Jobs with RFS Corporate Members

Woodland Creation Officer x2

Wendover/Bucks Horn Oak/Tonbridge

Job details

Location

Buckingham, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, & London/Kent & Sussex

Salary

£34,080 - £36,934

Hours of work

Full-time

Contract

Temporary

Closing date

June 16, 2024

It is expected the successful candidate for the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and London (BBOL) patch will be based at the Wendover, or Bucks Horn Oak office. It is expected the successful candidate for the Kent and Sussex (K&S) patch will be based at the Tonbridge, or Bucks Horn Oak office. Both roles require regular travel across the South East and London area & attendance at ‘gather days’ at the Bucks Horn Oak Forest Office.

Job summary

Never has there been a more important time for trees and forests to help tackle the climate emergency and provide a much-needed sanctuary for people and wildlife. Our Prime Minister and our government are committed as part of the Environmental Improvement Plan to increasing the tree canopy cover across England from the current 14.5% to at least 16.5% by 2050 – this means 34,000 ha of new tree cover by 2028. This acceleration in current planting rates in England will contribute to meeting the net-zero by 2050 ambitions, and to government’s wider environmental targets. 

This was supported by the announcement in the 2021 budget of £640m for a new Nature for Climate Fund ‘to support natural habitats like woodland and peat’ and the publication of the England Tree Action Plan. 

The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Forestry Commission have set up a joint tree planting programme for England to support the forestry sector, landowners and communities in the delivery of these ambitions. 

Forestry Commission will lead the delivery of the following parts of the tree planting programme:- 

  • Developing sector capacity.
  • Woodland creation on public land.
  • Woodland creation on private land.

If you are passionate about the role of trees, woods and forestry in creating a better future for England, and want to play a key part in realising that, we want to hear from you. 

By joining the Forestry Commission, you will become part of a team of passionate, committed colleagues, and be able to build on a wealth of expertise to take this ambitious work forward. You will be able to make your mark by helping the Forestry Commission to revolutionise how we work together and reach new stakeholders. 

Our staff engagement levels are consistently well above the Civil Service average and staff turnover is well below. We value our people, we look after them, and we will look after you. We hope you will join us for the challenge.

Job description

The Woodland Creation Officer role represents Forest Services front-line woodlands and forestry expertise. It involves ensuring the delivery of Government forestry policy through the effective use of advice and incentives. The role provides an important interface between Forest Services and landowners and forestry agents, promoting, advising on, and helping to facilitate a diverse range of woodland creation proposals.

The post-holders will be expected to focus on woodland creation. They will advocate the benefits of woodland creation and proactively communicate with and advise landowners and investors considering woodland creation. The post-holders will also understand and advise on the regulatory aspects of individual woodland creation applications where required.

The post-holders will operate as part of the Area Delivery Teams, and also have close working links to the national Incentives Development team and the Promotion and Engagement workforce. They will also work closely with the national Policy and Advice team (PAT) to ensure that proposals meet the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard. Regular travel across the FS Delivery Area and occasional overnight stays will be required.

This Woodland Creation Officer posts will be based from their ‘parent’ offices, primarily covering the patches described above, with flexibility to support creation cases across the area.

If you live within that area then you have the opportunity to work in a blended manner directly from your home, once you have become fully established in the role.

New WCO’s are expected to attend your substantive office 2 to 3 days per week to allow you to learn the role from managers and colleagues.

When fully established we would expect you to spend 1-2 days per week in that office.

If your home lies outwith your work area you will be expected to travel to your work area or office in your own time and cost.

Responsibilities

Providing front line advice on woodland creation:- 

  • Engaging and enthusing landowners on how new woodland can deliver their aspirations while also delivering multifunctional benefits to the environment, society and the economy.
  • Advising on funding options: grants, carbon funding, nitrate offsetting and sponsorship.
  • Explaining the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)’s woodland design and planning requirements.
  • Working as part of the wider Area teams to proactively identify and engage with landowners/agents with an interest in woodland creation.
  • Supporting landowners and forestry agents in identifying consultees, sources of information and relevant contacts to facilitate the preparation of high quality UKFS compliant woodland creation design plans.
  • Liaison with relevant stakeholders ( including tenants, Non Government Organisations , Government organisations) to ensure plans take into account relevant views and issues.
  • Administration of woodland creation proposals and grant scheme applications.
  • Acting as the point of contact for Woodland Creation Planning Grant applications and Woodland Carbon Fund applications.
  • Liaising with Area teams and colleagues in the Incentives Development Team over the processing of grants.
  • Advising the Incentives Development Manager and Admin Officer when applications are complete or need further input from either applicants or Policy and Advice colleagues.
  • Responding to queries on applications.
  • Liaising with statutory consultees and Defra-group colleagues over proposals, as appropriate. Playing an active role in the Area team.
  • Engaging as part of the Area team in routine activities and discussions including health and safety, team meetings, vision and culture and business change and improvement.
  • Communicating and sharing lessons learned and good practice on woodland creation proposals.
  • Leading and supporting local targeted initiatives aimed at promoting woodland creation opportunities.
  • Developing and managing good working relationships with advisers and stakeholders.
  • Cultivating relationships with advisers and consultees, specifically encouraging and facilitating proposals being shared and discussed as early as possible with relevant stakeholders.
  • Presenting Government’s forestry policy clearly.

Requesting support from National Office and Area team colleagues as required

Person specification

Essential: 

  • Forestry or land management based degree (or equivalent qualification) and / or significant forestry or land management experience.
  • Experience of managing or advising on woodland creation and management.
  • Good interpersonal and influencing skills demonstrating the ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with internal colleagues and our customers.
  • Competent IT user with experience of the MS Office suite of applications.
  • Proven ability to communicate with clarity, conviction and enthusiasm.

Please clearly demonstrate how the above apply to you throughout your application. Failure to do so will mean that your application is automatically sifted out.

Desirable: 

  • Experience of practical woodland management.
  • Experience and knowledge of forestry regulations, incentives and tree health.
  • Experience in promoting, designing and establishing new woodland.
  • Experience working in partnership across delivery organisations.
  • Experience in facilitating market growth in the forestry sector.
  • Experience in supporting integrated land/woodland management.
  • Practitioner-level understanding of landscape.
  • Membership of (or working towards) a relevant professional institute (e.g., Institute of Chartered Foresters).
  • Evidence of maintaining Continuous Professional Development.

Behaviours

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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

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

  • Proven knowledge and experience of lowland forestry, with a focus on multifunctional woodland management and creation practice.

For more information and to apply visit: Woodland Creation Officer vacancy.