Senior Ecologist (Operations)

£30,989 - £47,591 (dependent on location)
03 Jun 2021
18 Jul 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Senior Ecologist (Operations)


£30,989 - £47,591 (dependent on location)


The MoJ Property Directorate is a customer focused organisation that exists to enable our customers to perform to their very best.  We do this by providing high quality, easy to use services, and working environments that our customers want to work in, which support them to deliver their individual outputs efficiently.  Our job is to manage one of the most diverse and complex estates in Government – hosted by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).  As of 2 April 2021, the Prisons Maintenance Group (or PMG) join MoJ Estates Directorate and the team receives a new title, MoJ Property.   This change will align us with our Profession – the Property Profession - and brings together a property portfolio including Prisons, Probation, and MoJ HQ and Arms Length Bodies.  We also provide property services on behalf of the Home Office.

MoJ Property provides specialist services including facilities management, health and safety, fire safety and security, technical design expertise, and sustainability.  We also have business management teams who support the entire Directorate and each of our partners is supported by account management teams.  We are responsible for a great deal - our portfolio consists of properties valued at £8.5bn for the MoJ alone.  We are part of the Government Property Profession (GPP) and through active membership and engagement we will work with the Office of Government Property to develop the maturity of the profession and also encourage our people to join the GPP. We continue to build our capability through training and recruitment, aspiring to be the best that we can be as individuals and as a directorate.

We continue to deliver new ways of working across our portfolio – leading on the scale and pace of activity for central government – proposing ways to achieve, and then providing more dynamic and flexible workspace, while driving down the cost of the estate.

Team Overview

The new Senior Ecologist is a technical role and provides an exciting opportunity to influence widespread operations in one of the largest landholders in government.  The role will report to the Principal Ecologist in the Sustainable Development team, and be an integral part of formulating ambitious strategy, and embedding consistent and high-quality ecological advice.  The MoJ wants to become a flagship government department in improving environmental performance, and are working at pace to influence MoJ estate, policies and operations.

Our buildings function predominantly as prisons, courts and probation premises, but have more land and ecology potential than you might think.  Working with Facilities Management providers, operations staff, property colleagues and charitable partners, the new role has needs to influence grounds and ecological management across the MoJ estate, and shape future land use policy and plans. 

With measures for our statutory conservation sites already in place, the new Senior Ecologist will advise on legislative compliance for species and habitats, ensure best practice, and deliver biodiversity net gain proposals and our Nature Recovery Plan.  We are also increasingly learning about the need for a natural capital approach and are developing tools to apply within our business.

Such sustainable management practices will need embedding into MoJ policy, process and culture, whilst also contributing to wider government climate change adaption and the MoJ aim to reducing reoffending. The context of our work is unique: in amongst our operations, the potential to make a difference to wildlife, places and people is great, and we are very excited to be a part of it. 

Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

We work with rural and urban sites across England and Wales, and so you will experience a wide range of habitats and landscape features. Travel to sites will be required and although the team is based in central London, we all have the capacity to work remotely and do so.

Our ecology work is split into 5 themes: compliance, enhancement, offender rehabilitation, staff wellbeing and communications, and embedding adaptation to climate change.  Working within a small team, this position will be responsible for our compliance, enhancement and climate change adaptation technical objectives.

The responsibilities will include:

  • Championing a multi-species, landscape-scale and climate-change resilient approach in all that we do;
  • Completing thorough screening and review of policies, programmes, maintenance plans and capital projects (e.g. new builds, renewable energy installation, asset disposal), to ensure that ecology is considered, promoted, protected and enhanced.
  • Providing a wide range of technical expertise and guidance to project managers and sponsors who may be involved with ecology in their property management: species licencing procedures, review of EIAs, BREEAM assessments, or monitoring/management agreements; 
  • Ensuring compliance and sponsoring ambitious land management advice, alongside discussion with Natural England/NRW and renewing Site Management Agreements / Ecological Management Plans;
  • Ensuring INNS and biosecurity risks are identified and actioned appropriately;
  • Delivering an ambitious Nature Recovery Plan for the estate in line with the Greening Government Commitments and achieving a >10% biodiversity net gain;
  • Working with HMPPS, HMCTS, commercial teams and Facilities Management contractors to measure and continually improve their environmental performance, find improved ways of working, and help to trial innovative solutions to maximise ecology within MoJ operations;
  • Formulate, bid, administer and deliver projects with partners, including charities and volunteers;
  • Monitoring and reporting to senior management our progress against legislative responsibilities, such as SSSI condition, Greening Government Commitments, section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and the 25-year Environment Plan;
  • Renew and align MoJ Estates Biodiversity policy(ies), which includes wetlands, peatlands, pollinators, badgers etc, and work to communicate and embed principles throughout all MoJ business and operations e.g. procurement, project delivery, industries, estate management; 
  • Promote, coordinate and help to train contract managers, grounds and facilities staff, contractors, horticultural instructors, industry managers, farm staff, volunteers, offenders and others in environmental best practice;
  • Provide a reliable, consistent and expert point of contact and support for non-technical operational staff across the country in helping to deliver ecological improvements;
  • Working with support staff and providing constructive direction and feedback. This may include mentoring and coaching apprentices or fast streamers;
  • Support any sustainability award schemes and promotional staff events, with your technical knowledge;
  • Promoting the work of the Sustainable Development Team through internal and external communications;
  • Embed a new GIS system and ensure data is secure, up-to-date and efficiently reported; 
  • Work with the wider team to review the quality and quantity of our natural capital. Help develop future strategies and tools to incorporate a natural capital approach into all that we do. There is the potential for this part of the role to be further developed.

Closing date: 18 June 2021 at 23:55 hours.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

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