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Programme Manager - A Greener Thames (Fixed Term)

Reference: SEP20212386
Expiry date: 23:59, 26 September 2021
Location: Flexible in England
Salary: £32,400.00 - £35,944.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave (pro-rata)
Duration:until 31st March 2023
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes.pdf

The Greater Thames Estuary is one of the most important wetland landscapes in Europe, supporting significant populations of migrating and wintering birds as well as a diverse range of rare wetland plants, mammals and invertebrates. Faced with multiple challenges, from the effects of climate change to the pressures of urban development and changes in land use, this landscape is now under threat; vital habitats are deteriorating, and biodiversity is in decline. 

With funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust, Essex Wildlife Trust, Kent Wildfowling & Conservation Association, and Elmley Nature Reserve, the RSPB are embarking on A Greener Thames, a programme of landscape-scale restoration and enhancement across the Greater Thames Estuary. 

We are looking for an inspiring and dedicated individual to coordinate and deliver the Greener Thames programme. An experienced people manager with exemplary project management and communication skills, you will have the confidence and tenacity to deliver a complex conservation project that will protect nature in the Greater Thames Estuary now and in the future. 

With responsibilities across the project, including leading on the delivery of the programme across the project sites in Essex, the Programme Manager will need strong organisational skills and a flexible approach to their work. From managing the budget and programme schedule, to coordinating partner activities, external communications and identifying and responding to any emerging issues and risks, you will confidently handle multiple priorities and thrive in a deadline-driven environment.  

You will work with a large team of staff and volunteers from across the RSPB and our partner organisations. The project has a significant Community Engagement element so the ability to motivate others, to work collaboratively and be an ambassador for the project across the Thames Estuary is essential.   

Key areas of work will include: 

  • Responsibility for delivering all project outputs and outcomes as outlined in the project plan and managing change where required.  
  • Responsibility for fulfilling funder requirements, including reporting, and being the lead contact for the HLF case officer for the duration of the programme.  
  • Specific responsibility for ensuring the delivery of the Essex project elements including consents, coordinating partner activities, and managing external communications.  
  • Works with the Essex-based private landowners, acquiring remaining consents, managing the tender process and groundworks.  
  • Responsibility for financial management of the programme, ensuring that necessary changes are escalated and approved so that costs are kept within budget.  
  • Setting direction for and motivating and inspiring a large team.  
  • Line management of the Project Manager, seasonal surveyor for Essex & Community Engagement Officer. 
  • Ensure that all internal and external stakeholders are engaged and fully informed and that this is maintained throughout the programme’s duration.  
  • Identify, communicate and manage emerging risks and issues, identifying solutions and mitigation measures to ensure that the programme is delivered within timescales.  
  • Devise and implement a project legacy plan. 

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Energy, enthusiasm and adaptability to ensure that a complex programme of works is delivered on budget, on time and delivers the best outcomes for nature. 
  • Demonstrable leadership ability, able to lead without line management authority.  
  • An ability to persuade and influence a wide range of people, both internally and externally.  
  • Excellent communication, organisational and time management skills. 
  • Project management experience. 
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to find creative solutions.  
  • Able to work under pressure and adapt to changing circumstances.  
  • Logical & methodical, analytical and a good eye for detail.  
  • Knowledge of land management for conservation (desirable). 
  • Experience of community engagement and working with the public (desirable). 

The successful candidate for this role can be based flexibly within England, but will require weekly travel to the project area in the Greater Thames Estuary. We will also be recruiting a Project Manager for the Greener Thames project and anticipate interviewing for the Programme Manager and Project Manager on the same day. We very much welcome applications made by individuals to both roles.

This is a Contract, Full Time role for approximately 18 months (until 31st March 2023). The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term. For further information please contact

As part of this application process you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete a full application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience requested. If you wish to provide a cover letter with your application, please include this at the end of your CV document upload.

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.