The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. We want to see a world where trees and woods thrive for people and nature. The Trust engages and inspires people to make their difference tackling the nature and climate crisis helping protect, restore and create our vital woods and trees.
Working as a leader within the external affairs team and in collaboration with our Regional Directors in England and Country Directors, this role will spearhead local and regional government advocacy work to ensure locally based decision makers act upon the enormous potential of woods and trees to deliver meaningful outcomes for nature and people. Policy and legislation are vital to making this potential a reality. Delivering effective policy change and relationship building, this role will include proactively shaping and overseeing delivery of the Trust’s local authority and localism agendas in England, advising on and acting upon the implications for woods, trees and nature generally. It will also involve advising on local advocacy work in the countries. Through this the post will play a key role in helping deliver on our organisational objectives of protecting, restoring and creating a UK rich in native woods and trees, providing real and meaningful outcomes for people and for wildlife.
The role sits within the External Affairs team which covers both Westminster and local government influencing – focusing on UK and England legislation and policy. The team also works closely with external affairs and policy colleagues in the other three countries. The team works primarily remotely, spread across a wide area of England and has a strong emphasis on self-motivation, initiative, delivering for the cause and the forging of strong working relationships both internally and externally. Location for this role is flexible but some travel to the WT HQ in Grantham will be required as well as occasionally supporting the Westminster part of the team with events in London.
- Excellent understanding of local and regional government - ideally within the environment or similar relevant sector;
- A political communications expert with knowledge of devolved issues relating to environmental policy particularly within England, but also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and be able to support colleagues in delivering the Trust’s agenda;
- Highly self-motivated with strong leadership skills including the ability to spot influencing opportunities and mobilise others – both internally and externally - to help act upon them;
- A strategic thinker with a solutions-focused approach;
- Confident to work off your own initiative in line with the Trust policy and agenda;
- Able to take on board the expertise of ecologists and policy leads and act upon it in the political arena;
- Willing to lead by example;
- Strong interest in the environment;
- Excellent communication skills and the confidence to represent the Trust effectively in a variety of external influencing fora;
- Experience and skill in producing high quality clear and timely briefings at pace for both senior staff internally and for external audiences and allies;
- Able to perform to a high standard against a constantly changing external environment, managing risks, identifying and capitalising on opportunities in line with the Trust’s cause;
- Educated to degree level or above in a relevant subject or possess substantial experience in lieu of a degree;
- Excellent eye for detail, proactively monitoring, gathering intelligence, and quickly understanding key risks and opportunities for the Trust’s objectives particularly where local and national priorities overlap;
- Creative thinking skills and experience using digital communications channels, able to work at pace with others to find innovative and effective ways to secure influence;
- Experienced in line management or able to clearly demonstrate the ability to do so, excellent performance management and the establishment of clear priorities amongst direct reports and colleagues;
- Ability to undertake travel across a wide area, sometimes to remote locations with overnight stays;
- Full UK driving licence would be an advantage.