River Cam CAN Officer (Climate Action Through Nature)

Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Salary up to £33,500

Based at Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge CB22 3AE.

Closing date: 11am on 5 October 2023

Click here to download an application pack or read on.

The Opportunity

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to help deliver an ambitious environmental initiative working with a wide range of community and nature conservation organisations.

The Cambridge Nature Network identifies opportunities to double nature and increase access to natural greenspace in Cambridge and the surrounding countryside. The aim is to halt the decline in biodiversity and enable nature to recover. A partnership of organisations supports this vision, including Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Wildlife Trust BCN, National Trust, RSPB, Cambridge Sport’s Lakes Trust, Magog Trust, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

The Cambridge Nature Network has secured a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund for a River Cam Climate Action Through Nature Project and you will use your project management experience to help us to deliver some of the projects, work with partners to ensure the overall project runs smoothly and develop new collaborative projects.

You will be employed by Cambridge Past, Present & Future, who are the lead partner for the project, but you will be delivering work on behalf of the Cambridge Nature Network and partner organisations.

Committed to and knowledgeable about our cause, you will use your excellent relationship management skills to quickly build working relationships with the partner organisations. Your ability to organise and co-ordinate will enable you to plan and deliver month-long Cambridge Nature Festivals in 2024 and 2025. You will use your excellent communication skills and relevant knowledge to promote the project, the Nature Festival and the Nature Network more broadly.

You will be an effective worker who can use your experience to fulfil the evaluation and reporting requirements of the Lottery and other funders.

You will be part of a small, friendly and committed team where you can make a difference and your work will have an impact.

You will be based from our office in an 18th century building overlooking the beautiful Wandlebury estate. Wandlebury is located on top of the Gog Magog Hills, just south of Cambridge.

About Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Cambridge Past, Present & Future is a local charity that protects the beauty of Cambridge and its environment.

We protect the green setting of Cambridge and its most valuable landscapes and we are working to enhance and connect them for people and nature.

We inspire people of all ages to get outdoors and help them to enjoy, learn about and get involved with their local environment, heritage and culture.

We help to protect, celebrate and improve the important built heritage of the Cambridge area.

We own and care for Wandlebury Country Park, Coton Countryside Reserve, Bourn Windmill, Hinxton Watermill and Cambridge Leper Chapel. We deliver a busy schools and public events programme. We were founded in 1928 to preserve the beauty of the historic city of Cambridge and its countryside setting and we work hard to influence the planning and development of the greater Cambridge area.

We are a team of 13 staff (6 full and 7 part-time) supported by over 100 volunteers and assisted by contracted advisors and service providers.

About the River Cam CAN Project

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, this 2-year project will involve communities near the River Cam working on solutions that will benefit them and help to make the city more sustainable and resilient. The main project location is the city’s most disadvantaged ward, Abbey. Communities will transform neglected areas including those around ecologically important chalk-streams, ancient willow trees along 10km of the Cam’s riverbanks, a community urban farm and a roadside verge outside a school.

A series of small-scale projects will be delivered with community volunteers to help reduce flooding, improve water quality, capture carbon and benefit nature. A rain garden (designed to slow down rainwater and filter out pollutants) will be piloted by the community in a prominent location. The project will help grow community capacity in the short term so that they can maintain their involvement in the longer term, transforming more spaces and involving more people.

More people will learn about the problems facing their river system, the connection between these problems and climate and nature emergencies, and about how their actions will make a difference. This will partly be achieved by delivering month-long Cambridge Nature Festivals in 2024 and 2025.

The main project partners are Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Abbey People, CoFarm, Cambridge City Council, Climate Outreach and Water Sensitive Cambridge but the project will work with a much wider range of organisations.

Terms & Conditions

Salary:  up to £33,500 (depending on experience)

Start date:  As soon as possible.

Duration:  This is a temporary appointment for the duration of the River Cam CAN Project (to 31 Aug 2025) and is subject to satisfactory completion of 3-month probation period. Because this is a temporary appointment, we would also consider secondment from another organisation. There is the possibility for contract extension if funding can be secured.

Hours:  Full-time preferred but we are very happy to consider flexible working arrangements to accommodate work-life balance. Full-time is 37.5 hours per week. There will occasionally be evening and weekend working for which time off in lieu is given.

