Project Manager – Water Net Gain

This is a permanent contract after a successful 6 month probation period.

The starting salary for this role is £30,000.00 - £33,000.00 per annum (dependent on experience).

This role is full time (37.5) hour per week.

About the Westcountry Rivers Trust:

Formed in 1994, the Trust was established to restore Westcountry rivers. Measures to protect rivers can help to save money for farmers, lower costs for water companies, boost tourism, reduce the need to dredge estuaries and even benefit human health. Everything the Trust does is informed by the best available science. Their work is driven by an ‘ecosystems approach,’ considering the function of the entire catchment, not just the rivers that flow within them.

Today the charity works with a wide range of stakeholders from landowners to local communities, businesses, farmers and water companies to restore and protect the rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal areas for the benefit of people, wildlife and the local economy. There has never been a more important time to work on the rivers of the West Country as the impacts of climate emergency and the ecological crisis is forcing society to invest in building catchment resilience.

Spurred by a shared love of rivers, the Westcountry Rivers Trust is very much a grassroots organisation, brought into existence from the bottom up. In the early 90s, a group of individuals, passionate – but concerned – about the waterways around them, began to stitch together their ambitions for restoring Westcountry rivers, laying the foundations for the Trust we know today.

Everything the Trust does is informed by the best available science. Their work is driven by an ‘ecosystems approach,’ considering the function of the entire catchment, not just the rivers that flow within them

It was this new perspective – not to mention the hands-on and tireless approach to river restoration – that grabbed the attention of so many supporters and funders and which lies behind the flourishing rivers trust movement. Since then, the Trust now has circa 75 employees with an annual turnover of c£3m running multi-annual projects spread across a wide range of funders. The Trust has three main delivery teams and a support services team. Our employees work on delivery sites, from home and from the office. Following the pandemic we have moved to a hybrid way of working and it is important that our IT enables and supports this change.

The Role:

The Water Net Gain project will develop the mechanisms needed to create an integrated network of smart ponds and lakes to build drought resilience and flood management. Water Net Gain is a catchment-scale projects whereby farmers are paid to store water on their land. Restoring natural sponges, like healthy soils, woodlands and wetlands, can passively contribute water to summer base flows, and the creation of additional smart ponds and lakes, can be used for farm demand management or active releasing flows during droughts. The impact of this distributive ecologically connected water bank, released to the river during droughts, dilutes residual pollution not managed through current agricultural water quality incentivisation schemes. Alongside water purification, water retention solutions are designed to provide additional flood protection and aquatic biodiversity benefits.

Key responsibilities include:

• Focusing on Project Management of Water Net Gain project, (£800,000 and four years in duration) as well as assisting with Project Management on other projects

• Project Management of other projects smaller than Water Net Gain and providing support on the delivery of a wider portfolio of projects

• Form lasting, productive professional relationships with WRT colleagues.

• Organise and present at conferences and events.

• Work closely with the team and other teams in the Trust on cross Trust projects.

• Carry out effective project monitoring and evaluation.

• Work collaboratively with project partners.

• Attend meetings and conferences to represent the Trust.

• Contribute to team and Trust wide strategies.

• Manage files and data in line with Trust policies.

• Effectively manage your workload on a day to day basis.

• Work with team managers to co-ordinate resources & projects across your specialist area.

• Manage a complex budget.

• Complete all other administrative tasks required by the Trust including meeting H&S requirements, time sheeting and expenses etc.

• Other work as reasonably required by the Trust.

Personal Specification:

Essential Criteria:

• Demonstrable experience of Project Management, project planning and design.

• A degree, qualification or comparable education or experience in Environmental Science/Ecology/Geography or related discipline.

• Experience in managing projects in a conservation setting.

• Ability to manage workload and time efficiently.

• Excellent presentation and communication skills for a wide range of audiences, including internal and external partners, contractors, as well as community interest groups.

• Excellent interpersonal skills across all forms of communication.

• Excellent organisational and administration skills, with good attention to detail to maintain a filing system, keep appropriate records of work undertaken and outcomes, and file expenses in line with funders requirements.

• Ability to produce clear, concise reports for external partners.

• Good IT skills including Microsoft Office 365.

• Good knowledge of requirements for data protection and confidentiality.

• Ability to work flexibly, including occasional evenings and weekends as required.

• Your own means of transport to attend various sites and meetings as required across the Westcountry.

• Some travel to attend meetings in various locations around the UK possibly internationally, depending on projects being worked on.

Desirable Criteria:

• Direct delivery of environmental projects

• Knowledge and experience of environmental issues, particularly within the context of catchment management.

• Knowledge of payment for eco system services schemes, water resources challenges and nature-based solutions.

• Demonstrable experience of managing participation from outside your organisation and line management structure.

• Experience commissioning, working with and managing contractors.

• Demonstrable knowledge of environmental legislation and understanding of consents required relating to nature-based solutions delivery.

• Competent & experienced in at least one of the following: data analysis and visualisation using excel, GIS, SCIMAP or other data analysis software such as R.

Westcountry Rivers Trust’s office is in Stoke Climsland in East Cornwall and while we have adopted hybrid working following covid we expect new staff to come into the office at least once a week in order to facilitate teamwork.

Apply by midnight on Monday 26 February 2024 by CV and Covering Letter to:

Interviews will be held in person at our offices in Stoke Climsland on Thursday 7 March 2024

We support hybrid working, therefore there will be the opportunity to work from home in this role and to work flexible hours. Travel across the Westcountry for fieldwork, events and meetings will be required.

For queries about this role or the application process please contact [email protected]


  • Organisation: Westcountry Rivers Trust
  • Salary: s £30,000.00 - £33,000.00 per annum
  • Location: Stoke Climsland, Cornwall
  • Closing date: 26 February 2024
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