National Forest Woodland Team Leader

Closing date: 29 August 2022 | Location: FlexibleSalary: £39,700 - £44,522 (Grade 7)

Contract type: Permanent appointment to undertake a time-limited role until 31 August 2025. When the post ends the post holder will be managed in line with our redeployment procedures.

Work pattern: 37 hours

Post number: 203274

As an organisation we support flexible working. This role allows hybrid working (a mix of home and office working) and a working pattern suitable for you can be discussed on appointment if you are successful.

You will be contracted to the nearest NRW office to your home, of which you will be required to attend for regular meetings, training and for one-to-one meetings with your manager. These will be planned in advance.

Job Description

The National Forest is a long term, strategic programme for Wales led by Welsh Government. It is an umbrella programme under which various initiatives, partnerships and funding mechanisms will operate at different spatial and temporal scales.

The National Forest must support the achievement of the following outcomes:

  • Good quality, well designed and managed woodlands (essential)
  • Woodlands accessible to people (essential)
  • Community involvement in woodlands (essential)
  • Connected woodlands (desirable)
  • Dynamic, multi-purpose woodlands and trees (desirable)
  • Woodlands that demonstrate learning, research, and innovation (desirable).

The post holder will lead a team of dedicated National Forest Field Officers who, alongside other partners, will be providing support to stakeholders in order to deliver the National Forest and its outcomes through engagement, advice and on-going support. The team will advocate the benefits of the National Forest and proactively communicate with and advise landowners and land managers to ensure that proposals meet the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard and deliver National Forest outcomes.

The two main outcomes for the team will be delivery of 30 additional National Forest sites and working innovatively with others to encourage action for trees and woodlands through a mixture of enhancement of existing woodland and new woodland creation by 2026. This will help form a coherent, connected network of woodland across Wales to bring social, economic and environmental benefits.

You will be responsible and accountable for leading the formation of a unified team of National Forest Liaison Officers, motivating the team to ensure that they achieve departmental and strategic objectives of both WG and NRW.   

You will be the first point of contact for Liaison Officers seeking advice and guidance around woodland management, woodland creation, community engagement, and public access therefore the post holder will be expected to have a technical appreciation for the team’s role and remit, taking a lead on championing the National Forest for Wales.

Ideally you have a good all round knowledge of woodland creation process and what makes a good quality, well designed and managed woodland. You’ll need to be collaborative in style, a good listener, a motivated problem solver and willing to work through complex cases.

You will need to work closely with place based teams, the Sustainable Land Management Team in the Natural Resource Management policy group and work closely with the Welsh Government Team leading on the National Forest Programme. The post holder will be expected to develop an extensive stakeholder network and a crucial aspect of this role will be nurturing and supporting partnership working outside of NRW to secure National Forest outcomes.


Your responsibilities will include:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive work plan to deliver the National Forest status scheme in Wales, where relevant to the team.
  • develop the team to become a trusted source of information for land managers in Wales
  • Manage and develop a team of National Forest Liaison Officers, being fully accountable for their performance, contribution, development, wellbeing and health and safety.
  • Engage and collaborate with relevant stakeholders, developing innovative approaches to delivery. Working in partnership with other Agencies and Organisations to ensure that the best and most efficient options are taken
  • By using complex technical specialist knowledge and evidence the post holder will develop and manage a pipeline of projects to deliver National Forest Outcomes.
  • The post holder will be accountable to Welsh Government for all associated monitoring and   performance reporting associated with this 3 year trail.  Key to this role will be the gathering of evidence around the Programme for Government commitment of 30 new National Forest Sites which will feed into the future delivery model of the National Forest in Wales.
  • Develop and maintain effective and influential customer relationships internal and external at all levels.
  • Provide technical advice within competence or signpost to specialists in Forestry certification, regulations and permitting.
  • Play a senior  role in the coordination of the National Forest Programme delivery relating to the Programme for Government commitment of 30 new National Forest sites over the 3 years of this pilot,  ensuring that high levels of customer satisfaction are achieved through continuous improvement at a strategic level.
  • Incident Response requirements: Required to take part in incident response activities

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Comprehensive experience of communicating effectively with external stakeholders including the public, explaining complex issues, and gaining support by influencing.
  2. Extensive knowledge and experience of forestry/woodland creation/farming business models/public access/community engagement at all stages of project development from inception to delivery.
  3. Established and Proven project management skills and the ability to inspire confidence and communicate at all levels in our organisation.
  4. Substantial previous experience of line management and developing people, with coaching and mentoring skills. Alongside the ability to work well as part of a team and experience of leading dispersed teams of staff.
  5. Experience of managing contentious issues and community liaison and public engagement activities
  6. Strong organisational, time management and interpersonal skills. 

