We are currently looking to recruit a Senior Ranger.

Details of the role can be found below while an application form can be downloaded from this link.

Vacancy: Senior Ranger

Starting salary:            £ 28,000 to £33,000 p.a. depending on experience.

Salary progression:     Five annual increments subject to satisfactory Performance Development Reviews (PDR) plus Annual reviews.

Contract:                      Permanent; subject to 6 months’ probation.

Hours:                           37 hours per week plus telephone cover (see Main Duties No. 7)

Holidays:                    20 days plus public holidays rising by annual increases to 25 days plus public holidays subject to satisfactory PDR.

Pension:                      Statutory pension scheme with employee contributions match up to maximum of 7%.

Location:                    Sudbury, Suffolk.


The Trustees of Sudbury Common Lands Charity (SCLC) have managed the Common Lands in accordance with the Charity’s scheme since its formation in 1897. They employ a Senior Ranger and a Ranger to carry this out.  The Common Lands comprise 69 ha. of summer-grazed grasslands in the flood plain of the river Stour around the market town of Sudbury, Suffolk, and have been grazed with livestock every summer since the 12th century. They are of considerable conservation value, having been awarded County Wildlife Site status, as well as being a much-loved recreational space for the people of Sudbury who enjoy pedestrian access to the lands.

The Charity manages Charity-owned land as well as land on behalf of others. Currently this includes Friars Meadow and Kone Vale amenity areas, the 3 km long Valley Trail, nearby Cornard Country Park and Shawlands LNR. This amounts to approximately 50 ha. and includes grassland, trees, infrastructure, a designated Local Nature Reserve, County Wildlife Site, Open Access Land, and Public Rights of Way.

The role of the Senior Ranger is practical and physical, undertaking a range of conservation work in all weathers and in the public eye. The Senior Ranger is responsible for planning the sympathetic management of these historic lands and will report to the Trustees; work with our volunteers; the grazier; neighbouring landowners; local councils; the Environment Agency; the general public and other relevant parties. The Senior Ranger has an educational role with local schools and the public at large, and also deals with day-to-day enquiries.


The ideal person will have:

  • An interest in nature conservation and a qualification in countryside management or a similar discipline.
  • Experience of managing stock and grazing lands and managing a site sympathetically for the benefit of its special habitat and species.
  • The physical ability to do the job and demonstrate previous experience in working effectively outdoors, day-in-day out in all weathers in a physically demanding role.
  • Experience with the machinery and tools detailed in the job description, along with appropriate certificates to prove competence.
  • Experience of management and supervision of staff, working with volunteers and a willingness to engage positively with co-workers and the general public alike. The person will require a clear DBS check.


Job title: Senior Ranger

Overall purpose of the job:

To play a leading part in the management of the Common Lands and in fulfilling the purposes of the Charity into the future.

Reporting to: 

The Trustees via the Chair of the SCLC.

The Senior Ranger also updates the chair of Trustees weekly and as necessary.

Other working relationships:

Internally - Trustees of the SCLC; Freemen of Sudbury; Clerk; Ranger; Riverside Projects Team volunteers.

Externally - Graziers and stockmen; officers from the Environment Agency; Natural England; Local Authority and local Councils; contractors; tenants; local residents; general public; anglers; Rowing Club and River Stour Trust; teachers and school groups; emergency services.

Main duties:   

