Turtle Dove Conservation Advisor (South-East England)
Reference: NOV20224280
Location: Flexible in South East England
Salary: £28,420 – £31,529 Per Annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave

The turtle dove is the UK’s fastest declining bird species. There are many factors attributing to its decline both in the UK and overseas. Recently there have been some significant breakthroughs to cease the unsustainable hunting of turtle doves in Europe.

This is a fantastic development, however suitable habitat and food availability is declining in their UK breeding ground. We are working hard with partner organisations to support turtle dove recovery and expansion throughout the landscape, working with farmers and landowners to provide vital feeding and breeding areas.

Would you like to join our team to lead the recovery of the turtle dove in the South of England?

About the Role:

We are seeking a confident and proactive Turtle Dove Conservation Advisor to work across the landscape with a focus on species recovery. You will work predominantly in East Sussex and West Kent, however, there may be opportunities to expand your reach into wide Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and, therefore being comfortable with regular long journeys in order to visit potential sites is essential. You will actively seek opportunities to create and enhance turtle dove feeding and nesting areas.

Using your advocacy and influence skills, you will work with farmers and landowners/ managers to provide advice on how they can enhance their land for turtle doves. Ensuring existing relationships are maintained as well as seeking out new opportunities. Managing a team of volunteers to monitor and assess current and potential sites.

Working together as part of the Turtle Dove Advisory and Delivery Group, keeping in contact with your counterparts across the country. Maintaining good project management and regularly contributing to the Delivery Group. As well as working with the local team, being supportive, by providing advice on potential turtle dove opportunities, sharing your ideas and knowledge.

You will need to be motivated and able to undertake independent learning, ensuring that you keep up to date with current grant schemes and best ecological practices relating to land management.

Although the focus is on turtle dove, you can use your network to promote and enhance habitat availability which will benefit a wide range of species. In the future, your role may focus on the recovery of other species.

Key activities include:

  • Responsible for fostering close links, providing advice with a focus on turtle doves, to farmers and landowners/ managers.
  • Stay up to date with current grant schemes and funding available to support landowners/ managers.
  • Provide advice and training such as bird identification and habitat management information to landowners/ managers, land use advisers and local communities.
  • Build a network of land management advocates for farmland and land managed well for turtle dove.
  • Provide conservation information and specialist knowledge to the decision-makers and advisory bodies that are developing and/or providing advice to landowners, as well as internal colleagues.
  • Work to influence the development and implementation of land-management guidance and agri-environment schemes, etc, and ensure they are appropriate for nature conservation.
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of the RSPB’s landscape scale conservation programmes (as appropriate) to ensure integrated, effective and efficient delivery of the agreed objectives and contribute to the ecological network approach that seeks to place important site conservation within more sustainably managed land and seascapes.
  • Build positive relationships with key external partners and stakeholders so that RSPB’s policies and messages are understood and furthered within relevant partnerships.
  • Carry out relevant survey and monitoring activities and managing relevant data and reporting systems.
  • Manage and develop volunteers to deliver an ambitious work programme.
  • Manage your own time working across a large geographical area ensuring key outputs are achieved.
  • The location of this post is flexible, with the need to travel across Sussex and Kent, and potentially Surrey and Hampshire.

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Ability to engage with and advise farmers, landowners/managers.
  • Ability to prioritise your own work load and work independently.
  • Knowledge of the land management practices we are seeking to influence and the ability to independently build upon your existing knowledge.
  • Ability to influence others and negotiate desired outcomes.
  • Knowledge of the ecology of farmland birds particularly the turtle dove.
  • Experience of partnership working.
  • Experience of farmland advisory work and Agri-Env schemes, transferable skills, or alternative farming background.
  • Confidence in advocating a position to those who may have different views.
  • Ability to undertake survey work.
  • It would be preferable to have experience of managing volunteers.
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal, written and presentational).
  • Competence in the use of GIS and core MS Office programmes.
  • A driving licence and happy to regularly drive long distances.

Closing Date: 23:59, Sun, 18th Dec 2022
We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on 4th January 2023.


If you would like to find out more, please click the apply button. You will be directed to our website to complete your application for this position.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The RSPB is a licenced sponsor. This role is eligible for UK Visa Sponsorship.

No agencies please.