Welsh language requirements

Essential: Level 1 – Able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases

Desirable: Level 3 – Able to communicate with confidence in Welsh in some work situations

Please note if you do not meet the level 1 requirement i.e., ability to understand basic phrases and ability to pronounce Welsh names correctly, then NRW offers a variety of learning options and staff support to help you meet these minimal requirements during the course of your employment with us.


Applications to this role will be assessed based on the following competencies, both at shortlisting and interview. Please give examples of how you demonstrate these competencies when completing your application form.

Essential Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to undertake a range of advanced, technical and specialist tasks involving in depth knowledge in a defined discipline. The job holder will have experience in managing people, projects and resources as well as manage significant processes.
  • The post holder will have in depth knowledge of their specialist area and will need to update knowledge on a regular basis.
  • The post holder will have significant, relevant experience working in the field.
  • The post holder will demonstrate good strategic thinking, project planning, numeracy and financial acumen. They will have influencing, people management, relationship and stakeholder management skills.

Evaluation of Information

  • Ability to interpret operational delivery plans and understands its context in the wider NRW strategy.
  • Able to analyse and interpret a wide range of often complex information, extracting key points and communicating this to individuals at all levels. 

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • Work is guided by expected results, but the post holder is able to decide how best to achieve these. Guidance may be provided by peers but will need some degree of judgment or creativity.
  • The post holder will need to alter their priorities as a result of conflicting demands. Objectives and targets etc will be reviewed on an intermediate basis. Responsible for making management level, independent decisions, with input from line management and peers. They will have an understanding of national and NRW policy, the range of options and their potential implications for the business.
  • Able to contribute to strategy and plans, in conjunction with senior management, at local and national level. Decisions may lead to changes in established procedure/practice within the post-holder’s area of work. Consequence of making wrong decisions will have an adverse effect on the organisation, in relation to external stakeholders such as partner organisations, lenders, service users etc.
  • Decisions may concern a broad range of matters and the outcomes of some decisions may not always be immediately clear or apparent. Problems encountered may also relate to the work of other parts of the organisation and could be variable and diverse. The impact of decisions is likely to be wider than the immediate function or department and is likely to be medium term.


  • The post holder will have influencing skills as an outward-facing role, which will impact on the delivery of programmes. This could be at a directorate or national level.
  • The post holder will have a moderate level of impact and influence. 
  • The post holder's decisions and actions will influence others.
  • The consequences of the post holder's decision making, and actions will have a medium to long term impact internally or externally.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • Ability to engage with other roles across the organisation, in delivering strategies and polices in the most efficient way. The post holder is able to discuss policy issues, which may be technical, specialist or detailed, tailoring the method, style and level of communication appropriately for the audience.
  • As an outward facing role, the post holder will have a high level of written and verbal communication, leading key projects. They will need to attend or organise representation at key external partnerships, which will have a degree of complexity requiring communication and persuasive skills. This may include facilitating and presenting at internal or external meetings, giving higher level advice, including legislative changes. They will need to input and steer the direction of discussion or activities. The post holder will need to foster and maintain good relationships and networks.
  • Post holders will produce moderately complex documents, reports, accounts, contracts etc. Documentation will contain advice, guidance or opinion which the recipient will act upon or use. Incorrect or poorly drafted documentation could have detrimental consequences.
  • Ability to source data/content from multiple locations or sources, entailing external research and some professional judgment in how such research should be interpreted. The impact of such documentation is likely to be generally longer term in nature.

Responsibility for People

  • Post holders will manage a large team or multiple small teams and individuals undertaking a range of work activity. They will manage delivery of teamwork plans, staff development, staff performance, wellbeing and health and safety of those within their area. The post holder will be accountable for those directly reporting to them, ensuring compliance with all organisational policies and procedures.
  • The post holder may have responsibility for managing the work of those external to the organisation, such as contractors.
  • Responsibility for a potentially large span of direct and indirect reports, across directorates.

Responsibility for Resources

  • Responsibility for contributing to managing budgets and accountable for expenditure, in accordance with the financial scheme of delegation.
  • The post holders will have financial responsibility, although is likely to be part of a much larger budget, managed by a more senior colleague.

Benefits of working for us

  • This role will offer a range of benefits, including:
  • Agile and flexible working (role dependent) 
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme offering employer contributions of 26.6% to 30.3%
  • 28 days annual leave, rising to 33 days
  • Generous leave entitlements for all your life needs
  • Health and wellbeing benefits and support
  • Weekly well-being hour to use as you choose

See full details for all the employee benefits you will receive.

How to apply

Please send a completed application form to:

Before completing your application, please read our Guidance on completing a job application form

Application closing date: 29 August 2022

Interviews will take place via Microsoft Teams.

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Michelle Van-Velzen at  / 07815 186496 or Erika Dawson (National Forest queries) at / 0300 062 5468  or Chris Botting (NRW queries) at / 07813 002174

Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented, including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability. We have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.


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