Rural Surveyor (Maternity Cover)

Closing date
19 Mar 2021

Job Details

Rural Surveyor (Maternity Cover)

Reference: FEB20210289

Location: RSPB England - Norwich

Salary: Competitive

Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave

Duration: 12 months

An exciting opportunity for a self-motivated Rural Surveyor to join RSPB’s team in East Anglia to provide estate management and professional support across a large and varied portfolio covering some of the most unique habitats in the region. This is a 12-month fixed-term contract covering maternity leave.

Although based in East England, the successful applicant will join a team of 9 Rural Surveyors working across England in the RSPB Operational Support team. This remit will focus on delivering rural surveying support to nature reserves and other functions primarily across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, but may also involve work outside the area to support the wider work programme. This includes some of the RSPBs most iconic nature reserves such as Titchwell Marsh, Snettisham, the Ouse Washes and The Yare Valley, with a diverse range of habitats including coastal grazing marsh, saltmarsh, flood plain grassland and urban fringe land. 

This role will support a large farmed estate primarily through annual grazing licences and FBTs, plus the management of our built estate including owned and leased offices, houses, visitor centres and farm buildings.

The ideal candidate will have/be:

  • A Chartered Member of the RICS (Rural) (or equivalent professional organisation) with a minimum of 2 years PQE;
  • Practical experience of rural land and property management;
  • Up to date understanding of agricultural subsidy schemes and ability to support RSPB colleagues in day-to-day management of land within agri-environment schemes and land subject to cross compliance requirements as well as wider legal requirements;
  • Team player and good communicator able to work with RSPB colleagues from different departments with varying experience in estate management;
  • Experienced negotiator with familiarity with the requirements of the Charities’ Act; and
  • A full UK driving licence.

Key responsibilities:

Land and Property Management:
Appraising, advising, implementing, and managing the legal, reputational and financial aspects of rural property e.g. contractual issues involving owned/leased agricultural land and buildings, houses, offices and other business premises (e.g. rent reviews, repairing obligations, landlord consents etc) and contracts affecting land management (e.g. compliance with grant conditions, legal responsibilities).  Advising on agricultural matters and farming systems; and drafting Basic Payment Scheme applications for the reserves that you support. Granting leases and licences for both operational and non-operational purposes (sporting, fishing, grazing etc) and negotiating wayleaves and easements. 

Risk management and project support:
Supporting the development and implementation of systems to manage the RSPB’s exposure to legal, reputational and financial risk arising from its land and property operations.  Assisting in the management of the RSPB’s risk management system including undertaking site audits to ensure compliance with schemes such as BPS, Environmental Stewardship and other statutory regulations. Advising and providing professional support to Area Teams and Project Managers delivering large scale land management projects.  

Land and property acquisition and disposal:
Appraising, advising and implementing the negotiation and concluding specific acquisitions by vacant possession, lease, licence or management agreement ranging from small management agreements to multi-million pound purchases both on and off reserves, e.g. the acquisition of offices, workshops, farm buildings, residential properties, retail premises (again, these may be by vacant possession, lease, licence or management agreement).  This may also include agreements for activities on third party land.  Appraising, advising and implementing the negotiation of the sale of land and properties surplus to operational requirements and managing disposal programmes for such properties according to agreed targets. 

Additional Information:
Although the role is proposed to be based at the RSPB’s Norwich Office, the RSPB operates a flexible working policy and will consider home working (particularly during Covid-19 restrictions) or other RSPB offices within the region.

This role will require occasional weekend and evening working, and will involve lone working.

This role will involve occasional travel within the UK, and will require occasional overnight stays away from home.

Employees are expected to carry out their job responsibilities in an environmentally aware manner, ensuring as little damage to the environment as possible. Our aim is to ensure all resources are utilised effectively and efficiently.

In the RSPB, volunteers are a major resource and make a vital contribution to the RSPB’s aim to take action for the conservation of wild birds and the environment. Employees are responsible for encouraging, developing and supporting volunteers in their work for the RSPB.

Expiry date: 23:59, 07 March 2021

Please click the apply button to be taken to our website where you can find out more information about the role and complete your application.

No agencies please.


