Project Officer

West Cumbria Rivers Trust

Keswick, Cumbria
£25,141 - £26,231 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, water & hydrology

Closing date: Sunday, 20th June 2021   7 days left

Location: Keswick Convention Centre, Skiddaw Street, Keswick, CA12 4BY
Duration: Two year fixed term contract (with possible extension subject to funding)
Starting salary: £25,141 to £26,231 (depending on experience) plus 9% pension
Hours of work: 35 hours per week (flexible)
Holiday entitlement: 25 days per year plus bank holidays
This role will report to: West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s (WCRT) Assistant Director

Role overview and background

West Cumbria Rivers Trust (WCRT) runs two highly successful Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund projects, funded through the Rural Payments Agency, one on the Crookhurst (a small catchment that runs into Allonby Bay) and the other on the River Cocker in the Derwent Catchment. A possible third programme is in the pipeline.

As the facilitator for these schemes, you will help a group of farmers and other land managers work together to improve the natural environment at a landscape rather than single-farm scale, and achieve greater improvements than individual holdings could on their own. You will do this by organising regular group farmer meetings, including events with external experts and speakers and group site/farm visits. You will work closely with other WCRT staff members, in particular the River Cocker Project officer, and external partners to develop a varied programme of events.

The other exciting part of this role is to develop our Catchment Partnership work on the River Waver and River Wampool catchment area in north west Cumbria which drains into the Solway firth. Focusing initially on a sub-catchment upstream of Wigton, you will be required to work closely with partner organisations, local communities and land managers to initially develop, and subsequently deliver, a pipeline of projects to address a range of issues including reducing diffuse pollution, improving river habitat and reducing flood risk.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  1. Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund group tasks: Organise and deliver training and events for groups of farmers and stakeholders, project management including budgeting and finance claims to the Rural Payments Agency.
  2. Work closely with farmers, landowners, partner organisations and community groups to develop and deliver a range of interventions to improve water quality, improve riparian habitat and reduce flood risk.
  3. Deliver a portfolio of environmental projects with individual farm businesses including tendering and commissioning of capital works.
  4. Work with key farming partner organisations and businesses in Cumbria to assist in the development of sustainable farming in the Waver and Wampool catchment.
  5. Develop a pipeline of projects to address catchment issues and Investigate future funding opportunities.
  6. Assist land managers to access funding to address identified issues through agri-environment schemes and grants and ensure any interventions funded through other sources are compatible with any current agri-environment schemes.
  7. Ensure all funder requirements are met (including timely reporting).
  8. Understand the duty of care for all staff and ensure health and safety requirements adhered to at all times and regulations and reporting procedures as described in the WCRT Health and Safety Manual.

Personal skills and attributes 

Applicants should:

  • Have a keen interest and passion for the environment and in particular the farming environment
  • Be well organised and reliable, able to work to deadlines and under pressure
  • Have strong people skills and the ability to share knowledge and skills with others
  • Be team oriented, and enjoy working with a wide cross section of the community, but also be able to work on their own initiative along with often undertaking lone working and evening work
  • Possess excellent organisational skills and the ability to inspire, motivate and work in co-operation with others
  • Have excellent communication and inter-personal skills with the ability to engage the local community and volunteers and promote project work
  • Be able to help support volunteers, partners and other organisations
  • A ‘can do’ attitude

Essential requirements

  • A degree in an environmental or farming related discipline or equivalent industry experience
  • A minimum of 2 years relevant project management experience working in the environmental field
  • Excellent awareness and understanding of agricultural practices and a passion for sustainable farming systems
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of agri-environment schemes, and ability to keep up to date with current changes during the Agricultural Transition Period
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of nature conservation (in particular on rivers and lakes), land management and working with riparian owners and farmers
  • Ability to deliver public presentations, guided walks and talks
  • Ambitious and self-motivated and be able to work on own initiative
  • An excellent track record of community engagement and working with volunteers to deliver conservation activities
  • Basic IT skills (email, word processing, presentation software)
  • Able to swim and be confident and safe in and around water
  • Clean driving licence and use of own car for work purposes

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience

  • FACTS or/and BASIS Qualified
  • A sound knowledge of geomorphological processes and river management techniques, hydrology, water quality and hydroecology
  • A sound working knowledge of Environment Agency and Natural England policies and procedures and the ability to complete relevant forms such as Environmental Permits
  • GIS
  • Ability to carry out procurement processes and manage budgets
  • Knowledge of soils and nutrient management

Other information

You will be expected to work flexibly across the Trust as required by operational need and carry out other duties commensurate to the nature and grade of the post.

Flexible working patterns will generally be accommodated and working from home is permitted as required, in agreement with the Director.

There are currently four company vehicles and it is expected that on occasion private vehicles will be used for work and mileage claimed (at 45p per mile). The necessary insurance is therefore required.

The successful applicant will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check and provide satisfactory references from previous employers.

A letter may be required from your GP confirming your fitness to carry out the duties associated with this post.

How to apply

Please send your CV with a covering letter setting out your experience and qualifications as highlighted in the job specification to [email protected]

The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 20 June 2021

Interviews will likely be held on Monday 28 June 2021.

Find out more & apply