U.K./Commonwealth/E.E.A. nationals: Freshwater Lead Adviser

Natural England
United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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North West, West Midlands

About the job


These positions are based in Crewe, Manchester, Telford and Worcester

Job description

The team

As there are two roles available, here is some further detail for each location.

Cheshire to Lancashire

Natural England’s Cheshire to Lancashire Team provides environmental leadership in an area of 6 million people including the major urban areas of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region as well as stunning countryside and natural environments. The region is home to magnificent natural assets including the Pennine and Bowland hills, the wetlands of Cheshire and Great Manchester and the wildlife-rich Irish Sea coast.

This role will initially focus on developing options for meres and a river within Cheshire that are subject to a 2015 Judicial Review consent order. You will support the development of Diffuse Water Pollution Plans and the associated evidence base through modelling technology (such as Farmscoper), work with stakeholders including the Environment Agency and Defra and lead on developing a novel solution for a pilot site testing a new legislative approach.

Once the initial Judicial Review Consent Order work is underway, this role will focus more widely on the water environment and the key tasks listed in the front of the role description.

West Midlands

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.

The role will focus on our priority water sites, including our SAC rivers and meres, with the key tasks listed at the beginning of this role description. In addition the role will work closely with our Senior Water Advisor to support the development our Headwaters Strategic project and support nature based solutions and Nature Recovery Network development across the area team.


This is an advertisement for two Freshwater Lead Adviser roles, one within the West Midlands Area Team and the other in the Cheshire to Lancashire Area Team. There are core similarities to the roles in terms of key skills, experience and competencies being sought and individual team descriptions are provided within this role description.

As the freshwater agenda continues to grow within Natural England we are looking for two roles to support our Senior Specialists and Advisers 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.

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

For West Midlands, Jonathan Blowers:
02082256813/ 07970838411

For Cheshire to Lancashire, Petula Neilson:
02080261167/ 07384235495


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

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

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

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Name :
Jonathan Blowers

Email :

Telephone :


Recruitment team :

Email :

Further information




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