Our work is driven by a passionate belief that we all have a responsibility to protect birds and the environment. Bird populations reflect the health of the planet on which our future depends.

The need for a leading conservation charity has never been greater.  

The RSPB could not exist without its supporters and members. Whether you join us, give a donation, purchase items from us or undertake voluntary work, your support is vital to the future of birds and the places where they live.

How many surveyors currently work for RSPB?

We have a national team of 19 Rural Surveyors and 2 Building Surveyors who between them are responsible for providing professional property advice on over 150,000 hectares across all four countries of the UK and for several million pounds of built estate.

What is it like to work for the RSPB as a surveyor?

Challenging, because to meet RSPB’s ecological requirements, the standard commercial answer isn’t always the right one; and rewarding knowing your contribution will make a difference to saving nature and the public good. Each rural surveyor carries out a wide variety of work, covering a broad range of professional work as per private practice. Specialisms occur but no-one is pigeon-holed.

Why should someone apply to the RSPB?

Because you get to carry out the full range of private practice work on the land of most conservation value, in the most spectacular scenery in the UK and make a professional contribution towards towards overcoming the conservation challenges faced in the rural environment often using groundbreaking techniques. There are targets, objectives and budgets to meet, but you will not have the private practice requirements of time sheets, fee targets or be expected to generate new clients. Nor will you be on-call for tenants. The work undertaken offers you a chance to shine professionally, as well as opportunities to further develop your career and knowledge.

What are the working values at the RSPB?

RSPB’s working values are:

  • Focused – clarity of direction, united around a common purpose
  • Together – power of working together, be open to influence, respect other people, and share power
  • Bold – go for growth, give and take responsibility, be decisive, and be open to new ideas
  • Supportive – everyone matters, all skills of all people, people grow too, and set people up to succeed.

RSPB has 7 core competencies that it expects from all its staff:

  • Direction - You ensure you have a clear direction and sense of common purpose that guides what you do and how you approach your work.
  • Energy - You bring energy and urgency to the RSPB to motivate people to do the best they can.
  • Capability - You build your own and other people’s capabilities, directly and indirectly.
  • Relationships - You communicate effectively and build productive internal and external relationships.
  • Change - You support continuous improvement and change and constantly look for way to do things better.
  • Advocacy - You act as an advocate for the RSPB.
  • Performance - You get things done, achieve ambitious goals and the RSPB’s aims.

The following behaviours are expected of RSPB Rural Surveyors in delivering the competencies:

  • Is prepared to take on new challenges outside their comfort zone.
  • Makes the effort to collaborate with others, even when under pressure.
  • Always assumes positive intentions in others.
  • Listens to other people’s ideas and suggestions.
  • Treat other people as equals.
  • Shares new ideas with colleagues.
  • Is an advocate for what RSPB stands for and is trying to achieve.
  • Understands what is expected of them in their role.
  • Places their main focus on important priorities.
  • Demonstrates accountability for getting things done.

What do they offer? (Eg: Flexible working / Learning and development)

Competitive salary, career performance and development planning, flexible working, start on 26 days holiday plus bank holidays plus a Christmas shutdown for all surveyors, 7% employer contribution to defined contributions pension, life assurance of 5 x basic salary, maternity/paternity/adoption leave, childcare vouchers, sickness pay, employee assistance scheme, staff association, learning and development opportunities with fees paid for those required for CPD, RICS professional subscription fees paid, 1 day volunteering pa, 1 month sabbatical every 5 yrs of service, green loans for season travel tickets or to buy a bicycle, 20% off in RSPB shops.

What do RSPB do that may not be common knowledge?

RSPB surveyors carry out all the work of a private practice surveyor: acquisitions and disposals of land and buildings on the open market, assisting in delivery of in-hand farming operations, farming and livestock subsidy claims, CPO work on national projects, wayleaves, major engineering projects involving major planning applications/EIA/statutory consents, optimising financial returns from and diversifying income on the RSPB Estate eg solar, wind and hydro schemes, yurts and glamping.

Our buildings have won regional RICS building awards and shortlisted for RIBA Sterling Award. RSPB habitat projects have won regional RICS awards and Constructing Excellence National Award for sustainability.

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