See job eligibility requirements: Senior Specialist – Targets & Indicators (Freshwater & Air)

Natural England

England, UK 🇬🇧

Reference number




Job grade

Senior Executive Officer

Senior Specialist

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Up to 1 year

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of jobs available



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

This position is based Nationally

Job description

About Natural England

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

Job Description

In a major new step for nature recovery, a requirement for long-term legally binding targets for biodiversity, water and air became law under the Environment Act 2021. The statutory instruments have been set in October 2022 and your role will advise on the Secretary of State environmental improvement plan to meet these targets. Ongoing, the Secretary of State must prepare annual reports on the implementation of the current environmental improvement plan.

In this exciting opportunity, you will lead in evidence development, collaboration and advice to support implementation of the statutory targets and indicators. You will be key to Natural England’s advisory role to Defra, in this important opportunity for nature. You will be strengthening the evidence base and using expert guidance on best practice to support good delivery and you will set the framework to monitor indicators and report on their progress to meet the biodiversity, freshwater and air targets.

You will acquire new skills and knowledge in policy development and novel targets and indicators methodology and will provide evidence and analysis to inform policy development. You will work cross-team and develop linkages between Natural England species and habitat specialists and maintain strong working relationships with Defra teams. You will work collaboratively for the design of robust monitoring frameworks, data sources, specialist analysis of trends to guide delivery against these new targets and the 25 Year Environment Plan indicators that underlie them.

This is a Senior Specialist role, which involves managing relationships  with colleagues in Natural England, Defra Group, potentially other Government Departments, local authorities, and environmental Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) stakeholders.

Key Tasks

The balance of the key tasks for the role will vary and will depend on the needs and priorities at the time 

  • Build strong partnerships to input to Defra’s evidence-led delivery for joined up coordination of Air and Freshwater evidence for biodiversity delivery; lead an evidence coordination group with cross-team representation from Defra policy teams, EA and NE.
  • Work collaboratively with other specialists to support Natural England’s development of evidenced advice for the Environment Plan targets delivery and indicators monitoring.
  • Collaborate with external partners and stakeholders, including through Memoranda of Agreement (MoA) and managing contractors to develop the required evidence.
  • Support development of papers and advice to be presented to Defra led Advisory Panels, Programme Board and within Natural England, for the delivery of the Environment Act Statutory Instruments.
  • Collaborate and proactively establish resource to engage with various internal specialists to develop/show our evidence to different Defra teams into the future

Job description  


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.

Natural England provides excellent opportunities for career progression, training and development tailored to your role. From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Everyone has 10 days to devote to personal learning and development, as well as an additional 3 days to volunteer.

You will have access to Civil Service Pension and benefits arrangements and generous leave allowances (33 day per year pro rata), as well as flexible working, to help you achieve a work-life balance that works for you and us.

You will have access to a range of benefits including discounts on shopping vouchers, cycle to work scheme, and childcare vouchers. You can also join the Civil Service Sport club which offer discounts on a range of sports and leisure opportunities as well as social events.

Natural England is a fantastic place to work, where difference is celebrated.

We’re committed to fairness and equality for all, so you feel valued for who you are and what you do. Our shared values help us work together to benefit the communities we serve. Our thriving employee-led diversity networks support our inclusive culture and contribute to our Diversity Action Plan.


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. 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. Full time staff are expected to attend their associated office for a minimum of one day a week.

Staff members are 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 is required but does not apply to travel between home and your associated office.

National team roles can be linked with any Natural England office while Area Team roles will be linked with an office in the relevant geographic area.

View a map of our office locations here:

How to Apply

We welcome and encourage applications from all communities. Natural England is accredited to the Disability Confident Scheme, which denotes organisations which have a positive attitude towards disabled people. Disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role at the shortlisting stage are guaranteed an invitation to interview.

If you require a reasonable adjustment at interview, or there is anything else you would like the panel to take into consideration, you should notify us of this at application stage where possible, or well in advance of your interview.

This vacancy uses competency-based assessment. We’ll assess you against the competencies below during the selection process:

  • Technical Skills & Knowledge
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Putting people at the heart of the environment
  • Work Delivery

When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. Give us an example of how you have demonstrated the competency (which can be work related or from another area of your life) and tell us about the Situation, the specific Task you had to undertake, the specific Actions you took, and the Result (both immediate and in a wider context) of your doing so.

Please note that STAR format is not required when answering the Technical Skills & Knowledge competency.

Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency.


Competence 1  

Professional competency


Technical Skills & Knowledge


  • In depth specialist knowledge of at least one of the following areas: pressures on air quality and/or freshwater ecosystems; freshwater habitats and species; freshwater and/or air environmental monitoring (essential)
    • Experience of innovative approaches in environmental monitoring, field data collection & analysis and/or knowledge of the use of indicators and metrics to measure change
    • Experience of presenting synthesised evidence for clear and informed advice both verbally in technical discussion and written in technical reports and papers for government (desirable).

Competence 2  

Professional competency


Personal Effectiveness


  • Test and challenge others in a constructive and evidence-based way providing scientific scrutiny, challenge and assurance to casework and other delivery that is practical and, where appropriate, cross-disciplinary (expert)

    • Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence (expert)

    • Proactively communicate and present your data, evidence and analyses in ways that meet people’s needs so they can understand its implications and use it effectively to deliver positive outcomes for the environment (practitioner)

Competence 3  

Professional competency


Putting people at the heart of the environment


  • Build relationships and effective networks both externally and internally to bring in fresh perspectives, approaches and evidence to raise the profile of both your individual specialist work and that of your organisation (expert)

    • Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and your organisation (practitioner)

Competence 4  

Professional competency


Work Delivery


  • Identify priority evidence needs and seek ways to meet them (e.g. through funding or partnerships) (practitioner)
    • Identify and apply the most appropriate data and methodologies for your analysis, utilising reproducible analytical pipelines and data science approaches where appropriate (practitioner)

Contact information

Team Leader: Rosalind Johnston 07385968535

Principal Specialist: Steve Panks 07799 583447

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 :Rosalind Johnston
  • Email
  • Telephone :07385968535

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