proven leadership and people management skills, able to develop team members for high performance and build a positive culture across geographically dispersed teams.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to present, influence and represent the organisation
  • Collaboration skills to build relationships, navigate politics and manage conflicts
  • Business management skills to understand strategy, business functions and decision-making
  • Financial acumen to manage budgets, forecasting, understand financial statements and understand and use business metrics
  • Project management skills to plan and manage complex programmes and projects, manage risks, costs, time and project teams
  • Proven ability to influence others, build partnerships and negotiate at a senior level

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Team management and development of geographically dispersed teams
  • Knowledge of the geography, socio-economic and political context of the operational area
  • Experience of leading commercial operations
  • Experience of land management/nature reserve management
  • Compliance and Risk management

This is a Permanent, Full-Time role. If you are interested in the role and wish to have an informal discussion before applying, please contact Michael.Copleston@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.

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