Vacancies: Woodlands of Ireland is currently seeking a CEO. Please see details below

Job Description

Chief Executive Officer – Woodlands of Ireland (WoI)

TENURE: Contract initially for one year, subject to the availability of funding and performance review.

WoI Board of Management

Woodlands of Ireland Office (TBC)


Woodlands of Ireland is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to native woodlands. It is an inclusive organisation whose primary objectives are: - to generate awareness of native woodlands amongst policy makers and the general public: - to develop projects and sustainable management strategies aimed at ensuring the future viability of native woodlands
The Board of Management of Woodlands of Ireland (WoI) is seeking to recruit a Chief Executive Officer to run the Company’s operations. Reporting to the Board, this post will be responsible for leading the organisation in the delivery of its objectives, the annual business plans and Native Woodland Strategy as defined in the annual and 3-year Plans. The successful candidate will address technical, administrative and organisational functions to achieve this. Cooperation and collaboration with key staff across other Government departments, organisations and native woodland stakeholders are vital components to this role.

Job Requirements

This post will primarily be focused on the promotion and the provision of technical Support for the native woodland sector in Ireland. Inherent in the job requirement will be the efficient and effective delivery of operations within the WoI Work Plan and for the provision of service and support as required by the WoI Board. The successful candidate will:

 Encourage high performance and best practice across the native woodland sector and advocate for the implementation of the Forest Service Native Woodland Scheme and the Native woodland components of the Forest Service Afforestation Scheme.

 Provide training to relevant stakeholders by organising and running specific courses on Native Woodlands and the Native Woodland Scheme

 Lead the WoI project ensuring that it is effective, efficient, relevant and responsive to the needs of its supporters and stakeholders;

 Manage the day to day operations of WoI;

 Be responsible for developing and reporting on the WoI Work Plan;

 Develop annual and 3-year work plans on cooperation with the Board in line with the strategic objectives of WoI;

 Determine budgets in line with agreed business plans and within pre-assigned limits;

 Apply for, and draw down annual core funding from WoI sponsors and explore other potential funding sources;

 Work with other agencies in relation to survey and audit of the Peoples Millennium Forest project.

Responsibilities of the Post

 As the senior manager in the organisation, the implementation of the WoI Strategy and Work Plan and its supporting mechanisms;

 Lead and manage WoI in the delivery of appropriate training courses to all relevant native woodland stakeholders;

 Support key native woodland initiatives such as the Forest Service Native Woodland Scheme, the Peoples’ Millennium Forest project, the native woodland elements of the Afforestation Scheme and the National Biodiversity Action Plan

 As WoI is a Charity, ensure compliance and adherence to all appropriate Company policies and procedures as set out in the charities governance code;

 Interface with relevant bodies, experts and committees as required to deliver on the strategic priorities assigned;

 Ensure all strategic objectives and KPIs are addressed, with action being taken to ensure that agreed performance levels are achieved

 Responsible for delivery to budget, ensure decisions are taken so targets are achieved. Attend regular management review meetings and be the owner of any actions delegated by the Board

 Be the point of contact for operational enquiries and issues;

 Working with external and internal stakeholders, identify the key relevant issues and new projects, and oversee the development and implementation of plans;

 Ensure that the assets and reputation of the organisation are properly protected and that the functions of the CEO are discharged in accordance with Board guidelines and relevant legislation;

 Represent WoI both nationally and internationally as required and liaise with relevant external bodies, agencies and organisations;

 Undertake all other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to them from time to time by the Board. The CEO will be expected to respond flexibly to the administrative needs of WoI. Make recommendations as appropriate in regard to improved systems and methods;

 The CEO will work independently to ensure maximum efficiencies in the utilisation of resources and to assist other organisations relevant to native woodland policy, where deemed necessary or appropriate;

 Undertake any specified tasks as part of the operations brief which covers responsibilities of proper business management.


Essential to the role, this CEO must be a strong and effective communicator and have a track-record of managing budgets and inter-agency cooperation. The successful candidate must have a diverse range of skills (technical, organisational and administrative), and be able to work across multiple deadlines simultaneously with a focus on delivering excellent service to stakeholders. Knowledge or experience of the forestry and ecology sectors is desirable, along with a keen awareness of current biodiversity and climate change issues. A Familiarity with digital media, the Charities Governance Code and company regulation would be an advantage.

Management & Leadership
 Minimum acceptable qualification would be a primary dergree in an appropriate discipline or equivalent standard of education, preferably including management experience at various levels
 Excellent interpersonal, influencing, negotiating, networking and general communications skills;
 Proven decision maker in business matters;
 Ability to build and maintain constructive relationships with other agencies and stakeholders both internally and externally;
 Should have a track record of effective performance and self-management;
 Proven leadership qualities.

 Proven ability to deliver on organisational goals and plans;
 A deep understanding of the environmental, biodiversity and ecology sectors
 Effective and efficient budget planning and management experience;
 Able to manage multiple tasks with deftness and attention to deadlines;
 Support application of policies, procedures and systems of work to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and codes of practice


 Highest standards of professional integrity.
 High standards in written, verbal and on-line communications.
 A self-starter possessing the necessary interpersonal skills and ability to network effectively and take responsibility for outputs and outcomes.
 A knowledge and interest in Irish woodland heritage, history and culture.
 Record of academic achievement to include a recognised professional qualification or equivalent.
 Strong skills in MS office suite and comfortable with web and IT systems
 Can meet the travel requirements of the post which will be nationwide. Prepared to work outside of normal hours as necessary.
 Full clean driving licence.

