RSPB • Lowther Estate, Cumbria

Senior Conservation Advisor - (Fixed Term)

Employment type:  Contract
Salary:  £33600 - £37275 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

We are seeking an experienced and highly motivated senior farm conservation advisor to head up delivery of the extensive farm conservation advisory elements of the Cumbria Connect, Endangered Landscapes Programme. Working with local partners, stakeholders and farmers and land managers across area you will support on delivering a package of farm advice along with delivery of an ecological restoration package to provide additional financial support for delivery of on farm conservation measures. You will lead on peer management of a farm advice team hosted by a range of local partners operating across the area.

This is a full-time, fixed-term contract until September 2027.

Working on behalf of core project partners - RSPB, United Utilities, Lowther Estates and Natural England, and as part of an ambitious Europe wide suite of ELP funded restoration projects, Cumbria Connect seeks to inspire a co-developed vision of a restored 33,000ha English upland landscape. The project seeks to support widescale land-management change and nature recovery through a collaborative working model that seeks to bring differing land management interests together at a time of great change and uncertainty. The project also aims to accelerate the restoration of natural processes on existing core nature sites including Wild Haweswater and Lowther Estate within the project area through an expansion of naturalistic grazing, direct intervention, natural regeneration, species reintroduction, peatland restoration and reestablishment of dynamic river systems.

To support this critical work, we are seeking an experienced conservation advisor to oversee delivery of nature recovery and habitat restoration enhancements across the wider landscape. Working with and through local partners and stakeholders, this work will enable support for nature friendly farming and farm diversification delivery to benefit for nature and deliver benefits for local communities.

To succeed in this exciting role, you will need a successful track record in conservation land management advice delivery and working in partnership with communities and stakeholders to deliver positive change on the ground. You will need good understanding of environmental concerns relevant to the land management sectors and to be able to positively engage. You will understand farming systems relevant to the area along with the threats and opportunities facing this sector at a time of change. You will feel passionately about nature friendly farming, rural livelihoods and the natural world and the hope of its recovery. You would be joining a friendly and dynamic community of partners, committed to creating a better future for nature and the rural economy in Cumbria.

Key aspects of the role:

You will lead on delivery of the farm conservation advice and support elements of the Cumbria Connect programme.

  • Leading in the delivery of the farm advice project within the Cumbria Connect programme, working with partners and stakeholders to deliver high quality farm advice and landscape change on the ground
  • Leadership and peer management of the Cumbria Connect farm advice team and working with a network of other individuals and organisations working across this landscape
  • Project management of ELP funded conservation intervention delivery on the ground, including delivery and reporting against key project milestones & delivery against budgets
  • Support for the Orton Fells Farmer Cluster and assisting with advice and delivery of traditional nature friendly farming activities and farm conservation delivery and diversification
  • Building and maintaining strong and productive relationships with local stakeholders and partners
  • Contributing to wider operational and policy discussions on effective delivery of nature recovery at landscape scale
  • Contributing to shared learning and impact within the suite of ELP restoration projects and forward ELP’s wider Programme goals

Essential skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Conservation knowledge in relevant areas, e.g. woodlands, along with habitat and species conservation/survey requirements
  • Knowledge of farming and land management systems relevant to the local area including dairy, beef and sheep and upland commons
  • Understanding of farm economics & factors impacting upon them
  • Knowledge and working experience of agri-environment schemes
  • Proven ability to influence others to deliver outcomes via farm advice visits, discussion forums and farm events
  • Track record of delivering ecological and habitat restoration projects
  • An ability to procure the services of contractors along with contractor and contract management
  • Partnership working - an ability to work with a wide range of people, both internally and externally
  • Line or peer management of staff or volunteers
  • Produce clear written communications for relevant audiences
  • Able to work effectively as part of a partnership team
  • Competent IT user with understanding and track record of successfully managing projects and budgets

Desirable skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Experience of translating practical experience into public policy to deliver biodiversity benefits
  • Competency in use of GIS
  • Knowledge of forestry and woodland management

Additional Information & Working Arrangements

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position late-March 2023. For further information please contact: David Morris, Area Manager, Cumbria and NE England: David.Morris@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 at 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