We are Forestry England. We are the country’s largest land manager, caring for the nation’s forests for people, nature and the economy. The foundation of our organisation is our world-class sustainable management of the nation’s forests.

Our South England Forest District team is made up of around 160 people. Our team contains a diverse range of roles – from wildlife rangers to civil engineers, and ecologists to marketing professionals, we all contribute towards the management of some 46,000 hectares (ha) of public forest estate and national parks that stretch from Sussex to Dorset, and from Berkshire to the Isle of Wight.

Much of this forest is of high national importance for nature conservation and wildlife, and of international importance for biodiversity. South England Forest District is therefore responsible for land that includes Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Ramsar sites, and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB).

The successful candidate will join the HLS Team based in the New Forest. As Habitat Restoration Officer you will plan and manage the delivery of our landscape-scale habitat restoration programme with funding from the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme. The work programmes focus on restoring and enhancing internationally important heathlands, species-rich grasslands, woodlands and wetlands in the New Forest.

Job description

Purpose of the role:

To plan and manage the delivery of habitat restoration projects in the New Forest SSSI from conception to completion, building and maintaining good communications with Forestry England colleagues, contractors, local stakeholders and others to enable delivery of the HLS restoration programme.

Key work areas:

• Plan work programmes to restore internationally important habitats in the New Forest by carrying out fieldwork and preparing practical plans to deliver works such as tree felling, scrub management, rhododendron clearance, and ridge and furrow removal.
• Engage with our staff and stakeholders, including leading consultation site visits, to get agreement for restoration proposals and to manage site-specific constraints (physical, ecological, archaeological etc).
• Deliver restoration projects on the ground by setting up and managing contracts, providing site-specific technical advice and liaising with contractors to ensure restoration is undertaken to agreed specifications with high standards of safety.
• Report progress and monitor outcomes of habitat restoration projects.
• Line manage a Works Supervisor.

The duties of this post require the applicant to sometimes travel to remote locations that are not accessible by public transport. You will therefore need to hold a full current driving licence that enables you to drive in the UK. We are willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by any other means.

A Forestry England vehicle can be made available for business use only.




• Relevant experience in countryside management, conservation or forestry.
• Experience of delivering projects to restore heathland and/or woodland habitats, including design and preparation of site-specific restoration plans.
• Good understanding of and experience in the application of health and safety in land management or forest operations.
• Competent IT user with experience of MS Office.


• Hold a recognised land management or forestry qualification to at least national diploma level, or a degree or equivalent in ecology, environmental management or other relevant discipline.
• An understanding of heathland and/or woodland ecological processes and habitats.
• Experience of working with Natural England and local stakeholder groups.
• Familiarity with use of GIS mapping systems.
• Sound understanding and experience in the application of contract management.
• Line management experience.
• Completed FISA Chainsaw Supervisor course.
• Completed FISA Forest Operations Supervisor Course.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together