  • Plan the daily, weekly and seasonal work programmes to effectively manage our whole estate including contract lands, grasslands, woodlands, plantations, hedges, pollards, ditches, ponds, gates, fences, riverbanks, footpaths, cattle pounds, livestock and wildlife.
  • Review every five years the Estate Management Plans for the whole SCLC Estate.
  • Attend and report on estate matters to the Trustees, on their twice-yearly Estate Management Committee meetings; attend quarterly trustee meetings, and seek advice as necessary.
  • Check, monitor and record wildlife, including flora and fauna, to establish that the appropriate management is in place.
  • Be aware of, and keep up-to-date with developments in Countryside Management, conservation and in grant funding and subsidies as part of continuous professional development (CPD).
  • Manage and supervise the Ranger in their role and provide support as necessary.
  • Provide ‘on call’ out-of-hours and weekend telephone cover, shared with the Ranger, and also holiday and other cover, to ensure emergencies are attended to, contract obligations are honoured, and the public have a point of contact.
  • Liaise with grazier/stockman and manage grazing in accordance with management plans and ELS / HLS prescriptions to ensure continuity of grazing and good animal welfare.
  • Draw up the 6 monthly Riverside Projects Team programme, plus support volunteer welfare.
  • Lead Trustee Estate Inspections to provide updates of works undertaken and wildlife recorded and attend full meetings to report to Trustees.
  • Manage the Estate budget in conjunction with the Clerk.
  • Liaise with Environment Agency, Natural England, Local Authorities, contractors and other interested parties.
  • Equipment:
  • Safely use and carry out routine maintenance as per schedules or at suitable intervals of all SCLC equipment and record on the schedules as required.
  • Liaise with the Clerk on external servicing and repair of vehicles and equipment.
  • Check lifebelts on site and send reports via the Clerk to Babergh DC.
  • Order necessary materials for the smooth running of the estate.

Health and Safety:

  • Ensure compliance with the Charity’s Health and Safety Policy and ensure this is updated annually.     
  • Attend useful courses; maintain up-to-date First Aid at Work Certificate and ensure the Ranger does likewise.
  • Monitor standard trees for their safe condition and seek advice from, or employ, tree surgeons where not H&S acceptable for SCLC to carry out the work.

Education and Public Understanding:     

  • Arrange schools’ education programme and ensure completion of Farm Visit claim forms by teachers.
  • Supervise Ranger in educational role.
  • Lead guided group walks, bat walks and pond dipping.
  • Represent the Charity at outside functions, as appropriate.
  • Liaise with statutory bodies.
  • Maintain good relations with the public and site users and respond to concerns.
  • Provide power-point presentations and guided walks to interested groups.
  • Provide photographs to press-officer for uploading to Instagram and website.


  • Hold a genuine interest in nature (habitats and species) and conservation.
  • Be able to operate and maintain all SCLC equipment (road vehicle with small trailer; tractor and attachments, chainsaw / pole saw / strimmer, JCB, etc.) and arrange external servicing as required.
  • Able to manage and supervise Ranger and volunteers.
  • Willng and able to maintain good relations with people in a friendly and tactful manner (including those who are difficult to deal with, or who may actually be causing problems).
  • Able and willing to move/corral livestock.
  • Able to carry out risk assessments and comply with H&S.
  • Prepared to fill any skills gaps by further training.
  • Be able to swim, for own safety, as much of the work is near water.
  • Able to deliver work effectively in what is a physically demanding and active outdoors role.
  • Able to work alone or unsupervised, responsibly and safely.
  • A resourceful nature, able to undertake a wide variety of practical and mechanical tasks to fulfill a range of seasonal tasks.
  • Able to maintain confidential information.
  • Able to get to work at short notice (on site within one hour) when on call.
  • Able to prepare and manage a budget.
  • Clear DBS check.Be computer-literate.


  • Degree in Countryside Management or similar discipline.
  • Licences and/or certificates to operate all equipment in competencies including cattle handling.
  • Current clean driving licence and/or certificates for all SCLC vehicles including trailed, mounted implements and PTOs.
  • Health and Safety including First Aid at Work.
  • Budgeting.
  • Supervisory Management.
  • Computer operation.


  • Able to get to work at short notice and within 1 hour. May be expected to use own transport on SCLC business and be insured accordingly.
  • The Clerk, who was Senior Ranger until his retirement from that role, will act as mentor during the probationary period of 6 months.

Sudbury 29/08/23

The Christopher Centre
10 Gainsborough Street
CO10 2EU
Charity Registration Number: 212222
Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved
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