Senior Farm Advisor

Effective landscape restoration requires data driven decisions. At Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART), we work in partnership with landowners, businesses, community groups, local government and their advisers for the natural environment to identify and deliver interventions to make our catchment richer and more resilient to pressures. We are looking for a person to join our expanding team to identify habitats and species worth protecting—identify opportunities for habitat creation, expansion, and improvement across the Bristol Avon catchment —from the headwaters of sub-catchments, right down to the lowland floodplains of North Somerset and the Severn Vale.


We are a growing Trust, with big ambitions for the Bristol Avon and its tributaries. This new role is a key addition to our team, who focus on solving environmental problems with nature-based solutions. Working to support and advise colleagues, you will be out in the field conducting surveys, walkovers, and site visits—to help both gather evidence of issues and build habitat improvement projects that offer multiple benefits to important ecosystem services such as natural flood management, carbon capture and storage, and water stewardship to support a biodiverse and resilient catchment. In addition to this, the Senior Farm Advisor role will involve the development of whole farm plans, desk based work to continue on from opportunities discussed in the field, including the production of outline designs allowing the Trust to take plans forward to delivery phase. This role will involve the management and oversight of certain projects and their budgets, as well as completing grant applications with landowners, and therefore the role will involve a good proportion of working from home as well as being out in the field.


This position will the Trusts’ representative at the Woest Of England Agricultural Group and will contribute to the Trust’s growing farm advisor work, with a focus on scoping the delivery of wildlife friendly agricultural advice and land management, in order to further the Trust’s goals to restore wildlife and connect people with nature across the Bristol Avon catchment.


BART’s ambition is for our soil and water resources to be managed sustainably to enable food production alongside functioning ecosystems and wildlife rich habitats, and we strive for our local communities, decision-makers, landowners, and business to work collectively to protect and enhance the health of our rivers.


Key Responsibilities


To identify new landowners and farm managers that BART can help advise or support in the management of wildlife friendly farming and land management practices; with a focus on clusters of farmers, and owners of large estates, and working in our priority catchments alongside partners and other eNGO’s.


To identify new opportunities for BART to expand its landowner engagement work, such as:


  • Establish and / or partake in farmer Clusters (e.g. via facilitation fund) to bring farmers, and other land managers together to work cooperatively and prioritise activities to improve the local natural environment, at a landscape scale.
  • Create partnerships with landowners, NGOs and other stakeholders for landscape scale wildlife interventions on privately owned land.
  • Supporting farm businesses to enter government schemes (e.g., Countryside Stewardship, Woodland Management, and the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), or environmental assurance schemes (e.g., Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) and other capital grant schemes which encourage environmentally sensitive practice.
  • Undertaking farm surveys (for wildlife and natural capital) and developing whole-farm plans aimed to deliver environmental goods (e.g., carbon, soil, wildlife benefits, for the new ELMS). Working closely and supporting BART’s ecologists.
  • Undertaking land management on farms to deliver environmental goods and enhance wildlife on agricultural land.

An example working week is very diverse and could involve organising farm events, undertaking farm walkover surveys to identify opportunities for landscape recovery, monitoring farm trials, leading farm cluster groups, as well as desk-based elements of writing whole farm plans, managing project budgets, identifying funding routes and developing grant funding applications to support farmers in taking action.


Where you’ll be working


BART is a charitable organisation focussed on protecting and improving rivers and waterways across the Bristol Avon Catchment. We operate across North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and Northeast Somerset and Wiltshire, working in partnership with the Environment Agency, local authorities, the water industry, private landowners and their tenants, charitable organisations, and community interest groups. You will be working across the range of landscapes and habitats in the Bristol Avon catchment. There will be a mix of working from home and across the river catchment.


