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Senior Conservation Officer

Reference: FEB20245766
Expiry date: 2024-06-27 22:59:00.000
Location: RSPB Scotland - Orkney
Salary: £38,389.00 - £41,212.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension Scheme, Life Assurance Scheme, 26 days' Annual Leave
Attachments: RSPBCandidateGuidanceNotes.pdf

Are you passionate about providing a future for Scotland's wildlife? Do you have a clear understanding of the challenges facing our marine, upland, farmland and wetland wildlife? Are you a team player who wants to have wider impact? If so, we have a fantastic opportunity for you to conserve species and habitats across the islands of Orkney by joining our Orkney team as our Senior Conservation Officer.

About the Role

In your role you will be responsible for developing, delivering and overseeing RSPB’s wider countryside conservation work and managing associated staff on the islands to ensure conservation of the many species and habitats of international importance and so ensure delivery of relevant outcomes of RSPB’s Saving Nature Strategy across Orkney. The role will lead, manage and develop the conservation team in the area, helping to deliver a work programme focused on our priority landscapes including some of Scotland’s rarest and most iconic species and habitats.

This will be achieved by using detailed knowledge and experience of the appropriate conservation toolkit to ensure we achieve our objectives. This may include site safeguard casework, species recovery work, land management advice, overseeing conservation projects and engagement in land use and marine policy. 

This post will have a key role in instigating and managing programmes and projects across the Area and in association with RSPB colleagues. This includes those led by RSPB in the local area such as Species on the Edge and those where delivery is achieved across wider partnerships. You will be proactive with other island stakeholders to deliver ambitious targets for key marine, upland, wetland, peatland & farmland species and habitats. The position will have an important external role, building positive relationships with key partners and stakeholders so that RSPB’s policies and messages are understood and furthered within relevant partnerships and fora. As the conservation leader within the area team, you will contribute expertise to the Area management structures, monitoring and reporting on the work plan and development of new work plans and/or project ideas. You will also be expected to contribute expertise and experience to RSPB’s policy and advocacy work and contribute to the delivery of our funding and communications objectives, through communicating our conservation messages in various ways. 

You will ensure we can identify threats to priority species and habitats and work with internal staff and external stakeholders to develop and implement projects, strategies and programmes of work to address these threats. You will lead on casework response in the islands and manage projects and internal budgets and staff. You will help shape where we carry out species recovery work across the islands and help spot out future opportunities to work on our key species and habitats. You will help shape and deliver the Orkney Local biodiversity action plan in partnership with stakeholders. You will liaise with our research, planning and policy colleagues to conserve our island wildlife

This is a fantastic opportunity to play your part in being at the forefront of delivering RSPB Scotland's conservation work within an area of Scotland that is incredibly rich in biodiversity - if that sounds like the job for you, we would love to hear from you.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Degree-level qualification in a relevant subject or ability to show equivalent work experience
  • Experience of managing staff or volunteers
  • Experience of managing projects
  • Knowledge of the wildlife and habitats of Orkney and relevant delivery mechanisms available to conserve them
  • Ability to form effective teams (both internal and partnership) and work effectively as a team player and leader
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) – including an ability to speak confidently and cogently in public and advocating a position to those who may have a different view
  • Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites, species or habitats
  • Ability to rapidly analyse significant quantities of information, prioritise and balance a diverse workload often to tight deadlines
  • Sufficient understanding of landscape scale conservation; land use and management; planning systems; to be able to lead casework response and advise staff on appropriate responses and interventions.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Experience of raising funds from external sources for projects
  • Experience of public engagement work
  • Experience of major site conservation casework
  • Specialist conservation knowledge in relevant areas, such as wetland, upland, farmland, marine conservation
  • Experience of living in remote areas

Additional Information

This is a full-time, permanent position. Please note that we are actively recruiting for this position and reserve the right to close the vacancy once sufficient applications have been received. For all role enquiries please contact 

As part of this application process you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.