Farm Environment Adviser

£27,000 – £30,000 pa

Location: Norfolk

Full-time position

Overview

Norfolk FWAG are part of the national FWAG Association (formerly the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group) and provide on-farm environmental advice to land managers in Norfolk.

Our members and clients include farmers and landowners, but we also work with statutory environmental agencies, other conservation organisations and utility companies that enlist our services in order to positively influence the actions of land managers on the farmed environment.

We are seeking a highly motivated Farm Environment Adviser to join our small team based in Norwich. The successful applicant will be able to:

• Establish themselves within the local farming community as a point of contact for environmental advice.

• Establish and maintain contact with partner organisations.

• Enthuse land managers with your advice and thereby secure environmental gains.

• Demonstrate a good understanding of different farming enterprises and the issues around protection of soils, water and air.

• Complete agri-environment scheme applications without supervision.

• Speak publicly and confidently, promoting positive management of the farmed environment, to large groups of farmers, community groups and public bodies.

• Take responsibility for a varied workload and carry out your own administrative tasks.

• Enjoy working within our small team, but also be able and happy to work on your own.

• Be pro-active in developing project ideas and generating new business.

Key Responsibilities

You will be expected to:

• Provide clear and concise verbal and written advice to farmers and land managers on wildlife and landscape conservation, and resource protection issues (predominantly soil, water and air).

The advice may be single issue advice (e.g. how to manage a pond for wildlife) or the preparation of Whole Farm Plans that inform the environmental management of the entire farm.

• Recognise that conservation advice given must be practical in relation to the farm enterprise and the farm business.

• In giving advice give priority to: conserving existing landscape, wildlife and historical features and encouraging their maintenance and improvement; minimising the impact of farm activities on the natural environment through sustainable resource protection.

• Advise and assist with securing suitable financial support or voluntary help for activity associated with our advice. For example, this could be completing a Countryside Stewardship application on behalf of the farmer or engaging a volunteer to carry out a butterfly survey of the farm. Signpost farmers to contractors who can carry out environmental activities on their land.

• Undertake Phase I/Uk Hab surveys.

• Develop a network of, and liaise closely with, partners that offer complementary services to those of Norfolk FWAG. This would include government agencies, conservation organisations, local authorities, volunteer groups and local agri-businesses.

• Promote membership of Norfolk FWAG to farmer clients and others.

• Work with colleagues and partner organisations to develop and deliver new projects and initiatives.

• Organise and run farm walks and training events.

• Write articles for our newsletters and website.

• Give talks to local groups and societies to promote an understanding and appreciation of the role of farmers in the conservation of the countryside.

• Attend appropriate training that your line manager deems necessary.

• Assist your colleagues and undertake such other duties that Norfolk FWAG require.

Person specification

• A knowledge of arable and livestock systems, agricultural financial support and agricultural environmental legislation is required, preferably (but not necessarily) from a farming background.

• Good knowledge and understanding of the countryside, especially wildlife, landscape and local history.

• A minimum of 5 GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and English at grades A-C and a degree in a relevant subject (e.g. agriculture, ecology, geography or similar).

• A good knowledge of farmland species and habitats, with the ability to assess the wildlife and landscape value of different habitats and features and able to make appropriate recommendations for their management.

• A good understanding of the interactions between farm operations (particularly those that have an impact on soil, water and air) and the natural environment.

• Knowledge of carbon auditing is desirable.

• BASIS and FACTS qualifications an advantage.

• The ability to communicate well with farmers, landowners and land managers and the skills to persuade them to take action.

• The ability and confidence to undertake talks, lectures and demonstrations to a wide variety of audiences.

• Be capable of organising and completing a programme of advisory and consultancy work efficiently and economically, without immediate supervision.

• Excellent report writing skills and attention to detail are essential.

• Excellent IT skills and GIS mapping experience.

• Keep records of your work and report regularly to your line manager on progress.

• Be able to take responsibility for the administration of your work.

• Be willing to undertake occasional work or training that requires travelling long distances and staying away overnight.

• Have a flexible approach to your work.

Terms and conditions of employment

• This is a full-time permanent position, with a starting salary of £27,000 – £30,000 per annum dependent upon experience.

• Benefits package including Contributory Pension Scheme and Death in Service cover

• One month’s notice period.

• 37.5 hours per week (full-time). You may be required to work occasional evenings or weekends.

• Must hold a current full driving licence and have access to own car.

• 24 days’ holiday per annum, plus public holidays.

• Office location is c/o AF Group, Honingham Thorpe, Colton, Norwich, NR9 5BZ but expected to travel throughout Norfolk and occasionally further afield. Flexibility to work from home if required.

How to apply

Please email your CV and a covering letter explaining why you would like to work for Norfolk FWAG as a Farm Environment Adviser to Mike Edwards at mike@norfolkfwag.co.uk

Interviews are likely to be via Zoom, but may also involve an on-farm appraisal if possible. Please note, we are unable to give feedback to applicants unless invited for interview.