2 Curlew chicks fitted with radio tags

New Job Opportunity: Curlew Country Project Manager

Location Shropshire and Powys

Salary £29,000 to £32,000 equivalent per annum based on experience and skill

Benefits 10% Employer contribution to pension after 6-month probationary period

Position Type Full Time. This is a fixed term contract to 31st December 2023, with the potential for extension, subject to funding.

Working Pattern 37.5 hours per week – In the Curlew breeding season flexibility will be required to maximise effectiveness. Both weekend and evening work will be required. At other times during the year occasional weekend and evening working may be required outside usual working hours.

Work Base Curlew Country’s office is at Rigmoreoak, The Bog, Pennerley, Minsterley, SY5 0NE.

You will work mainly in the beautiful surroundings of the Shropshire Hills AONB and over the English and Welsh border into Montgomeryshire.

Employer Curlew Country is an independent, self-funded organisation, hosted by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. GWCT is the employer and all non-contract staff including this post are seconded to Curlew Country

Role and Context

This is a unique opportunity to work with a pioneering conservation organisation focussed on curlew recovery and the associated multiple benefits that this flagship species can deliver. Could you be instrumental in winning the race against time to save this iconic red list species? Your role will be to deliver the next phase of this dynamic, innovative, flexible, fast- moving initiative and you will use a blend of practical and management skills. You will need experience, passion, energy, and drive to ensure that opportunities for Curlew Recovery in the Shropshire and Welsh borders are maximised in 2023.

Curlew Country operates in a landscape of about 200km2 and has been at the forefront of lowland hill farm curlew recovery work. 130 plus chicks have fully fledged successfully since 2017 through its conservation work on farmland. Field work programmes include natural nest monitoring and interventions for success: nest protection and habitat management, and headstarting.

Partnership with local farmers and land manager to establish, through field trials and interventions, what is needed for and to progress Curlew recovery is essential to the initiative. A key part of the role will be an understanding of lowland hill farm business and practices and nurturing and developing land manager partnerships. It will be important to facilitate curlew breeding success and the multiple benefits that it can deliver environmentally whilst enabling farming to flourish within the backdrop of the current developing Agri-environment schemes.

Curlew Country also engages widely with a local and national audience raising awareness of the plight of Curlew. You will need good engagement and ambassadorial skills.

You will be responsible for the co-ordination and successful delivery of the annual programme of work. In 2023 this will include nest monitoring, headstarting and research. You will manage a small seasonal team of staff and volunteers, collaborate with external consultants, and oversee the work undertaken by contractors.

About Curlew Country

Curlew Country started in 2014 and was originally part of a Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) since the end of the LPS in 2018, it has been hosted by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Curlew Country has a small staff team, and everyone is expected to be involved in the full range of activity.

Its path-finding work has led to several innovations in Curlew conservation including trialling temporary electric fencing around Curlew nests, Curlew Cam and headstarting.

Curlew Country is an independent, self-funded organisation.

Job Description

The Curlew Country Project Manager will report to and work closely with the Curlew Country Director

  • To plan and co-ordinate the work programme, devise a work plan and ensure all deadlines are met during the Curlew breeding season.
  • Liaise with farmers and land managers to enable curlew monitoring and interventions
  • To assist with Curlew monitoring and train and supervise volunteers involved in helping with this programme
  • Facilitate headstarting, including rotas, pen construction and training
  • Erect, maintain and dismantle temporary electric fences, maintain Curlew Cam and supervise other practical tasks
  • Identify training needs and where appropriate arrange, oversee, or deliver training for staff and volunteers
  • Keep detailed and accurate records including data and photographs for monitoring and dissemination of findings and curlew awareness raising.
  • Arrange and assist as required with public events, deliver talks and represent CC at meetings
  • Ensure that the Curlew Country annual breeding season report is completed to a high standard by the required date
  • Ensure budgetary requirements and targets are met
  • Monitor, review and ensure that all legal obligations and statutory management. requirements in relation to fieldwork are kept up to date, including Health and Safety
  • Maintain all equipment, organise suitable storage and keep an up-to-date inventory
  • Contribute and assist to the preparation of community and wider public engagement activities
  • Lead or assist with funding applications and ensure that related deadlines are met
  • Seek funding opportunities
  • Act as an ambassador to Curlew Country   

Essential skills knowledge and experience

  • An understanding of lowland hill farming business and practices, including Agri-environment schemes.
  • The ability to form, nurture and develop strong working relationships with land managers to maximise effectiveness in engagement with Curlew recovery and provision of support when required.
  • An understanding of curlew behaviour and especially the challenges of curlew breeding habits on farmland.
  • Project management skills
  • Good knowledge of local habitats and species and their beneficial management
  • Supervision skills and experience of team working
  • Good communication skills with experience of public speaking and creating and disseminating PR material
  • Habitat management experience
  • Good record keeping skills
  • Experience of letting and supervising contracts
  • Sound practical skills linked to practical problem solving
  • Your own vehicle and driving licence both must be valid in the UK
  • Good IT skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to walk and navigate in remote and rugged environments and experience of lone working in same

 Desirable skills and experience

  • Ornithological experience and the ability to find curlew nests
  • Experience of training and advice delivery
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of generating PR material
  • ArcGIS or similar mapping skills
  • Website management skills
  • An understanding of predation control including lethal and non-lethal methods
  • Experience of successful grant funding acquisition

Please submit a covering letter and CV to Amanda Perkins, Curlew Country Director, aperkins@gwct.org.uk

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 8th February, 2023.

Interview date: Tuesday 14th February, 2023

Closing Date: 08/02/2023  Location: Shropshire and Powys


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