Thames Community Eel Project Officer (0.8 FTE)

Location Office base in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Project activities in Kennet and Pang catchments.
Salary £Competitive
Closes January 11, 2021

Project Officer – Community Eel Project

Action for the River Kennet is a rivers trust working to protect and improve the rivers in the Kennet and Pang catchments. Funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund we are recruiting a part time (0.8 FTE) project officer to work in partnership with three other rivers trusts on a Thames catchment-wide community eel project.

ARK is one of more than 60 Rivers Trusts across England working to achieve wild, healthy, natural rivers valued by all. The aim of this project is to reconnect people with their local river and water environment with a focus on the European Eel. Your role will be to effectively recruit, motivate and inspire a volunteer ‘eel force’ team to carry out structured walk over surveys and record data on eel barriers. Your training will be provided by the Zoological Society of London, and you will go on to inspire others to help collect data.

The data will be presented as a Fish Migration Roadmap, which you will help develop in partnership with Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP), to improve data science, stakeholder and community engagement.

The project partnership and funding
Thames Catchment Community Eels project is a partnership, led by Thames Rivers Trust in partnership with Action for the River Kennet, South East Rivers Trust and Thames21. We are building a collaborative partnership to aid the long-term survival of the European eel. Through training and citizen science monitoring and development of a new surveying methodology we will be collecting and analysing robust data, to be used for strategic decisions for future eel projects. Together with education and engagement with communities we are raising the profile of this Critically Endangered fish.
Thames Catchment Community Eels Project is funded through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund 2020. The funders of the fund are Defra.

Job summary
This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing and dynamic team making a real difference for the environment; with a focus on the critically endangered European eel. This is a public facing role that will suit a natural leader and communicator. You will be part of a collaborative process with project partners to develop new eel educational resources and materials. Your role will be to organise and plan and present a programme of events to educate and inspire groups, schools and wider members of the community about the European eel, its life cycle, history and its plight, including the impact of barriers to migration. Events will range from riverbank walks to virtual eel workshops. You will need to be adaptable and innovative, particularly during COVID –19.

This project will require a strong element communication and partnership working with the Project partners to avoid duplication of effort. You will communicate with a wide range of stakeholders and communities, through a range of media, e.g. meetings, events, website, workshops, and social media.

Key duties

Undertake day to day management and delivery of the community and educational aspects of the project including budget management, record keeping and reporting to funders and partners as required.
Build up a trained volunteer team to carry out organised eel barrier walkover surveys.
Build and expand relationships with the communities of the Kennet and Pang catchments to engage them with their river and increase their understanding of the importance of healthy rivers using the European Eel as an example to explain the concepts.
Get best use from the Fish Migration Roadmap development and be part of that through workshops and training.
Communicate with project partners, attend development and progress meetings.
Work with other ARK staff and project partners to facilitate smooth delivery of the project.
Work with Trust staff to contribute to Trust and external comms, in line with GRCF and TRT guidelines.

Key skills
The ideal candidate will:
• Be passionate about rivers and the environment.
• Hold a relevant degree or have significant experience in a relevant area. e.g. Freshwater management, aquatic science, geography, environmental science.
• Have an understanding of one or more or relevant topics, such as community engagement or citizen science
• Have experience working in partnership with a range of organisations and people to achieve common goals.
• Be able to inspire and motivate a volunteer team
• Be personable, diplomatic, questioning and able to explain technical concepts in simple terms.
• Have experience organising and delivering successful events.
• A proven ability to manage projects.
• Have experience of collating data, summarising and communicating it well for external audiences.
• Understand river ecosystems, how they function and the issues they face.
• Possess excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Be able to work independently and as part of a team.
• Have strong IT skills (email, excel, office).
• A working knowledge of social media
• A full driving license and access to a vehicle insured for business use
• A relevant First Aid qualification.
• A working knowledge of GIS

What We Offer
This is a fixed term 14 month 0.8 FTE contract with flexible hours. We offer a competitive annual salary and a contributory DC Pension scheme. An office space will be provided although the successful candidate may work from home when not required in the field.  Attendance at regular steering group meetings, team meetings and training either via zoom or in person will be required.


Please apply with your CV and a covering letter to Action for the River Kennet, Avebury, Elcot Park, Elcot Lane, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2BG, or email to

Closing date: 11th January 2021

Interviews during week commencing 18th January 2021


Thames Community Eel Project Officer (0.8 FTE)

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