Natural England Lead Adviser (Ref: 3246)

Natural England

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


Reference number





Higher Executive Officer
Lead Adviser

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Both permanent and fixed-term posts available. Fixed-term posts for a period up to end March 2022 with possibility of extension.

Type of role

Business Management and Improvement
Environment and Sustainability
Operational Delivery

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 advisor 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.

We are focusing our efforts on six key programmes:

Greener Farming and Fisheries – supporting those who manage land and sea to operate in harmony with the environment

Sustainable Development – creating great places for people to live and work

Connecting People with Nature - promoting health and wellbeing through the great outdoors

Resilient Landscapes and Seas – protecting and restoring wildlife and natural beauty for future generations

Specialist Science and Evidence - an evidence-led organisation that is driven by science

Managing the Organisation – gathering business data to enable decision-making

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

We have a wide variety of roles on offer. 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

We are looking for people who have a broad combination of technical skills and behaviours.

Applicants should have a degree in an environmental discipline or significant experience in working in the environmental sector.

A driving licence is highly desirable as many roles will require travel for site visits or partnership meetings that may not be accessible by public transport.

We are looking for people who can demonstrate their skills and experience in relation to at least one of the work areas identified in the Technical Skills and Knowledge section below.

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

Use of STAR format is not required for the ‘Technical skills and knowledge’ competency. Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency. Please ensure you read the Candidate Information Pack before you begin your application.

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 Personal Effectiveness.

Candidates should expect to be contacted before the end of July to inform them if they have been invited to interview. We regret that we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

If you are invited to interview you will be asked to give examples for all four competencies.


Competence 1

Professional competency

Technical Skills and Knowledge

• Relevant degree or experience of working in a related role
• Basic knowledge of legislative frameworks and drivers for the environment and the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders.
• Experience of and evidence of providing advice to customers and stakeholders
• Experience of, and ability in, applying effective communication skills (verbal and written) in conveying complex and or difficult messages to a variety of different audiences
• Experience of working in a fast-paced environment delivering work within deadlines and contributing to team targets

Candidates should demonstrate their specific skills relating to one or more of the work areas below:

• Knowledge of and experience of working within the statutory planning and wildlife licensing process and how nature is accommodated within the system locally or nationally
• A broad understanding of England’s wider biodiversity commitments along with some knowledge of relevant European Directives, associated UK/England Regulations, including the legislation relating to protected species and Sites of Special Scientific Interest
• Ecological knowledge of one or more habitats or species groups (please specify). Experience in field survey, including species identification and data interpretation.
• Experience in connecting people with nature, advising policymakers and stakeholders on the positive effects access to nature can have on health and wellbeing for all communities.
• Experience of working with farmers and landowners to advise on how they manage their land in a sustainable way for the benefit of the natural environment
• Experience of arable cropping, pesticides and the application of arable cropping options to deliver benefits for farmland birds and associated biodiversity; the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (agriculture, or grassland & forage crops) qualification or the ability to demonstrate the relevant experience and interest in completing the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection qualification is desirable.
• Experience of supporting the organisation by using systems to gather business intelligence.

Competence 2

Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness

• Act with integrity, addressing challenging issues and managing conflict through being open and objective (practitioner)
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (practitioner)
• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (basic)

Competence 3

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)
• Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver Natural England’s vision, mission and aims (practitioner)
• Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with local and national issues (basic)

Competence 4

Professional competency

Work Delivery (Practitioner)

• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines (practitioner)
• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures (practitioner)
• Consider the financial implications of your work and seek income from our products and services (practitioner)


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

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 :  Natural England
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Share this page