RSPB • RSPB Northern Ireland

Site Manager – West NI Reserves

Employment type:  Full time
Salary:  £33600 - £37275 per annum

3–4 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Dog friendly

Job Description

This is an amazing opportunity to lead a nature reserve team delivering wetland conservation at Lough Erne, Lough Neagh and Lough Foyle. These reserves are nationally important sites for conservation and key sites for public engagement. By building on work carried out so far, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for nature across these amazing wetland landscapes.

About The West NI Reserves

The RSPB’s West NI Reserves are a network of wetland reserves located around Lough Neagh (at Portmore Lough, Montiagh’s Moss and Lough Beg), Lough Erne (Lower Lough Erne islands/Aghitarourke) and Lough Foyle (an area of inter-tidal foreshore). Loughs Neagh, Erne and Foyle contain some of the most precious wetlands we have here in Ireland, including some impressive wet grasslands, fen, peatland, reedbed and coastal mudflats. As well as being notable stop-over wetlands for migratory birds, Loughs Erne, Neagh and Foyle are internationally recognised for their wintering waterfowl. The islands of Lower Lough Erne, and the wet grassland around Lough Neagh – at Portmore Lough, and Lough Beg are among some of the most important in Ireland for breeding waders. On Lough Erne we also host colonies of terns and gulls. Our reserves target much more than birds – Montiagh’s Moss is a peatland, managed as a European protected site for marsh fritillary butterfly, and for nationally important numbers of Irish damselfly.
The sites team manage the reserves to play an important role in local nature recovery across the Priority Landscapes of the Lough Neagh and Lough Erne Lowlands, as well as working with others to conserve and protect some very precious intertidal foreshore on Lough Foyle.

About the Role

We are looking for somebody with the drive and energy to provide leadership across the area, inspiring, motivating and supporting the team with enthusiasm to save nature. You will demonstrate a strong leadership ability, be well organised, focused, resilient, and a great communicator who ensures the team know what is expected of them and have the tools and the passion to succeed. You will be a forward thinker, and apply your strong people management skills in a pragmatic and focused way, and have a keen willingness to solve practical problems. Although your current skills and applicable knowledge are important, we’re just as interested in your aptitude and what you have the potential to achieve.

Your role will include;

• Developing and leading the RSPB’s vision for the West NI Reserves.

Some of the most important outcomes include:

  • Leading the reserve team (staff and volunteers); ensuring they are inspired, have clarity of purpose, are safe, and have what they need to do their jobs.
  • Providing leadership on projects to bring about the potential for the Lough Neagh and Lough Erne reserves to deliver wet grassland and peatland habitat conservation,
  • Providing leadership on projects to bring about the potential for the reserves to deliver a visitor experience
  • Responsibility for managing delivery of habitat and species conservation to fulfil management plans, third party agreements and agri-environment agreements for the sites.
  • Ensuring the sites have financial sustainability so that we can deliver our work for nature.
  • Building connections between the nature reserves and the local community and working with partners to save nature within the Lough Neagh and Lough Erne Lowlands Priority Landscape, and around Lough Foyle
  • Delivering the key elements of reserves management: budgeting, health and safety, compliance, management planning, fundraising, reporting and public relations.

What we need from you


• Leadership and management: leading, inspiring, developing and organising teams, and an ability to prioritise work programmes.

• Ecological land management: understanding how land can be used to deliver the best results for nature, by working in collaboration with Ecology and Conservation Science colleagues.

• Excellent communication skills: inspiring support from people and partners, while collaborating with Social Science/Communication/Engagement colleagues.

• A passion for wildlife conservation, and the people in your team who have the potential to make it all happen: being inspired by the job you do.

• Well organised: prioritising work, delivering results and managing budgets.

• Project management: effectively supporting and leading projects to improve the reserves.

This role is Permanent/Full-Time working 37.5 hours each week. You will have the option to be based from the Lough Neagh Office at RSPB Portmore Lough, or from the Lough Erne Office in Fermanagh House, Enniskillen. There will be the opportunity to consider flexible working.

For all application/role enquiries please contact –

We are hoping to Interview from 12th December 2022.

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 experiences 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 would 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.

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