Senior Forest Planning Officer

Closing date: 2 April 2023 | Salary: £37,308 - £40,806 (Grade 6)Location: Ty Cambria, Cardiff

Contract type: Permanent

Work pattern: 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday

Post number: 202535

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 NRW location stated in this advert, 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

If you are an organised, conscientious, hardworking individual, who works well as part of a team and is passionate about making a difference for the environment, then we’ve got the job for you! Within the South Central People & Places Team we are looking for a senior officer in forest resource planning, to have a direct role in outlining the future vision for the NRW managed Welsh Government Woodland Estate in South Central and South East Wales.

The Forest Resource Plans will lead the way in how NRW will manage our forest resource for the sustainable management of natural resources and the wellbeing of future generations, whilst ensuring we continue to meet the demand for sustainably produced Welsh timber and maintain certification against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS).

You will ensure that our forests are healthy, resilient and managed sustainably for the future.

You will lead the delivery of various aspects of technical forestry work, liaising closely with colleagues and stakeholders in the private, public and third sectors. You will lead on the evidence, engagement and consultation of each forest resource plan. The ability to communicate well both in writing and verbally is therefore essential.

Drawing on evidence from wide ranging sources, you will set objectives and priorities which form the basis of a sustainable plan, setting out the long term vision for each woodland and producing a suite of strategic maps which identify the management systems, felling and restocking programs and wider land management activity required to deliver the objectives over the next 30 years. You will lead on communicating these plans to colleagues and wider stakeholders, and in responding to public consultations.

The forest resource plans will outline the commercial timber production, nature conservation and biodiversity, recreation and access, natural flood management, designated sites, carbon sequestration, peatland restoration and community benefits. You will prioritise the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, nature and climate emergencies and Wellbeing Objectives in everything that you do. 

We are looking for an enthusiastic and professional individual with experience in the forestry sector, who can work at a fast pace, often to tight deadlines and who is able to effectively prioritise their workload to deliver for the environment of Wales. 


Your responsibilities include:

  • Lead for the place on one or more aspects of the team’s remit: Area Statement, wellbeing, PSB coordination, outward funding, Forestry Use and Planning; conservation and designated sites planning, recreation & access, fisheries, water, providing technical expertise and advice to the team and Head of Place.
  • Lead the development and implementation of forest resource plans ensuring that they are silviculturally sound and maintain certification.
  • Mentor others in the team to broaden their understanding of your specialism so the team develops a multidisciplinary understanding of environmental issues.
  • Work with the team to develop innovative solutions to environmental issues, integrating multiple aspects of planning within the place. Identify gaps in the evidence base and work with EPP to prioritise and commission research.
  • Facilitate join-up of PSB objectives with Area Statements and the place plan, working across boundaries as appropriate.
  • Work co-productively with teams in the place and external stakeholders providing technical expertise to influence and develop priorities, projects and plans for delivery by others including through outward funding.
  • Develop and monitor the programme of outward funded projects across all funding opportunities.
  • Work with teams in the place to develop their skills in partnership working
  • Work with stakeholders and partners to influence and develop priorities, objectives, plans and projects within the place that will deliver the Area Statement and PSB objectives such as water company plans, Active Travel Plans, Designated landscape management plans, Forest Plans
  • Network with other People & Places teams across Wales providing an agreed service level of technical knowledge and input to other teams.

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

Knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Excellent skills in engagement, influencing, developing innovative approaches to complex problems 
  2. Excellent at building effective working relationship with colleagues and partners.
  3. Significant knowledge of the requirements of environmental legislation relating to the place remit
  4. You will have specialist knowledge of one or more technical areas of the team’s remit:
    1. Area Statement development
    2. Public Service Boards & Wellbeing planning
    3. Outward funding & Partnership working
    4. Recreation & Access
    5. Forest Use or Planning
    6. Fisheries strategic planning
    7. Conservation of Protected sites & landscapes,
    8. National Nature Reserves planning
    9. Air quality impact assessment
    10. Water resource management
    11. WFD & catchment planning
    12. Flood risk management 
  1. Ability to assess multiple, complex, sources of information and engage others in making good decisions.   
  2. Excellent communication and inter-personal skills with a customer focus   
  3. Experience of negotiating with senior managers
  4. Experience of influencing at senior level of organisations.
  5. Excellent at building effective working relationship with colleagues and partners.
  6. Excellent organisational skills
  7. Professional membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or the ability to achieve this in 3 years.
  8. Significant knowledge of sustainable forest management, UKWAS and forest certification schemes

Welsh language requirements

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

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.


Please note - 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

  • Able to undertake practical or technical tasks or work, requiring specialist knowledge/ expertise.
  • Expert in a range of subjects relating to their specialism and able to act as the local expert or specialist lead for a small area, in an advisory capacity.
  • Demonstrates substantial experience and specialist knowledge in their field, with the ability to manage projects, including the project budget and team.
  • Possess analytical, influencing, persuading, supervisory and mentoring skills, together with project management skills. 

Evaluation of Information

  • Able to interpret the function’s operational delivery plans and understand their context in the wider NRW strategy. 
  • Able to interpret developments in their area of expertise, contributing to business planning and the design and delivery of team-work programmes.
  • Demonstrates the ability to analyse and interpret a wide range of complex information, extracting key points and able to communicate them to individuals at all levels and contribute to the development of policy.

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • Ability to lead and project manage specific areas of work, taking responsibility for managing project budgets and teams, and for the success and delivery of the project.
  • Able to decide how best to achieve results, with guidance from peers, requiring the need for some degree of judgment and creativity which may lead to changes in established procedures/ practice in the work area.
  • Post holders will be delivering often significant programmes of work, which may require the need to alter priorities due to conflicting demands.
  • Responsible for making independent decisions at an operational level, with input from line management and peers, together with an understanding of NRW policy and the range of options available and their potential implications for the business.
  • Understands the consequences of taking wrong decisions, which would have an adverse effect in relation to external stakeholders, such as partner organisations, lenders, service users etc.  
  • Decisions taken may concern a broad range of matters, the outcome of which may not always be immediately clear or apparent; and are likely to be wider than the immediate function or department.
  • Problems encountered may also relate to the work of other parts of the organisation and could be variable and diverse.


  • Working as a local expert / sector lead, the post holder’s input and influence will be at an operational level and have an impact both internally and externally.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • Ability to interact and link with other roles across the business, fostering and maintaining good relationships and networks, engaging the organisation in delivering polices and work plans in the most efficient way. 
  • Communication with others will be at an operational level both internally and externally and will typically be specialist in nature. 
  • Able to act as an advisory or functional specialist, providing advice, which may be technical, specialist or detailed; tailoring the method, style and level of communication appropriately for the audience. 
  • Demonstrates effective communication and persuasive skills with the ability to lead projects, which may include facilitating and presenting at internal or external meetings, giving advice and input as required. 
  • Able to produce documents, reports, programs, contracts, with some complexity; containing advice, guidance or opinion; which would have detrimental consequences if incorrect or poorly drafted.
  • Ability to research and gather information and data from multiple locations or sources and apply professional judgment in how the information should be interpreted.

Benefits of working for us

This role will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Agile and flexible working
  • 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 at your choice

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

How to apply

Please send a completed Application form to using the post number as the email reference

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

Application closing date 2 April 2023

Interviews will take place through Microsoft Teams.

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Andy Robinson at

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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