Local recruitment: River Basin Co-ordinator for Catchment Sensitive Farming

Natural England

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 🇬🇧

Reference number: 163108

Salary: £32,438

Grade: Senior Executive OfficerSenior Adviser

Contract type: Permanent

Type of role: Environment and Sustainability, Project Delivery

Working pattern: Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts: 1

Location: North East

About the job

Summary: This position is based at Lancaster House Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Job description

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:

The Team
Natural England delivers the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) in partnership with Defra and the Environment Agency as a part of NE’s farm advice service. CSF operates through a network of locally based farm advisers (CSFOs) and partners organisations to deliver Defra’s 25-year plan ambitions for water quality, air quality (ammonia) and sustainable water management through nature-based solutions. We make a significant contribution to nature recovery through providing advice to farmers and encouraging on the ground change to land management practices.

We are looking to expand CSF’s capabilities to tackle environmental impacts from agriculture in relation to water quality, ammonia, and flood risk and are looking for people to develop both their skills and those of the team in these areas. The focus of the role will be to work with farm advisers, partner organisations, the agricultural industry, and colleagues from the Defra group, to build our capabilities to deliver a range of priority outcomes for the water environment.

The River Basin Coordinator (RBC) role will involve work on Defra-funded advice work alongside partnerships with Water Companies, Flood Authorities, and others. All RBC’s will have the opportunity to enrol in a structured training programme.

Job description

The role of the River Basin Co-ordinator is to:
• Take a strategic overview of CSF activities and catchment priorities at River Basin level and working collaboratively with other RBCs and partners.
• Provide line and functional management to the CSF team (approx. 5 advisers) in the NE Area team, including working closely with NE Area Team leadership. And build CSF knowledge and advice amongst land management advisers in the Area Team.

• Provide tactical advice to farmers on reducing diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA), and support your team in doing the same.
• Champion CSF, its role and contribution to delivery of NE’s and EA’s strategic objectives.
• Drive forward the implementation of NE’s Future Farm Advice review with CSF change and improvement.
• Identify opportunities for the integration of CSF work with complementary catchment activities and working closely with partners and other stakeholders to achieve shared objectives.

• Ensure that CSF addresses local priorities and agreed outcomes, that advice is targeted, and the regionally allocated CSF budgets are deployed and advice is delivered effectively.
• Managing risks and issues, escalating to Area Team and/or CSF national team where appropriate.

• Develop CSF’s work to maximise contributions of local Nature Recovery Strategies.

• Work with other CSF RBC’s nationally to share best practice and drive forward CSF’s work.

• Ensure CSF’s work is reported locally and nationally, and the programme’s contributions are identified and recognised in local plans and strategies.

We are looking for a proactive, engaging, and focussed person who will build a rapport with the CSF team and build CSF capability with other land management advisers in the Area Team. A knowledge of current agri-environment schemes is desirable, as well as experience in providing advice to farmers, on measures to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture; and experience in leading a team.

Additional information
This role is based at Natural England, Lancaster House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The role involves some working outdoors, through visiting farms and/or accompanying advisers on some farm visits and visiting sites and locations mainly in the geography covered by the Northumbria Area Team. (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Teesside). There will also be occasional visits to other offices in other regions.
A driving license is essential for this role.

How to apply

We will 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. Please ensure you read the Candidate Information Pack before you begin completing the application form. Please note STAR format is not required for the ‘Technical Skills and Knowledge’ competency.
Recruitment Framework

Competence 1
Professional competency

Leading and Managing People

•Develop an inclusive and trusting team environment that positively safeguards team members’ physical and mental wellbeing. (Practitioner)
•Set clear plans and expectations for your team, explain reasons behind decisions, be clear on the outcome to be achieved, and make things happen by sharing and delegating work to the right people. (Practitioner)
•Lead by example, engage, and support your team through change. (Practitioner)

Competence 2
Professional competency

Work Delivery

•Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines. (Expert)
•Understand evaluation and apply it to your work at an appropriate scale to identify the impact of our evidence or interventions and opportunities for improvement. (Practitioner)
•Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies, and procedures. (Practitioner)

Competence 3
Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness

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

Competence 4
Professional competency

Creating Resilient Landscapes and Seas

•Understand and use appropriate agri-environment schemes and other interventions to contribute to a healthy natural environment that benefits people and the economy. (Practitioner)
•Identify appropriate solutions for avoidance, mitigation, compensation of environmental impacts and meeting shared outcomes; and identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment. (Practitioner)
•Understand and apply appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of sites. (Practitioner)

Competence 5
Professional competency

Technical Skills and Knowledge
(There is no requirement to use STAR format to demonstrate this competency)

• A degree in agriculture, environmental management, conservation management, or equivalent subject matter and relevant experience.

• An in depth understanding of and experience in communicating effectively with farmers and stakeholders, persuading them to engage with a land and water management advice programme. (Essential)
•Good project and contract management skills and experience. (Desirable)
•A good understanding of agri-environment schemes, such as Countryside Stewardship. (Essential)
•Experience of working with staff to develop their skills and capabilities.

•Recognise and identify farming practices which can cause water and air pollution (Essential)
•Knowledge of and experience in providing advice about land management practices on farms, including minimising diffuse water pollution from agriculture. (Essential).


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 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.

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 : Sue Harrison
Email : [email protected]
Telephone : 07795 127933
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]

Further information




Candidate Pack Natural England v1.5 Opens in new window(docx, 1192kB)