Site Manager Position Available

Site Manager

Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens/Therfield Regulation Trust


Royston, Hertfordshire


Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Closing date: Sunday 2nd June 2024  


The Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens manage Therfield Heath,164ha of Common land immediately to the west of the growing town of Royston, and 9 small areas of land in the village of Therfield itself.

What’s the role about?

Most of Therfield Heath forms most a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) cited for its chalk grassland flora and invertebrates.   It is most famous for having one of the three largest colonies of Pasque Flowers in the UK and its Chalkhill Blue Butterflies, but many other species are present.  However, the role is not just about conservation as the land is also common land so enabling recreation is also important. The site has a golf course, horse racing gallops and sports pitches and is heavily used by the public for walking, running and dog exercising. Diplomatically balancing conservation and recreation is the crux of the role.   

The role is responsible for delivering all of management across the site. This will be done by commissioning, monitoring and encouraging contractors, stintholders, tenants and volunteers.  You will be responsible for delivering the current Habitat Management Plan (2021-26) and any projects or grants, such as Countryside Stewardship, obtained.  You will be responsible for liaising the Natural England, Historic England and the Planning Inspectorate and making sure necessary permissions for work is obtained in advance. You will also develop management plans for the other Greens, and with the tenants an Asset management plan for structures on site and work towards the next Habitat Management Plan for the SSSI.

The roles will also lead on outreach work with the community which may include talks to community groups, hosting school visits and engaging with the public on site through signage, social media, print articles and dialogue in person.

You’ll often be leading projects and working on your own, so you will need to be enthusiastic, have loads of initiative, be diplomatic and able to balance conflicting opinions and demands.  We expect the post holder to live close to Royston and be on site most days, including some weekend working. 

Essential skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Project management.
  • Land management.
  • Contract management.
  • Local factors (recreation, common land, historic monuments, SSSI).
  • Relevant site-specific specialist knowledge (e.g. grassland and woodland management, common land law).
  • Interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Budget management.
  • Ecological requirements of key species (Chalk Grassland Species Flora: Pasque Flower, bastard toadflax, candytuft, milkwort; invertebrates Chalkhill Blue Butterfly)
  • Diplomacy.
  • Site or land management experience.

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

            Education, communication or outreach experience.

This is a Permanent, full-time role for 37.5 hours per week. Applicants can request a substantial part-time position instead. 

We will arrange initial Teams interviews shortly after the closing date for a longlist, with on site interviews for the final shortlist.  For further information please contact clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk

As part of this application process, you will be asked to submit a CV and write a covering letter including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above by 2nd June 2024 to clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk

This role is not eligible for UK Visa Sponsorship – the successful applicant will need to have a pre-existing Right to Work in the UK in order to be offered an employment contract.


Conservators response to cancellation of the Kite Festival

The Conservators are disappointed that the Kite Festival will be cancelled this year.

For the past four years we have been working with Rotary to find a solution or an alternative site on the Heath for the Kite Festival. The problem with holding the Kite Festival in early August is that area really needs to be cut regularly from mid-March to give a good surface and to prevent ground nesting birds nesting, which would prevent us cutting the grass later. With no agreement to move the event or timings, in November 2023 we encouraged Rotary to submit a section 38 application to the Planning Inspectorate allowing for a full public consultation on the event on common land and cutting schedule on the SSSI.

The Planning Inspectorate’s role is to apply Defra’s policy guidance and decide if the Kite Festival contributes to managing, improving or protecting the common and of maintaining the Heath’s traditional uses.

The Conservators are a small group of elected volunteers, who have an increasingly difficult and time-consuming balancing act between the various demands for activities on the Heath, our desire to protect the environment and biodiversity and the complex legal frameworks we have to operate in. We know we will never be able to satisfy everyone but hope the public can see the difficult position and decisions we face in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.


60 Minute Moderate Difficulty Walk

This walk has excellent views, and includes woodland and chalk grassland areas. This is suitable for those who like some steep hills, and rougher terrain. This 4.6km route will take around an hour, depending on pace, and how much time you spend soaking up the scenery.


Fancy a Walk?

Get started with this 3k walk on relatively flat ground. This route talks roughly 30 minutes and is suitable for those who would love to experience Therfield Heath but are short on time, and aren’t after the hills.


Conservators Stakeholder Meeting and Countryside Stewardship Consultation

Thursday 21 September at 7:30pm at Royston Town Hall (Lower Hall).

This is a chance for stakeholder organisations who use the Heath, and the general public to comment on the Conservators activities and plans. If we are going to undertake a Countryside Stewardship Scheme to get payments from the Rural Payment Agency towards our Habitat Management Plan then this meeting will include a Consultation on the offer as required for schemes on Common Land.

Therfield Heath and Greens are areas of Common Land in the Parish of Therfield, Hertfordshire, including the Heath which adjoins the town of Royston. Therfield Heath and Greens are managed by the Conservators as specified by an Act of Parliament. For more info about the Habitat Management Plan go to the Conservation and Works page where you can download the full pdf.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting, if you have any questions in the meantime please contact clerk@therfieldheath.org.uk.


Habitat Management Plan Agreed

A management plan has been agreed between Natural England and the Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens to restore and maintain the Site of Special Scientific Interest on Therfield Heath. A huge thanks to previous Head of Conservation, Cheryll Wilson, for writing and negotiating this plan. You can read the full Habitat Management Plan on the “Conservation and Works on the Heath and Greens” page.