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Assistant Warden - Wiltshire Chalk Country (Winterbourne Downs)

Reference: AUG20219975
Expiry date: 23:59, 15 October 2021
Location: Winterbourne
Salary: £22,986.00 - £25,500.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotesAug21.pdf

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to lead on the machinery, reserve infrastructure, and arable operations as part of the RSPB Winterbourne Downs reserves team and take this knowledge and experience to work with surrounding landowners and deliver wider consultancy estate projects. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to develop their tractor operation and bird surveying skills and broaden this skill set by working on third-party sites. They will play an active part in RSPB's work in reconnecting the landscape in the Wiltshire Chalk Country for the stone-curlew and iconic chalk downland wildlife, from corn buntings and lapwings to green-winged orchids and Adonis blue butterflies.

What’s the role about  

Year-round the postholder will be responsible for the arable plot cultivations, hedge and scrub management, maintaining footpath and nature trails, fencing and building infrastructure at RSPB Winterbourne Downs. In spring and summer, they will be working off reserves with surrounding landowners in the Wiltshire Chalk Country monitoring stone-curlews and other priority species providing practical management advice. In autumn and winter, they will contribute to RSPB’s Ecology & Land Management consultancy work in the surrounding regions, with access to excellent training in specialist skills relating to wetland management and spoil spreading.

Key activities will include:

  • Working closely with the warden & site manager to deliver scheduled management plan activities at Winterbourne Downs.
  • Overseeing the tractor, agricultural machinery and vehicle checks and servicing.
  • Team lead on keeping machinery & building Risk Assessments up to date. Maintain chemical store records and COSHH assessments.
  • Management of reserve stone-curlew plots via spraying, cultivating and topping as required.
  • Liaising with the grazier over livestock management, communicating grazing plan requirements, keeping weekly log of livestock movements and electric fencing fallow plots and wild bird seed plots as required.
  • Annual review of fencing infrastructure and updating a 3 year maintenance and replacement plan.
  • Monitoring, nest protection and management advice for stone-curlews on farmland in the Wiltshire Chalk Country.
  • Assist the Wiltshire team in providing advocacy support to local farmer-led groups.
  • In the wider region mainly in autumn and winter work on Ecological Land Management consultancy projects, such as forestry, bracken spraying, tree and scrub management.

What we need from you

Essential

  • GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent.
  • Practical land management experience and delivering estate and building management works.
  • Experience of operating and maintaining machinery, equipment and infrastructure. Particularly relevant are use of 4X4 vehicles, tractor and cultivation implements, hedge-cutter, tractor mounted or drawn sprayer, brush-cutters and chainsaw.
  • Qualification such as Lantra or equivalent qualifications in ATV, chainsaw, tractor operation, brushcutter, pesticides (PA1, PA2 & PA6).
  • Microsoft Office packages including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • The ability to work as part of a small busy reserves team, and be able to work unsupervised on other projects for extended periods.
  • The ability to work flexibly and unsocial hours
  • Have the capacity and circumstance to work away from home on occasion.
  • A good knowledge of farmland birds.
  • A valid driver's license fit for use in the UK.

Desirable

  • Livestock management
  • Trailer licence
  • Experience of implementing and updating health and safety records and assessments.
  • An abilty to communicate verbally with the farming community.
  • Previous experience of bird survey/ monitoring/ species protection work.

For all application/role enquiries please contact - Helen.whitall@rspb.org.uk

Please note that you will be required to upload a CV and complete an online application form.

When completing the application form please provide evidence of how you meet the criteria set out in the 'What we need from you' section.

Before applying to this role we would encourage you to read through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.