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 Environment?

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 nature.

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

The Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly team has offices in Exeter and Truro and approximately 100 staff. It includes a Local Leadership Team comprised of 3-4 managers, a principal adviser, 7 team leaders and several senior advisers to lead the team and help build local partnerships. The team is at the forefront of innovation and pioneering our new tools for nature recovery including the first Nature Recovery Project, the development of super National Nature Reserves, landscape recovery pilots with our proactive work focussed around priority places for nature recovery across the area. There are also very challenging and high-profile cases such as Dartmoor and West Penwith, where we will need to work with partners in developing innovative shared ambitions that secure the best outcome for nature by bringing people with us.

Area teams must also carry out our statutory duties and services, with a strong focus on customer service and risk-based decision making. This service will ensure that Government priorities such as economic recovery and job creation are not unnecessarily hindered, while always seeking the best outcome for the natural environment.

Area Deputy Directors provide inspirational and inclusive leadership both in their geography and across the organisation. They will prioritise places where we are likely to make most progress ourselves alongside securing nature recovery commitments from partners. They are accountable for delivery against national key performance indicators and the effective management of resources to ensure budgets are balanced and area team staff wellbeing is protected.

To achieve this successfully they will need to lead vital reforms in their team to build capacity to work more proactively with partners. They will also need to build new skills and diversity in our teams to meet this evolving challenge and engage with a broader range of communities and organisations.

Area Deputy Directors are an active member of the relevant local leadership community, the group of senior Natural England staff in each of the localities across England who we ask to provide support and co-ordination for the local group of staff.

Key Accountabilities

  • Works closely with their Regional Director to develop strategic relationships for nature recovery, balance budgets and manage risks.
  • Work across Natural England as a corporate leader – working to achieve the organisations objectives and reflecting our values.
  • They will be asked to lead and advise on a portfolio of work areas at a national level to support strategy development and deal with issues with national teams.
  • Will take personal ownership of high risk and high-profile issues at a senior level to manage risk and leverage opportunities.
  • Take decisions in line with specific Area Deputy Director accountabilities in the NE schemes of delegation including:
    • Team budgets and spending
    • Major casework
    • Health and Safety of their team and on their NNRs

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

  • Excellent visible leadership skills with a track record of inspiring, developing and engaging high performing, diverse and inclusive teams.
  • A strategic leader with the vision, interpersonal skills, and networking ability to build highly effective relationships and support collaborative partnerships, with a wide range of senior stakeholders.
  • An ability to lead complex local delivery across several counties. A strong focus on performance and financial management to deliver national objectives through place-based delivery.
  • Experience of leading significant step change in delivery capability and partnership working, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement.
  • The judgement to effectively manage major risks to both delivery and reputation, with an ability to quickly secure the confidence of local customers and stakeholders.
  • Experience of delivery at senior levels on the environmental agenda would be desirable but not essential.
  • Being a visible leader across Natural England, proactively sharing and learning from others, and informing national strategy.