See job eligibility requirements: Natural England Assistant Field Ecologist (Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Program)

Natural England

England, UK 🇬🇧

Reference number: 267854
Salary: ÂŁ23,315
Job grade: Executive Officer
Adviser: Contract type
Fixed Term: Length of employment
For up to: 31/03/2025
Type of role: Surveying
Working pattern: Full-time, Job share, Part-time
Number of jobs available: 2



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

Job summary

These positions are based Nationally

Job description

The team  

The NCEA is a new Defra Group evidence programme which in the long term aims to deliver high quality national and local evidence to assess the state and condition of biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural capital assets across our terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. In 2023/24, we are continuing to explore approaches to understand how best we can identify the condition of environments and ecosystems, identify detrimental changes and improvements, calculate the value of interventions and to develop, test, implement and evaluate policy.

Natural England will deliver elements of the terrestrial and marine parts of the pilot, building our skills and capacity in: Earth observation; data management; analysis and modelling; project and contract management; specialist expertise (habitats, marine, landscape, soils, evaluation, natural capital etc); and ecological survey co-ordination and survey on land and at sea.

Job description  

We are looking for candidates with an interest or experience in field survey to join the Natural Capital & Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) project team. This is an entry level role in a supportive and growing national team, working on an innovative new project. The role will have a strong training element and will give successful candidates a good opportunity to develop their skills and progress their career in this field. 

The role

Your role will be working alongside and supporting field surveyors with planning and carrying out a range of field surveys and testing of protocols. The field team are our people on the ground – developing and delivering the England Ecosystem Survey including soil and Peat surveys and ground truthing our Earth observation data.

During the main survey season the role will be predominantly field-based and involve supporting the organisation, and carrying out, a range of habitat surveys across England. Survey scope is likely to include botanical surveying on a range of habitats (mixture of lowland, upland, freshwater, coastal etc) and will include data collection associated with assessing landscape features. It will also include soil surveys, which may partly extend into the winter months. Training will be provided on survey methods, and you will be working alongside our experienced field ecologists on site. Equipment will include a mixture of traditional and Geographical Information System-based recording/collection tools to enable georeferenced data collection and spatial mapping. Survey season length will vary each year depending on habitat and purpose. Off season you will be working alongside project staff to focus on planning and preparing updates to methods, and development of training materials ahead of the following year’s survey season.

Key tasks and accountabilities

  • Support field surveyors to undertake targeted vegetation and soil surveys and record landscape and habitat features.
  • Support the planning, organising (including risk assessments), monitoring, and measuring all elements of the survey delivery.
  • Contribute towards the development and improvement of survey methodology and explore opportunities for improvements, enhancements and/or innovations in the field data collection process.
  • Liaise with landowners, public and staff regarding survey, access and site safety.
  • Contribute to survey/project updates and share findings to relevant audiences; e.g. via webinars, articles and team and project meetings as necessary.
  • Liaise and uphold good communication with other Natural England teams, land owners and managers, and members of the public.
  • Build and develop strong internal and external working relationships.


Competence 1 

Professional competency


Technical skills and knowledge


A strong interest in ecology / field survey and the willingness to develop skills in this area:


Basic ecological knowledge gained through either a relevant qualification, or previous experience


  • Good IT skills and a willingness to work with new and developing technologies: Essential
  • Good written and verbal communication skills: Essential
  • Experience of GIS and data analysis skills: Desirable:
  • An understanding of UK habitats gained through previous experience or study: Desirable
  • Ability to drive – a full UK driving licence is required: Essential

Competence 2 

Professional competency


Work Delivery


  • 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 (Basic)

Competence 3 

Professional competency


Personal effectiveness


  • Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience (Basic)
  • Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (Practitioner)

Competence 4 

Professional competency


Putting people at the heart of the environment: Working in Partnership


  • 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 (Basic

Person specification

Please refer to Job Description


Full UK Driving license


  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Things you need to know

Selection process details

Please refer to Job Description

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

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 :

  • Name :Stephen Marsh
  • Email

Recruitment team :

  • Email

Further information


Candidate Pack Natural England v1.5 Opens in new window(docx, 1319kB)




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