Policy Officer (Site Policy)

3–4 days per week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Employment type
Full time
£28420 - £31529 per annum


Making sure the best places for birds and other wildlife are properly protected, monitored and managed is central to the RSPB's strategy and to securing the effective recovery of nature at the landscape scale, and also has a critical role to play in tackling the climate crisis. The UK government and the devolved governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have committed to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030, but analysis by the RSPB suggests that currently only around 5% of land in the UK is protected and well-managed for nature, and that management measures have only been fully implemented in 10% of protected areas at sea, making this a really exciting and challenging time to work on protected areas policy. We are looking for someone who wants to help develop and strengthen the UK’s terrestrial and marine network of protected areas for wildlife, and to help us ensure that the best places for nature get the protection, management and monitoring that they need.

We are offering a permanent post within the RSPB’s UK Site Conservation and Species Policy Team, and we are looking for a passionate and motivated person to fill this role which provides an opportunity to develop policy and advocacy skills, and expertise in this highly technical area of work.

What is the role about?

The post holder will play a key role in the development, coordination of and support for protected area (‘sites’) policy work across the four countries of the UK.

Key activities will include:

  • Making the case for site protection, and influencing how the best sites for nature are identified, designated, protected, managed and monitored
  • Supporting high level advocacy with the Westminster and devolved governments and their statutory agencies to influence the development of the UK and four country approaches to protected areas in response to emerging national, UK and global commitments to increase and improve site protection over the next decade. This will include undertaking analysis of the current protected areas network, and standards of protection, monitoring and management, developing RSPB policy and advocating the need for change, working across the four different national legal, policy and political contexts in which the RSPB operates (i.e. in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, depending on the RSPB’s needs and priorities).
  • Working with colleagues ‘on the ground’ to support the delivery of protected areas work both on the RSPB estate and within our Priority Landscapes, and with other policy specialists (including RSPB colleagues and those in partner organisations) to ensure integration of sites policy within our wider work to tackle the nature and climate crises and to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

What we need from you:


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent, or experience relevant to the role.
  • Able to analyse complex issues in a fast paced environment.
  • Able to negotiate with and influence others e.g. professional, persuasive, engaging, confident.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, and competent use of Microsoft Office
  • Strong time management and organisational skills.
  • Able to prioritise effectively.
  • Able to manage projects effectively.


  • Practical experience of operating in a policy and/or advocacy role.
  • An understanding of environment/biodiversity policy in general, and protected areas policy in particular
  • Working understanding of the most important 4 country (i.e. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), UK, European and global institutions relevant to environment/biodiversity policy in general, and protected areas policy in particular
  • An understanding of the role of public-facing communications/campaigns in supporting policy advocacy.

Working arrangements

The RSPB provides a supportive and flexible working environment (including home or hybrid working), with commitment to the training and personal development of its staff and volunteers. As the post holder will be active throughout the UK, this role will require travel to RSPB offices and locations across the UK. We aim to be flexible as possible on location, but costs and feasibility of travel to the UK countries’ four political administrative centres will need to be considered.

This is a Permanent Full Time role for 37.5 hours per week.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on w/c 25th October. For further information please contact Kate.jennings@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