Chief Executive Officer – Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

Location Pateley Bridge, with some homeworking where possible
Salary £35,000 - £45,000 pro rata depending on experience
Closes February 26, 2021

The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust is looking for an experienced, organised and motivated individual to lead and develop the Trust at a critical time in its development.

Hours: 22.5 Per Week over 3 Days

The Chief Executive position is the key leadership role in the charity, responsible for leading the delivery of the Trust’s long term strategy and vision and safeguarding the long-term sustainability of the trust.

To be successful in this role, you will be an inspirational, competent and collaborative individual with a track record of successful leadership, preferably with experience in the conservation or environmental sectors.

You will possess the excellent communication and interpersonal skills needed to be an effective and persuasive public face of the Trust; engaging stakeholders, influencing partners and funders, and promoting the work of the charity to its supporters and the wider community.

You will have a proven track record of fundraising: attracting unrestricted and restricted funds, and have a thorough understanding of charity governance in order to work with trustees on strengthening the charity internally.

You will enjoy solving challenges in order to safeguard the future of the rivers of the Yorkshire Dales!

Key responsibilities


  • Assume executive management of all aspects of the Trust
  • Lead, develop and manage the YDRT staff, ensuring high level performance, an outcomes-focused approach and a common understanding of YDRT strategic plan.
  • Oversee the financial management of the Trust, working closely with the Finance Manager and Treasurer. Maximise the recovery of costs through projects.
  • Develop proactive strategies that drive and support delivery of YDRTs objectives.
  • Mentor, support and hold to account members of the team; ensure that the team’s ways of working and behaviours are in line with YDRT values, policies and legal compliance requirements.
  • Ensure management policies and procedures are developed as necessary and are up-to-date.
  • Collaborate with other partners and particularly other rivers trusts and The Rivers Trust to deliver strategic environmental improvements for rivers.
  • Act as project executive on a diverse range of river projects including natural flood management, habitat improvement, and community engagement.

Developing and sustaining finance

  • Set and manage the YDRT budget
  • Develop/oversee funding applications and opportunities for YDRT alongside the Operations Director and DVRN lead
  • Strengthen and build relationships with key partners, supporters, volunteers, donors, the media, MPs and funding providers.

Strategic Direction and Governance

  • Influence, guide and support the chairman and board of YDRT in the overall leadership of the organisation, shaping and determining its direction and strategy. In the first instance the CEO will be responsible for refining and finalising the organisations strategic plan.
  • Influence, guide and support the board to add value and to ensure effective governance, including in the fulfilment of YDRT’s legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities. In the first instance working closely with the board on implementing the outcome of the 2019/20 Governance review and associated resilience work.
  • Foster effective on-going communication between the board and the team, and develop and encourage board participation/understanding of the work of YDRT
  • With trustees and senior staff, identify and manage risks and changes in the external environment

Developing and sustaining profile

  • Work influentially with peers across the sector to share knowledge, skills, resources and networks
  • Represent the organisation at external events and publicity opportunities
  • Promote the YDRT brand locally, regionally and nationally


CEO Job-Holder Competency Profile (Person Specification)

  • Leadership: A prime role of the CEO is to articulate the vision and strategy to motivate staff and volunteers; they must have the drive and energy to achieve this
  • Advocacy: The CEO is the public and private face of the Trust and they must be able to effectively promote its aims
  • Interpersonal: The CEO needs to build relationships with a variety of people, from senior corporate executives and landowners to staff, volunteers and supporters
  • Financial: The CEO must be able to set and manage the organisational budget and raise funds
  • Listening and learning: The CEO will need to quickly get up to speed with stakeholder relationships and projects. They will need to be self-motivated, adaptable and flexible to meet the organisation’s aims and objectives
  • Computing: It is essential to be able to use Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Skills, Knowledge and Experience required

The role of CEO is the most senior salaried position within YDRT. It is likely that the job holder would be educated at least to first degree level with appropriate professional status and a minimum of five years’ experience relevant to the role. It is likely that prior to application they will have undertaken a senior manager or CEO role in the environmental sector.

Organisational and Leadership Experience

  • Strong exposure to the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience of working in a multi-disciplinary organisation.
  • Experience of working at board level with a good understanding of governance.
  • Experience of working effectively as part of a senior leadership team
  • Extensive experience in formulating, implementing and controlling strategic direction.
  • Ability to demonstrate strategic thinking in own area as well as contributing to wider organisation (The Rivers Trust) and externally as required.
  • Well-honed influencing skills.

Technical Experience

  • A holistic knowledge of the environment and understanding of current issues in the catchment environment including fisheries, land management and river restoration.

Financial Management and Fundraising

  • Substantial experience of financial management of significant resource, both income and expenditure.
  • Proven track record of unrestricted and restricted fundraising; writing, submitting and winning bids for funding.

People Management & Influencing

  • Extensive people management experience.
  • Proven Leadership skills; developing, coaching and managing multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to empathise with and influence a wide range of people internally and externally – including government agencies, potential external funders, local businesses, farmers, land managers and owners, river users including anglers, other environmental organisations, water companies, local residents and MPs.
  • Acumen and sensitivity regarding “small p” politics.
  • Experience of working with trustees/ volunteers.

Communication & Profile Raising

  • Consistent demonstration of the ability to convey complicated issues in a straight-forward manner to diverse audiences.
  • Proven track record of delivery in profile-raising activities in areas such as fundraising, policy and conservation management.

Personal qualities

  • Ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload
  • Personal resilience/ self-management


A post graduate degree

Experience of working in a charity environment and familiarity with the statutory obligations and responsibilities of charities.

To apply:

If you wish to apply, please send a CV (no more than two sides of A4) and covering letter (no more than two sides of A4), outlining how you meet the requirements of the person specification and job description and email to

Applications must be received no later than Friday 26th February

Interviews will be held on week commencing 15th March

Chief Executive Officer – Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

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