Reference number



£35,870 – £38,842

New entrants to the civil service will be expected to start on the minimum of the pay-band.

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer

Pay Band 4

Contract type


Business area

FC – Forest Services – The Forestry Commission are the Government’s forestry experts, and our role is to protect, improve, expand and connect England’s trees, woodlands and forestry sector.

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Compressed Hours

Number of jobs available




About the job


Things you need to know

Apply and further information


South West England

About the job

Job summary

Never has there been a more important time for trees and forests to help tackle the climate emergency and provide a much-needed sanctuary for people and wildlife. The Government has committed to establishing a Nature Recovery Network to improve, extend and connect wildlife-rich habitat, and introduced a range of incentives to recover nature for wildlife, climate and people.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) are a new statutory system of spatial planning for nature introduced under the Environment Act 2021. They have been specifically designed to ensure environmental funding streams work together in a coherent way to deliver for wildlife and for wider environmental outcomes including climate mitigation, flood management and access.

The Forestry Commission has a critical part to play in delivering this landmark initiative. We are seeking highly motivated and highly collaborative individuals with skills and experience in nature conservation and sustainable forest management, and who are passionate about nature and nature-based solutions, to work as Nature Recovery Advisors within our Area teams.

Nature Recovery Advisors will support the roll out of Local Nature Strategies with between 7 and 11 LNRSs within each Area. If successful, you will work with Responsible Authorities, alongside staff from Natural England and the Environment Agency, to provide knowledge and advice, data and other evidence to ensure that the Strategies deliver Government commitments for woodland, wildlife and other environmental benefits. You will champion the role of sustainable woodland management and creation, and work with colleagues to ensure statutory protections are maintained. You will build strong partnerships within your national and Area teams, within Defra, with the Responsible Authorities and with external stakeholders and delivery partnerships.

You will also support the establishment and delivery of landscape scale pilot projects delivering nature-based solutions under the UK Government’s Shared Outcomes Fund. You will provide advice, data and evidence to support effective delivery, champion the role of woodlands and work to connect projects with local ecosystem markets to ensure their long-term sustainability. You will ensure alignment with other work of the Commission in the Area and link them with the staff who can help them with their requirements in relation to regulations and incentives.

As Local Nature Recovery Strategies develop, you will have the opportunity to work with those same partners and initiate wider action for nature recovery.

You will work alongside colleagues in the Area team to deliver this in a flexible and collaborative manner. As a Nature Recovery Advisor for the Forestry Commission, you will be an excellent ambassador for woodlands and forestry as a critical part of supporting and expanding a sustainable, wildlife-rich Nature Recovery Network and embedding nature recovery within forestry activities.

There has never been a more inspiring time to be involved in forestry. The government’s commitment to, and society’s interest in, increasing England’s tree cover and improving woodlands for wildlife has never been greater. The Forestry Commission, including its agencies Forest Research and Forestry England, and the forestry sector, have exciting and diverse roles to play in this. Nature Recovery Advisors will be pivotal to finding local solutions to combat biodiversity loss and climate change, to improving silvicultural practice, to encouraging sustainable domestic timber supply and to resolving other key environmental issues.

The role will be based in one of the Area Team or Partner offices (see Office access and opening times – Forestry Commission – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) with flexibility for some optional blended working (see details below). Please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas. We are advertising one role, however there may be scope to offer an additional role on the basis of funding.

Job description

The Nature Recovery Advisors will be responsible for:
Ensuring outcomes for woodland and trees are effectively integrated into LNRSs, by:

Championing the role of trees and woodlands in nature recovery across the region, leading to the expansion, protection, improvement and connection of woodlands

Negotiating outcomes for trees and woodland, challenging the views and advice of others, including senior advisors and managers as required, using the latest evidence

Supporting Responsible Authorities and statutory partners, responding to their requests by providing knowledge, advice, data and other evidence (including case studies), involving Area Team members as required

Providing content for the emerging strategies, and reviewing them in order to identify opportunities and pitfalls for woodlands

Ensuring alignment with other key local strategies and initiatives with a spatial planning or prioritisation component for woodland, including Tree and Woodland Strategies, Climate Action/Net Zero plans, Green Infrastructure strategies and Biodiversity Net Gain

Working proactively with woodland stakeholders to agree priorities for woodlands and trees

Identifying potential tensions between different environmental and planning outcomes, or where deforestation is proposed, and seek strategic solutions (zoning, prioritisation, offsetting) that can be delivered at LNRS scale

Working with other Area Team members to translate opportunities for nature recovery into action on the ground, by:

Contributing to the Area team pipeline for large scale projects, including woodland creation and management and species recovery, aligning FC funding with funding from non-FC sources

Developing and delivering communication and information, designed to inform wider teams about LNRS and the wider nature recovery agenda, working with the local learning programme manager as appropriate

Overseeing the development and management of Shared Outcome Fund projects (and other large-scale projects delivering multiple outcomes) in your Area, by:

Championing the role of trees and woodlands, supported by evidence and high quality advice

Aligning projects with other nature recovery work across the region

Connecting projects to other delivery mechanisms and to existing and emerging incentives and markets, including ecosystem markets

Contributing expert advice, data and evidence to the Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change pilot projects

Summarising and disseminating research from the Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change pilot projects in your area and influence work related to ecosystem market development

Supporting the national team in provision of advice, guidance and review of progress for LNRS and nature recovery, by

Reporting to national teams on progress, critical success factors (against FC outcomes), expenditure, risks and issues

Contributing to the development of national guidance to support LNRSs or nature recovery more broadly

You will be expected to work closely with FC Area Team Advisors and may also be asked to support other partnership or delivery activities within the teams and to support outcomes for nature and nature-based solutions. The role will focus initially on supporting the development of LNRS, but as these become established, you will shift towards the partnership and delivery elements of the role. There may be opportunities to develop line management responsibilities.

