February, 2024

Hiring – Office Manager

Weddles are a friendly and busy landscape architecture and ecology consultancy. We are looking for an office manager to join our growing team to help run the day-to-day workings of our Sheffield office.

The position is initially offered on a part-time basis with the potential to progress to full-time. The role is based in the office in Sheffield.

We are looking for somebody who has the following attributes:

  • Proven experience in office management or a similar administrative role
  • Very organised with a proactive nature who is able to prioritise and manage a range of administrative duties
  • Fluent in English with excellent grammar skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Computer literate with knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Has an interest in landscape design and ecology

Tasks may include:

  • Supporting the directors with basic PA duties
  • Arranging travel, accommodation and coordination for staff site visits
  • Arranging sub-contractors for ecological surveys
  • Everyday office management such as ordering office supplies and equipment and managing the meeting room calendars
  • Organising staff training
  • Coordinating staff performance reviews
  • Assisting with recruitment
  • Answering the phone and making calls as required
  • Dealing with incoming enquiries
  • Assistance with HR and provision of staff point of contact
  • Ensuring compliance with health and safety at work regulations on behalf of the office, such as organising fire training, first aiders, first aid kits etc.
  • Organising office social events and activities
  • Meeting and greeting clients and visitors
  • Assisting with payroll and accounting
  • Practice promotion and social media
  • Collating timesheets and managing staff leave

The ability to reliably commute to the Sheffield office or plan to relocate to Sheffield before starting work will be required.

To apply please e-mail sending a CV and covering letter.

Applications by 17th March 2024.

No third parties or agencies.

Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is mandatory from today

From today, Monday 12th February 2024, Mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) begins for major developments applying for new planning permission under the Town & Country Planning Act. BNG then extends to minor developments, applying under the same Act, from April 2024.

By the end of 2025, BNG is expected to extend to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

To clarify what some of this means, our ecologists have provided some answers to Frequently Asked Questions, below.

What is BNG?

Biodiversity – biological diversity – is the variety of life on Earth. Having a ‘net gain’ for biodiversity means leaving the living components of a particular area (or, ecosystem) in a measurably better condition than in which they were found.

The way in which ecologists measure the condition of an area before a project has been undertaken and predicts what can be achieved after a project has been completed is by undertaking surveys, using a mapping system, and applying a formula (this is known as the BNG metric). Comparing those before and after figures result in a measurable gain – or loss – for biodiversity resulting from a project.

Losses are not permitted as of Monday 12th February 2024: a mandatory minimum of a 10% net gain across England has been set in law. Many Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) setting their minimum higher to ensure biodiversity improves in their regions.  

Why does biodiversity matter?

More biodiversity means healthier, more resilient, ecosystems. Our living world is complex and formed by connections between its parts. These connections and systems are ultimately what sustains life.  

Why has BNG been created?

Biodiversity in England has been in decline for decades, accelerating in the last thirty years (State of Nature, 2023). This has had detrimental impacts to the life systems on which we depend – declines in pollination, species extinctions, and contributing to the deterioration in the health of watercourses. There are many factors that have contributed to nature’s decline, and habitat loss from development is one of them.

Gannets, kittiwakes and guillemots soar over the cliffs at Bempton on the east coast on a sunny spring day.
Gannets, Kittiwakes and Guillemots at Bempton Cliffs. Bird populations have declined due to many, often interconnecting factors – from habitat loss to bird flu.

What does BNG mean for development?

BNG has been created so that the impacts of development do not continue to contribute to the decline of nature; rather, it creates opportunities for developments to contribute to the recovery of thriving ecosystems in England. It adds to, rather than replaces, other current planning and environmental legislation.

Developers will be required to submit a BNG Assessment and calculation using Natural England’s Biodiversity Metric. Effectively, this shows a comparison of the pre- and post- development biodiversity values.

Weddles can assist during the early stages of design to consider the most important and valuable existing habitats, and how these can be protected and retained as part of the development. As our team carry out landscape design, arboriculture, horticulture, and ecology survey work, everything relating to BNG can be carried out in-house, collaboratively, ultimately leading to a more efficient project pipeline.

For more information, see Biodiversity Net Gain, or feel welcome to contact our team.

Mortgage Tree Reports

We carry out tree surveys to fulfil the requirements of mortgage providers. This involves identifying trees which may be impacting the property and providing a professional judgement on if these are causing damage. This report will identify hazards, evaluate risk and proposed appropriate measures. Hazards include roots impacts, overhanging branches that can damage structures, or the potential for falling trees during storms.