See job eligibility requirements: Freshwater Senior Adviser

Natural England

UK 🇬🇧


Eastern, London, North East, South East, Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job


These positions are based in Cambridge, Eastleigh, Leeds, London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne , Peterborough and York

Job description

The team

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

At Natural England, we love what we do. We’re here to make sure people and nature can thrive. A healthy natural environment is fundamental to our wellbeing, prosperity and happiness – that’s why we collaborate with scientists, lawyers, project managers and experts to implement environmental policy and shape decisions.

We work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and customers on a huge range of projects, from influencing construction, advising farmers and landowners how they can manage their land in a sustainable way for the benefit of the environment, gathering and analysing environmental data, and carrying out vital statutory duties. Across the country, we’re helping nature to support people and our planet.

We are focusing our efforts on six key programmes:

Greener Farming and Fisheries – supporting those who manage land and sea to operate in harmony with the environment

Sustainable Development – creating great places for people to live and work

Connecting People with Nature – promoting health and wellbeing through the great outdoors

Resilient Landscapes and Seas – protecting and restoring wildlife and natural beauty for future generations

Specialist Science and Evidence – an evidence-led organisation that is driven by science

Managing the Organisation – gathering business data to enable decision making

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 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.

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.

See more about the work of Natural England at:

You can view a map of our office locations here:

Job description

Natural England is looking to recruit several Freshwater Senior Advisers to provide technical advice, lead our Team’s in-year delivery, strategic planning and thinking about the role of our freshwater work in delivering our Nature Recovery ambitions across our teams.

This role will be central to shaping our Area Team culture by role-modelling our values and championing new ways of working to enable us to implement the government’s ambitious 25YEP and our vision for Nature Recovery.

The successful candidate will contribute to our team planning and reporting against the Greener Farming and Fisheries programme and will be required to work closely with other Senior Advisers contributing to this programme, and the wider leadership team including Team Leaders and Managers.

You will play an important role in setting our team priorities for all staff working on our freshwater agenda for the coming year, monitoring our progress, identifying in year risks and putting in place mitigating measures, and helping us to be agile in our response to new opportunities as and when they occur.

A priority tasks for our new post holder will be to build our commercial offer, ensuring we move work to a chargeable basis where appropriate so we can build a resilient and self-funding service for water companies and other key customers/stakeholders.

We will expect the successful candidate to demonstrate a flexible and adaptable approach working across our remit and taking on new areas of work as the team needs change.

You will be:

• Strategic in your thinking and actions.
• Show innovation and creativity in finding solutions and encourage team members to do the same in their day-to-day work.
• Be proactive and self-driven, spotting and exploring opportunities and bringing them to fruition.
• Role model Natural England’s values
• Demonstrate leadership
• Play a significant role in driving forward the delivery of the Area Team plan and shaping our Team’s response to the changes needed to achieve the vision set out in our Conservation Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan.

Scope of role:

