Freshwater Lead Advisor - West Midlands

Natural England
West Midlands - Worcester or Telford
Starting salary £25,215
Closing date
20 Sep 2020
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Natural England’s West Midlands Team provides environmental leadership in an area of 6.5 million people, covering the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham combined authority. It contains 5 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers a huge variety of landscapes, from the estuary of the Severn, through rural landscapes to thriving urban cities and the uplands of Shropshire and Welsh Borders.

As the freshwater agenda continues to grow within Natural England we are looking for a role to support our Water Senior Adviser working closely with colleagues across the Area Teams, the Environment Agency and the Water Companies. It is expected that candidates will need a good understanding of freshwater issues, however it’s recognised that expertise will be developed as part of the role. The person should be knowledgeable on water quality and/or resources and how the protected sites system works to be confident to support casework across the teams.

The successful applicants will be expected to travel to work with key customers across the areas.

Key Tasks and areas of work will be:

• Work across the area team to ensure that freshwater delivery is fully embedded and supported across the relevant priorities in order to maximise environmental delivery.
• Deliver technical advice / input on water quality issues with specific emphasis on rivers and Meres particularly those with Water Framework Directive status.
• Provide technical advice on water related casework, including basic ecohydrological advice on abstraction licences, water quality and water level issues arising on casework (planning, land management or Environment Agency consultations).
• Complete, where relevant, production of Diffuse Water Pollution Plans with the Environment Agency and embed the roll-out of their actions.
• Increase our income, by supporting Discretionary Advice Service (DAS) work related to statutory water company plans (drought plan, water resource management plan and business plan) and Environment Agency plans.
• Help coordinate the input into the development and delivery of the relevant River Basin Management Plans in line with programme area objectives.
• Provide support where necessary to relevant Catchment Based Approach partnerships groups to support delivery of NE’s vision and 25 year plan objectives particularly for water quality.
• Seek and develop funding bids to improve our evidence around water quality and implement actions when required.

Support our Senior Water Advisor in developing our Strategic Headwater project and in developing nature based solutions and delivery of Nature Recovery Networks across the region.

Skills and knowledge

• Understand and apply the relevant environmental legislation to your work and specifically an understanding of WFD and the mechanisms that can be applied to support its delivery.
• Ability to identify how water interacts with the surrounding landscape and habitats e.g. through hydrological linkages
• Ability to identify how proposals can contribute to environmental opportunities to enhance natural capital and deliver biodiversity net gain
• Ability to manage Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and International site casework in line with statutory duty and published service standards
• Recognise, identify and interpret environmental features such as priority habitats and SSSI features
• Understand and advise on appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of an SSSI or international site (remedies, condition threats)
• Understand and apply relevant water legislation, policy and governance frameworks to your work, this includes an understanding of how it links to the aims, outcomes and priority actions in the focus areas


Competence 1 - Professional competency

Building Partnerships – practitioner

• Collaborate, negotiate and influence in a well-informed way to achieve pragmatic outcomes.
• Develop an understanding of the objectives and needs of our partners and customers.

Competence 2 - Professional competency

Communicating Effectively – practitioner

• Listen well, be open minded, and take time to understand the other person’s point of view.
• Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience.

Competence 3 - Professional competency

Personal Effectiveness – practitioner

• Act positively to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of yourself and others.
• Suggest innovations and reforms to improve the way your team and Natural England operates.

Competence 4 - Professional competency

Work delivery – practitioner

• Identify, understand and follow the instructions, policies, procedures and standards relevant to your work.
• Manage and deliver your workload to meet agreed targets and deadlines.

Competence 5 - Professional competency

Putting people at the heart of the environment - practitioner

• Understand the importance of people accessing and engaging with the natural environment, and how to balance their needs with nature conservation objectives.

Contact and additional information 02082256813/ 07970838411

To receive an application pack please email by clicking on

Interview date: w/c 5th October 2020

Natural England is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications regardless of gender, race, disability, age, religion or sexual orientation.

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