Wildlife & Conservation Ranger

Forestry Commission

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 2nd October 2022



Reference number



£29,248 - £30,468
Pay subject to deduction for housing rental


Administrative Officer
Pay Band 6a(Op)

Contract type


Business area

FC - Forestry England

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern


Number of posts



Westonbirt, The National Arboretum


This is an exciting and first-time opportunity for a dynamic and passionate individual to join the Westonbirt team, in a newly created role.  As part of the Westonbirt team, you will effectively and professionally meet all aspects of our wildlife management objectives for the protection and enhancement of nature conservation within the arboretum.

The main focus of your work will be controlling grey squirrel populations and managing  roe and muntjac deer, to protect our highly valuable specimen tree collection, forest research plots, coppice coups and ancient semi-natural woodland.  Another major focus will be to promote and conserve the existing flora, fauna and fungi on site, as well as liaise closely with others to enhance our conservation recording.  Westonbirt has a rich and diverse range of habitats and biodiversity, and as an example we currently have over 1,400 species of fungi independently recorded on site.

You will also liaise closely with Westonbirt colleagues who undertake a wide and varied range of activities, with responsibility for ensuring that any potential impact on wildlife and conservation is properly considered as part of our operational planning process, such as adequate protection of our European Protected Species.

The post will require close liaison and engagement with visiting members of the public, special interest groups, volunteers and neighbours, to communicate openly about what we do and why.  Westonbirt is uniquely placed to tell our story, and we are very keen to further our story telling not only in terms of our amazing trees, but also in terms of everything to do with the wider biodiversity of the arboretum.

This role will actively enable Westonbirt to play our part in delivering the Forestry England Biodiversity Delivery Plan, through local action, partnership working, monitoring and communication.

This role will also have the opportunity to assist Forestry England Wildlife Ranger colleagues in the nearby West Forest District with wildlife management at certain times.

The successful applicant will be required to live onsite in a 3 bedroom Forestry England house. The house will be available no later than January 2023, with the rental amount to be agreed.

Job description

Wildlife Management

Manage deer populations to protect a highly valuable specimen tree collection, forest research plots, hazel coppice coups with oak standards, and ancient semi-natural woodland.

Manage grey squirrel population through continuous culling and control other mammals to protect trees and wildlife habitat quality.

Undertake safe use and maintenance of firearms in accordance with best practice, and in compliance with legislation, and Forestry England operational guidance, policy and procedures.

Ensure public safety within an environment with very high levels of visitor access throughout the year, in addition to a busy annual events programme.


Build knowledge and confidence, as well as undertake continuous professional development, to support the arboretum’s conservation work and objectives.

Carry out conservation monitoring and recording, ensuring that accurate and accessible conservation records are kept and maintained.

Work closely with special interest groups and supervise volunteer groups engaged in various flora and fauna monitoring.


To assist with site security and supporting colleagues with out of hours issues commensurate with key house status, the operational pay banding and likely working pattern of the role.

Support Westonbirt colleagues and contribute to operational planning procedures, district plans and policies as a recognised expert on wildlife and conservation matters.

Work closely and liaise with Westonbirt colleagues, providing expertise and advice on relevant wildlife and conservation issues, and assisting with visitor engagement through a variety of channels and media.

Maintain and improve relationships with interested third parties, neighbouring landowners, and deer management groups.

Promote a positive image at all times, and deal with visitors in a helpful way to enhance their experience and perception of the Arboretum.


Person Specification


  • Deer Management Qualification (DMQ) Level 1 and 2.
  • Current Police Firearms Certificate
  • Field level experience in deer management and grey squirrel control, achieving culls, carcass handling and presentation, and deer larder work.
  • Experience of successful working to own initiative and without direct day to day supervision, as well as experience of working as part of a team and collaborating with external organisations, partners and stakeholders.
  • The role will require the candidate to have a fit for purpose dog.
  • Full UK driving licence.


  • Competent user of IT including Microsoft Office applications.

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Presentation
  • Operational Site Assessment
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • 25 days annual leave rising to 30 days, plus public and privilege holidays 


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and 1250 word personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please align your personal statement to the essential criteria listed in the responsibilities section of the advert.

The interview will include

(a) an outdoor Operational Site Assessment scenario requiring the identification of potential wildlife and conservation considerations prior to operational tree works

(b) an indoor presentation covering a conservation theme.

The successful candidate will be required to successfully complete a firearms skills test prior to appointment. Further details will be made available to candidates called to interview.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed. 

Further Information

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to Forestry Commission from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out. 

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf.

However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading. 

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

This role is full time only. Applicants who wish to work an alternative pattern are welcome to apply however your preferred working pattern may not be available and you should discuss this with the vacancy holder before applying.

The duties of this post require the applicant to have a full current driving licence that enables them to drive in the UK. However, the Forestry Commission is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by any other means.

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 

Contact Government Recruitment Service via FCERecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs. 

Complete the ‘Assistance required’ section in the ‘Additional requirements’ page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional. 

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : Douglas Weale
  • Email : douglas.weale@forestryengland.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email : fcerecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment on the basis of fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles.If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact FCE by email: englandhr.services@forestryengland.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.

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