Active Forests Health and Community Officer

Forestry Commission

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 10th July 2022



Reference number



£27,235 - £29,577


Executive Officer

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Fixed Term Appointment until 31 March 2026

Business area

FC - Forestry England

Type of role

Project Delivery
Social Development

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



The role can be based in Forestry England National Office in Bristol or from any Forestry England office either full time or as a blend of home and office working, however regular travel across England and some overnight stays will be required.


This is a fantastic opportunity to join Forestry England’s national operations team. You will be passionate about empowering colleagues, communities and individuals to drive forward our ambition to connect more people with the wellbeing benefits of forests.

As the ‘Active Forests Health and Community Officer’, you will support the site-based Active Forests Coordinators to develop their local programme of activity with a focus on: engaging people with health conditions, those who are inactive and fairly active (as defined by Sport England’s Active Lives activity levels), and those communities which are under-represented in the outdoor sector.

This role sits within the Active Forests programme team which is part of Forestry England’s national recreation team. The Active Forests programme is a partnership initiative with Sport England with the aim of making it easy for visitors to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle, by connecting them with the nation’s forests and providing opportunities for improved health, wellbeing and social interaction.

Taking part in forest activities encourages people to become more active, increases confidence, helps maintain a healthy weight and can alleviate symptoms of long-term health conditions. For these reasons and many more, we aim to connect people with the health benefits of forests and address the inequalities in access to forests and natural spaces.

Activities at each forest site that is part of the Active Forests Programme are coordinated by that site’s Active Forests Coordinator. The Active Forests Coordinator develops an in depth understanding of their local community, sources local activity leaders to deliver a programme of activities at their site, and is responsible for coordinating the marketing and evaluation of the activities.

Why join Forestry England?

We are the country’s largest land manager. We look after more land and forests than any other organisation, managing the nation’s forests for people, nature and the economy.

For over 100 years, we have been growing, shaping and caring for over 1,500 of our nation’s forests for the benefit and enjoyment of all, for this generation and the next.

What we do?
We care for more land and trees than any other organisation in England. Shaping landscapes for people, wildlife and timber. We’ve built over 1,800 miles of walking, running and cycling trails, supplying England’s largest amount of sustainably-sourced timber, and conserving the homes of thousands of plants and animals.

Why we do it?
We believe the nation’s forests have a positive, long-term impact on people’s lives, England’s biodiversity, a thriving green economy and our response to the climate emergency. Our world-class, sustainable management of the nation’s forests and our innovative, evolving approach grows the benefits for people, nature and the economy.

It’s a job that never stops growing.

Job description

In this role, you will:
• Oversee and project manage the delivery of the Active Forests social prescribing project work and site-based health and community engagement activity – including supporting Active Forests Coordinators to develop and deliver site delivery plans and forecasting and monitoring project spend.
• Ensure appropriate monitoring and evaluation processes are developed and implemented to evidence the impact of Active Forests health and wellbeing interventions and wider programme delivery on the health and wellbeing of participants.
• Work with Forestry England Active Forests Programme Staff and District colleagues to establish, build and maintain local and national relationships, enabling the programme to reach target audiences and stakeholders.
• Support the scoping and planning of future health and wellbeing delivery, including social prescribing and community engagement, at Forestry England sites.

This is a Fixed Term Appointment until 31 March 2026 with the possibility of becoming permanent.

This is a national role and is offered on the basis of blended working, a combination of office based and virtual working.

This role can be based at any Forestry England office with good travel and IT connections. The post holder will need to regularly travel to sites across England as required by the role.

We aim to provide a great place to work, whichever location you work from. Blended working forms part of our flexible and inclusive approach to future ways of working. It is an informal arrangement which gives you the option to work some of the week from home, and some of the week from our Forestry Commission workplaces, subject to role requirements, business needs, and regular review. Informal blended working arrangements will be available as agreed with the line manager. Further information will be available for candidates invited to interview.


Purpose of the Job: To provide direction and support to site teams to deliver and demonstrate the health and wider community benefits of participation in the Active Forests Programme at Forestry England sites.

Key Work Areas
1. Working with FE staff and in partnership with local stakeholders, support the delivery of the Active Forests Programme, with a focus on using insight to engage inactive and fairly active people (as defined by Sport England’s Active Lives activity levels), those with long-term health conditions and physical and mental health conditions, and under-represented groups in physical and wellbeing activities in forests.

2. Support production of the annual programme delivery strategy and specific site delivery plans .

3. Work with Forestry England colleagues and other partners to tailor and deliver a programme of activity that will provide opportunities for improved health benefits for specific customer groups.

4. Develop new ways of working by building strong relationships at both a District and National level with Forestry England staff, private sector activity providers, local community groups, health authorities and providers; champion community engagement within Forestry England and raise Forestry England’s profile within the health and community sectors.

5. Support and engage with initiatives allied to this approach, to develop long-term sustainability opportunities.

6. Contribute to delivery of: national products and services; communication plan; monitoring and evaluation programme.

7. In line with the Active Forests delivery strategy compile reports monitoring performance and results, taking corrective action as required.

8. Provide project updates to the programme Board and funders, as required, identifying achievements, monitoring budgets and identifying any risks to business plan targets.

Person Specification – required experience and skills

• Experience of coordinating the delivery of successful community engagement and/or health and wellbeing programmes for diverse audiences.
• Demonstrable understanding of the barriers specific demographic groups face to engaging in physical activity and with the natural environment (including experience of working with audiences facing mental health issues and/or social exclusion).
• Knowledge of the health sector, public health and social prescribing.
• Experience of managing and delivering innovation in a multi-disciplinary environment/team through effective collaborative working with internal and external stakeholders; proven ability to forge and maintain strong networks and partnerships.
• Excellent communication skills.
• Competent user of Microsoft suite.
• Full UK Driving Licence.

• Understanding of the physical activity sector and its organisation/delivery at both national and local levels.
• Knowledge of safeguarding best practice and experience of implementing safeguarding procedures in a community programme setting.
• Experience of developing and working within a successful visitor centric culture.
• Proven project management experience, including experience of successfully delivering project through others.
• Experience of securing funding for community projects.
• Experience of managing project budgets.
• Existing contacts with national and local community groups, services or networks for inclusion and wellbeing.


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

  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Changing and Improving
  • Leadership
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity.
• Learning and development tailored to your role, access to extensive on-line learning and reimbursement of professional membership fees.
• An environment with flexible working options, right to request flexible working and part time hours.
• 25 days holiday (If you work full time) and 2.5 extra days leave (in addition to Bank Holidays).
• Ability to buy or sell 2 days holiday and carry forward up to 20 days holiday. 5 days extra holidays after 5 years’ service and a one-off extra 5 days holiday after 20 years’ service.
• 3 days volunteering a year and 5 days a year to develop yourself.
• A Civil Service pension; costs towards eye care; cycle to work scheme (if full time) and access to Civil Service healthcare; sports and social club (CSSC); motoring association club and insurance.
• Free parking at Forestry England sites; special staff offers and discounts.


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 Behaviours and Experience.
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.

Should a large number of applications be received, the initial sift may be conducted using Experience only as demonstrated in your CV and Personal Statement. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Failure to complete both sections (CV and Statement of Suitability) will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.

A panel will look for applications that demonstrate the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria set out in the Job Description and Responsibilities. Failure to address any or all of these criteria may affect your application.

Interviews are expected to be conducted in person and will assess your Experience and the listed Behaviours. Candidates may also be asked to give a 10 minute presentation, further details will be provided if invited 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 England 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 here

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 stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

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

Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

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 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 : Rachel Tallon
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

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: 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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