Country Policy Working Groups

To make sure our policy work reaches all devolved nations and the Republic of Ireland, we have set up four Country Policy Working groups: England Policy Group, Wales Policy Group, Scotland Policy Group and Ireland Policy Group (including Republic of Ireland).

The purpose of the four country-specific working groups is to:

  • Provide strategic leadership on the development and delivery of our policy positions and activities in the relevant country.
  • Horizon-scan and monitor relevant policy issues to identify areas of policy that we could be proactive in.
  • Draft responses to country-specific policy issues, for example, through consultation and inquiry responses and developing position statements.
  • Organise and/or participate in relevant meetings and events.
  • Ensure that our views are represented to relevant stakeholders.
  • Provide strategic oversight for partnerships and liaise with appropriate bodies in the group’s country of operation.
  • Build relationships with relevant partners and policy and decision-makers.

Recent examples of work by our policy groups include:

The country policy working groups work in collaboration with the Strategic Policy Panel and CIEEM Policy Team and, where appropriate, with the relevant Geographic Section Committee(s) and Country Project Officer(s).

Role Profile

Your Chance to Influence Policy

CIEEM is continually growing in influence by advising decision-makers on policy and practice to improve the natural environment for both people and nature. We simply would not be in this position without the expertise and evidence provided by our policy volunteers. We have four Country Policy Working groups for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (including Republic of Ireland) to make sure our policy work reaches all devolved nations and the Republic of Ireland.

As a member of a Policy Group you will be taking an active role in influencing national policy and legislation, in the areas that matter to you, using your ‘on the ground’ expertise.

These groups are consist of up to 15 members with a broad range and level of expertise. As of February 2024, membership in each Country Policy Group will be open to up to two early career ecologists (i.e. Qualifying Members of CIEEM), for a term of up to three years (with the option of re-joining later as Associate, Full, or Fellow). A list of current members can be found below.

While members are expected to show an interest in influencing policy and to bring their ‘on the ground’ expertise to the group, we don’t require prior experience in policy engagement to join the group, and we welcome the perspectives of those just starting out in their careers as Qualifying Members.

Responsibilities of the Policy Groups include:

  • To provide strategic leadership on the development and delivery of CIEEM’s policy activities in the relevant country.
  • To monitor policy issues relevant to CIEEM in the group’s country of operation and, where relevant, UK, European or other international issues to identify areas of policy where CIEEM needs to be proactive in.
  • To draft responses to country-specific policy issues and deliver relevant activities.
  • To guide the organisation of, or participation in, relevant meetings and events that communicate ecological science and practice to public and policy audiences

The role of the Member might include:

  • Review and comment on consultation responses that are relevant to their expertise.
  • Review literature related to policy activities to help develop CIEEM’s position.
  • Scan for opportunities for policy engagement.
  • Input into the development of Country Policy Group projects. These include, but are not limited to, advice notes, briefings, position statements and events.
  • Where possible, help with gathering contacts and setting up meetings to communicate our policy positions and build relationships.

It is difficult to estimate the number of hours of commitment this role will require as it depends on what is happening in the policy sphere and whether the current issues are relevant to your expertise. As a minimum, members should expect to attend a quarterly meeting of 1.5-2 hours, spend an average of around 3-5 hours per month reviewing consultation documents (and other briefings/position statements), and input comments to shared documents where relevant.

Benefits of being a Policy Group Member

  • You get to help influence national-level policy and legislation for the benefit of nature and communities, and raise the profile of the sector.
  • It will provide you with the chance to get involved with lots of great initiatives and projects, providing opportunities to share your knowledge and learn new skills along the way.
  • Taking part in the group’s activities will count towards your CPD hours.
  • An addition to your CV.
  • You will have the opportunity to network with other group members involved in many areas of ecology and environmental management.

Induction and Support

Support will be available from the CIEEM Policy Team (Head of Policy, Policy Officers and Country Project Officers in Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

You will also get the chance to learn from fellow group members and their diverse range of experience!

On joining a Policy Group you will receive an induction session and resources to support you in your first activities. An introduction to common policy activities such as consultations can also be given if needed.

Election & Service

CIEEM members can be elected to this group by submitting a biography setting out their experience, areas of expertise and interest, and explaining what they hope to input into and get out of joining the Country Policy Group (please see the section on ‘Getting Involved’ below). Existing group members will then review this application, with admission approved by the Strategic Policy Panel. The group will have a maximum of 15 members, with two positions available for Qualifying Members. With the exception of those who have joined as Qualifying Members of CIEEM, a member of a Country Policy Group may serve for an initial term of three years which can be renewed once, and with a further extension as required. Qualifying Members may serve one term of three years, with the option of re-joining later as an Associate, Full, or Fellow.

Getting Involved

If you’re interested in joining us, please complete the form below, including a biography setting out your experience and statement about your interest in policy (alternatively, you can email this to Applications are open to Qualifying, Associate, Full and Fellow membership grades. Please do get in touch if you have any questions! Places are limited so all applications will be reviewed by existing Policy Group members.

We are always open to recruiting more experts to all of our Country Policy Groups to help us raise our voice and shape policy even more. To ensure we are incorporating views from a broad range of experiences, we are particularly keen to hear from members with marine expertise and those based in Northern Ireland, and from early careers ecologists from all nations.

Get involved in CIEEM policy activities

Members of the England Policy Group

  • Felicite Dodd – Chair
  • Tom Gray
  • Niall Machin
  • Will Manley
  • Timothy Reed
  • Richard Arnold
  • Laura Hobbs
  • Will O’Connor
  • Phil Lomax
  • Mark Latham
  • Joe Gough

Members of the Ireland Policy Group

  • Nick Marchant – Co-Chair
  • Aebhin Cawley – Co-Chair
  • Orla Maguire
  • Katherine Kelleher
  • Will Woodrow
  • Deborah D’Arcy
  • Gavin Fennessy
  • Donncha Madden
  • Mary Tubridy
  • Andrew Torsney
  • Kate-Marie O’Connor
  • Susan Iremonger
  • Conor McKinney
  • Pat Roberts

Members of the Scotland Policy Group

  • Julie Bhatti – Chair
  • Roger Crofts
  • Desmond B Thompson
  • Hannah Williams
  • Sarah Kydd
  • Adrian Davis
  • Graham Russell
  • Andy Tharme
  • Irene Tierney
  • Julie Dewar
  • Emilie Wadsworth
  • Amanda Ophof

Members of the Wales Policy Group

  • Michael Willis – Chair
  • Penny Lewns
  • Matthew Harris
  • Jerry Langford
  • Emily Williams
  • Craig Llewellyn
  • Dan Leow
  • Richard Birch
  • Hannah Corcoran
  • Richard Howell
  • Phil Bennett-Lloyd
  • Donna Hall

For further information please contact