Environmental Change Institute (ECI) Administrator to support the Oxfordshire Treescapes Project

Landscape of trees at dusk
A ‘Treescape Opportunity Map’ has been created for the county of Oxfordshire showing where tree cover might be increased.

Contractual details: 40% FTE

Term: 12 weeks in first instance, possibility of extension

Salary: £12 – £15 an hour

Location: Oxfordshire (other locations can be considered)

Background

Healthy Ecosystem Restoration Oxfordshire (HERO) is a network initiative supported by the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, and coordinated by the Environmental Change Institute. The initiative explores the role the University can play in successfully implementing ecosystem restoration across Oxfordshire by partnering with local organisations from around Oxfordshire to maximise impact and learning.

HERO gathers together a range of stakeholders and scientists who are interested in nature recovery in all its forms in the county of Oxfordshire. It also engages with prominent supporters of Oxford’s biodiversity research in the business, finance, government and NGO sectors. The HERO network includes a network of local authorities, environmental organisations, and community groups already working on a range of initiatives to help support nature’s recovery and enhance the multiple benefits that nature provides in Oxfordshire. This includes strategic work, such as developing a formal Local Nature Partnership to help manage the natural environment in an integrated way across the county, developing a Nature Recovery Network and in spring 2021 a Local Nature Recovery Strategy, and devising a system to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain funds across the county, as well as local work on the ground with Catchment Partnerships, Farmer Clusters, and community groups.

The Oxfordshire Treescapes Project was convened by the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Tim Stevenson, 18 months ago to help guide tree planting in Oxfordshire whilst also recognising the wide variety of competing land uses in the county.

A ‘Treescape Opportunity Map’ has been created for the county of Oxfordshire showing where tree cover might be increased. The map considers sites suitable for the placement of trees in their many forms, such as woodland, hedgerows, agroforestry, community orchards and street trees, which we call treescapes. The map also plots the natural benefits that will arise from these placements, such as increased biodiversity, carbon capture, flood management and air quality. The intention is that the map is used as a basis both for the formation of public policy and strategy, and to guide individual plantings.

The project is led by Jamie Hartzell, a highly experienced social entrepreneur with a long history in the environment sector and chair of both the Real Farming Trust and CAG Oxfordshire, and Victoria Macnamara, whose background is in environmental engineering, finance and farming. To date, the main project work has been undertaken on a voluntary basis, with funds being raised to pay Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC) to carry out the GIS mapping process.

The Oxfordshire Treescape Opportunity Mapping Project has been working informally with HERO over the last 18 months. However, we are now in the process of setting up a more formal structure where a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation GrowGreenCarbon and HERO will work together to manage, develop and promote the mapping assets, and to provide free Treescape Opportunity Reports to farmers, landowners and community groups on their land holdings through a network of delivery partners. Current partners are Nicholson’s Forestry, Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment and the Blenheim Estate. Further partners are expected.

The project is building towards a September launch which will consist of a publicity campaign around a policy report based on the mapping showing the levels of ecosystem restoration we need to achieve in Oxfordshire by 2050. A specialist PR company and a design company have been contracted in to support the launch, with the aim of maximising awareness of the project and take-up of the reporting service. This campaign will be supported by a story map on the County Council website, the Treescapes Guide and the launch of the opportunity reporting service. We will also provide a summary of the methodology used in the mapping.

Work is also being undertaken to map land ownership in Oxfordshire, with a view to developing more strategic relationships with landowners.

For more information see www.oxtrees.uk.

About the Role

This exciting and innovative project needs additional administrative and research support as it moves from the development to the implementation phase.

The chosen candidate will encounter a broad selection of the many people and organisations working in the environmental sphere in Oxfordshire and will, at this crucial juncture, be contributing to building better land management systems to support biodiversity and to building greater resilience in the county’s land use systems.

The chosen candidate will be employed by the Environmental Change Institute and will work closely with Victoria and Jamie to provide:

  1. Project management. Supporting the finalisation of the project assets leading up to the September launch. These include the story map website, the policy report, the automation of the production of the opportunity reports, the Treescapes Guide, the methodology and various media assets in support of the PR launch.
  2. Contact management. Creating a centralised mailing list that categorises and tracks all stakeholders – both those engaged with the project to date, and new contacts generated through the reporting service and the publicity surrounding it.
  3. Communications management. Managing and responding to all enquiries. We may also want to issue newsletters to stakeholders keeping them up to date with the service.
  4. Partner management. Co-ordinating the provision of Treescape Opportunity Reports to partners, generally liaising with partners, and helping to develop a system for monitoring and evaluating impact of the reporting service. We also hope to build a partner network and organise partner seminars to inform partners and to discuss how to improve the service.
  5. Assisting with land ownership mapping. Assisting with the compilation and management of land ownership data from public and private sources.
  6. Keeping abreast of new developments. This will involve tracking announcements from
    government bodies, local NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, in order to ensure that the project is fully aware of relevant developments in funding, mapping, research, wider policy and other areas.
  7. Ad hoc research in support of the project, such as finalising details in the mapping methodology or investigating on the ground data management systems.
  8. Assistance with general admin and book-keeping.

Person Specification

You will need to have a strong interest in the environment and in land management systems, and to be able to work as part of a small team, taking responsibility for day-to-day tasks as necessary. The style of work is both agile and collaborative, meaning that there will be plenty of scope for the chosen candidate to bring forward new ideas and suggestions and to lead on some initiatives. Applicants will need to already have a right to work in the UK.

Essential skills and experience

  •  Project management – highly organised with the ability to work independently
  • IT skills, ideally including in Customer Relation Management systems
  • Strong communication skills
  • Degree level education

Desirable skills and experience

  • Education or experience in land use planning and ecosystem service
  • Knowledge of GIS mapping techniques
  • Experience of co-ordinating networks of organisations

Responsible to: Prof Yadvinder Malhi, Jamie Hartzell, Victoria Macnamara

To apply: Please email Yadvinder.malhi@ouce.ox.ac.uk with a short description of your suitability for this post, a CV, and put “Oxfordshire Treescapes Project” in the subject line

Deadline: August 3rd 2021

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