Natural Infrastructure Officer

Plymouth City Council

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Plymouth City Council, National Trust and partners are looking for an ambitious and energetic
Project Officer to support the development and delivery of a ground-breaking community
initiative: Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest.

This post is funded until March 2026 through DEFRA’s Trees for Climate Fund. You will
be employed by Plymouth City Council.

We are looking for an ambitious and energetic Project Officer with demonstrable experience in
Natural Infrastructure and environmental projects, to support the development of a
ground-breaking community initiative: the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest. The
purpose of this role will be to facilitate the planning and delivery of the first phase of this
project, which will bring community and nature together as part of an exciting new
venture across South Hams, West Devon, Dartmoor National Park and the City of Plymouth.

You will be working with partners to inspire local people, to enable them to participate and
grow this hugely important new community asset. Your experience in trees, woodland and
environmental projects will enable you to assist with the delivery of UK Forestry Standard
compliant woodland creation and tree planting schemes, working with private landowners,
community groups, and various other stakeholders to deliver over 500 hectares of new woodland
planting across South Devon and Dartmoor up to March 2026.

You will be a proud ambassador for the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest and will
engage local communities and support the project partnership formed to deliver this exciting
project.

About the project

The vision for Plymouth & South Devon Community Forest (PSDCF) is to deliver multiple
benefits to the city and beyond, including the wellbeing of communities, the economy and the
environment. This new community forest is one of three new initiatives approved by the Trees
for Climate Fund as part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change.

The Forest will also help Plymouth City Council deliver our ambitious Climate Emergency Action
Plan, the city’s Growth agenda and the objectives of our strategic plans including the Joint
Local Plan and strategic work with Devon County Council and partners.

The Community Forest has the potential to create an additional 1600 hectares of new, improved
and better-connected habitat with new access, enterprise and employment opportunities.

The Community Forest is a partnership project between PCC, South Hams and West Devon Council,
National Trust and Woodland Trust with a strong and broad advisory group. It will develop a
unique governance and business model to ensure sustainable delivery and social and
environmental value for local communities.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Supporting the development of an ambitious tree planting programme, facilitating the
    delivery of a programme of work across the Community Forest – with a focus on South Hams, West
    Devon, and Dartmoor National Park – including woodland creation, rewilding and nature
    conservation/restoration, access and interpretation.
  • Engaging people: Working directly with landowners and key stakeholders to support the
    design of new woodland, and establishing the Community Forest as being led by, and inclusive
    of, young people and the local community
  • Project planning and implementation: Facilitating communications and operational planning
    to enable communities, individuals, and project partners to benefit from full engagement with
    the Community Forest’s activities throughout the project life cycle.
  • Trees for Climate fund administration: Ensuring that all monitoring and reporting
    requirements of DEFRA’s Trees for Climate fund are met in a timely fashion, with new woodland
    schemes compliant to UK Forestry Standards.

Who we are looking for:

You will be passionate about the delivery of new woodland creation, and
communities having access to greenspace, nature and wildlife. We are looking for
people who see opportunities by working in partnership, and are able to overcome barriers
to working differently. You will be keen to work proactively within a team, learn as you go and
work in ways that haven’t been tried before.

We are looking for people who are strong communicators and team players and people who have
relevant experience in trees, woodland creation/design and natural infrastructure planning and
project coordination. You will be confident working in groups under challenging conditions,
passionate about inspiring young people, and keen to find ways to create nature advocates in
local communities. 

You’ll need to:

  • Be responsible for supporting the delivery of the Community Forest programme, with a focus
    on delivery and engagement across South Hams, West Devon and Dartmoor
  • Have demonstrable experience working within a trees, woodland creation and/or forestry
    setting
  • Demonstrate a passion for nature and the outdoors
  • Be able to work within a team to engage with community groups and enable them to shape
    their local greenspaces
  • Have experience of working in partnership and with diverse stakeholder groups
  • Be able to collaborate within a diverse team to deliver community engagement activity
  • Be able to ensure you work safely, with risk assessments and compliance with safety
    procedures

Plymouth City Council is an equal opportunities employer. All applicants will be considered
for employment regardless of age, care experience, disability, gender reassignment,
marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion/belief, sex or sexual
orientation.

As part of our commitment to promoting equality we offer guaranteed interviews to those who
meet the essential criteria and are considered disabled, care experienced or are an Armed
Forces Service Leaver within the last two years.

This role is suitable for flexible working subject to the needs of the service

For more information or an informal discussion, please contact Peter Hawking-Sach, Natural
Infrastructure Officer, [email protected]

Closing date: Sunday 25 February

Find out more & apply

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