Naturally Native Project Officer (Durham Wildlife Trust)



Identification of Post

Post Title: Naturally Native Project Officer (Durham Wildlife Trust)

Responsible to: Naturally Native Project Manager 

Responsible for: Volunteers and Contractors

Part/Full: Full Time 

Fixed Term (until October 2023)

Salary: £25,000 

Purpose of Role: The Naturally Native Project Officer (Durham Wildlife Trust) will be responsible for implementing the Naturally Native water vole conservation strategy through control of invasive American mink and habitat restoration.  

Working primarily within County Durham, South Tyneside, the City of Sunderland, the Borough of Gateshead with occasional work in the Borough of Darlington, the Durham Wildlife Trust Project Officer will work closely with the Project Manager and the Project Officers for Tees Valley and Northumberland. 

Project Officers will also support the delivery of the Naturally Native Education & Engagement program.  

Key Tasks:

Project Management and Practical Delivery

• The Naturally Native Project Officer will be responsible for implementing the Naturally Native water vole conservation strategy through control of invasive American mink and habitat restoration.  Project Officers will also support the delivery of the Naturally Native Education & Engagement program.  

• Build relationships with local land-managers/owners, gamekeepers and other stakeholders across the river catchment to ensure their ongoing support and investment in the project.

• Ensure landowners and other stakeholders deliver mink control in line with best practise and Naturally Native’s methodology.

• Provide advice to landowners on best practice for developing suitable habitat for water voles. 

• Deliver training events and activities aimed at 14 – 25 year olds. 

• Ensure engagement opportunities are available to a wide range of audiences in line with the Naturally Native Education & Engagement Strategy.

• Ensure that the Trust’s conservation activities are delivered safely with due regard for all relevant legislation. 

Survey and monitoring

• Coordinate water vole surveys across the project area.

• Compile survey data and ensure data is sensitively handled.


• Attend Naturally Native Delivery Meetings to ensure lessons learnt and best practice is shared with Naturally Native Project Staff.

• Record, evaluate and report on project delivery to the Naturally Native Project Manager.

• Ensure that all health, safety and environmental requirements are met and protocols followed.

• Ensure project monitoring and reporting is up to date throughout the project duration

• Supervise contractors.

• Work to the Trust’s Safeguarding and Health and Safety systems.

• Attend meetings and conferences.


• Ensure communication of the Naturally Native project is delivered in line with the Naturally Native Communication Strategy.

• Deliver public talks, guided walks and engagement events to promote project key messages and increase public support for the project.

• Publicise the Naturally Native project and Wildlife Trusts via social media, websites and the wider media, whether directly or by working with colleagues.

• Assist with production of print materials, including writing articles.

• Ensure a high standard of promotion & communication.

Staff/volunteer management

• Recruit, coordinate and maintain a network of volunteers to support delivery of American mink monitoring and water vole surveys.

• Initiate long-term investment of volunteers through patch adoption schemes, lead volunteer roles and volunteer training.


• Contribute to the management of the Wildlife Trusts by providing information and expertise to senior management, including preparation and monitoring of budgets.

• Work closely with colleagues to ensure that the Trust’s conservation work is delivered effectively and efficiently and promotes the organisation in its best light.

• Pursue personal professional development, including attending training courses as/when required.

• Liaise with all Trust staff, honorary officers and volunteers on relevant issues.

• Attend meetings and events as requested.

• Carry out all other reasonable tasks as required by the Naturally Native Project Manager.


 Salary: £25,000 per annum 

Pension: Employees will be automatically enrolled into the Durham Wildlife Trust pension scheme contribution rates are shown below. Employees can decide to dis- enroll from the pension scheme if they choose. Minimum employee contribution 3% of salary and employer contribution 5% of salary.

Hours: Normal working hours are 9am to 5pm, 5 days each week (with 30 a minute meal break), equating to a 37½ hour working week. Occasional evening and weekend work will be required. 

Holidays: The number of days paid holiday per year is 31 days for a 37½ hour week inclusive of Bank and Statutory Holidays. Part-time employees are entitled to pro-rata holidays and public holidays. If you start your employment during the leave year, the holiday entitlement will be calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of completed months of service and hours worked. After two years of continuous employment, you will be entitled to one extra paid day of leave per year worked up to a maximum of five extra days per year.

 Place of work: Usual place of work will be Rainton Meadows, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 6PU. You may be required to work from other DWT premises at the discretion of Trust management. Durham Wildlife Trust currently operates hybrid working arrangements, with a mix of office based working and working from home as set out in a rota



Education and Training

• A formal qualification  (or demonstrable suitable experience in similar roles) in a biological/environmental/countryside management discipline and 2 years relevant experience

• Full, clean drivers licence and access to own vehicle


• Working with landowners

• Delivering practical habitat restoration

• Working in the outdoors in difficult conditions and variable terrains

• Engaging with members of the public, giving presentations and running engagement events

• Recruiting, training and managing volunteers


• Good knowledge of local natural history and an ability to identify signs of water vole, otter and American mink

• Good understanding of the issue of invasive, non-native species and the threat they pose to native wildlife

Skills and abilities

• Good verbal and written communication skills

• An ability to communicate with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and local communities

• Competent in using Microsoft 365

• An ability to work on own initiative as well as to follow instruction

• Good problem solving skills and an ability to work flexibly to overcome challenges

• An ability to work sensitively around potentially emotive scenarios

• Must be physically fit and able to work outdoors in all weathers



• Delivering invasive species control programs

• Delivering landscape scale conservation projects

• Carrying out water vole, otter and mink surveys

• Engaging with young people and delivering inclusive environmental activities

• Using various online platforms to engage with a wide audience

• Using GIS programs to record data

Skills and abilities

• Competent using GIS

Please Note - This role requires a Basic Level DBS check that will be repeated every three years. Any offer of employment made in relation to this role will be subject to satisfactory DBS check. 

Relevant Policies 

Please read the policy information below before completing your application. 

Employing ex-offenders 

This written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders is made available at the start of the recruitment process to all applicants for roles requiring a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Durham Wildlife Trust complies fully with the code of practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. 

Durham Wildlife Trust undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

Durham Wildlife Trust can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that Durham Wildlife Trust are legally entitled to know about. A DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended and, where appropriate, Police Act Regulations as amended. 

Durham Wildlife Trust can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected. 

Durham Wildlife Trust is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependents, age, physical/mental disability or offending background. 

Durham Wildlife Trust actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. 

Durham Wildlife Trust select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after an assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position. 

At interview, or in a separate discussion, Durham Wildlife Trust ensures that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. 

Durham Wildlife Trust makes sure every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS is aware of the existence of this policy and makes a copy available on request.

Durham Wildlife Trust undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Closing Date:

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