Woodland Officer, Yorkshire

Forestry Commission

This vacancy is no longer advertised
This vacancy is open at Stage 4 - External Recruitment.

The job is based at Foss House in York and the post holder will cover part of Yorkshire.

Background Information on Unit

Forest Services are the Governments forestry experts. We advise nationally and locally on how to unlock the full potential of woodlands and the forestry sector to protect, improve and expand England's valuable woodland assets.

The Yorkshire and North East Area contains over 212,000 hectares of woodland ranging from important habitat networks of Ancient Woodlands through to large productive conifer forests. In the North East the predominant woodland type is conifer (64.5%) whereas in Yorkshire and The Humber broadleaves form the most significant component (41.5%). This diverse range of woodland types extends over 4 National Parks and 3 Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. The urban woodland resource is also important and focussed in the city regions of Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle.

The Area Team operates from the Defra Office (Kings Pool) in York with a further office located with the Environment Agency in Newcastle (Tyneside house).

The Woodland Officer role represents Forest Services front-line woodlands and forestry expert. It involves ensuring the delivery of Government forestry policy through the effective use of advice, incentives and regulations. The role involves engaging with woodland owners, agents and stakeholders to provide appropriate advice and the enforcement of forestry and tree health regulations.

Tree health is a key part of the work of Forest Services with a initial outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum being recorded in the North York Moors in 2015 and we are working with partners to respond to the ongoing expansion of Chalara dieback of ash.

The Area team has a number of established partnerships focussed on specific issues including working with the Environment Agency on our Woodlands for Water programme, working with Natural England on the joint delivery of Countryside Stewardship and supporting the sector through the Roots to Prosperity growth programme. In addition we are working ever closer with the Environment Agency and Natural England as we align our work to effectively deliver Defra objectives.
The post will operate within the Yorkshire and Humber area and will operate from the Defra Office (Foss House) York with regular travel required across the area. The post reports to Sam Cooper (Field Manager).

Purpose of the Job

The Woodland Officer role acts as the key front line forestry and woodland expert and is responsible for the delivery of Government forestry policy through the effective use of advice, incentives and regulations. The post also requires engagement with appropriate local partnerships and work with key stakeholders such as National Parks, AONB's, and local authorities, Historic England, Environment Agency and Natural England.

Key Work Areas

Team Working
Maintain good working relationship with colleagues, including admin hub. Support the overall work of the team ensuring the effective delivery of our vision and culture and help to meet our local and national Health and Safety priorities. Play an active role in the wider work of the Area team through team meetings and, for example, by supporting WO colleagues and sharing expertise. Seek to support the wider work of Forest Services by offering individual specialist knowledge to project working or seeking development opportunities where these can be sustained.

Enabling Activity
Advocate government policy on forestry, good forestry practice and the benefits that woodlands provide. Work with appropriate local partners and stakeholders in delivering forestry policy representing the Forestry Commission at local level.

Process applications for grant aid (Countryside Stewardship and Woodland Creation Planning Grant) and amendments, and review woodland management plans, ensuring compliance with UK Forestry Standard and scheme rules and procedures. Take opportunities to optimise delivery of benefits and obtain good value for money. Deal with grant claims, particularly for legacy schemes, making inspections as appropriate.

Ensure effective delivering of forestry and plant health regulations. Administer delivery of felling licences and Environmental Impact Assessment procedures in accordance with legislation and guidance. Respond to and investigate alleged breaches of the felling and EIA regulations and take appropriate action as required. Support plant health activity, working with FC Plant Health, Forest Research colleagues and APHA accordingly, promoting biosecurity, helping to monitor plant health and issuing statutory plant health notices as required.


- Experience and understanding of forestry and woodland management.

- Experience of supporting integrated land / woodland management.
- Experience of delivering forestry incentives and regulations.

Person Specification

Experience and Professional/Technical Expertise

- Degree/Higher Diploma in forestry/land management/countryside management and/or significant related experience in forestry / woodland / tree management.
- Competent IT user with experience of MS Office.
- Membership of (or working towards) a relevant professional institute (e.g. Institute of Chartered Foresters).
- Evidence of maintaining Continuous Professional Development.

Changing and Improving

Consider and suggest ideas for improvements, sharing this feedback with others in a constructive manner.
Help colleagues, customers and corporate partners to understand changes and why they have been introduced.

Making Effective Decisions

Examine complex information and obtain further information to make accurate decisions
Explain clearly, verbally and in writing, how a decision has been reached

Leading and Communicating

Display enthusiasm around goals and activities ' adopting a positive approach when interacting with others
Confidently handle challenging conversations or interviews

Managing a Quality Service

Explain clearly to customers what can be done
Ensure that levels of service are maintained ' flag up risks or concerns including health and safety in order to meet customer requirements
Promote adherence to relevant policies, procedures, regulations and legislation, including equality and diversity and health and safety

Delivering at Pace

Take ownership of problems in your area of responsibility
Check your and your team's performance against outcomes, make suggestions for improvement or take corrective action when problems are identified

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