Catchment Partnership Agricultural Adviser

Lower Smite Farm, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Organization Background

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) are working with Severn Trent Water (STW), other West Midlands Wildlife Trusts, the Environment Agency (EA) and other partners on river catchments to tackle pollution in watercourses across catchment areas and to bring them into good ecological condition. An important part of this programme is to work with farmers and landowners to reduce diffuse agricultural pollution into rivers and streams and to tackle water quality in Severn Trent’s drinking water boreholes in the area.

Position Description

These posts are suitable for experienced and enthusiastic agricultural advisors to work on behalf of catchment Partnerships, funded through Severn Trent Water’s AMP 6 Catchment Management programme, and based across different county Wildlife Trusts. The post-holders will deliver a programme of farmer/agronomist training events and one to one farm visits to promote resource protection and a reduction in diffuse water pollution from agriculture, with a focus on pesticides and nutrients. The post-holder will aim to raise awareness, improve understanding and acceptance amongst farmers and land managers of diffuse pollution from agriculture and its impact on water quality and the wider water environment. Engagement with farmers in targeted areas identified by STW will seek to create through a voluntary approach, a sense of ownership and achievement within the farming community in relation to water quality in the catchment. You will also work with Trust staff and other partners in catchment areas to develop ideas and projects to improve watercourses for wildlife through habitat creation and management.

Severn Trent Environmental Protection Scheme [STEPS]

The post-holder will promote, engage and support farmer uptake of the Severn Trent Water capital grant scheme [STEPS] in target areas of groundwater catchments, in order to support farm infrastructure changes to reduce diffuse water pollution. Farmers as Producers of Clean Water [FaPCW] The post-holder will promote, engage and support farmer participation in the Farmers as Producers of Clean Water incentive scheme which engages farmers in collaborative programmes of water quality improvements; this is supported and integrated with STEPS infrastructure grant support. FaPCW is open to farmers that grow either oilseed rape or winter wheat in catchments identified as potentially high risk. This programme is particularly aimed at reducing metaldehyde contamination of water by supporting active measures or product substitution.

Key Responsibilities:

The following targets have been established to focus activity over the duration of the contract:

  • Overall farmer engagement – 90% of farmers in priority catchment
  • Positive farmer engagement – 80% of farmers in priority catchments
  • Improved knowledge/awareness of water quality issues – 80% of farmers in priority catchments
  • Workshop attendance – 75% attendance at workshops based on venue capacity
  • Infrastructural changes – 80% of farmers applying for relevant Steps grants
  • Land management changes – >75% of priority farmers using ferric phosphate instead of metaldehyde.

The post-holder will be required to carry out the following tasks with the support of both Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Trent to meet the requirements of the role:

  • Co-ordinate, deliver and participate in events to help with the promotion and awareness raising of the core messages and schemes of the programme
  • Plan and deliver training events, sessions and develop partnerships to meet local training needs in relation to water quality
  • Promote, engage and seek participation in STEPS and FaPCW programmes.
  • Provide advice and support for scheme participants
  • Administer and verify scheme activity
  • Maintain simple system of evaluation and feedback from farmers and land managers.
  • Prepare and submit monthly progress reports to ensure adequate monitoring of the programme, engagement activity and scheme take up into a Farmer Engagement Database.
  • Contribute to annual reporting schedules
  • Participate in relevant Wildlife Trust water environment initiatives, programmes and projects during the period of the contract.
  • Participate in relevant partner activities where these are complimentary to the core programme, assist in the development of water environment focussed projects in target areas and take part in relevant Catchment Partnerships such as the CaBA CP’s. 

The Wildlife Trusts are dynamic conservation charity, working at a local and regional level to secure a better future for wildlife and people, as well as working with local communities and campaigning for the natural world.

If you have a relevant degree and a minimum of one years’ experience of providing pollution reduction advice to farmers and landowners, a strong background in understanding water quality issues, lowland farming systems and wetland ecology, we would be very interested to hear from you.

A full driving licence and your own vehicle will be required as the post holder will often need to travel within and out of the county they choose to apply too. Some weekend, Bank Holiday and evening working will also be required.

This post is full time, commencing early April 2018 until the end of March 2019 with the possibility of an extension.

Applications must be received by 4.55 Friday 2nd March 2018; Interviews will be held on Monday 19th March 2018

Strictly no agency or further advertising enquiries will be accepted for this post.