Community Woodland Engagement 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 engagement 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
ensuring effective group engagement and coordination throughout the project, leading group
activities, consultation, monitoring, and evaluation to engage and inform the local community and

You will develop engaging activities for participants of the project and also design legacy
activities that ensure the ongoing health of the woodland and its sustainable development.

You will work alongside the Project Manager and the Communications and Interpretation 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 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
Developing the Project’s community outreach

  • Help to define a programme of community activity and co-ordinate its delivery to achieve
    positive social outcomes and reinforce Westonbirt’s reputation as welcoming and inclusive.
  • Proactively develop the network of local partners, with a focus on youth, mental health and
  • Develop best practice to support Westonbirt’s wellbeing / social remit.

Programme delivery

  • 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 community volunteer groups to support delivery of programmes.
  • Assist with the delivery of agreed Project outcomes.
  • Support training / coordination of volunteers.

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 successful track-record of developing and delivering community-centred activities,
    ideally in a heritage / environmental setting
  • Experience of working with audiences facing mental health issues / social exclusion
  • Demonstrable understanding in stakeholder management and communication, including
    consultation, negotiation, relationship building and seeking feedback
  • A collaborative approach that listens and responds to the needs of people from all
  • Excellent communication skills, including report writing and presentation skills
  • Experience of using risk assessments to manage H&S / welfare issues


  • Knowledge and understanding of threats to trees and woodlands, as well as the importance of
    conservation and sustainability
  • Experience in project management within the environmental, heritage, visitor attraction, or
    charity sectors
  • Experience in externally funded projects and supporting funding applications
  • A suitable qualification (e.g. community, youth, social care)
  • Experience supervising volunteers to deliver community projects
  • Experience in tree planting
  • A full driving licence that enables driving in the UK


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

  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions


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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