Environmental Jobs in Ireland

Project Officer

by admin - November 3rd, 2019.
Filed under: Agriculture, Communications, Contract, Ecology, Full-time, GIS.

Employer: European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
Location: Western Isles, Scotland
Job Type: Contract
Duration: Until 30th September 2020
Salary: £36,000 p.a. pro rata
Closing Date: 8th November 2019 

Shared steps for common grazings: Developing a results-based approach for supporting the active delivery of public goods


The European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism is a UK-registered network which aims to raise awareness of the importance of certain low-intensity farming systems for nature conservation and to heighten understanding of the policy needs of such systems. It does this through a range of activities including research, pilots, networking activity, discussions with policy makers and a range of means dissemination and communication.

Background to the project

A gradual move towards approaches to delivering support to farmers and crofters which is results based or outcomes-focussed at farm level is being seen in many countries at present. Although no projects have been rolled out nationwide, some, like the Burren programme in Ireland, are now mainstreamed into their Rural Development Programme, while a number of other even larger projects are still formally at pilot stage. The UK has not been at the forefront of these developments, with Scotland specifically having had no pilot or scheme development activity so far, but policy is now moving in that direction. Scottish Natural Heritage has embarked on the first stages of what is hoped can be funded as small-scale pilots in four areas – the first meetings of these projects are taking place in autumn 2019. Common grazings are not covered by those four first-steps projects, but common grazings, which are a significant element of the pasture resource for around 4000 crofters, are not only delivering large amounts of public goods but are known to pose considerable challenges for scheme design and delivery.

The project

This project aims to develop results-based measures appropriate to common grazing management. It will examine and describe more broadly the limits to such approaches on common grazings and set out ways of maximising the effectiveness of such measures in terms of ease of access to grazings committees, of rewarding active management by individual crofters and of meeting the demand for public goods. After an initial phase of stock-taking, the project will work through representative examples of common grazings, but it will be necessary for these to cover the whole of the Western Isles. It will also involve liaison with Government and its agencies and discussions with experts, as well as communication and dissemination of activities. Due to the constraints of LEADER funding, the project will end definitively on the 31st of October 2020, aiming to submit its final report by 30th September 2020.

Duties of the post

The postholder, who will work from a base in the Western Isles, will be responsible for delivering the project on a day-to-day basis, supported by a part-time project coordinator and project administrative and budget manager, both based outwith the Western Isles. The overall project is outlined in the draft work packages available as an annex to this job description. The essence of the project officer role is to be the person who day to day delivers the project work packages. As such the duties include, but are not limited to:

– Running meetings and engaging face-to-face with individuals in many fields in an engaging and appropriate and outcome-focussed manner
– Carrying out data gathering, manipulation and presentation both using existing and new data sources
– Writing reports and other forms of communication material in a range of styles, concisely and with clarity
– Making the most effective use of the skills and experience of experts and key stakeholders in Scotland, including a limited number whose input will be paid for by the project
– Bringing in specific expertise on results-based approaches from further afield to build on existing experience of such measures
– Input into project social media activity and engaging with mainstream media
– Providing such reporting as is required by the project and by the employer within the timescales set down and in the prescribed form

Job requirements

You must:
– Have an established record of dealing with specific groups of the public in a sensitive and competent manner
– Have an established record of report-writing to a high standard
– Be self-motivating
– Be a good time keeper and organiser of your own time
– Have a clean driving licence
– Have experience or certified expertise in either agriculture or ecology
– Have competence in the use of the main MS Office programs

It is desirable that you:
– Have experience of working with crofting or marginal farming systems and their farmers/crofters, and particularly of common grazings
– Have some knowledge of agricultural support schemes
– Have specific expertise in at least one topic of central importance to the project
– Have experience of running public meetings
– Have some familiarity with the Western Isles
– Have the ability to communicate verbally in Gaelic
– Can use GIS software and mapping programs

Terms and conditions

The term of employment will commence as soon as possible – you should specify a date in your covering letter. It will terminate on the 30th of September, 2020 or by one month’s notice on either side, other than in the case of gross misconduct.

The salary will be £36,000 p.a. pro rata. You will be enrolled in the EFNCP pension scheme unless you opt out. Your working day is normally 7.5 hours, but you will be expected to work flexibly as the job requires and within the overall salary budget. You are entitled to 36 days of holiday annually pro rata, inclusive of bank holidays.

You will be based in the Western Isles, either from home or in space provided by a partner organisation. For travel away from your office base, you will be entitled to travel and subsistence following the normal EFNCP policies and any additional restrictions imposed by LEADER rules, providing you provide the supporting documentation required and within the set timeframe.

Your line manager will be the project coordinator. You will be required to provide monthly reports and these must be submitted timeously; not to do so will jeopardise the project funding.

How to apply

The closing date for applications is 8th November 2019.

Send a cv and a detailed covering letter outlining how your experience qualifies you for the job, along with 2 sample reports and the names and contact details of 2 referees who are willing to discuss your performance and skills by telephone to Due to the short time scale, referees may be contacted before any interview.

Candidates not short-listed will be informed within a week of the closing date, as will candidates selected for interview. The interviews will take place on the 14th or 15th of November 2019 at a venue which will be determined based on the current location of suitable candidates. Short-listed candidates will be informed of the decision within the week.

To discuss the role further, please feel free to phone Gwyn Jones on 07884116048.

*Please mention when applying for this position.*

Comments are closed.