This role will be based at Santon Downham with some flexibility for blended working (see details below) or based from home (dependant on successful candidate’s home location) with travel to Santon Downham occasionally for meetings.
About the job
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. Our government are committed to creating 30,000 hectares of woodland a year across the UK by the end of this Parliament. This acceleration in current planting rates in England will contribute to meeting the net-zero by 2050 ambitions, and to government’s wider environmental targets. This was supported by the announcement at the 11 March budget of £640m for a new Nature for Climate Fund ‘to support natural habitats like woodland and peat’ and the publication of the England Tree Action Plan.
The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Forestry Commission have set up a joint tree planting programme for England to support the forestry sector, landowners and communities in the delivery of these ambitions.
Forestry Commission will lead the delivery of the following parts of the tree planting programme:
• Developing sector capacity.
• Woodland creation on public land.
• Woodland creation on private land.
If you are passionate about the role of forestry in creating a better future for England, and want to play a key part in realising that, we want to hear from you.
By joining the Forestry Commission, you will become part of a team of passionate, committed colleagues, and be able to build on a wealth of expertise to take this ambitious work forward. You will be able to make your mark by helping the Forestry Commission to revolutionise how we work together and reach new stakeholders.
Our staff engagement levels are consistently well above the Civil Service average and staff turnover is well below. We value our people, we look after them, and we will look after you. We hope you will join us for the challenge.
We are seeking dynamic individuals with experience in forestry and/or land management, who are quick to learn and inspire and enthuse others.
The Woodland Officer role can be seen as the ‘face’ of the Forestry Commission to landowners, managers and stakeholders. Each Woodland Officer has their own geographic area of primary responsibility, enabling them to develop a strategic view of the local landscape, a network of local stakeholders and understanding of the challenges and opportunities.
In your ‘patch’, you will be at the forefront of delivering the Forestry Commission’s incentives and regulations, and able to provide advice and support to the private forestry sector in addition to Local Authorities and Defra colleagues. Internal team working is also integral in the Woodland Officer role, for example across the Area Team (e.g. assisting others in ‘alleged unlicensed felling’ investigations) and the wider Forestry Commission (e.g. opportunity for review of national guidance and procedure). Through both, you will have the ability to assist the Forestry Commission build strong working relationships to help create and manage diverse, resilient multi-purpose woodlands.
This Woodland Officer post will cover North and East Norfolk. This role will be based at Santon Downham with some flexibility for blended working (see details below) or based from home (dependant on successful candidate’s home location) with travel to Santon Downham occasionally for meetings.
Expand Woodland Cover:
- Champion the multiple benefits of new woodland as business opportunities for land owner and as natural capital (including biodiversity, water quality, flood management, carbon sequestration/substitution, etc) for the wider environment and society.
- Facilitate the design and delivery of new woodlands optimising the benefits they can deliver to the owner and as natural capital.
- Administer the forestry Regulations relating to woodland creation (Environmental Impact Assessment).
- Administer/process applications for grants.
Protect our existing trees and woodlands:
- Administer Forestry Regulations to include: i. Forestry Act – Felling Licences to ensure tree felling is carried out legally in accordance with the principles of the UK Forestry Standard as appropriate; ii. Environmental Impact Assessments – afforestation, deforestation, forest roads and forest quarries, and iii. Habitats Regulations – re forest operations within Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.
- Advise on the links with other legislation such as those pertaining to European Protected Species.
- Provide specialist advice to planning authorities re the impact of proposals on existing woodland and how new trees and woodland could be used to enhance new developments.
Improve the condition and resilience of our existing woodlands and wider treescape:
- Champion the benefits of actively managed woodland.
- Support woodland owners and managers in responding to key challenges of pests and diseases including Chalara ash dieback, Phytophthora ramorum, deer and grey squirrels.
- Work to increase resilience within woodlands to the challenges of a changing climate; and – facilitate closer working across the forestry sector – for instance between markets,contractors, managers, etc.
Engaging partners, stakeholders, and the public:
- Encourage, enthuse and support key partners and stakeholders to help facilitate the expansion, protection and improvement of our woodlands and treescape.
- Champion the many values of trees and woodland to the wider public helping them understand and appreciate the importance and values of active management.