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Farm Manager: Parsonage Down NNR (Reserve Manager)

Posted: 3 Dec 2019 Closes: 14 Jan 2020
South West £25,215
Fixed term & Full time defra/20191203180511

This position is based at Parsonage Down NNR, Salisbury

The Somerset, Avon and Wiltshire Team (SAW) covered the counties of Somerset and Wiltshire and the unitary authorities of Swindon, Bristol City, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset.

It has staff based in offices at; Bristol; Bridgwater, Shapwick Heath NNR and Cherry Lodge Farm, Parsonage Down NNR.

The SAW team recently merged with Dorset based Natural England staff to create the new Wessex Team.

Role Description

• A key member of the National Nature Reserve (NNR) team that will deliver the “Parsonage Down NNR Vision”.
• Working closely with the Parsonage Down Reserve Manager to develop an environmentally sustainable farming system and a high nature value farm.
• Responsible for the day to day management of all farming operations at Cherry Lodge Farm, in particular;
• Lead Health and Safety management of farm activities including on site risk management, task risk assessment, maintaining records and H&S reporting
• Ensure Natural England complies with its legal responsibilities as a landowner relating to farm operations e.g. cross compliance, maintenance of livestock records
• Manage the breeding herd of pedigree Longhorn cattle and non-breeding flock of sheep
• Develop the marketing of farm products with the aim of promoting sustainable farming
• Maintain all NNR estate assets, machinery, vehicles, buildings and site infrastructure so that it is safe and operational.
• Manage allocated farm budgets (planning and day to day spend) and generate income from farm operations.
Functionally manage the Parsonage Down NNR Reserve Warden, contractors and volunteers
• Contribute to the development of a “Connecting People with Nature” programme on NNRs in Wiltshire.
• Contribute to the use of Parsonage Down and Cherry Lodge Farm as a training and development resource for Natural England
• Act as first point of contact for the Cherry Lodge Farm enterprise. Respond to queries, providing information advice and guidance relating to this site.


Professional competency
Technical/specialist knowledge/qualifications


• Livestock management skills required to manage a breeding herd of pedigree cattle and flock of sheep.
• Competence in the use of farm management software e.g. Farm Works
• An interest in the development of environmentally sustainable farming
• Knowledge of marketing and selling farm products direct to the consumer or into the local supply chain.
• Practical skills associated with the maintenance of farm and NNR estate assets and site infrastructure e.g. fencing, water supplies, access tracks, gates, signage and interpretation.
• Qualifications and experience of using machinery and equipment relevant to the role (e.g. tractor/telehandler) and the ability to undertake basic maintenance. Proof of certification will be required where relevant.


• Knowledge of arable farming, particularly as it relates to a mixed farming system and forage production.
• Knowledge of visitor engagement techniques and countryside access issues/management.
• Experience of working with volunteers and/or local communities
• Understanding of farmland biodiversity (habitats and species)

Professional competency
Working safely - Practitioner

• Apply risk assessment and safe working practices to everything you do
• Understand the duty of care owed to all visitors, contractors or others on our NNRs
• Adhere to appropriate legislation and Natural England policies and procedures

Professional competency
Work delivery - Practitioner

• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines
• Consider the financial implications of your work and seek income from our products and services
• Understand and apply relevant policy, legislation, governance frameworks and strategies to your work

Professional competency
Putting people at the heart of the environment - Practitioner

• Understand the importance of people accessing and engaging with the natural environment, and how to balance their needs with nature conservation objectives.
• Collaborate, influence and build trusting relationships to achieve pragmatic outcomes.
• Develop an understanding of the objectives and needs of our partners and customers.

Professional competency
Personal effectiveness - Practitioner

• Data & evidence - Be decisive, combine your professional judgement with evidence to inform your decision-making.
• People - Address challenging issues and manage conflict.
• Apply new technology to improve the way you work.


Please refer to Job Description


Certificated training in the use of tractor and/or telehandler



• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Selection process details

Please refer to Job Description

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs

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