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Rural Surveyor (Maternity Cover)

Reference: FEB20210289
Expiry date: 23:59, 21 March 2021
Location: RSPB England - Norwich
Salary: Competitive
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave
Duration:12 months

An exciting opportunity for a self-motivated Rural Surveyor to join RSPB’s team in East Anglia to provide estate management and professional support across a large and varied portfolio covering some of the most unique habitats in the region. This is a 12-month fixed-term contract covering maternity leave.

Although based in East England, the successful applicant will join a team of 9 Rural Surveyors working across England in the RSPB Operational Support team. This remit will focus on delivering rural surveying support to nature reserves and other functions primarily across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, but may also involve work outside the area to support the wider work programme. This includes some of the RSPBs most iconic nature reserves such as Titchwell Marsh, Snettisham, the Ouse Washes and The Yare Valley, with a diverse range of habitats including coastal grazing marsh, saltmarsh, flood plain grassland and urban fringe land. 

This role will support a large farmed estate primarily through annual grazing licences and FBTs, plus the management of our built estate including owned and leased offices, houses, visitor centres and farm buildings.

The ideal candidate will have/be:

  • A Chartered Member of the RICS (Rural) (or equivalent professional organisation) with a minimum of 2 years PQE;
  • Practical experience of rural land and property management;
  • Up to date understanding of agricultural subsidy schemes and ability to support RSPB colleagues in day-to-day management of land within agri-environment schemes and land subject to cross compliance requirements as well as wider legal requirements;
  • Team player and good communicator able to work with RSPB colleagues from different departments with varying experience in estate management;
  • Experienced negotiator with familiarity with the requirements of the Charities’ Act; and
  • A full UK driving licence.

Key responsibilities:

Land and Property Management:

Appraising, advising, implementing, and managing the legal, reputational and financial aspects of rural property e.g. contractual issues involving owned/leased agricultural land and buildings, houses, offices and other business premises (e.g. rent reviews, repairing obligations, landlord consents etc) and contracts affecting land management (e.g. compliance with grant conditions, legal responsibilities).  Advising on agricultural matters and farming systems; and drafting Basic Payment Scheme applications for the reserves that you support. Granting leases and licences for both operational and non-operational purposes (sporting, fishing, grazing etc) and negotiating wayleaves and easements. 

Risk management and project support:

Supporting the development and implementation of systems to manage the RSPB’s exposure to legal, reputational and financial risk arising from its land and property operations.  Assisting in the management of the RSPB’s risk management system including undertaking site audits to ensure compliance with schemes such as BPS, Environmental Stewardship and other statutory regulations. Advising and providing professional support to Area Teams and Project Managers delivering large scale land management projects.  

Land and property acquisition and disposal:

Appraising, advising and implementing the negotiation and concluding specific acquisitions by vacant possession, lease, licence or management agreement ranging from small management agreements to multi-million pound purchases both on and off reserves, e.g. the acquisition of offices, workshops, farm buildings, residential properties, retail premises (again, these may be by vacant possession, lease, licence or management agreement).  This may also include agreements for activities on third party land.  Appraising, advising and implementing the negotiation of the sale of land and properties surplus to operational requirements and managing disposal programmes for such properties according to agreed targets. 


Additional Information:

Although the role is proposed to be based at the RSPB’s Norwich Office, the RSPB operates a flexible working policy and will consider home working (particularly during Covid-19 restrictions) or other RSPB offices within the region.

This role will require occasional weekend and evening working, and will involve lone working.

This role will involve occasional travel within the UK, and will require occasional overnight stays away from home.

Employees are expected to carry out their job responsibilities in an environmentally aware manner, ensuring as little damage to the environment as possible. Our aim is to ensure all resources are utilised effectively and efficiently.

In the RSPB, volunteers are a major resource and make a vital contribution to the RSPB’s aim to take action for the conservation of wild birds and the environment. Employees are responsible for encouraging, developing and supporting volunteers in their work for the RSPB.

Should you have any queries about this vacancy, please contact Alastair.McArthur@rspb.org.uk.

Good luck!