See job eligibility requirements: Freshwater Lead Adviser

Natural England

United Kingdom 🇬🇧


East Midlands (England), East of England, London (region), North East England, North West England, South East England, South West England, West Midlands (England), Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job


This position can be based at Ashford (Kent) , Bridgwater , Bristol , Cambridge , Crewe , Eastleigh , Exeter , Kendal , Leeds , Lincoln , London, Manchester , Newcastle-upon-Tyne , Norwich , Nottingham , Penrith , Peterborough , Reading , Telford , Truro , Wallingford , Worcester , Worthing , York

Job description

Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? Do you want to make a real difference and secure significant environmental gains in the present and the future? Do you enjoy working in a team? Can you see yourself advising communities and customers to maximise gains for the Natural Environment?

If this appeals to you, a career at Natural England offers rewarding opportunities to secure environmental improvements and play your part in creating a better future for people and nature.

The priority work Natural England is delivering includes:

• Establishing a Nature Recovery Network to help wildlife thrive
• Monitoring environmental changes to identify and help reduce the effects of climate change
• Working with farmers and landowners to develop greener food production methods
• Advising on plans for new developments to maximise gains for nature
• Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social prescribing

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

See more about the work of Natural England at:

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 we will accommodate 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.

Natural England is adopting hybrid working – which means that our staff will work from a flexible range of locations, encompassing home, offices (ours and our partners) and relevant sites. By default, all new staff will be formally linked to one of our 25 offices across England and the expectation is that all new staff will be able to access their local office to be part of the community of staff in their geographic area.

The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties working in this way and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time. Travel expenses will be paid if work related travel if required but does not apply to travel between home and your associated office.

Area Team roles will be linked with an office in the relevant geographic area.
View a map of our office locations here: 

As the freshwater agenda continues to grow within Natural England, we are looking to recruit additional staff to further develop our freshwater related delivery across England. Freshwater plays a key part in nature-based solutions and delivering the Nature Recovery Network, and you could play a key role in this.

These roles are located in Natural England’s locally based Area Teams. As a Lead Adviser, you will be supporting our Senior Specialists/Senior Advisers in your Area Team, working closely with other advisers in the Team as well as with national specialists as required, plus partners and stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Local Authorities, landowners and Water Companies.

The exact requirements of the role will vary depending on the team, but all candidates will need a good broad understanding of freshwater issues. Candidates should also be knowledgeable on water quality and/or resources and have an understanding of protected sites systems to support casework across the Area team. Full training and support will be provided.

Key Tasks:

• Support Senior Freshwater colleagues in ensuring that freshwater delivery is fully embedded across the work of Natural England
• Provide technical freshwater related advice as required, to support the maintenance, restoration or enhancement of designated rivers and transitional and coastal waters, from strategy through to site-based delivery
• Coordinate the evaluation of water dependant elements of site condition monitoring, such as geomorphology, river habitat, water quality and flow/level, as appropriate to an individual site and its feature
• Provide technical advice on water related casework, including basic hydrological advice on abstraction, water quality and water level/flow issues.
• Contribute to the production of water related plans, working closely with the Environment Agency and Water Companies – including Diffuse Water Pollution Plans, River Basin Management Plans and statutory water company plans
• Work collaboratively with stakeholders and partners, as well as NE colleagues to support and enable the delivery of integrated biodiversity outcomes and integrated approaches to freshwater dependant habitat management.
• Work with the EA on the development of their flood risk management programme and related projects and provide support for Natural Flood Management approaches.

Candidates should be able to:

• Understand and apply relevant environmental and water legislation, policy and governance frameworks to their work.
• Identify how land interacts with the surrounding landscape and habitats e.g. through hydrological linkages
• Assess the risk of proposals impacting upon protected site features, e.g. following the source, pathway, receptor approach.
• Identify opportunities for development or other proposals to contribute to enhancing natural capital and delivering biodiversity net gain.
• Understand and advise on appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of a protected site
This position requires visits to sites not accessible by public transport, therefore a Driving Licence or other means of visiting remote sites is required

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 

A maximum of 250 words is allowed for your response to each competency. The Candidate Information Pack has lots of useful information – read it before you begin completing the application form. Please note STAR format is not required for the ‘Technical Skills and Knowledge’ competency.

Candidates should expect to hear the initial result of their application by the end of August 2022


Competence 1
Professional competency

Technical Skills and Knowledge


(There is no requirement to use STAR format to demonstrate this competency, but please provide evidence of your experience)

• Experience of working on and within relevant environmental and water legislation, policy and governance frameworks. (Essential)
• Understanding of the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution etc. (Essential)
• Understand appropriate management techniques to maintain, enhance or restore the condition of freshwater and freshwater related habitats or systems. (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 the organisation you represent (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


• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and whole organisation and inspire others to act (Practitioner)
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (Practitioner)

Competence 4
Professional competency

Work Delivery


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


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

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 :

Recruitment team :

Further information


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