This is a Grade 3 role with a salary between £24,000 and £26,000 (dependent on experience) plus benefits including 8% pension. This is a permanent full-time role of 37.5 hours per week.
We work with grants, water company funded initiatives, government funding and through commercial activities to deliver change both in our rivers and on the land that they drain.
We are looking for a Farm Advisor to join our Land team, supporting them in delivering the Upstream Thinking Project. This is a fantastic opportunity for the right candidate to work for Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT), a dynamic and aspirational organisation at the forefront of environmental thinking and practical conservation in the UK today.
Following the success of Upstream Thinking 1 and 2, WRT continues to work with South West Water to deliver the third phase of the Upstream Thinking (UST) initiative, running from 2020 to 2025. We are seeking a Farm Advisor to provide support to the team, primarily on the River Tamar catchment bordering Devon and Cornwall.
To apply: please submit your Covering Letter and CV online at https://hr.breathehr.com/v/farm-advisor-15322 . If you have any queries about the application process or the role, please call Kasia Lewis, HR Manager, on 07807 290399.
Submission by: Monday 15 March by midnight
Interviews will take place w/b 22 March 2021.
About the role.
Joining the Land Team at WRT your role will be to apply your practical and professional knowledge and experience in the agricultural and environmental sectors.
You will combine farm and landowner engagement with the ability to identify and develop opportunities in catchment management whilst meeting the project remit and deliverables.
The role will initially be focussed on providing support to the Senior Farm Advisor on the River Tamar catchment. Depending on new streams of work you may also be required to work on other projects in different catchments.
The Upstream Thinking project seeks to improve water quality abstracted from key rivers which enter the drinking water supply and reduce the levels of treatment required, through proactively tackling water quality at source. The project offers advice and grant funding to land-owners to implement positive change whilst seeking to optimise wider benefits such as boosting biodiversity through enhancing habitats and species, building greater resilience from the effects of climate change, mitigating flood risk or increasing Carbon sequestration. The approach is win-win; for the farm environment and farm business.
Working as an Advisor requires a complex suite of skills and experience. This includes professional Agri Industry qualifications as well as practical on the ground experience, an ability to engage a diverse audience at all levels, scientific or technical expertise while also being able to build rapport and trust within the community to allow WRT to build on its existing presence and reputation locally.
The Trust prides itself on its ability to provide scientifically grounded advice with the overall aim to support sustainable best farm practice and encourage the uptake of positive actions.
- To provide farm advisory support to the Senior Farm Advisors (initially in the Tamar catchment).
- Work with the Senior Farm Advisors to gain understanding of project deliverables, actions, targets and familiarity with catchment areas.
- Develop and deliver tailored farm advice, plans, reports or events as part of a programme of water and land management improvements.
- Liaise with the UST Project Manager and other members of the Land Team, to ensure clear communication and demonstrate progress or outcomes and to share knowledge as appropriate.
- Proactively develop leads and contacts to build on WRT existing coverage across the target catchments to engage directly with farmers, landowners and growers to raise awareness of the project.
- Build new opportunities for project delivery through liaison with the Senior Farm Advisors.
- Undertake surveys, monitoring (e.g. water quality, soil or nutrient) or analysis as required, supporting evidence of actions for case studies, reports and project promotion.
- Co-ordinate, attend and contribute to relevant meetings, workshops or stakeholder groups to share best practice, raise awareness and promote WRT’s role.
- Work closely with the Project Manager to ensure project outputs, deadlines and reporting are met as well as with other key members or Teams at WRT e.g. for delivery, admin etc.
- Proactively build contacts across sectors to further identify opportunities which align with the project remit or achieve mutual objectives e.g. Countryside Stewardship, Forest for Cornwall, Cornwall AONB, Woodland planting or Community initiatives etc.
- To proactively identify commercial opportunities for discussion with the Project Manager and develop those if appropriate.
- To support the Senior Farm Advisor to meet catchment deliverables and to work proactively to meet your own project deadlines and objectives.
- General advocacy of the Trust to promote and deliver services to funders, clients, and partners.
- You may be asked to take on other relevant duties as appropriate inc. developing ideas, identifying options for new work, drafting bids or tenders.
- The role requires regular local travel within the catchments, local area, WRT office and meetings.
- Participation in cross-team activities may be required.
Knowledge and Experience
- Appropriate Degree level qualification (or equivalent knowledge/experience) in an agricultural or conservation/farming related discipline.
- Sound knowledge of agriculture and local farming practices, as well as Agri-Environment schemes and relevant policies or legislation; in particular soil and water conservation.
- Confident and competent to deliver tailored farm advice including the interpretation and feedback of data eg. nutrient plans, soil data.
- Experience of catchment-scale approaches and processes, familiar with concepts of Ecosystem Services, Natural Capital, Natural Flood Management, Nature Based Solutions etc.
- Experience of writing accurate technical reports.
- Knowledge and competence in Microsoft Office applications, accuracy & attention to detail with record keeping.
- FACTS/BASIS trained (D).
- Local area knowledge an advantage (D).
- Proven experience in handling Countryside Stewardship or Woodland Grant applications (D).
Skills and Competencies
- A proactive approach and evidence of using own initiative with effective problem-solving skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate, engage and present at multiple levels and across different sectors.
- Ability to develop and maintain good working relations with colleagues and external clients.
- Confident networker with the ability to identify and develop potential opportunities or leads.
- Adaptable and organised in prioritising workload, managing conflicting demands and working effectively to deadlines with minimum supervision.
- Ability to influence stakeholders and negotiate outcomes.
- Ability to travel regularly and to remote sites.
- A professional and businesses orientated approach.
- A sound working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
- Reliable, positive attitude & work ethic
- Ability to deliver accurate and timely project monitoring, reporting and administration
- Team player, tactful, diplomatic and confident. Willing to work with others to seek solutions.
- Pro-active attitude towards meeting and exceeding goals
- Approachable, professional, trustworthy
- Innovative, adaptable, practical.
- Shares and promote success, acknowledges failures and seeks solutions to improve.
- Supports and promotes the WRT ethos.
- The above are Essential criteria unless indicated as Desirable (D)