Posted 3 January by National Trust

We are seeking an Archaeologist to join the ‘Changing Chalk’ project team as Heritage Officer. Changing Chalk is a new, ambitious partnership project connecting nature, people and heritage on and around the Eastern South Downs.

Reporting to the Project Manager you will be responsible for leading heritage projects and, working alongside the Changing Chalk project team and partners, ensuring that the archaeology and landscapes of the Changing Chalk project area are managed and celebrated for the long term. Your work will be central to the successful delivery of the 4-year programme, commencing in 2022, focussed on the chalk grassland landscape of the eastern South Downs and the communities of Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne, and Lewes.

This pioneering scheme, funded in part by a £2.23m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund , will deliver eighteen individual yet collaborative projects to restore and care for nature, improve people’s wellbeing, bring diverse histories to life, and break down complex barriers to participation in the outdoors. The partnership is led by the National Trust and is made up of ten core partners including Natural England, Brighton & Hove City Council and South Downs National Park Authority.

This role sits within the National Trust Consultancy and you will be based at the National Trust Saddlescombe Farm near Brighton. However, there will be an opportunity to explore and agree remote working arrangements which strike the right balance for you and the project. The role will also involve occasional travel to sites within the project area to meet with stakeholders and to carry out work.

This is a fixed term role for 4 years, 4 days / 30 hours per week (0.8 FTE) with some flexibility in work patterns. 

What it's like to work here

The National Trust was founded to look after beautiful and historic places for the whole nation: for everyone, for ever. Our ambition is that no matter who you are or where you come from, our places are accessible and welcoming, and people feel able to participate in places that matter to them. Connecting communities and nature is a key part of achieving this ambition.

The objectives of the Changing Chalk partnership are to:

  • Engage a wider range of people with the Downs to increase their wellbeing and connection with the landscape.
  • Inspire change in ideas and actions by encouraging active participation in caring for the Downs.
  • Improve habitat and species richness and the connectivity of the rare chalk grassland.
  • Work with landowners and farmers to enable sustainable management of chalk grassland.
  • Engage communities as active participants in the discovery, interpretation and celebration of the cultural heritage of the Downs.

For further information on the project, please follow the link below;


What you'll be doing

 You will be responsible for leading and supporting heritage projects and providing high quality advice and expertise for archaeology, to support conservation, interpretation and public participation. You will provide leadership, support, and expertise in all aspects of archaeological investigation, interpretation and presentation of the historic Downland landscape, delivering events, training and working closely with volunteers, communities and stakeholders.

The postholder will:

  • Lead on the delivery of specific heritage projects within the wider Changing Chalk scheme, working closely with partners where relevant.
  • Build and maintain relationships with local archaeological societies and community groups, providing support and training to ensure a sustainable legacy for Changing Chalk.
  • Recruit and maintain a team of archaeology volunteers from local communities, working closely with the Changing Chalk Volunteering & Community Manager.
  • Create opportunities for public engagement and visitor participation in archaeology and heritage; lead on the creation of an exhibition as the culmination of the project.
  • Support and supervise a Level 3 Archaeological Technician Apprentice (15 months) in partnership with Historic England and Heritage Eastbourne.
  • Produce quarterly progress reports, manage project budgets, and carry out evaluation activities, in line with National Lottery Heritage Fund requirements.
  • Attend regular partnership meetings and play an active role in Themed Working Groups, as relevant to the role.
Who we're looking for

 We are looking for:

  • Experience of working in community archaeology.
  • Some knowledge of South Downs and/or Sussex archaeology, or transferable knowledge from elsewhere.
  • Experience of partnership working.
  • Experience of managing apprentices, trainees and/or volunteers.
  • Report-writing skills and ability to influence via data.
  • Good understanding of the latest archaeological innovations and ability to lead on, interpret and respond to external and internal research, intelligence and analysis.

You will sit within the Changing Chalk project team and with a direct link into the National Trust regional Archaeology Team.

Please see Role Profile for further detail and a list of essential knowledge, skills and experience needed for the role.

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you – and it doesn’t matter if you’re jam first, cream first, or even if you don’t like scones at all. Everyone is welcome.

Benefits for working at the National Trust include:

  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

Reference: 45216190

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