• Job Title: Ecology Advisor
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Team: LEADS / Sustainable Growth
  • Starting Salary: £32,076 Progressing to £34,834
  • Hours: 18.5 per week (Part Time/Job share)
  • Contract: Permanent

Purpose of the Job

The LEADS team (landscape, ecology, archaeology, development sustainability) supports the County and most District planning authorities in Herts. You will also join the Team at a very exciting time as Biodiversity Net Gain and the Local Nature Recovery Strategy are implemented, a sea change in the profile and importance of ecology and the natural environment in planning and placemaking, and you will have an opportunity to be part of improving the ecology and biodiversity in this varied and attractive county.

The successful post holder will provide high quality information and advice to the County Council and Hertfordshire local planning authorities and developers to ensure that the natural environment is a key consideration when applications for planning permissions are considered, and ensure that site surveys and appropriate protection, enhancement and mitigation are properly undertaken.

You will represent the interests of the natural environment when supporting pre-planning advice, masterplanning and policy making, playing a role in giving a sense of place, identity and belonging. Your expertise and knowledge will help planners, developers and designers to improve the well-being of Hertfordshire’s natural environment.

Main Areas of Responsibility

  1. To provide high quality, timely professional ecological advice to Hertfordshire planning authorities and developers in response to strategic planning consultations, planning proposals and other relevant land use or land management change. Advice and information must conform to relevant legislation and policy and professional standards and guidance.
  2. To ensure proposals with a high ecological impact and/or which have a high social or political impact are identified and prioritised.
  3. To support colleagues in the Ecology discipline and in local planning authorities to implement the requirements of protected species, Biodiversity Net Gain and LNRS in relevant planning applications.
  4. To maintain and strengthen existing partnership arrangements with local planning authorities and assist in raising the prominence of the natural environment in the Hertfordshire placemaking and design agenda.
  5. To input into monitoring reports prepared for local authorities and external bodies and ensure that all relevant casework information is recorded to the required standard.
  6. To proactively engage with local, regional and national networks, including research frameworks. This will include representing HCC at relevant meetings, working groups and forums at a national and local level, including the Association of Local Government Ecologists (ALGE) and Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
  7. To assist in the development of the LEADS service and to highlight opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the advice and support the Ecology discipline offers.
  8. To play your part in embedding the sustainability aspirations of the County and District councils in everything we do.

• Recognised degree level qualification (or equivalent) in a natural science or have appropriate work experience in a relevant discipline
• Good working knowledge of relevant national policy and legislation covering the natural environment and spatial planning , including an understanding of protected species legislation, Biodiversity Net Gain and Local Nature Recovery Strategies
• The ability to communicate well with a variety of audiences verbally and in writing. You are comfortable with a range of styles e.g. formal reports, formal letters, articles for social media and websites as well as being willing to give formal presentations and informal talks. You will be able to share your passion for ecology in an engaging way with a variety of audiences
• The skills and ability to negotiate with external parties. You will be able to take a justified and pragmatic approach in order to achieve appropriate outcomes
• Sound time management skills and the ability to work within set timeframes. You will be able to work under pressure whilst managing and prioritising your own workload
• Ability and willingness to work as part of a team, you will be able to work as part of teams from multiple organisations focused on projects as well with colleagues from your own discipline and the wider LEADS team
• Personal enthusiasm and drive to help raise understanding of the benefits and importance of the natural environment and see it reflected in today’s placemaking and planning
• You will be able to tackle complex problems in a methodical manner using your own initiative but also able to work positively within a team to carry out tasks and implement change, both within HCC and with external partnership bodies
• You will understand and be committed to demonstrating HCC’s values.

• A post graduate qualification in an appropriate ecological, biological or environmental planning related subject (consideration will be given to those willing to work towards an appropriate post graduate qualification)
• An understanding of the roles of other environmental stakeholders (e.g. Natural England, the Environment Agency, Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust)
• Experience of biological or ecological recording, and the way in which voluntary recording networks function
• Thorough working knowledge of the use of GIS and database packages
• Experience in collating and analysing data, generating statistics, and producing detailed and accurate reports.

Benefits of working for us:
• Flexible Working Arrangements (depending on the role)
• Excellent Career Development
• Salary Exchange for Additional Benefits
• Excellent Pension Scheme with Employer Contributions
• Shopping Discounts
• Support Groups & Wellbeing Schemes

Disability Confident: We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer and guarantee an interview to anyone disclosing a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post.

English Fluency: The ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English is essential for the post (for those whose language is a signed language the provision of a sign language interpreter who speaks English to the necessary standard of fluency will be required). Further information about the legal requirement can be found here.

Closing date:19/06/2024
Interview dates: TBC

For an informal discussion please contact: simon.richards@hertfordshire.gov.uk

How to Apply

As part of the application, you will be required to upload your most recent CV ensuring gaps in employment have been addressed.