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Conservation Officer - Causeway Coast


Expiry date:23:59, 03 June 2021

Location:RSPB Northern Ireland

Salary:£27,574.00 - £30,590.00 Per Annum

Benefits:Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

Duration:2 years

Are you passionate about nature and experienced in conservation delivery in coastal habitats? We are looking for a determined and enthusiastic team-player to join our East Area Team in Northern Ireland, to deliver a range of work for priority species and habitats, with a key focus on the Causeway Coast and Rathlin Island.

In this varied role you will be a strong advocate for nature, building positive and innovative partnerships, providing advice directly to land managers, responding to developments that threaten protected sites or species, and delivering conservation projects to help nature thrive.

The Causeway Coast and Rathlin Island encompasses some of the most spectacular landscapes and scenery in Northern Ireland from the Giant’s Causeway to Fair Head and is home to such iconic species as corncrake, yellowhammer, lapwing, snipe and chough.

We are working collaboratively to share knowledge, experiences and resources with numerous stakeholders of wide-ranging interests and perspectives across this landscape, including landowners, land managers, local communities, visitors, businesses, statutory agencies and other nature conservation bodies, to secure a sustainable future for nature.

The successful candidate will be a key member of a small locally based team in RSPB NI’s East Area Team. You’ll work with the Senior Conservation Officer, Site Manager and the Rathlin Reserve Team and additional specialists in ecology, science, communications, fundraising, policy, advocacy and project management across the wider RSPB team to bring about real and lasting change for nature.

The key duties of this role are:

  • Carry out field surveys for a number of priority species within the Causeway Coast landscape

  • Provide advice, support and training to farmers on management for priority bird species

  • Develop and facilitate a group option within the Environmental Farming Scheme for landowners within the Causeway Coast landscape

  • Administer the corncrake grant scheme

  • To seek opportunities for new and innovative projects/partnerships

  • Conduct any necessary research to inform future management

  • To support the SCO in casework across the Area

  • Other CO duties reactively as they occur

What we need from you


  • Degree level qualification in a relevant subject or ability to show equivalent work experience

  • Sufficient understanding of species and habitats; landscape scale conservation; land use and management; planning systems; relevant policy and legislation of the region or country in which this role is based to enable recommendation to senior staff of appropriate responses and interventions

  • Sufficient knowledge of a range of delivery mechanisms for conservation work relevant to the operational area of this role to enable recommendation to senior staff of appropriate responses and interventions

  • Ability to work effectively as a team player both internally and in external partnerships

  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational) - including an ability to speak confidently and cogently in public to a variety of audiences

  • Experience of working to survey, protect and/or manage important sites, species or habitats

  • Experience of managing staff or volunteers and setting clear work priorities

  • Experience of productive partnership working

  • Experience of dealing constructively with a wide range of people on complex and sometimes difficult issues


  • Experience of negotiating with the public or private sector, to deliver biodiversity benefits, through both regulatory and voluntary means, especially planning casework

  • Confident advocating a position to landowners and managers, local politicians, members and volunteers who have different views

  • Experience of public engagement work

  • Effective project management skills

  • Competency in use of GIS

  • Specialist conservation knowledge in relevant areas, such as coastal, grasslands and species

  • Understanding of the concept of landscape scale conservation and the pressures on land use in the operational area of this role

The role can be based from home. Occasional lone working in remote/offshore locations may be required.

Flexible working is important to the way we operate - your main focus will be on the Causeway Coast but there may be occasions when we need you to support colleagues in other locations.

This is a fantastic opportunity to play your part in delivering RSPB's conservation work - if this sounds like the role for you, we would love to hear from you.

For all application/role enquiries please contact -

Please note you will be required to complete an online application form only for this role.

Before applying for this role we encourage you to read through the candidate guidance notes attached at the top of this advert.

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