Coastal Habitats and Species Lead Adviser

Natural England

Job summary

This position is based at Crewe, Kendal or Manchester

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

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

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, and
  • Providing ways for people to better connect with nature, including green social

We are the Government’s Adviser 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

The Cheshire to Lancashire team provides environmental leadership across an area of 6 million
people and home to some magnificent natural assets, where Nature Recovery and Partnerships are
at the heart of everything we do. Restoring habitats, reconnecting the natural environment, and
connecting people with nature across the Lancashire uplands, the wetlands and rivers of
Cheshire, the wildlife-rich Irish Sea coast and urban heartland of Greater Manchester and
Liverpool City Region.

In 2023 we have an ambitious plan to build a resilient natural environment, recovering and
restoring England’s threatened native species, recover priority habitats, habitat quality and
species abundance. Opportunities are identified to secure positive environmental outcomes for
the natural environment in support of our ambitions in the Natural England Action Plan through
proactive engagement with partners.

We want to deliver more benefits for biodiversity, water quality, air quality, flood
management, climate change across our coastal sites.

This position requires travel to some places that do not have easy access to public
transportation therefore it will be essential for the candidate to be able to drive. 

The role  

Coastal Habitats and Species Lead Adviser is an exciting and challenging role that requires
attention to detail, time management, and collaboration.

We are looking for someone with ecological skills, such as habitat survey, plant and species
ID, some ornithology knowledge and understanding of the habitats found across the North West
coastline. This role will work with other Lead Advisers to deliver technical advice on
habitats, species and support monitoring Sites of Special Scientific interest. 

The role focusses on casework and technical support to Coast and Marine team members, to
protect native species and priority habitat management such as saltmarsh, mudflats and sand

The successful candidate will:

  • Identify opportunities to secure positive environmental outcomes and deliver nature
  • Develop an excellent understanding of: Morecambe Bay SAC, Wyre & Lune estuaries. Relevant
    legislation, designation and our statutory remit. Consents, Assents and Habitat Regulations
    Assessments. Pressures and impacts on species and habitats.
  • Conduct field assessments and surveys to monitor the condition of coastal habitats and
    using our evidence to provide guidance and advice on how to manage and improve the quality of
    protected sites (SSSI, SPA, SAC). This will also include working to fulfil our statutory duties
    towards these sites (e.g. consenting/assenting and other statutory casework).
  • Play a key role as part of a bigger cohesive team; enjoy working closely with colleagues,
    but also thriving when working independently and taking responsibility for your own projects.
    This will include participation and involvement in relevant internal and external networks to
    ensure exchange of information and best practices.
  • Liaise with Natural England colleagues in the national teams to seek advice, guidance and
    support on complex casework.

Skills and Knowledge: 

We are looking for individuals who have botany, habitat, species knowledge and work well both
independently and part of a team.

  • Knowledge and understanding of species & habitats in the North West.
  • Experience of conducting fieldwork would be beneficial.
  • An understanding of the legislation that gives Natural England its statutory remit.
  • Understand the Habitat Regulations Assessment process.

If you would like more information about the role or to discuss your current skills and
experience, please contact Team Leader Hannah Turner who is happy to chat about this

[email protected]


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 our staff 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 geographical 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:…


It is Natural England policy to employ at the entry point of the salary range.

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:

  • Personal Effectiveness.
  • Putting People at the Heart of the Environment.
  • Resilient Landscapes and Seas
  • Work Delivery
  • Technical Skills & knowledge.

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.

Next Steps

If you are successful at the sifting stage, you will be invited to attend an interview via MS
Teams or a suitable alternative, where you will be asked to give examples for all four
competencies as set out in the Job Description.

Successful candidates will be allocated roles in merit order based on scores achieved at
interview and in accordance with location preferences, taking into account the work area to
which successful candidates are most suited, wherever possible.

Recruitment Framework


Competence 1

Professional competency
Personal Effectiveness


  • Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage
    your audience (Basic).
  • Share expertise and knowledge with other people and networks so that you can develop together. (Basic)

Competence 2

Professional competency
Putting People at the Heart of the Environment.


  • Understand and explain the outcomes that we seek in your local patch and how these fit in with
    local and national issues.
  • 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 Natural England (Practitioner).

Competence 3

Professional competency
Resilient Landscapes and Seas


  • Recognise and describe the environmental value of designated sites (including undertaking
    condition assessments using the correct methodology).
  • Use and contribute to the evidence base on environmental and landscape change to support
    resilient landscapes and seascapes (Practitioner).

Competence 4

Professional competency
Work Delivery


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

Competence 5

Professional competency
Technical Skills and Knowledge – Star format optional.


  • Knowledge of ecological practices for field surveys, data analysis and habitat management
  • Understanding of solutions for avoidance, mitigation or compensation of environmental impacts
    to identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment.
  • Knowledge of the legislation giving Natural England regulatory and enforcement powers,
    including the Wildlife Countryside Act, Environmental Damage Regulations and the Conservation
    of Habitats and Species Regulations.
  • Demonstration of a good understanding of the priority habitats and species of NW England,
    particularly including coastal and wetland birds, saltmarsh and mud flats, habitat condition
    and management.
  • Excellent communication in both written and verbal form. Confident in engaging with senior
    leaders and customers over the phone and in person.

Person specification

Please refer to Job Description


Alongside your salary of £27,273, Natural England contributes £7,390 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A 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.

Find out more & apply

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