About the job
The Specialist Services and Programmes (SSP) Team is part of the Chief Scientists Directorate (CSD) within Natural England and hosts our experts in natural sciences, social sciences and economics. Our role is to bring together and apply this expertise to support and inform Natural England’s delivery.
The team supports day to day and forward-looking work across the business. Specialists face inwards to strategic and operational teams in Natural England, and outwards to the wider science and evidence community and other stakeholders. The role will involve working with colleagues in other local and national teams as well as Defra, Local Authorities, Devolved Administrations and other external partners such as EA, JNCC, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, NGO’s and other researchers.
This role is an opportunity to proactively lead and provide national expertise on all aspects of hydrology and hydrogeology in England. Working closely with other specialists, you will interpret evidence to provide expert, practical advice across Natural England, while also working with external partners to enhance the evidence base and achieve environmental outcomes to support delivery of Conservation 21 and the 25 Year Environment Plan.
The role can be based at any of our locations and will involve some travel and the potential for some fieldwork. A driving licence would be advantageous.
For a full list of offices please refer to the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/natural-england-office-locations.
Key tasks/principal accountabilities
Specific responsibilities will develop and change over time and the post holder will need to maintain a flexible and adaptable attitude and approach. Initial broad work areas are described below:
• Provide timely, clear and consistent advice and guidance to area team staff with respect to hydrology and hydrogeology to enable area teams to deliver successful environmental outcomes, especially related to protected site management, habitat creation and restoration and hydrological impact assessment.
• Provide training and mentoring for staff with responsibility for sites and projects which require hydrological/ hydrogeological understanding and support other relevant habitat specialists in providing training and mentoring. Input to standard setting for the skills framework.
• Develop and maintain Natural England’s evidence base through leading on a number of projects to better understand relationships between hydrology/ hydrogeology and water dependant habitats and species.
• Represent Natural England externally as an expert hydrologist/ hydrogeologist. This will include leading Natural England’s engagement on strategic consultations, including liaison with the Environment Agency and other water managers on relevant strategic matters relating to hydrology/ hydrogeology.
• Provide robust, evidence-based guidance and input into planning and protected sites casework which takes account of the needs of stakeholders when securing environmental outcomes.
• Work closely with Natural England’s habitat and species specialists to progress Natural England’s delivery of water-dependent site, habitat and species conservation.
• Work with other Natural England colleagues to progress strategic aims of Conservation 21 and delivery of the Defra 25 Year Environment Plan and provide specialist input to the development of ELMs (Environmental Land Management scheme) and the Nature Recovery Network.
• Qualified to at least BSc level in an ecological or water related discipline, with proven knowledge of and experience of hydrology/hydrogeology and water dependant habitats. A postgraduate qualification involving hydrology/ hydrogeology would be preferred. Applicants that do not hold the required degrees should specify experience and outputs that they have produced that demonstrate that they have an equivalent level of knowledge
• Able to apply a sound knowledge of different aspects of hydrology (surface and groundwater) in the context of water-dependent habitats and species and understand the broader context within which this specialism sits within Natural England.
• Able to apply effective communication skills (verbal and written) in communicating about your specialism to multiple audiences.
• Demonstrate knowledge of specific legislation and the legislative context relevant to the water environment and protected site series.
• Demonstrate knowledge and expertise of the policy context and organisational approach to protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
• Provide leadership and drive to external partnerships and groups.
• An ability to build effective working relationships with a wide range of colleagues, partners and stakeholders, as well as scientific/ technical groups.
• Experience of wetland, river and lake (and coastal) restoration, with a good understanding of the principles of natural process restoration in water-dependent habitats.
Communicating Effectively – Expert
• Adapt your style, content and approach to communicate effectively with different audiences and across different media.
• Research and produce specialist products such as articles, think pieces and papers for both general and technical readerships.
• Synthesise existing knowledge to provide and communicate evidence summaries, reviews and digests and ensure the overall robustness, quality and impact of our evidence and analysis within your scientific discipline(s).
• Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication objectives, messages and solutions.
Collecting, monitoring and analysing data and evidence – Expert
• Identify priority evidence needs and seek ways to meet them (e.g. through funding or partnerships).
• Apply the relevant methodologies for collecting and collating data / evidence.
• Develop and share clear messages about your data / evidence using language appropriate to the audience.
• Present your data / evidence in ways that meet people’s needs so they can understand its implications and use it effectively.
Providing leadership – Expert
• Display thought leadership on Natural England’s behalf through external collaboration within the Defra family and with other partners and academics.
• See the big picture and organisational strategy so you can prioritise work within the context of the wider organisation and beyond.
• Train, coach and mentor others to increase their capability and organisation’s technical skill and capability.
Personal effectiveness – Expert
• Provide scientific scrutiny, challenge and assurance in a constructive and evidence-based
way so that the guidance you provide is practical and, where appropriate, cross-disciplinary.
• Build and strengthen your scientific expertise by keeping up to date with current evidence
and research, integrating this with your work so you provide support, assurance and challenge on science and evidence.
• Be decisive, combining your professional judgement with evidence to inform your decision-making.
• Produce evidence and analysis which enables others to deliver positive outcomes for the environment.
• Show effective time management and prioritisation skills
ResponsibilitiesPlease refer to Job Description
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension
Things you need to know
Selection process details
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.