RSPB • Edinburgh

Part time Nature Connections Officer - (Fixed Term)

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £25,723 – £27,614 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

We are looking for a Nature Connections Project Officer with a passion for nature and its benefits to people to develop and deliver our work with NHS Lothian Charity in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, as part of a wider programme of Giving Nature a Home (GNaH) activities. This role will continue to build on the successful pilot project delivered in the hospital grounds and wards in 2023. The successful candidate will work with existing staff, patients, and volunteers to support them in their delivery of Nature Connections activities in hospital grounds, wards and departments, deliver a programme of staff wellbeing workshops, and deliver biodiversity enhancements to evaluate and enhance our offer and explore opportunities to extend the initiative into a longer-term partnership with NHS Lothian Charity in Edinburgh to support the creation of a flagship site for nature and wellbeing.

Our Nature Connections project will provide staff and volunteers in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital with the resources needed to encourage patients to connect with nature as part of their recovery and treatment plan. The resources and activities offer ways of engaging with nature in an acute hospital setting that can support mental and/or physical health, as well as potentially aiding speed of recovery, shortening length of hospital stays and cultivating personal and lasting connections with nature that inspire a desire to protect it. This role will continue delivery of nature connections with patients through drawing, listening to birdsong, reminiscing about childhood memories and stories (worked especially well on acute elderly and dementia wards), and staff through wellbeing workshops – walks, dawn chorus, for example – with participating and new wards and departments.

RSPB Scotland developed Nature Prescriptions because we recognised that for nature to thrive it required people to access, enjoy, and value it, and in turn, lend their support to saving it. Edinburgh Nature Prescriptions pilot was delivered during unprecedented times, but positive responses of those who received them, demonstrated the enormous value in supporting health and encouraging positive relationships with nature. In 2023, we tested how this model could work in an acute hospital setting given that some patients aren’t able to access nature while receiving treatment and also identified the positive effects of nature on wellbeing of staff and patients and successfully achieved all outcomes. A summary report of the hospital pilot is available here, with further information on Edinburgh Nature Prescriptions here.

This role will be responsible for supporting staff, volunteers, and patients in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital to deliver appropriate and relevant activities and workshops, building on previous success of the hospital pilot, with support from the GNaH Project Manager, NHS Lothian Charity and NHS Lothian staff and will sit within the GNaH team. The GNaH work empowers people to connect and take action for nature across Glasgow and Edinburgh to make our cities greener, healthier, and wilder.

Essential skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Experience of working within the health & wellbeing sector.
  • Interest in how nature can contribute & enhance wellbeing & knowledge of green/social prescribing.
  • Experience of developing & implementing initiatives relating to health & wellbeing.
  • Presentation & communication skills.
  • An ability to produce clear written communications & reports.
  • An ability to persuade & influence a wide range of people.
  • Able to work under pressure & adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Proven time management & organisational skills.
  • Working with project teams & stakeholders.
  • Competent IT user (e.g., MS packages, Outlook etc).

Desirable skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Ideally has knowledge of NHS/health sector structures & ways of working
  • Experience or interest in biological recording &/or gardening for wildlife

This is a Fixed-Term Part-Time role for 22.5 hours per week for 6 months.

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs and subject to funding at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from W/c 22 April 2024 . For further information please contact alyson.hunter@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.


This role will require completion of a DBS in addition to the standard pre-employment checks.

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 exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The RSPB is a licenced sponsor. This role is not eligible for UK Visa Sponsorship - the successful applicant will need to have a pre-existing Right to Work in the UK in order to be offered an employment contract.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the information attached to 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

Awards & Achievements

Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2024
Charity & Tech For Good

Charity & Tech For Good

Industry awards 2023
Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2023
2nd – Charity & Tech For Good

2nd – Charity & Tech For Good

Industry awards 2022

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