East Sussex Countryside Officer

East Sussex Countryside Officer

Ongoing role
At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Strategic development and planning
  • Office and Administration Management
  • Data protection / GDPR
  • Rural and town planning
  • Advice / Advocacy


Heathfield , TN21 0AA
Mainly at home
Travel limit? Volunteers should preferably live in East Sussex. Area meetings are held in Haywards Heath.


Either in or out of office hours Estimate of time needed:
7-15 hours / week
Attendance at quarterly and annual area meetings, and occasional field visits.

The role involves reviewing Local Authority planning applications and lodging objections on behalf of Sussex Ramblers if such developments are considered to be detrimental to the Sussex countryside and the places where people walk.

What will you be doing?

The Ramblers works to help everyone enjoy the pleasures and benefits of walking, and to enhance and protect the places where people walk. We are committed to encouraging and supporting walking, protecting and expanding public rights of way and access land, and protecting the beauty of the countryside and other areas. We recognise the threat posed to our countryside by climate change, which could severely alter many of our cherished landscapes. Ramblers support measures to mitigate this by switching to renewable sources of energy which are sensitively sited and don’t damage precious landscapes. In addition we believe the government must focus particularly on improving energy efficiency, pursuing a range of measures to reduce the amount of energy wasted in generation, transmission and use. We are concerned about the potential impacts of onshore shale gas exploration and exploitation, both on access to the places we walk and on the beauty of the wider countryside. We will oppose such operations where we believe these impacts to be unacceptable, particularly in areas designated for their natural beauty such as national parks (eg The South Downs) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (eg The High Weald).

The role involves reviewing planning applications published by the relevant Local Authority and lodging objections on behalf of Sussex Ramblers in the event that such developments are considered to have a detrimental effect on the Sussex countryside and the places where people walk. Such objections are usually submitted in writing through a response to the planning process, but could also involve site visits and on occasions attendance at public hearings.

The incumbent will work closely with other Ramblers officers, such as the Area Footpath Officer, West Sussex Countryside Officer, and where necessary seek advice and guidance from Ramblers central office. Other main contacts include the Local Authorities, Parish/Town Councils and the Local Access Forum. The position reports to the Area Committee.

What are we looking for?

You should have a passion for walking and for preservation and protection of the natural beauty of the countryside and the special qualities of urban space. Experience and knowledge of the Local Authorities planning process would be an advantage. The position is suitable for a mature professional individual who is highly reliable, organised, capable of taking initiative and with an ability to articulate issues clearly in written form. A desire and ability to work in a team environment is essential. You will also need to be comfortable using a computer and the internet, and managing information.

What difference will you make?

The Ramblers help everyone, everywhere, enjoy walking and protects the places we all love to walk. By volunteering as a Countryside Officer you will be paying a vital role in making sure we can achieve this by holding Local Authorities to account for planning decisions, and helping to ensure that our countryside and the places people walk, essential to health and wellbeing, are safeguarded. 

Before you apply

This role is available immediately. 

  • Environment
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Organisation type: 

    The Ramblers is a charity whose goal is to protect the ability of people to enjoy the sense of freedom and benefits that come from being outdoors on foot.

    We’re an association of people and...