Location: Our office is at Wandlebury Country Park, Cambridge CB22 3AE. This role is suitable for home working combined with team working at our office and site-based activity. You would have your own desk and can work entirely from the office if that is your preference. You will be required to attend meetings away from the office, within a 20-mile radius of Cambridge.

Benefits: 33 days annual holiday entitlement pro rata, includes allowances for Bank Holidays. Pension contribution of up to 5% of gross pay.


Job Description

  • Working closely with the Chief Executive, successfully implement elements of the River Cam CAN project by ensuring that project tasks are completed on time, on budget and to the required standards:
  • Identify and engage with community and user groups associated with the River Cam and encourage and support them to deliver small-scale environmental improvement projects, including providing small grants.
  • Working with CNN partner organisations, organise, co-ordinate, promote and evaluate  Cambridge Nature Festivals in 2024 and 2025. This should engage a wide section of the local population in activities that raise awareness, understanding and learning about local nature and the actions that they can take to help, particularly in relation to water and climate change.
  • As part of plans for a Cambridge Nature Week, tender and appoint a third-party organisation(s) to deliver nature-based outreach activities with people living in deprived wards/under-represented groups. Ensure that activities are as effective as possible and ensure that evaluation is carried out and reported on.
  • Working with relevant staff in CNN partner organisations, research and develop funding opportunities to add value to the River Cam CAN project and also help deliver the long-term ambitions for the Cambridge Nature Network. This will include co-ordinating and developing partnership funding proposals.
  • Raise awareness of the River Cam CAN project and the Cambridge Nature Network to encourage and support local action for nature recovery. Also encouraging and supporting community groups and business to do what they can to help nature recovery.
  • Provide material for press releases, website, social media content, newsletters, etc.
  • Assist with the evaluation of the River Cam CAN project, including planning and undertaking surveys of participants and evaluating and reporting on outcomes.
  • Request and compile information from partner organisations in order to meet the reporting requirements of the River Cam CAN project, including financial information. Assist the Chief Executive in submitting reports and financial claims to funders.
  • Provide a secretariat function for the River Cam CAN project and CNN partnership (organising meetings, etc) as required.

In addition, the post-holder will be expected to:

·        Ensure confidentiality when working with CNN partner organisations;

·        Observe all of CambridgePPF’s policies and procedures;

·        Undertake any other duties which from time to time may be required by the CambridgePPF as part of the River Cam CAN project or CNN (CambridgePPF is a local charity carrying out a wide range of operations and occasionally it may be necessary for the post-holder to cover for others).

You will report to the Chief Executive, CambridgePPF, however you will also be delivering work on behalf of CNN partner organisations. You will have no line management responsibilities but you may be required to recruit and supervise volunteers.

 Person specification









Education, skills and experience:


Relevant qualification.


Experience of project management.


Experience of organising or delivering public events.


Experience of partnership working.


Experience of working with a local community.


Knowledge and preferably experience of nature and environmental issues such as climate change and water use.


Good communication and influencing skills, including experience of this.


Organised and effective.



Experience of project budgeting, use of spreadsheets, etc.


Knowledge of the Cambridge area.


Experience of commissioning and managing third party organisations.


Experience of secretariat functions.


Experience of grant administration.






Competency with basic IT software (MS Word, Excel, etc).

Proof of the right to work in the UK.


Full clean driving licence and access to a car.



Equality & Diversity

Our people are very important to us, we aspire to create an inclusive workspace that is free from discrimination, where differences are valued, everyone can be themselves and succeed. Please apply to work for CambridgePPF, your application will be welcomed.

How to Apply

To apply, please email us the following:

  • Your full CV.
  • A covering letter telling us how you meet the person specification and job description for this role - and also tell us why you want the job.
  • Contact details for two referees (who will not be approached without your permission)

Applications should be emailed to Ceri Littlechild at [email protected]  

Please title your email ‘Job Application RCC’ and include your name in the file name of your CV and cover letter.

Please contact us if you have communication support needs or you would like to tell us about your suitability for this role in another way.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 5 October at 11am. 

If you would like an informal chat about this role or have any questions please contact James Littlewood, CEO, on 01223 243830.

Other job opportunities are being created through the River CAM CAN project which may be of interest to you: