We are looking for an organised, dynamic and passionate person to lead the team and work programme delivery on the RSPB’s largest nature reserve, Forsinard Flows. This is an exciting and varied role that presents a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference for nature, at scale!
To make a success of this opportunity, you will be a capable manager with the ability to work well with a broad range of contacts, both within the RSPB and beyond. You will be able to apply your strong programme and people management skills in a pragmatic and focused way, to enable the reserve team to deliver the best possible outcomes for our priority habitats and species.
What's the role about?
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in driving and overseeing a significant and complex work programme across the RSPB’s largest reserve.
The reserve is at the heart of the Flow Country, the world’s largest and most intact blanket bog. It hosts internationally important populations of many species, such as common scoter, greenshank, dunlin, golden plover and hen harrier. The 21,000+ha reserve also has areas of montane, woodland, farmland and aquatic habitats important for a wide range of key species. We have a significant programme of peatland restoration underway, removing inappropriate forestry, blocking drained and eroded open hill ground and managing herbivore impact through stock grazing and deer management. We are working at scale and are at the forefront of innovating techniques for restoration, so spend a significant amount of time hosting visits to the reserve.
We have a field centre that can accommodate up to five residential volunteers and 16 guests, such as staff, contractors, scientists or students. It also houses an education room and a lab for scientists undertaking work as part of the extensive collaborative approach to peatland science in the Flows.
Management on the reserve is often multi-layered and complex, so good project management skills twinned with forward thinking, and a keen willingness to solve practical problems will be required.
The successful candidate will have an important external role, building positive relationships with key partners and stakeholders, such as the Northern Deer Management Group, so that RSPB’s policies and messages are understood and furthered within relevant partnerships and fora.
As well as the key elements of reserve management (budgeting/financial management, H&S, compliance, project management, management planning, reporting and public relations) our immediate areas of focus are the expansion of our peatland restoration projects to include work verified under the IUCN Peatland Code and the development of a three-year overall peatland restoration programme.
You will also supervise the management of three satellite reserves – Broubster Leans, Dunnet Head and Eilean Hoan – giving the postholder the ability to save nature across the whole of Caithness and Sutherland.
Essential skills, knowledge and experience:
• Effective project and budget management skills
• Ability to prioritise work programmes
• Strong team management experience
• Knowledge of the wildlife and habitats of the area
• Ability to work effectively as a team or Partnership member
• Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) –including an ability to speak in public to a variety of audiences to share best practice and advocate positions to landowners and managers, local politicians, members and volunteers who have differing views.
Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:
• Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites, species or habitats, especially in peatlands
• Knowledge of upland management, especially in relation to deer
• Understanding of the importance of the cultural heritage of the Highlands
This is a Permanent Full-Time role for 37.5 hours per week. We are looking to conduct interviews for this position from 9th October 2023, at Forsinard Field Centre. For further information please contact Kenna Chisholm, Area Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 07845 248410.
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.
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.
This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
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