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Logo: North Devon UNESCO Biosphere

North Devon UNESCO Biosphere

Land Management Consultant

North Devon UNESCO Biosphere is an important meeting place of rich natural and cultural heritage in a stunning world-class environment from dunes, grassland and moors, towns and villages to 12 miles beyond Lundy Island into the Bristol Channel. It stretches over 3,500 sq. km and includes over 150, 000 people in the local population. Our UNESCO Biosphere celebrates life by recognising the connections between people and nature. As part of the global MAB network, our Biosphere provides an open forum for bringing people together with their natural surroundings, to empower them to unlock their potential and using their local and scientific knowledge to model solutions for sustainable living.

The North Devon UNESCO Biosphere is also a vibrant landscape for scientific research and is host to a number of ecological pilots.

Twinned with the Malindi-Watumu Biosphere Reserve on the Kenyan coast, we are proud to be a part of the wider UNESCO family. The Biosphere network has 735 sites worldwide, cover 5% of the earth’s surface and have 250m people living in them.

Project background: The North Devon Coordinated response for Intertidal Taw Torridge Estuary Restoration (CRITTER) project is part of a 6 year plan aiming to improve water quality and biodiversity within the Taw Torridge Estuary. Plans include restoration of intertidal habitat by removing historic flood defences within the estuary; protecting the shell fishery, and relieving morphological pressures on the tidal prism associated with long-standing physical modification of the estuary and its floodplain.

The CRITTER partnership will be led by the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere, who will coordinate the activity of Natural England, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Swansea University. The project will deliver Water Framework Directive (WFD), Flood Risk Management Plan, Biodiversity 2030, 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP) and Nature Recovery Strategy outcomes.

In meeting our objectives, we will deliver significant natural capital benefits associated with increased biodiversity, reduced flood risk and carbon sequestration. This will be through the uptake of incentives and design of measures. This is voluntary and requires successful engagement with land managers.

Delivery of Service:

The purpose of this role is to influence, support and work with farmers, landowners, partners and land managers within the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere to implement improved land management projects on their holdings in line with the sustainable development principles of our Biosphere. Working towards Environmental Land Management (due to be introduced in 2024) key to the role will be developing relationships with the community of farmers, land managers and landowners who wish to practice ‘regenerative’ farming and/or ‘wild’ their land sympathetically for wildlife and to access new, diversified and resilient revenue streams as a result. As part of this, the contractor will help to develop and deliver a range of innovative approaches and blended funding mechanisms to achieve our Nature Recovery Strategy.

Farmer Outreach

  • Manage a portfolio of landowners via online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform
  • Proactively manage outreach to farmers and landowners to communicate project scope and persuade them of the benefits. Outreach via phone, face to face on-farm meetings and email

Deliver A Successful Land Advice Service

  • Lead delivery of client projects from start to finish create; sound specifications, monitor workflow, ensure delivery is to schedule and on budget
  • Demonstrate leadership and expertise in wildlife and land management advice

Manage Land Advice Service Operations

  • Support development of core operational procedures (e.g. communications tracking, client tracking, measuring client satisfaction, evaluating impact)
  • Seek opportunities to streamline processes (e.g. creating reporting templates, project management process)

Develop Opportunities For Landowner Engagement

  • Organise and deliver training and networking events for land managers and landowners
  • Represent the Biosphere externally on conservation and farming issues

Other project activities

  • Working with the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Communication team to produce publicity and promotion of the scheme to stakeholders
  • Carry out farm visits to landowners in the project area (approx. 1/2 day); including whole farm assessment, identifying issues, offering advice and support

Why work with us?

Our core values are to celebrate life, empower people, model solutions, and belong together. Through innovation and collective values our mission is to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature today. We are a movement of people building a future that we can trust.

Invitation to Tender: The contract will initially run for 18 months. Subject to conditions, this may be renewed or become a permanent position. Applicants must be set up as a Sole Trader/ Limited Company (or willing to set up and evidence prior to interview).

£30,400 pro rata (inclusive of VAT, if applicable)

Qualifications & Experience:

Essential / Desirable

  • Degree and/or equivalent level of experience in relevant discipline E
  • Strong experience in delivering land management advice successfully E
  • Experience of delivering and/or commissioning ecological surveys and reports E
  • Contract management, negotiation and supervision E

Knowledge & Skills:

Essential / Desirable

  • Specialist knowledge of one or more aspects of land management e.g. soils, wildling, woodlands, species conservation D
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills applied in a professional manner in a variety of situations E
  • Willingness and ability to travel to meet farmers, landowners, and colleagues as required (e.g. Full driving licence and access to own transport) E
  • Practical understanding of natural capital issues and innovative financing mechanisms D
  • Farm business planning and knowledge of farm economics and accounting D

Personal Qualities:

Essential / Desirable

  • People-focussed; able to quickly build trust and productive working relationships with a diverse range of people E
  • Able to work well on own initiative with minimum supervision but also a strong collaborator and team player E

How to apply:

Complete online application here 

For further information contact nicola.corrigan@devon.gov.uk REF JOBCODE CRI222  

Closing Date: 27/12/2021  Location: North Devon

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