Remuneration and benefits
SALARY: In line with accepted levels for a charitable organisation of this size and commensurate with experience and qualifications

Appointment to this position is on a contract basis (specified purpose). A minimum duration of one year (initially) is expected.
Applications should be emailed to
Please put the reference WOIPM19 in the subject line of your email.
Short listing will be based on the information provided in the Cover Letter and CV. Late applications cannot be processed. Woodlands of Ireland is an equal opportunities employer and will consider all applications without discrimination
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 10th January 2020

Host a Hive Initiative

In support of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Woodlands of Ireland and the Forest Service have joined forces with the bee organisations in Ireland to support honeybees and promote pollination services. Native Woodland Scheme (NWS) woodland owners who are in receipt of NWS premiums will receive a letter outlining how they can host a beehive in their woodlands. As bees are under threat from disease and climate-related factors, this initiative addresses bee welfare and pollination services in woodlands and surrounding crops, especially fruit and vegetables. For further details see our publications page.

Native Woodland Scheme: Woodland Environment Fund

The Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched an innovative public:private initiative (PPI) whereby the corporate sector can provide additional Native Woodland Scheme top up payments to premiums paid to landowners who establish new native woodlands. Effectively this provides additional payments for ecosystem services provided through the creation of new native woodlands while companies address their Corporate and Social Respomsibility (CSR) agenda. See our publications page at for the explnatory leaflet

Native Woodlands Conference: conference report and online presentations

Arising from the very successfull Native Woodland Conference held on April 30th and May 1st, 2018 at the Glenview Hotel, Delgany, Co. Wicklow, the interactive conference report: Twenty Years A-Growing is avaialable on our Publications page (see and presentation videos and associated PDF slides are available for viewing on the website at the 'Native Woodland Conference 2018' tab on the Home Page (see There should be something there for everyone interested, especially those of you who could not make the conference. For those who did, but could not attend concurrent presentations - due to the requirement to host parallel sessions - you can access the presentations you missed. We hope you find them of interest.





Recent publication: Management Guidelines for Ireland’s Native Woodlands by John Cross and Kevin Collins

Native woodlands are among our richest and most important natural habitats, and are key to wider countryside biodiversity, water protection, landscape and heritage. They also provide diverse products for their owners, form the basis for eco-tourism enterprises, and represent an invaluable resource for local communities and school children to enjoy and to learn about their local heritage and the wider natural world.

A joint initiative between the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, the new book provides owners and practitioners with key information on establishing and managing native woodlands as a living part of our countryside, to realise their full potential. It is co-authored by Dr John Cross and Kevin Collins, individuals with wide expertise in the area.


The publication is available from Woodlands of Ireland in hard copy upon request and may also be downloaded in PDF format from our Publications page.

Native Woodland Scheme Training

Native Woodland Training (NWS) courses are held once there is sufficient demand from would-be participants. The course is a 2-day event and covers the theory and practise of native woodland management. It includes a field excursion to a native woodland to carry out a NWS Management plan by the course participants. This allows for the accreditation of approved foresters working on the Native Woodland Scheme and is also open to ecologists, woodland contractors, landowners, relevant State agencies (i.e. NPWS, EPA, etc) and Local Authority staff (see our Native Woodland Training page for more information, and for videos of course modules and presentations).

For those who may be interested in attending future courses please contact:

Kevin Collins, Forest Service (01-6072502)
- or -
Declan Little (087-6685823).

Once there is sufficient demand a course will be held subsequently.

A Strategy for Native Woodlands in Ireland

The Minister with responsibility for Forestry at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD, launched 'A Strategy for Native Woodlands in Ireland 2016-2020' at Ballycoyle Wood, Glencree Co. Wicklow on July 14th, 2016. The Strategy - which was compiled by Woodlands of Ireland over the past two years in partnership with native woodland stakeholders in the public and private sectors - covers a broad range of topics from the management of ancient/old/scrub woodlands, the creation of new native woodlands, woodland creation as part of climate mitigation and water quality enahancement measures, natural capital realisation and recreational native woodlands. Woodlands of Ireland and its many partners will promote the Strategy in an effort to realise the targets set for the next five years for the benefit of our native woodland resourse, the wider environment and local communities. The full text of the Strategy is available on our Publications page.

Native Woodland Scheme

The Native Woodland Scheme for the current Forestry Programme 2014-2020 was formally launched in September 2015. Woodlands of Ireland worked closely with the Forest Service in revising the scheme, taking account of the experience of landowners, NWS foresters & ecologists, and contractors amongst others, over the past number of years. In addition, Woodlands of Ireland will promote the scheme with the public (primarily NPWS and Coillte) and private sectors (via the industry and individual landowners) in an effort to achieve the area targets for the scheme between now and 2020. These targets are 1,950 ha for NWS Conservation (of existing native woodlands) and 2,700 hectares for Establishment (the creation of new native woodlands) up to 2020. This represents a projected investment of c. €7.25m and €16.5m over the next six years for NWS Conservation and Establishment respectively. 

We believe the scheme is better than previous versions and are excited at the potential it has to offer in addressing the conservation of existing - and the creation of new native woodlands. Woodlands of Ireland would be grateful if you would actively promote the scheme amongst landowners in particular. If you have any queries or if potential applicants would like further information and guidance please contact the Forest Service or Woodlands of Ireland