Ardgay, Sutherland

Climate Resilience & Habitats Officer - Kyle DSFB

Paul Coulson | November 30th 2021


The Kyle of Sutherland District Salmon Fisheries Board (KoSDSFB) was established under the 1860s Salmon Fishery legislation and has powers and statutory responsibilities under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003. The Board is empowered under the legislation to take such acts as it considers expedient for the protection, enhancement and conservation of Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks. The board works closely with the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust, which was established in 2003, and is a registered Scottish Charity. The Trust acts in the pursuance of its charitable objectives which include the protection of fish and their habitats in the Kyle district. Kyle Fisheries contributes to the management of 112 km of principal rivers – Carron, Oykel, Cassley, Shin and Evelix – as well as 643 km of tributary rivers draining some 163,647 ha of land.

River temperature modelling undertaken by Marine Scotland Science as part of the Scottish River Temperature Network (SRTMN) has shown that rivers in the Kyle of Sutherland catchment are particularly vulnerable to warming under climate change conditions. The best way to combat this, we feel, is to undertake riparian tree planting. This will safeguard our fish populations and provide much wider ecological and biodiversity benefits. A key aspect of this strategy is getting the right trees in the right places, we are aiming for the creation of more native riparian woodland – not commercial forestry.

Additionally, much of the Kyle of Sutherland catchment contains peatland which is not suitable for riparian planting. There are some areas of degraded peatland which would benefit from peatland restoration. This will increase local carbon sequestration.

Job Description:

To help us with these activities Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries is recruiting for a new Climate Resilience & Mitigation Officer. This exciting new role will be taking the lead in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency. The role will involve working with landowners in the catchment to create riparian woodland and peatland restoration schemes. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of scoping out and designing Forestry Schemes, as well as bringing the schemes to life and managing contractors throughout the process. They will be responsible for the following;

  • Engaging land managers in woodland creation that fits in with their farming/forestry business
  • Scoping out and designing woods taking into account topography, fencing requirements, species mixes, soil suitability, deer control etc.
  • Applying to appropriate grant schemes includes Woodland Grant Scheme, carbon monies, AECS, Biodiversity Challenge Fund, Water Environment Fund etc.
  • Ensuring all consents are applied for and discharged including designated site, CAR, planning etc.
  • Drawing up tender documents and ensuring a transparent procurement process
  • Overseeing contractors and ensuring quality control on site.
  • Post implementation monitoring and ensuring all conditions have been met.

We would also wish for the successful candidate to get involved in other areas of the Trust’s work that might include river restoration and wetland creation, education, invasive species removal, smolt trapping and electrofishing.

Water scarcity is also likely to be an increasingly important consideration, particularly in river systems harnessed for hydroelectric production. Liaison with SSE and other water users would potentially form part of the key activities.

This newly created role sits within a small and well stablished team at Kyle Fisheries and you will report to the Kyle Fisheries director.

Essential Skills

  • Strong interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills
  • An understanding of designing riparian planting schemes
  • Experience of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with land managers, agencies, organisations, contractors and suppliers
  • Proven experience of producing plans, specifications and costs for peatland restoration and/or riparian planting schemes
  • A good understanding of appropriate tree species for the riparian zone, and climatic suitability
  • Good project management skills and an ability to plan and work to deadlines
  • A degree, or equivalent in a land management/ environmental management/ agriculture/ forestry/ nature conservation discipline
  • An understanding of current funding mechanisms for riparian planting and peatland restoration, with a view to what may future schemes may look like
  • Experience with grant funded application process and management.
  • A full UK driving license, preferably with experience of 4×4 off road driving

Desirable Skills

  • Proven ability to work in partnership and with communities and volunteers
  • Experience of creating and managing GIS datasets, either QGIS or ArcGIS
  • Novel ideas for funding planting schemes which do not meet the criteria for current grants
  • Knowledge of how riparian woodland and peatland restoration impacts on the wider ecology, not just aquatic species
  • An understanding of riparian tree planting initiatives such as Riverwoods and Northwoods

To apply please submit a CV and covering letter detailing why you are suitable for this post to[email protected] – If you have examples of forestry projects you have designed and managed please include these. The closing date for applications will be Friday the 3rd of December, with interviews to be held the week beginning the 14th of December. Interviews will be held via Microsoft teams, but an in-person interview can be given for applicants who request it.