Senior Adviser – Strategic plans for places (Ref: 3250)

Natural England

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 28th June 2021


Reference number





Senior Executive Officer
Senior Adviser

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Both permanent and fixed-term roles available. Fixed-term roles run up to 31 March 2022

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



East Midlands, Eastern, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job


This is a National Role

Job description

The team

Everything’s better with nature. You included.

We are the Government’s statutory adviser for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. This describes an ambitious vision, bringing new opportunities to protect and enhance, and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.

At Natural England, we love what we do. We’re here to make sure people and nature can thrive. A healthy natural environment is fundamental to our wellbeing, prosperity and happiness – that’s why we collaborate with scientists, lawyers, project managers and experts to implement environmental policy and shape decisions.

We work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and customers on a huge range of projects, from influencing construction, advising farmers and landowners how they can manage their land in a sustainable way for the benefit of the environment, gathering and analysing environmental data, and carrying out vital statutory duties. Across the country, we’re helping nature to support people and our planet.

Would you like a role which gives you the opportunity to:

• Play a leading role in working with partners to progress sustainable development and nature recovery
• Be at the forefront of Natural England’s organisational shifts to work in partnership to lead, convene and shape strategic plans for places, enabling a green recovery, creating nature-rich, accessible and characterful places to live and work
• Shape strategic approaches that enable a wide range of people to connect with nature and address inequalities in access to the natural environment.

Then these roles contributing to our Sustainable Development, Connecting People with Nature and Resilient Landscapes and Seas work areas could be for you.

Natural England staff are inclusive, motivated and ambitious to achieve results for our environment, for everyone. We welcome and encourage applications from all communities and we operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role.

Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.

From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Where appropriate there will be offers of training under our apprenticeship schemes.

See more about the work of Natural England at

Job description

Natural England has an important role in enabling local authorities and other plan-makers to embed nature into a range of place-based plans, and you will be central to shaping strong partnerships to drive this ambition.

These are leading roles in which you’ll work with partners to progress sustainable development and recovery of nature in England. You will use your strengths to form strong partnerships across all sectors including environment, planning, transport, health, education, economic growth and regeneration, to shape place-based plans using different levers such as biodiversity net gain (BNG), strategic solutions, Green Infrastructure (GI) Standards and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS).

You will work closely with Local Authorities to ensure strategic solutions and appropriate policies are integrated into local plans for nature’s recovery, embed Green Infrastructure strategies, while working with colleagues to ensure there is policy join up across the different delivery mechanisms. In some roles you will support the nominated Responsible Authority prepare for the national roll out of LNRSs. You will work closely with local and national colleagues to maximise opportunities and synergies for nature and access to nature in plans and strategies.

You will need to be flexible and opportunistic in the role Natural England plays and be responsive to the needs of our local partners. It’s a fantastic opportunity to use your previous experience to bring people and nature together in an inclusive and collaborative way, to help develop strategic approaches that ensure that people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds and diverse communities are able to experience the benefits of the natural environment.

We have a number of roles available. Some roles on offer can only be done from specific offices. This includes Area Team roles where you would be expected to be based in the team’s geographic area. Some National Team roles have ‘hubs’ where you would be expected to join the rest of the team in a specific office. Many roles in National Teams can be undertaken from any office.

You can view a map of our office locations here:

Please specify your location preferences in the appropriate field on the application form.

Successful candidates will be allocated roles in merit order based on scores achieved at interview and in accordance with location preferences, taking into account the work area successful candidates are most suited to wherever possible

Role descriptions:

Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) roles

You will prepare and support our teams, Local Authorities and partners for the national rollout of LNRSs from April 2022 and develop relationships with significant partners, including statutory agencies, designated landscape authorities, planning authorities, NGOs and bodies representing land managers and communities.

Green Infrastructure roles

We want to deliver more and better green infrastructure close to where people live and work, with a focus on areas of greatest environmental deprivation. You will develop proactive relationships with relevant cross-sector partners to embed GI, e.g. health, environment, transport, education and industry, and strengthen the role of green infrastructure as well as embed GI standards in local strategic plans, policies and strategies to enhance the quantity and quality of new and existing GI particularly in urban/peri-urban as part of NRNs, so that people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds and diverse communities are able to experience the benefits of nature

Local Planning roles

Based in one of our Area Teams, you will influence partners, statutory and non-statutory plans (e.g. Local Development Plans, Local Industrial Strategies, local transport plans, local enterprise partnerships). You will establish effective partnerships with local planning authorities and other bodies to help shape statutory development plans and other priority plans and strategies to deliver environmental gains.

Biodiversity Net Gain roles

These local and national roles will help Defra design and plan for the implementation of mandatory biodiversity net gain as well as helping prepare Local Authorities. You will engage locally with Local Planning Authorities to prepare for mandatory net gain, work with stakeholders to understand their existing and future skill and capacity needs to enable effective BNG delivery and collaborate, influence and build trusting relationships with partners to identify and secure strategic opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature.

Strategic Solutions roles

These roles will address development pressure on protected sites through the delivery of Strategic Solutions – a solution that can be designed once and used many times to streamline the delivery of mitigation and deliver better environmental outcomes for N2k sites. You will establish and facilitate the delivery of new strategic solutions, particularly in relation to water quality, air quality and recreational disturbance and work closely with Local Planning Authorities to collaboratively develop solutions which enable development whilst safeguarding the natural environment.

How to apply

We'll assess you against the competencies below during the selection process. When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. STAR stands for:

• Situation
• Task
• Action
• Result

Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency. For full details see the attached Candidate Information Pack.

Next steps

If we receive a significant number of applications we may choose to sift applications on the first two competencies of Technical Skills and Knowledge and Putting People at the Heart of the Environment only.

If you are successful in being invited to interview you will be asked to give examples for all five competencies.


Competence 1

Professional competency

Technical Skills and Knowledge:

• A relevant degree and/or extensive experience in a related field (essential)
• Knowledge of and experience of working within the statutory planning system and how nature is incorporated (essential)
• Good knowledge of how strategic plans can contribute to enhancing natural capital through a range of mechanisms including net gain and green infrastructure and the policies needed in statutory and other plans to deliver these (essential)
• Understand people’s connection with nature and how to engage people and partnerships to foster nature recovery and instill sustainability (essential).

Competence 2

Professional competency

Putting People at the Heart of the Environment

• Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and Natural England (practitioner)
• Work proactively and collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to identify and secure opportunities to deliver gains for people and nature (practitioner)

Competence 3

Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness

• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (practitioner)
• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and Natural England and inspire others to act (practitioner)

Competence 4

Professional competency

Creating Resilient Landscapes and Seas

• Design your local projects to have beneficial impacts at the landscape scale (expert)
• Identify and apply relevant planning and environmental legislation, policies and processes to deliver effective and proportionate evidence-based solutions and advice (practitioner)
• Identify appropriate solutions for avoidance, mitigation, compensation of environmental impacts and meeting shared outcomes; and identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment (practitioner)

Competence 5

Professional competency

Work Delivery

• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures (practitioner)
• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines (expert)


Please refer to Job Description


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


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

Please refer to Job Description

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 (or eligible for) status under 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.

Apply and further information

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Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Natural England
Email :
Recruitment team :
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