See job eligibility requirements: Freshwater Lead Adviser 

Natural England

Kendal, UK 🇬🇧

Penrith, UK 🇬🇧

Reference number




Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Lead Adviser

Contract type


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of jobs available



North West England

About the job

Job summary

This position can be based at the following locations: 

Kendal, Penrith

Job description

The team  

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.

Find out more about the work of Natural England at:

The Cumbria Team 

Cumbria is home to some of the richest, wildest and most remote areas of natural beauty in England. We host more legally protected sites and landscapes than any other English county. The iconic landscape of the Lake District has been awarded World Heritage status, but the Cumbrian landscape is much more extensive and diverse, and includes the English Solway Coast, the Cartmel and Furness Peninsulas, the North Pennines, the Dales, and the Borderlands. Our residents, visitors and wildlife enjoy a wide range of habitats comprising the sea and coastline, rivers, lakes, bogs, meadows, dales, and fells. 

Our team is divided into four geographical areas of operation and has offices that can be utilised by all team staff in both Kendal and Penrith.

Job description  

This is an exciting opportunity to provide lead advisor level support for our freshwater work in Cumbria and help deliver our nature recovery goals in the freshwater environment.  The role will be supporting the freshwater Senior Adviser in Cumbria whilst working closely with advisers across the area team as well as with national specialists as required, plus partners and stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Rivers Trusts, landowners and the water companies.

Candidates will need a good broad understanding of freshwater issues and should also be knowledgeable on water ecology, water quality and/or water 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:

  •  Work collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to support and enable the delivery of integrated biodiversity outcomes and integrated approaches to freshwater dependent habitat management in support of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan.
  • Work to ensure that freshwater delivery is fully embedded across the work of Natural England, specifically leading on one of Cumbria’s SAC rivers.
  • Provide technical freshwater related advice as required, to support the maintenance, restoration or enhancement of designated rivers, lakes and floodplain habitats, from strategy through to site-based delivery.
  • Coordinate the evaluation of water dependent elements of site condition monitoring, such as geomorphology, river and lake habitats and species, water quality and flow/level, as appropriate to an individual site and its features.
  • Provide technical advice on water related casework, including basic hydrological or geomorphological advice on abstraction, water quality, river protection/flood defence and water level/flow issues.
  • Contribute to the production of water related plans, working closely with NE colleagues, the Environment Agency, Rivers Trusts and Water Companies – including Diffuse Water Pollution Plans, River Basin Management Plans, statutory water company plans and individual site management plans.
  • Work with the EA and other partners on the development of flood risk management programmes and related projects and provide support for Natural Flood Management.

 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 g. through hydrological linkages
  • Assess the risk of proposals impacting upon protected site features, 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 freshwater 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.


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)

  • An understanding of and experience of working with relevant environmental, protected sites and water legislation (e,g the Habitats Regulations), policy and governance frameworks. (Essential)
  • Understanding of the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution, river modification etc. (Essential)
  • Understand the ecology, natural processes and hydrological linkages of rivers, lakes and floodplains and appropriate management techniques to maintain, enhance or restore the condition of freshwater and freshwater related habitats or systems. (Essential)
  • Evidence competency in the use of information technology in work delivery (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


Creating Resilient Landscapes and Seas


  • Recognise and describe the environmental value of designated sites (including undertaking condition assessments using the correct methodology) (Practitioner)
  • Understand the use of Habitats Regulations and give appropriate consent, assent and advice (Practitioner)
  • Understand how an ecosystem functions, recognising and advising on impacts which could affect the resilience of an ecosystem (including ecological networks) (Practitioner)

Competence 4 

Professional competency


Work Delivery


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

Job contact:

Name: Karen Slater


Phone: 07795 126918

Second contact:

Name: Mark Hesketh


Phone: 07836 662594

Person specification

Please refer to Job Description


  • 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 undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) 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) (opens in a new window)
  • 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 (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).

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 (opens in new window).

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 :Karen Slater
  • Email
  • Telephone :07795 126918

Recruitment team :

  • Email

Further information


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




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development