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RSPB - Flexible in Scotland - Rural Surveyor - Peatland Restoration Programme

Job Description:

Reference: JUN20221124

Expiry date: 23:59, Fri, 8th Jul 2022

Salary: £28,420.00 - £40,854.00 Per Annum

Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance

Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes2021.pdf

A new operational role has been created within RSPB Scotland Surveying Dept for a Rural Surveyor to provide professional rural surveying services to support the delivery of peatland restoration on RSPB reserves, by implementing legal and financial due diligence work, risk management, and acquisitions.

RSPB, via its Peatland Restoration Programme, wishes to restore c 7,000 ha of peatland on RSPB reserves for biodiversity and climate benefits, in line with our corporate strategy, ‘RSPB’s Strategy to 2030.’

Whilst the focus will be on the RSPB reserves across Scotland including the islands, there will be occasions where we will be working on or facilitating work on, land owned by 3rd parties. This area of work is growing in importance as part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to combat climate change. The role is an opportunity to be at the forefront of delivering peatland restoration, managing land to address climate change and deriving benefits from the financial returns from emerging carbon markets to invest back into peatland restoration.

The Peatland Restoration Programme will be financed via the sale of carbon credits, finance from corporate partnerships and substantially, Scottish Government funding via the Peatland ACTION Fund. A pipeline of Peatland restoration projects on RSPB reserves is being developed.

An understanding of the current thinking around climate change and Peatland Code, would be advantageous.

Key activities will include:

  • Land and property management – carrying out the due diligence to identify, mitigate and manage the legal, financial and reputational risks of peatland restoration proposals on RSPB reserves and 3rd party land e.g. land tenure legal checks for impediments to restoration, operational contracts including CDM requirements, compliance with grant conditions, submitting planning applications (including, an understanding of Permitted Development and Prior Notification procedures) in a peatland restoration context.
  • Risk management Supporting the implementation of the existing risk management systems to manage the RSPB’s exposure to legal, financial, and reputational risks arising from the use and management of land and buildings for peatland restoration.
  • Produce Codes of Practice relating to peatland restoration; roll out the peatland elements of the risk management system to end-users including the provision of training and advice and undertaking site audits to ensure compliance.
  • Reserve acquisition work – Implementing the UK Acquisition Strategy to extend existing/acquire new nature reserves for peatland restoration.
  • Lead on securing, if required, specific peatland project buildings (eg workshops/residential.)
  • Legacy properties – Assisting the RSPB Legacy Dept with reviewing and implementing agreed plans for land and properties left to RSPB as legacies restricted specifically to peatland restoration.
  • To assist with general estate management and negotiations for acquisitions on the existing RSPB reserves as required and requested.

You will need to take an innovative approach to applying rural surveying professional skills to delivering peatland restoration objectives. As a growing area of work for RSPB, the work programme will be challenging, interesting and rewarding work. You will be encouraged to be out of the office, providing professional advice to staff, to minimise risk and optimise financial returns for the RSPB Scotland nature reserves. You will demonstrate initiative, motivation and flair, and be a talented individual who understands the needs of the modern Scottish rural land holding.

You will be part of our Scottish Surveying Team of 8 Rural Surveyors in Scotland plus one Building Surveyor and a Grazing Advisor. We work closely as a team with a strong team ethos, with enthusiasm and dedication and share professional expertise, knowledge and information at regular Surveying Dept meetings. RSPB has a clear programme of supporting and paying for CPD. We work throughout Scotland and maximise opportunities for individuals to use their expertise wherever it is required. The Rural Surveyors have a strong support team which allows the Surveyors to concentrate on delivering the professional work, and to see projects through from beginning to end.

What we need from you


  • Corporate member of RICS or other relevant equivalent professional organisation.
  • Demonstrable post-qualification knowledge of estate management work in the rural environment.
  • Knowledge of project management principles and applications.
  • Ability to communicate in plain English, complex estate management issues.
  • Ability to communicate verbally, and in writing, to all levels within RSPB and to external audiences.
  • Ability to make quick, pragmatic, reasoned and practical decisions/recommendations/alternatives based upon sound analysis and reason.
  • Ability to positively influence wider audiences and demonstrate credibility both internally and externally.
  • Ability to negotiate and achieve the required corporate outcomes.
  • Ability to work alone and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Ability to manage oneself to prioritise high volume competing objectives.
  • Ability to travel widely without the use of public transport.
  • Experience of project management principles and application.

Additional Information

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position on the 13th July 2022. For further information please contact

As part of this application process, you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

To apply:

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

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