• Oversight and direction of the team’s engagement and input into Strategic Water Planning (for example – see below) to identify and secure opportunities to address the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution;
• Price Review 19/24
• Asset Management Plan 7
• Diffuse Water pollution Judicial Reviews
• River Basin Management Plans
• Flood and Coastal Risk Management
• Water Level Management Plans,
• Drainage and Wastewater Management plans
• Work with colleagues from across the business, both local and national, and lead on technical input into major water projects
• Strategic engagement and relationship management of key partners (such as the EA, Water companies etc.) to maximize joined up and effective delivery of opportunities;
• Lead our conversations with the EA to identify the common ground and identify differences in our positions to help us agree nature-based solutions for water quality;
• Liaison with the EA on the joint planning. Work with the EA on the development of their habitat creation programme, Flood risk Management plan second cycle development of plan and support of Natural Flood Management approaches;
• Seeking innovative and novel solutions to long standing intractable site-based issues working with local area team staff to implement;
• Champion Nature based water solutions and put our water programme at the heart of Nature Recovery Networks;
• Understand the relationships between water quality and water quantity (incl. water level management where relevant) and its significance to habitat restoration and nature recovery
• Build and lead effective networks to facilitate and influence thinking in this area, sharing information across the team;
• Provide risk oversight and act as the escalation point for high risk casework in accordance with NE’s schemes of delegation;
• Anticipate casework demand and work to ensure resource is allocated accordingly;
• Lead the development of our chargeable services and support delivery of chargeable advice for our freshwater work;
• Provide technical leadership on hydrological issues, maintaining an overview of the delivery of water related Protected Sites casework, ensuring our advice is timely, professional and robust and complies with current guidance;
• Provide mentoring and training to grow the capability and capacity of our teams to provide technical water advice, and create resilience in this work area;
• Deal with Protected and non-protected site related casework
• Support our freshwater Lead Advisers and Advisers with;
• Provision of technical advice on water related casework, including hydrogeological advice on abstraction licences, water quality and water level issues arising on casework (planning, land management or environment Agency consultations).
• Completion of Diffuse Water Pollution Plans with the Environment Agency and embed the roll-out of their actions.
• Provision of Discretionary Advice Service (DAS) work related to statutory water company plans (drought plan, water resource management plan and business plan) in particular Drought Plan Environmental Assessment Reports (EARS).
• Work with other Area Team staff to develop a shared protected sites monitoring strategy, which integrates all aspects of our work;
• Provide oversight of Water Environment Grant projects across the Area Teams, supporting Lead Advisers and acting as link with national leads;
• Engaging with our sustainable development programme to embed opportunities to deliver water outcomes in strategic plans e.g. net gain, and maximise the use of these tools to support our water ambitions.

A Driving Licence is not essential for the role


Competence 1

Professional competency

Leading and managing people

• Set clear plans and expectations for your team, explain reasons behind decisions, be clear on the outcomes to be achieved, and make things happen by sharing and delegating work to the right people. – Practitioner
• Encourage, inspire and support people to be ambitious, creative and innovative, and to reflect, celebrate and learn lessons from their work. – Practitioner
• Facilitate and support the personal development of people in your team, enabling them to share expertise and continuously learn. – Practitioner
• Lead by example, engage and support your team through change – Practitioner

Competence 2

Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness

• Act with integrity, addressing challenging issues and managing conflict through being open and objective. – Practitioner
• Be ambitious, identify and adopt ways to make improvements in your team and Natural England and inspire others to act. – Practitioner
• Make and explain objective decisions which combine your professional judgement and evidence. – Expert
• Share expertise and knowledge with people and networks so that you can develop together. – Practitioner

Competence 3

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 Natural England. – Practitioner
• Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver Natural England’s vision, mission and aims. – Practitioner

Competence 4

Professional competency

Work Delivery

• See the big picture so you can set your team’s work within the context of the organisation’s vision, mission and aims, and help them understand how their work relates to and supports this. – Practitioner
• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines. – Expert

Competence 5

Professional competency

Technical Skills and Experience

• Familiarity and experience of Strategic Water Planning, e.g. River Basin Management Plans, Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Diffuse Water Pollution Plans, Water Level Management Plans, RAPID and Price Review 19/24.
• Understanding of the challenges affecting our water environment e.g. climate change, drought, flooding, abstraction, pollution etc.
• Understand how an ecosystem functions, recognising and advising on impacts which could affect the resilience of an ecosystem (including ecological networks)
• Understand the use of Habitats Regulations and give appropriate consent, assent and advice

Job contacts;

• Northumbria – Sue Harrison, [email protected]
• East Midlands – Ian Butterfield, [email protected]
• West Anglia – Cheryl Allibone, [email protected]
• Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, [email protected]
• Thames Solent Team – Graham Horton, [email protected]


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

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 : Sue Harrison
Email : [email protected]
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]

Further information


Candidate Pack Natural England v1.3 Opens in new window(docx, 1018kB)