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Nature Conservation Officer (Internal Applicants Only)

Salary details: £25481 - £29577

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Dorset Council
Occupational group
Natural Environment
Salary details
£25,481 - £29,577
Job term
Full Time
Appointment type
Annabel King
Contact email
Contact telephone
01305 224934
Closing Date
29 November 2020 11:30 PM
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Internal Applicants Only

Nature Conservation Officer

Permanent - 37 hours per week

£25,481 - £29,577

County Hall, Dorchester

The Natural Environment Team is a team of 6 specialist advice officers, responsible for ensuring that Dorset Council complies with evolving legislation and policy relating to nature conservation.

The Nature Conservation Officer is more specifically responsible for provision of advice to officers and councillors in decision making by Dorset Council, as planning and highway authority.

The Team is normally located at County Hall, Dorchester and is part of a dynamic group of teams making up the Environmental Advice Team. EAT, along with other specialist environmental teams, make up the Coast and Greenspace Service within Environment and Well-Being under Place Services in the wider Place Directorate. The NET run the Dorset Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol on behalf of DC, assessing all impacts on biodiversity arising from development brought forward through planning applications, to ensure that the mitigation hierarchy is followed.

What you will be doing

The Nature Conservation Officer will:

  • Lead on and contribute to the implementation of the Dorset Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol, working with other members of the team as well as external partners (eg Natural England, Dorset Wildlife Trust) to ensure that the Protocol provides a streamlined support service to planning. Within the Protocol, the role of the NCO is to lead on larger, more complex applications such as those requiring assessment under the EIA Regs and multi-phase developments where an excellent understanding of current specialist guidance and mitigation guidelines will be required. Also to support the NET Biodiversity Technical Officers.
  • Lead/aid provision of advice on ecology and nature conservation issues across the Council, and particularly those relating to current and emerging biodiversity/environmental legislation.
  • Undertake and oversee (working with Biodiversity Technical Officers) a range of specialist surveys and projects on protected habitats and species, to include production of technical reports, working within project deadlines and budgets.

About you

The Natural Environment Team is looking for a candidate who has an excellent working knowledge of protected species and habitats legislation and of ecological survey and reporting, based on first hand experience. The successful candidate will also have an good understanding of the current guidance on survey and mitigation/compensation requirements, and will ideally be familiar with the Dorset Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol. These field skills are required to enable a full understanding of documents submitted for desk based assessment under the Protocol.

The NET are a small, friendly team who work closely together through the Protocol, and also work closely with other DC teams and external partners. The successful candidate will be a good team player, able to work with a range of people from different disciplines, negotiating towards the required outcome while keeping all parties engaged in the process.

The successful candidate will fulfil the essential criteria within the Person Specification for the role, with particular emphasis on:

  • Considerable post qualification experience and knowledge within the area of responsibility
  • Experience of local government processes
  • Able to follow procedures and evaluate problems
  • Good communication skills
  • Good time management with ability to meet deadlines
  • Able to work within a team environment, with the ability to advise others

Working at Dorset Council

This is a unique opportunity to join a brand new council in Dorset – home to the spectacular Jurassic Coast and thriving market towns and villages with a strong sense of community and identity.

On 1 April 2019, five district and borough councils and the county council were replaced by the new Dorset Council which will deliver more efficient, accessible and modern public services. 

You will have the opportunity to build your career in a modern, flexible and inclusive organisation, and this is an exciting time to join – at the start of our journey together.

For more information about our new council visit

Dorset Council provides a framework to explain the behaviours expected from everyone who works, or volunteers, for Dorset Council regardless of their role or grade within the organisation, find more information about this here. The behaviours will form part of the selection process, where you will be asked to evidence when you have demonstrated them.

Additional Information

This post has a significant travel requirement and you are contractually required to have a vehicle (or transport deemed to be suitable by the council) available for use as required.

Please contact Dr Annabel King on 01305 224 934 for further information or a chat about the role

This vacancy is being advertising internally in the first instance to employees of Dorset Council and agency or casual workers currently engaged by Dorset Council. Where it is not possible to appoint from the existing workforce, the vacancy may subsequently be released to external candidates.

Please note that employees working within a school are not considered as internal applicants as there are no reciprocal arrangements between schools and Dorset Council for redeployment. If you apply for this position and are not an internal applicant by this description your application will not be processed. To receive regular updates on any council vacancies, open to external candidates, please register to receive email alerts.

Dorset Council uses generic job descriptions and person specifications and therefore the job title in the attachments on the right may differ from the job title in the advert. Further specific information may be provided in a context statement where relevant.

For more information regarding Dorset Council’s rewards and benefits click here.

For further information regarding Dorset Council’s commitment to Equality & Diversity click here.

NB: You will be unable to view the job description and person specification forms after this vacancy has closed. We cannot accept CVs in place of an application form as we require the same range of information from all our candidates.

Dorset Council is committed to making our recruitment process barrier-free, and as inclusive as possible for everyone.

For more information on how to apply, please see this helpful guidance