Who we are looking for


BART is looking for a candidate with a sound understanding of agricultural land management from both a yard infrastructure and compliance perspective as well as a sound understanding of environmental measures such as those included within Countryside Stewardship and the Sustainable Farming Incentive. You will have excellent communication skills and a down to earth approach towards working with people. You will be self-motivated and able to work across a number of environments including from home, can manage competing deadlines, and deliver tasks to a high standard and provide line management to BART’s Farm Advisor. You must have a clean full UK driving licence and have access to a vehicle.


Above all, you will be committed to our agenda as a Trust, what we stand for, and what we want to achieve.


Person Specification


Experience of:


  • Demonstrating leadership and expertise in wildlife friendly agricultural advice and land management.

Knowledge and Understanding of:


  • Current environmental legislation, including Biodiversity Net Gain, Priority Habitats, and Priority Species Essential.
  • Ecosystem goods and services Essential.
  • Metrics for quantifying and reporting landscape changes (e.g. woodland carbon code, peatland carbon code) Desirable.
  • Strategic partnership development and relationship management Desirable.

Skills and Qualifications


Essential


  • Degree or equivalent level of experience in agriculture, or another relevant environmental discipline.
  • Minimum of 4 years’ experience in delivering agricultural advice and/or management.
  • Experience in undertaking land management on agricultural land to deliver environmental goods and enhance wildlife.
  • Excellent communication skills, with a track record of building and maintaining relationships with external partners.
  • An ability to work under pressure, and experience of managing own workload with minimum supervision whilst meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent IT skills especially with Microsoft Office.
  • A current UK-valid driving licence.

Desirable


  • Experience in facilitating Farmer Clusters, and/or supporting farm businesses enter countryside stewardship schemes.
  • Line management experience. Experience of managing projects and budgets.
  • Relevant professional qualification (RICTS/FACTS/BASIS).
  • Mapping using LandApp, GIS, and others Desirable.
  • Presenting environmental information to develop compelling evidence for change.
  • Experience in line management of staff as this role will oversee 1 or more Farm Advisor’s.

Personal Qualities


  • Excellent organisational skills/discipline and the ability to plan, track, deliver and evaluate work Essential.
  • Ability to prioritise and deliver work to relevant standards and tight deadlines Essential.
  • Ability to work under own initiative, and as part of a larger, cross-functional team Essential.
  • Amenable and friendly towards colleagues and external parties. Excellent at building rapport and trust amongst farmers and land managers Essential.
  • Innovative and applies creative thought to develop new initiatives and problem solving Desirable.

Standard Terms & Conditions


Salary: £39,000 pro rata. Salaries are paid each month by bank transfer.


Hours: The Trust operates a 40-hour working week (full time). Our core hours of business are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Contract: This position is initially available on a fixed term contract for 12 months.


Flexibility: The Trust recognises the importance of a strong work-life balance and actively promotes this. The Trust, where possible, endeavours to meet the flexible working needs of its employees. A high degree of flexibility is provided to staff members in relation to hours and location of work. Part time work may be considered.


Holidays: 25 days per year (in addition to bank and public holidays). (Pro rata for part time roles)


Pensions: You may be eligible to be auto enrolled to the Rivers Trust Group Pension Plan with Royal London which provides an employer contribution of 9%.


Notice Period: One month following satisfactory completion of a 3 month probationary period.


Place of Work: Home office based, with travel across the catchment as required.


Travel: Public transport is encouraged where possible. Business mileage is claimed through our expense’s procedure. The candidate must have access to a vehicle for business purposes and a clean driving license.


Closing date


The closing date for applications for this role is Monday 18th March.


Interviews


Interviews will be held using video conferencing week commencing Monday 25th March.


How to Apply


To apply please email your CV and a covering letter detailing your experience relevant to the role to [email protected] before the closing date.


We look forward to receiving your application.


If you would like an informal conversation about this role, or if you would like more information, please contact us at: [email protected] and we will arrange a convenient time for a discussion.

Details

  • Organisation: Bristol Avon Rivers Trust
  • Salary: £39,000 pro rata
  • Location: Home based with travel in the catchment
  • Closing date: 18 March 2024
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