You will be an excellent ambassador for woodlands and forestry, and an active listener. You will work in a highly collaborative manner, within your team, FC, the wider Defra family and with external stakeholders.

You will also be capable of absorbing and understanding a substantial volume of evidence and analysis, in order to engage in policy discussions and give sound advice.

You will be able to work from home or your parent office (see wording on blended working), with frequent travel to face-to-face meetings with LNRS teams, and occasional overnight stays for example, for national meetings. A full driving license is strongly preferred, although alternative arrangements may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Person specification

You will need:

Knowledge, skills and qualifications

Degree-level qualification (Level 6 or above) in nature conservation, environmental management, forestry, land management or similar OR a related qualification at Level 4 or above with significant experience of successfully working at a strategic level to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving

Knowledge of the woodland management, nature conservation issues and relevant stakeholders or partners in your geographic Area

Evidence of working at a senior and strategic level to influence, and if necessary, challenge decisions about land management

Ability to prioritise effectively, maintain their own level of specialist knowledge and proactively bring people together to solve problems

The ability to provide written or verbal briefs following analysis of complex issues

Competent and effective IT user with experience of MS Office and also including remote working and associated communication tools (e.g. MS Teams)

Please clearly demonstrate how the above applies to you throughout your application. Failure to do so will mean that your application is automatically sifted out.


At least two years’ experience of working on land management in a strategic or advisory role

A track record of establishing and managing successful working relationships and networks with a range of internal and external stakeholders, to influence others and deliver shared outcomes

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with experience of presenting to a range of audiences, both verbally and written


Knowledge, skills and qualifications

Qualifications and/or experience in both nature conservation AND forestry

Professional membership, or working towards membership, of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (MICFor), TCPI, CIEEM or other relevant chartered body

Good understanding of nature recovery principles, nature-based solutions recent policy developments and how they relate to woodland

Knowledge of natural capital or ecosystem accounting


Experience of integrating forestry and biodiversity issues

Experience of training provision

Experience of handling and analysing data

Line management experience


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Communicating and Influencing

Working Together

Seeing the Big Picture

Making Effective Decisions

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

Communicating and Influencing


  • A Civil Service pension.
  • A range of family friendly benefits.
  • An environment with flexible working options.
  • Learning and development tailored to your role.
  • A culture which promotes a diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • A range of wellbeing benefits including discounted Civil Service Healthcare, access to an Employee Assistance Programme 24/7, Bike to Work Scheme, plus many more.
  • 25 days annual leave, with 1 additional day for each years’ service up to 5 years (pro rata), plus 10.5 bank holidays/privilege days (pro rata).
  • Ability to buy or sell 5 days annual leave.
  • 3 days volunteering per year (pro rata).

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

As part of the application process, you will complete the following:

1. A tailored CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Please ensure you have provided reasons for any gaps within the last two years. The CV will be split into 3 parts and requests: Job History, Previous Skills/Experience, and Full Qualification Details.

2. A personal statement – in no more than 750 words showing how you meet the essential criteria outlined in the Person Specification.

3. A 250 – word statement on the behaviour listed on the application form, Communicating and Influencing.

At interview, you will be assessed against Behaviours and Strengths and will be asked to prepare a short presentation. Instructions will be given to the successful applicants at sift stage.

Indicative timeline:

  • Shortlisting to take place w/c 9th January 2023.
  • Interviews to be carried out from the 20th January 2023.

Dates may be subject to change.

We will be conducting online interviews with the use of Microsoft Teams or equivalent online communication methods. Candidates would therefore require access to a computer and internet at interview stage.

Further Information

Successful candidates if using their own private vehicle for business travel will need to comply with the Forestry Commission travel policy on CO2 emissions (115g maximum CO2/km from April 2022).

The Forestry Commission is actively working to reduce the carbon emission of official travel and applicants should be aware of the broad principles which are being applied to reduce carbon emissions to less than 50gCO2/km. Travel options include:

  • Use of private car: some Officers chose to use their private car and receive payment for the miles they drive on official business. From starting with FC you will have a 2 year grace period and then your private car must comply with reducing emissions levels if you wish to use it for official travel. The allowed emission level will reduce from 120gCO2/km (1st April 2021) by 5 gCO2km each year until 2023/24 and by 10 gCO2km each year after that.
  • Use of CAPES (lease) Cars: after an employee has successfully completed their probation they can opt for a CAPES car. All CAPES cars must emit less than 50gCO2/km.

We are planning to recruit one post, although a second post may be offered in certain circumstances. A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Any move to Forestry Commission from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Where a role has been identified as one which falls under the scope of the Public Sector English Language Requirements, within Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2016, it is essential that applicants should have the ability to converse at ease with members of the public and provide advice in accurate spoken English. Applicants will be assessed in the selection process in accordance with the requirements.

We aim to provide a great place to work, whichever location you work from. Blended working forms part of our flexible and inclusive approach to future ways of working. It is an informal arrangement which gives you the option to work some of the week from home, and some of the week from our Forestry Commission workplaces, subject to role requirements, business needs, and regular review. Informal blended working arrangements will be available as agreed with the line manager. Further information will be available for candidates invited to interview.

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via fcerecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
UK nationals

nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

nationals of the Republic of Ireland

nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service

certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :Name :
Andrew White

Email :

Recruitment team :Email :

Further information

Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment on the basis of fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles.If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact FCE by email: englandhr.services@forestryengland.uk. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.

Forestry Commission


Please call the workplace contact or phone numbers during the day.

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