RSPB • Winterbourne

Project Officer - Stone-Curlew (Fixed-Term)

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £23939 - £26558 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

Illusive and charismatic the stone-curlew is an iconic bird of chalk country. From the wilds of Salisbury Plain to the rolling fields of the surrounding farmland, conservationists and land managers are working together to protect these rare birds. We are looking for a dedicated and enthusiastic individual with skills in both wildlife survey and project management to join our team conserving stone-curlew across the Wessex area.

Stone-curlew have undergone significant decline across the UK over the last century leaving only two strongholds, the Brecks in East Anglia and Wessex. In Wessex, numbers fell to around 30 pairs in the 1980s. Thirty years of conservation efforts have seen the population recover with the RSPB working closely with landowners and farmers, including the MoD, to provide suitable habitat for breeding pairs. The population in Wessex is now approaching 150 pairs, however continued recovery of this species relies on monitoring and protection.

The post holder will play an active part in the RSPB's landscape scale conservation efforts in Wiltshire Chalk Country to reverse the fortunes of stone-curlew and other farmland wildlife.

What’s the role about?

The postholder will be part of a small team working on the Wessex stone-curlew project with a particular focus on delivery of stone-curlew monitoring and protection in the key area of Salisbury Plain and the surrounding farmland. The role has a strong fieldwork focus during the peak breeding season (April till September), excellent field skills are required for this tricky and inconspicuous bird. The work includes locating stone-curlew pairs, monitoring breeding attempts, finding nests, liaising with farmers, contractors and landowners, and carrying out intervention measures on vulnerable sites. Although the postholder will often be conducting field work alone using their own initiative, they will also be taking a lead role working alongside survey volunteers. Lone-working often in remote locations is commonplace in this role so the postholder will be expected to adhere to health and safety procedures. Some evening and weekend work will be required.

In addition to playing an active role in a busy field season the postholder must have the high level of organisation, communication, and adaptability to assist the team with vital year-round project management tasks. This will include maintaining farm contacts, coordinating survey volunteers, collation of data, updating project databases, assisting with reporting, events, and project communications.

It is essential that the postholder is adept at managing time to balance a busy fieldwork schedule, responding to farmers, colleagues and partners in a timely manner and ensuring delivery of project management tasks to deadlines. For both the fieldwork and desk-based elements of this role an ability to communicate confidently with farmers and landowners is essential.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Higher level qualification in a relevant subject or equivalent work experience.
  • Previous experience of bird survey/ monitoring/ species protection work.
  • Good knowledge of farmland wildlife and conservation mechanisms i.e Agri-environment Schemes.
  • Proven time management skills and organisational skills.
  • Competent IT user - including MS Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Drivers licence/eligibility to drive in the UK.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • 4x4/off-road driving experience.
  • Experience of leading volunteers.
  • The ability to work flexibly and during unsocial hours.
  • Ability to interpret and competently navigate using OS maps.
  • Good communication skills including talking confidently with farmers.

This is a Fixed-Term, Full-Time role until 31st December 2025. The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 13th February 2023. For further information please contact heather.dixon@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.

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

Flexa100 2024

Most flexible companies

Industry awards 2023

Charity & Tech For Good

Flexa100 2023

Most flexible companies

Industry awards 2022

2nd – Charity & Tech For Good