Plant Operator

Westcountry Rivers Trust are recruiting a Plant Operator. This is a permanent contract following a successful 6 month probation period.
The starting salary for this role is between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum (dependent on
The role is 37.5 hours per week

Westcountry Rivers Trust’s office is in Stoke Climsland and whilst we have adopted hybrid working there is an expectation to work from the office, and to travel to sites across the delivery area on a regular basis
Benefits while working for Westcountry Rivers Trust
• 25 days Annual Leave per annum, with a reward for long service – an additional 1 day per
year for each year worked over 5 years, up to a maximum of 30 days for employees serving 10 years.
• An additional 3 days Annual Leave for the Christmas Closure period.
• 9% Employer Pension, plus Life Assurance cover.
• Hybrid Working.

Apply by midnight on Thursday 1 August by CV and Covering Letter to:

Interviews will be held in person at our offices in Stoke Climsland on Wednesday 14 and
Thursday 15 August 2024
For queries about this role or the application process please contact [email protected]

About Westcountry Rivers Trust:

Formed in 1994, the trust was established to restore Westcountry rivers and everything we do is informed by the best available science.

Our work is driven by an ‘ecosystems approach,’ considering the function of the entire catchment, not just the rivers that flow within them.

We work with a wide range of stakeholders from landowners to local communities, businesses, farmers and water companies to restore and protect the rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal areas for the benefit of people, wildlife and the local economy. Measures to protect rivers can help to save money for farmers, lower costs for water companies, boost tourism, reduce the need to dredge estuaries and benefit human health.

There has never been a more important time to work for the rivers of the Westcountry as the impacts of the climate emergency and the ecological crisis forces society to invest in building catchment resilience.

Spurred by a shared love of rivers, the Westcountry Rivers Trust is very much a grassroots organisation, brought into existence from the bottom up. In the early 90s, a group of individuals, passionate – but concerned – about the waterways around them, began to stitch together their ambitions for restoring Westcountry rivers, laying the foundations for the trust we know today. We now have circa 75 employees with an annual turnover of c£3m, running multi-annual projects spread across a wide range of funders. Visit Our History to find out more.

The Role:

This role will provide a Plant Operative position and additional support, to the Operational team, across a varied programme of work and will report to the Senior Operations Project Manager.

This role will support with a mixture of site-based delivery on a range of WRT projects and require a combination of acting as the lead machine operator on various work packages, potentially team leading on some sites, as well as supporting other staff and teams with their project work. The successful applicant will be a motivated, enthusiastic, team player who will be reliable and shows initiative. This role is a predominantly site-based, but some office work will be required. The successful candidate will be able to work in line with WRT’s hybrid working policy which includes home, office and site-based work.

This role will work with teams across the trust to deliver various catchment management outputs such as but not limited to, habitat creation and restoration opportunities, monitoring, natural flood management, arboricultural work and community engagement. The role will will involve site-based working at various locations throughout the South West, supporting on the delivery of on array of project outputs for the Trust. You will be responsible for leading a small team of operatives to deliver a range of work safely and professionally on WRT sites. Reporting to the Operations Manager you will develop your knowledge and experience of working in the environmental conservation sector with a focus on enhancing freshwater environments.

Key Responsibilities:

• Safely operating plant and machinery on site to support with the delivery of WRT project work.
• Undertaking site surveys, drafting, and inputting to various site documents such as Method Statements, Risk Assessments and other consents or permits.
• Mentoring others in the safe operation of plant and other equipment.
• Support the operation and other Trust teams with other site-based work such as, but not limited to; chainsaw-based work, surveys and monitoring, installation of a variety of habitat features and monitoring equipment.
• Potentially leading a team on site to safely deliver Trust work.
• Ensuring a high level of health and safety standards are maintained.
• Maintaining Trust equipment, machinery and tools.
• Engaging with the public, volunteers, landowners and other stakeholders.
• Developing junior members of staff and apprentices.
• Delivering toolbox talks and other training to team members.
• Supporting with capturing site-based evidence of work and drafting information for project reporting.
• Flexibility to support on projects throughout the South-West.
• Attend team and project meetings as required.

Person Specification:

Knowledge and Experience:

• Qualification and experience of using plant machinery, in particular excavators.
• Previous experience of carrying out work with chainsaws and other hand tools and plant machinery.
• Experience of working outdoors in aquatic environments and remote locations.
• Routine maintenance of plant and equipment such as chainsaws, brush cutters and other hand tools.
• Good understanding of industry Health and Safety standards and codes of practice.
• Experience of using various software from the MS Office suite.
• Experience of delivering tree planting, NFM and habitat management schemes. (D)
• Previous experience of supervising a team. (D)
• A background in river restoration, fisheries, arboriculture/forestry, ecology or construction. (D)

Skills and Competencies:

• Ability to plan and manage workloads including suitable delegation and supervision of tasks.
• Good communication skills.
• Some of our commercial clients may require you to undertake a medical exam including drug and alcohol tests from time to time prior to carrying out work on their sites.
• Experience of mentoring and training others. (D)

Qualifications and Memberships:

• Plant and Machinery Qualification(s)
• An industry recognised Health and Safety Qualification such as IOSH or similar.
• Working to attain professional membership of industry organisation.
• Minimum of Level 4 qualification or similar in relevant subject. (D).
• Arboricultural qualifications:

  • NPTC Chainsaw 201, 202, 203, 206, 306, 308 (D)
  • FAW+F (D)
  • LISS/CSCS card (D)

The above are essential unless indicated as desirable (D)


  • Organisation: Westcountry Rivers Trust
  • Salary: £25,000 - £30,000
  • Location: Stoke Climsland, Cornwall
  • Closing date: 10 August 2024
Back to top