Senior Adviser, Ecosystems and Land Management

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation working at the science-evidence-policy interface.


Employer: JNCC
Location: Peterborough
Salary: From Competitive
Closing Date: 08 April 2021
Hours: Full Time
Sector: Environmental
Function: Land Management

This post will have a base in Peterborough.

Under current circumstances we can be flexible around remote working options until such time that we are able to return to the JNCC office. At this time the successful candidate would then be expected to be able to work from the Peterborough office for the first six months of their employment and flexible and remote working options can then be considered after this period. We do though anticipate more flexible working in the future and location flexibility may be a possibility for this post. The post-holder will be required to attend meetings at various localities in the UK, occasionally involving overnight stays away from home.

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available. This post may also be suitable for job share.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.

Post Background

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation working at the science-evidence-policy interface.

The Nature Conservation Policy and Advice (NCPA) Team in JNCC plays a key role in nature conservation in the UK, working with partners in the country nature conservation bodies, the UK and devolved governments and the wider nature conservation community. The environment is a devolved function of the four countries of the UK, and the NCPA team operates both bilaterally with individual countries and at UK level in several ways. We maintain an overview of UK nature conservation policy and legislation; facilitate, convene and, where required, co-ordinate joint UK working on key topics; and work with UK countries on areas of priority delivery, and where JNCC contributes complimentary capabilities of evidence and advice.

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU) provides an unprecedented opportunity to change policy affecting the environment in the UK, and the implementation of new approaches to meet environmental outcomes. The replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with Environmental Land Management (ELM) in England presents potentially the most transformative period since the 1940s to shape land management and meet the ambitious targets in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

JNCC has well-developed capabilities in biodiversity evidence, the modelling of ecosystem services and of natural capital. The post holder will be key in developing opportunities to deploy these capabilities within the ELM programme, to support the implementation of land management approaches which address declines in biodiversity, and the challenge of climate change. The post holder will also develop a UK-wide perspective, understanding the policy drivers and development of CAP replacement schemes in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Combining our policy advice with our technical specialisms, JNCC is operating across the ELM programme to enable the efficient and effective delivery of international and domestic biodiversity commitments through the emerging scheme. JNCC is one of Defra’s delivery partners in developing the ELM pilot between now and 2024, and the post holder will be working closely with colleagues from Defra and the other delivery partners: Natural England, the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency, and the Rural Payments Agency.

Post Duties
The principal duties of the post are to:

Lead and project manage JNCC’s engagement with Defra and the other delivery partners in the development of ELM, bringing effective input of JNCC’s advice and technical capabilities;

Co-ordinate a small team within JNCC who input to ELM, bringing together active partner engagement and JNCC specialisms to enhance the effective development of ELM; line manage at least one team member;

Develop and maintain a good understanding of relevant policy and legislation which impacts on land management (e.g. agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, environment), the drivers for change, and their post-CAP development in the United Kingdom;

Develop and maintain a sound understanding of innovative approaches to implementing land management policy, which reach beyond traditional agri-environment measures, to integrate biodiversity with other public goods e.g. natural capital modelling, nature-based solutions, conservation covenants, nature recovery networks;

Develop and maintain a network of contacts with the Devolved Administrations and Country Nature Conservation Bodies across the UK, to ensure effective collaboration and ideas sharing, both within the UK and, where relevant, internationally;

Work closely with JNCC’s Ecosystem Analysis Team to deploy specialist and technical input in ecosystem analysis, earth observation, and modelling effectively, to strengthen these skills in the ELM pilot;

Support JNCC’s engagement more broadly in the ELM programme, e.g. on advice and guidance, strategy development, business case, programme management, stakeholder engagement and communications, and end to end design workstreams;
Maintain effective liaison with other delivery partners to ensure co-ordinated and complimentary delivery in key work areas.


To be a successful candidate you will have:

A relevant degree or equivalent qualification, and subsequent demonstrable relevant experience.


If you successfully reach the interview stage, you will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation. Details of this will be sent to candidates before interview.


To be a successful candidate you will have:

Good general knowledge of ecology and nature conservation in the UK, including the current policy and legislative framework, with demonstrable experience of one or more of agri-environment schemes, land use policy, landscape scale conservation, ecosystem services;

Experience of integrating multiple environmental benefits and outcomes using environmental evidence, at the farm, landscape or regional level, either through the deployment of delivery schemes, through modelling and data analysis, or through knowledge of relevant policy development.

The ability to work within a team, to contribute to wider team and organisational goals, working effectively with team leaders and other team members, together with the ability to work independently and to manage personal workloads by assessing priorities and planning work programmes.


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on the Lead Behaviour of Making Effective Decisions

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade:

Closing date and interview date
The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Thursday, 08 April 2021
The anticipated interview date is Friday, 23 April 2021