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.


Vacancy – Site Manager


Therfield Heath and Greens is an area of Common Land near Royston, Hertfordshire, and most of it is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is owned by the Therfield Regulation Trust, which is a registered charity. It is managed by the Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens.

We seek to appoint a Site Manager, who will take responsibility to lead the day-to-day operations, administration and accounting, and advise on matters of governance and procedure. You will need to have experience of managing people (staff and volunteers), ensuring that we achieve our objectives for income generation, biodiversity, community engagement, inclusion & so much more besides.

Hours: approx. 24 hours per week, flexible

Location: Working from home with visits to Therfield Heath and Greens and meeting rooms and venues used for Conservator and other meetings

Salary: £22,000 per year (gross)

Expenses: Internet and phone allowance: £26 per month plus other office items

Equipment: Computer, monitor, phone, webcam and headset will be provided

Description of Responsibilities

  • Lead the vision & direction for the site working with Conservators, staff and volunteers
  • Act as first point of contact from the public and other parties face to face, via email, telephone and mail within working hours including handling requests for information
  • Recruit, manage, develop staff and volunteers & drive performance of the whole team.
  • Work with the Conservation Manager to effectively deliver agreed objectives, and to plan, organise & co-ordinate diverse activities to maximise visitor experience & income potential.
  • Attend monthly internal meetings and quarterly external meetings of the Conservators, prepare agendas, take minutes, perform follow up activities and monitor actions working with the Chair (acting as Company Secretary)
  • Working with Conservators and our legal advisors lead on all legal matters and permissions including Natural England consents, Commons consents etc. [Advice and assistance will be provided to assist you understand the consent process.]
  • Lead the key partner relationships at a strategic level & support your team to create and sustain constructive local partnerships.
  • Work to proactively engage with the local community.
  • Develop and manage the site’s budget plan to deliver objectives working with Conservators.
  • Maintain accurate financial records including revenue and expenses and the preparation of monthly/yearly accounts and forecasts.
  • Be responsible for ensuring the safe management of all site operations.
  • Working with the Conservation Manager to offer support as needed to assist manage contractors and manage event and permit applications. 
  • Work actively with Conservators & partners to secure external grant income for a range of projects, programmes on the Heath & Greens the wider landscape.
  • Project manage large/medium projects to ensure all our strategic targets are achieved & objectives met.
  • Manage all information maintaining paper and electronic files and records so they remain up to date and easily accessible. Implement and comply with Document retention Policy and ensure online information is regularly and effectively backed up.
  • Working with the Conservation Manager manage and update the website (WordPress) and social media.
  • Working with the Chair and Conservators offer support as needed to assist external accountants and Conservators in preparation of annual accounts
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills
  • Proven ability to work independently, establish priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to think critically, suggest changes and continuous improvement to processes to enhance organisational effectiveness
  • Ability to interact confidently and effectively with colleagues, and external contacts (e.g. accountant, contracted Legal teams) as well as the public
  • Excellent communication skills, comfortable working with a wide variety of audiences and stakeholders
  • Good working knowledge of common software programs including Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel and Word and ideally maintenance of webpages using WordPress
  • Basic finance and bookkeeping knowledge
  • Familiarity or experience working in a not-for-profit environment


  • Understanding of Common Land Law & Heath and Greens History
  • Interest in conservation and ecology

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter, together with details of 2 professional referees by email to clerk(at)therfieldheath.org.uk

Closing Date: Sunday 30th July at 5pm.

Interviews will be held week commencing 7th August at a mutually convenient location.


Open Meeting 24th February 2022 7:30pm

We are pleased to announce that by 5pm Friday 11 February there were two nominations made for the two available Conservator roles.   Therefore a formal vote – as previously advertised – is not needed as we have only one person standing for each role. 

The Conservators therefore  invite everyone to come to Royston Town Hall on Thursday 24th February 2022   for an open meeting which will commence at 7:30pm.

The open meeting  at 7:30pm will cover

  • the conservation work that has taken place during 2021 ;
  • our plans for 2022
  • a sharing of the 2021 accounts.

Before the open meeting starts at 7:30pm  Mr Clive Hall will be formally re-elected for a 3 year term as Conservator for the SDDR and Mr Robert Law will be formally re-elected for a 3 year term as Conservator for the stint holders.

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 24th February 2022 7:30pm for this open meeting.