Community Woodland Communications and Interpretation Officer

Forestry England

Job summary

Westonbirt, the National Arboretum is one
of the UK’s most famous botanical tree collections and is internationally renowned both for its
tree collection and historic landscape. It was founded in 1829 by Robert Holford and is classed as
Grade 1 on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens and is one of the world’s greatest
examples of an arboretum laid out in the ‘picturesque’ style. As well as holding five National
Collections the site has over 130 champion trees – the largest of their kind in Britain. It’s home
to some of the rarest trees in the world with trees from Australia, China as well as native trees
and a semi-ancient woodland.

It’s an exciting time as we progress our ten-year vision to become a world leader in trees,
inspiring people through education, participation and conservation. It is now more crucial than
ever with climate change that we ensure we achieve our net zero ambitions and we engage our
visitors with the importance of trees and caring for the environment. Since 1956 the arboretum has
been managed by the Forestry Commission and is one of the six districts managed by Forestry England
who manages the nation’s forests. Our mission is to connect everyone with them, by creating and
caring for our forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. We look
after more land and more trees than any other organisation in the country cared for by around 1,000
staff and volunteers and enjoyed by over 226 million visits each year.

The team are supported by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, an-onsite fundraising and membership
charity with over 36,000 members. The arboretum now attracts over 500,000 visitors per year and is
the largest pay to enter visitor attraction in Gloucestershire.As part of our ten-year vision, we
are regenerating an area of Silk Wood as a community woodland. We want to engage school groups,
community groups, volunteers, and others with the lifecycle of tree planting at the Arboretum.

Job description

This new role will deliver the communications and interpretation based outcomes of the Silk Wood
Community Planting Project. This project is focused on regenerating 5 hectares of clear felled
woodland in Silk Wood, due to an ash dieback outbreak. 

In this 2-year fixed term position, you will be responsible for designing interpretation that
explains the threats our trees face, how Westonbirt is working to make Silk Wood more resilient,
and what visitors can do to support the activity and get involved. You will tell the story of the
Community Woodland through signage, photography and other media. As a part of your role in building
awareness and support, you will also work closely with the marketing team to handle communications
and promote the project.

You will work alongside the Project Manager and the Engagement Officer to support fundraising and to create reports against funding targets. There will be opportunities to support other engagement projects in development at the arboretum.

This role will involve some year-round outdoor work in all weathers and on rough ground. 

An enhanced DBS check is required as this role will involve working with schools and community
groups including those with vulnerable adults. This may also include leading and/or working with
small groups and in one-to-one situations. 

Key Work Areas

  • Actively participate with the wider site team, ensuring effective internal and external
  • Work with our Marketing Team to promote the Project within the community through production
    of publicity and marketing materials as required, and participation at local events and
  • Ensuring relevant GDPR forms and safeguarding processes are used when organising
    photography and filming of participants, including children and vulnerable adults.

Programme delivery

  • Manage the delivery of key interpretation projects including developing briefs, working
    with external designers / contractors, writing content / sourcing imagery, installation and
    project management to ensure delivery on time and budget.
  • Identify partnership opportunities and work collaboratively to deliver creative projects
    that deliver measurable positive outcomes for participants’ mental health and wellbeing. In
    particular target local audiences currently under-represented in our profile including youth
    and excluded adults. This will include practical conservation tasks.
  • Develop / supervise volunteer groups to support delivery of programmes.
  • Develop and supervise physical interpretation activities with participants and members of
    the public.

Building long term capacity

  • Assist with implementing a rigorous evaluation process that captures both the success of
    projects and allows us to refine our ways of working, ensuring timely and accurate reporting to
  • Work with our fundraising team to identify and develop external funding opportunities to
    support the Project.

Person specification

  • A suitable qualification (e.g. graphics, art, marketing or communications) or equivalent
    experience. Please clearly demonstrate which applies to you throughout your application.
    Failure to do so will mean that your application is automatically sifted out
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to convey complex ideas
    and concepts to a range of audiences
  • Proven experience in managing and creating social media content
  • Strong organisational and project management skills, including the ability to plan,
    prioritise and manage workload effectively
  • Experience of designing interpretation content
  • Experience of using evaluation tools to measure the impact of communication and/or
    interpretation activities
  • A sound working knowledge of Microsoft Office packages


  • Experience of working in heritage, environmental or visitor attraction sectors
  • Experience of designing content related to story telling
  • Experience of working with schools, volunteers, and community groups
  • Demonstrable understanding of supervising volunteers
  • Knowledge and understanding of threats to trees and woodlands, as well as the importance of
    conservation and sustainability
  • A full driving licence that enables driving in the UK


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

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture


Alongside your salary of £26,534, Forestry Commission contributes £7,191 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

We are focused on ensuring that our staff are respected, included, supported, and engaged. We love difference and know that every single person is unique. We encourage an environment that values the uniqueness in everyone.

  • Working in one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes and tree collections with flexible
    working options and a range of family friendly benefits.
  • Supported by the Civil Engineering team, including other supervisors, engineers based
    across the country. There is no guarantee of job progression but there are more opportunities
    in the wider engineering team, estates or recreation teams.
  • Generous annual leave allowance starting at 25 days per year (pro-rata for part time).
    Leave increases by 1 day each year to a maximum of 30 days. After 20 years’ service you will
    receive a one-off award of 5 extra days’ holiday. In addition, you will receive all public
    holidays plus an additional 2.5 ‘privilege’ days (pro-rata for part time).
  • Additional opportunities to support our Events programme including concerts and 10k’s
    including potential overtime payments.
  • A range of wellbeing benefits, including access to an Employee Assistance Programme 24/7,
    Bike to Work Scheme plus many more.
  • A culture which promotes a diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • Free parking at Forestry England sites and free entry to our National Arboretums.
  • Three paid volunteering days per year (pro-rata for part time).

We are committed to lifelong learning, and we will support your career development in a variety of
ways, including:

  • Learning and development tailored to your role.
  • Continual Professional Development: support for individual learning plans and sponsored
    membership of professional bodies (APM).
  • 5 dedicated learning days a year (from e-learning to traditional training, team activities
    to coaching and shadowing), to target the skills you need to take your career forward.
  • Civil Service Learning (CSL) online platform provides access to a host of high-quality
    training courses on a variety of useful and relevant subjects.
  • Dedicated Technical Training in support of our operational functions, ensuring that keeping
    people safe is central to everything we do.

Find out more & apply

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