Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire Freshwater Network Project Manager

Permanent – Full-time – £30-35k/ per year – hybrid role – field work – 35 hours week – Oxford based

Responsible to: David Morris, Freshwater Habitats Trust Senior Plant Ecologist and Project Director
Responsible for: In the longer-term for managing a small portfolio of projects but with focus at the start on managing programmes of conservation and community engagement work as part of Freshwater Habitats Trust’s work on the Freshwater Network in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


Freshwater Habitats Trust (FHT) is the UK’s leading conservation charity concerned with the protection of freshwater habitats. We are a friendly, evidence-based organisation that works to protect UK and European freshwater wildlife through practical and innovative nature conservation projects. Our organisation is well respected nationally and internationally, and we work with a network of statutory, NGO and private partners both in the UK and the rest of Europe. Freshwater Habitats Trust was originally founded in 1988 (as Pond Conservation) and has a substantial track-record of originating new ideas through research in freshwater biodiversity conservation to inform and drive our practical conservation and policy work.

FHT has a central office in Oxford, and regional hubs in the north of England and the New Forest and out-posted staff in Cornwall and Wales. We run a range of practical projects throughout the Midlands and work with partners on research and policy projects throughout the UK and internationally. Since 2017 we have seconded staff to the Newt Conservation Partnership (NCP), a new community-benefit society established by NatureSpace, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) and FHT, to create and manage habitats for the NatureSpace District Licensing scheme for great crested newts.

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are key areas for Freshwater Habitats Trust’s work. Building on the Trust’s historic work in the county and starting in 2021, Oxfordshire was the first region where we began the implementation of the organisation’s new strategic approach to freshwater conservation, the Freshwater Network. The Freshwater Network is the network of high quality freshwater and wetland habitats, and terrestrial habitats generating clean water across the landscape, that together support our most important freshwater wildlife.

Through a Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant and working closely with local landowners and partners, during 2022 we restored and managed six alkaline fen sites around the county, created floodplain wetland mosaic habitat at four sites, and restored over 15 ha of floodplain meadow. We also ran an extensive community engagement programme, including involving local people in the propagation of some of the region’s endangered freshwater plants. While educating the public about Oxfordshire’s important wetland plants, this programme, known as GroWet, also enabled us to develop stocks of plants for use in conservation translocations. Finally, developing the next generation of freshwater conservationists was a key part of the project, with three Trainees receiving intensive training in the scientific and professional skills the sector needs.

Work on the Freshwater Network in the region continues into 2023, when we have extended this approach to Buckinghamshire. Work on the network across the two counties is funded by Defra’s Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change at a Landscape Scale grant scheme, with a grant value of £811,000. The grant scheme is one of six pilot projects across England that aim to study how habitat restoration and management interventions impact carbon stocks across wetland and terrestrial ecosystems.


This is a key strategic project for the organisation, with substantial responsibilities, and an opportunity for the appointed person to take a major step in their career, making a big impact in UK freshwater conservation.

The main project that will be the focus at the start has three project officers responsible for organising each of the three strands of the project: alkaline fen restoration; floodplain restoration; and community engagement, including GroWet. You will be responsible for the overall financial and programme management of the project. With your experience of running conservation projects and working with the public, you will support the project officers to ensure delivery of their work. These programmes are roughly equal in size and will require excellent management skills and the ability to drive a programme of practical conservation delivery, and the ability to engage with and motivate staff. The work will include working with partners in the NGO sector, private landowners, and volunteers and other members of the public.

You will be responsible for the day-to-day project management of this project, working closely with the Project Director and Freshwater Habitats Trusts Finance Manager and Senior Management Team.

Further information on the details of the project, including details of the Work Programme you will be running, are available from Mihaela Piculist (mpiculist@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk).


Project management:

  • Responsible for work planning, defining tasks and allocating resources.
  • Manage and support project team.
  • Project budgeting and financial management of the project including: (i) regular reporting to the Project Director and the Senior Management Team; and (ii) implementation of all financial processes for the projects including regular claiming and reporting funder.
  • Track and monitor project progress
  • Present to stakeholders
  • Working with the Community Engagement Officer to develop and deliver GroWet and other community projects and events in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
  • Implement and manage change when necessary to meet project outputs.
    Project communications:
  • Working with the Freshwater Habitats Trust Communications Team to deliver the communication plan for the project

Project development:

  • Working with other members of Freshwater Habitats Trust staff and landowner networks to develop future projects to continue our work on the Freshwater Network in the region.
    In the longer term there will be opportunities to influence the development of the Freshwater Network concept as it builds and develops in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and adjacent counties.
    Additional general responsibilities for the post holder
  • Help to build a positive relationship between Freshwater Habitats Trust and its partners.
  • Understand and follow Freshwater Habitats Trust’s internal procedures including Health and Safety, information management systems, site protocols etc.
  • Work closely and constructively with your manager and colleagues in all areas of your responsibility.
  • Undertake other duties as the Senior Management Team may from time to time require.



  • Degree or equivalent in a relevant subject (at least a 2:1)
  • Full current driving licence

Knowledge and experience

  • Proven project and budget management skills
  • Proven experience of managing multi-partner projects in the field of practical habitat creation and management, including on the ground delivery and working with citizen groups to deliver practical conservation outcomes
  • Experience of staff management
  • Good knowledge of restoration ecology for both freshwater and wetland habitats
  • Experience of contractor management
  • Knowledge of land management stakeholders and policy
  • Computer literate: Word and Excel are essential, GIS is desirable
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders, including landowners and the public
  • General interest in wildlife

Personal qualities

  • Ability to manage workload and competing priorities effectively and meet internal deadlines through effective forward planning
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills – approachable, professional and courteous
  • Attention to detail and able to deliver on time
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team


At Freshwater Habitats Trust we value employees’ unique views and encourage them to
develop their interests. Besides paying a competitive salary, we also offer the following

  • The option to work flexibly, including hybrid or remote working
  • 35-hour week
  • 25 days of annual leave plus bank holidays
  • Pension with 6% employer contribution
  • Mobile phone allowance
  • Free eye tests
  • Free Employee Assistance Program
  • Mileage pay

About Freshwater Habitats Trust

Our vision is that:

  • all threatened freshwater plants and animals have recovered and developed sustainable populations
  • the UK has a functioning network of freshwater habitats: The Freshwater Network
    people value freshwater habitats and their wildlife.

We deliver our conservation aims through our expert staff and our conservation, community, research and policy work