Freshwater Ecologist

Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART)

Role Summary

Job Title Freshwater Ecologist
Job Location Home based, with frequent travel and site visits throughout the
Contract 12 months, with a view to extension, subject to funding
Hours Full time, 5 days per week (40 hours per week / 1 FTE). The role may
sometimes require evening and weekend work. For the right candidate, part time hours may be considered.
Salary £26,560- £29,879 (pro rata) depending on experience.
Holiday 25 days per year (in addition to bank and public holidays)
Line Report to Head of Operations


Effective landscape restoration requires data driven decisions. At Bristol Avon Rivers Trust,
we work in partnership with landowners, businesses, community groups, and government to
identify and deliver interventions to make our catchment richer and more resilient to
pressures. We are looking for a person to join our expanding team to identify habitats and
species worth protecting—find opportunities for habitat creation, expansion, and improvement
across our watershed—from the headwater of sub-catchments, right down to the lowland
floodplains of North Somerset and the Severn Vale.

We are a growing Trust, with big ambitions for our catchment. This new role is a key addition
to our team, who focus on solving environmental problems with nature-based solutions. Working
to support and advise colleagues, you will be out in the field conducting surveys, walkovers,
and site visits—to help both gather evidence of issues and build habitat improvement projects
that offer multiple benefits to important ecosystem services such as natural flood management,
carbon capture and storage, and water stewardship to support a biodiverse and resilient

This position will play a central role in coordinating BART’s Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring
Initiative (ARMI) riverfly monitoring volunteer base, which supplied the greatest quantity of
regional riverfly data to the Riverfly Partnership during 2023.

You will be a qualified Ecologist with a passion for landscape and river restoration and have a
good understanding of practical interventions that can have the best impact for nature.

What you’ll be doing

  • Carrying out ecological surveys and assessments on sites of potential land use change,
    natural flood management (NFM) intervention, or river restoration.
  • Assessing biodiversity baseline, creation, and enhancement metrics for Biodiversity Net
    Gain (BNG) in terrestrial habitats as well as freshwater habitats.
  • Helping to design and commission ecological work.
  • Conducting river condition assessments and walkover surveys.
  • Gathering scientific information—including working with our network of citizen scientists.
  • Identifying habitat improvement opportunities and supporting Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
    staff and volunteers to deliver improvements.
  • Coordinate and support BART’s growing number of monthly riverfly monitors, and run training
    sessions to upskill new volunteers, and helping them to set up new sites.
  • Working with other employees to support activities, engaging with local authorities and
    community groups.
  • Staying up to date with the latest developments in BNG, land management legislation,
    funding opportunities, and best practice habitat management for climate change mitigation and
    resilience, water stewardship, and ecosystem services.

An example working week could involve undertaking aquatic invertebrate kick sampling, farm
scale ecological appraisal for a NFM project, delivering a volunteer riverfly monitoring
training course and a tributary habitats and opportunities walkover survey.

Where you’ll be working

The Bristol Avon Rivers Trust is a charitable organisation focussed on protecting and improving
rivers and waterways across the Bristol Avon Catchment. We operate across North Somerset,
Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and Northeast Somerset and Wiltshire, working in
partnership with the Environment Agency, local authorities, the water industry, private
landowners and their tenants, charitable organisations, and community interest groups. You will
be working across the range of landscapes and habitats in the Bristol Avon catchment, from
urban streams, agricultural land, through woodland and riparian and riverine habitats. There
will be a mix of working from home and across the river catchment.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a candidate with a sound understanding of ecology and habitats who has
experience of ecological surveying of riparian/riverine, pond and freshwater wetland habitats.
We’d like you to have a good understanding of the Biodiversity Net Gain Metric, and experience
in identifying, recommending, and carrying out habitat improvement works. We’d like you to have
experience of working in collaboration with stakeholders and volunteers, and understand land
management, habitat and river pressures. We’d also like you to have an understanding of the
work of the riverfly partnership, and in particular ARMI riverfly monitoring.

You will have excellent communication skills and a down to earth approach towards working with
people. You will be self-motivated, can manage competing deadlines, and deliver tasks to a high
standard. You will have a full UK driving licence and have access to a vehicle.

Above all, you will be committed to our agenda as a Trust, what we stand for, and what we want
to achieve.

Person Specification

Experience of:

  • Conducting Ecological Surveys and Ecological Impact Assessments, with a particular focus on
    freshwater habitats. Essential.
  • Identifying and prescribing habitat improvement opportunities. Essential.
  • Experienced in riverfly monitoring, and in particular ARMI riverfly monitoring programme.
  • Report writing skills. Essential.
  • Working with and managing volunteer groups (in context of citizen science). Desirable.
  • Mapping using LandApp, GIS, and others. Desirable.

Knowledge and Understanding of:

  • Current environmental legislation, including Biodiversity Net Gain, Priority Habitats, and
    Priority Species. Essential.
  • Ecosystem goods and services. Essential.
  • Metrics for quantifying and reporting landscape changes (e.g. woodland carbon code,
    peatland carbon code). Desirable.
  • Strategic partnership development and relationship management. Desirable.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Excellent communication skills, with a track record of building and maintaining
    relationships with external partners. Essential.
  • Excellent IT skills especially with Microsoft Office. Essential.
  • GIS skills. Desirable.
  • Presenting environmental information to develop compelling evidence for change. Desirable.
  • Relevant professional qualification/affiliation (e.g. CIEEM, CEnv, etc.). Desirable.

Personal Qualities

  • Good organisational skills/discipline and the ability to plan, track, deliver and evaluate
    work. Essential.
  • Ability to prioritise and deliver work to relevant standards and tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work under own initiative, and as part of a larger, cross-functional team.
  • Innovative and applies creative thought to develop new initiatives and problem solving.

Standard Terms & Conditions

Salary: £26,560- £29,879 per annum (pro rata). Salaries are paid each month by
bank transfer.

Hours: The Trust operates a 40-hour working week (full time). Our core hours
of business are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Contract: This position is initially available on a fixed term contract for 12

Flexibility: The Trust recognises the importance of a strong work-life balance
and actively promotes this. The Trust, where possible, endeavours to meet the flexible working
needs of its employees. A high degree of flexibility is provided to staff members in relation
to hours and location of work. Part time work may be considered.

Holidays: 25 days per year (in addition to bank and public holidays). (Pro
rata for part time roles)

Pensions: You may be eligible to be auto enrolled to the Rivers Trust Group
Pension Plan with Royal London which provides an employer contribution of 9%.

Notice Period: One month following satisfactory completion of a 3-month
probationary period.

Place of Work: Home office based, with travel across the catchment as

Travel: Public transport is encouraged where possible. Business mileage is
claimed through our expense’s procedure. The candidate must have access to a vehicle for
business purposes and a clean driving license.

Closing date

The closing date for applications for this role is Sunday 31st December 2023 at 23:59


Interviews will be held using video conferencing week commencing 8th or 15th January 2024.

How to Apply

To apply please email your CV and a covering letter detailing your experience relevant to the
role to [email protected] before the
closing date.

We look forward to receiving your application.

If you would like an informal conversation about this role, or if you would like more
information, please contact us at: [email protected] and we will
arrange a convenient time for a discussion.

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.

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