Catchment Sensitive Farming Advisers – Lead Adviser

Natural England delivers Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) in partnership with Defra and the Environment Agency, as a part of NE’s farm advice service.  CSF operates through a network of Farm Advisers and local partners in each priority catchment.  CSF delivers Defra’s 25-year plan ambitions for water quality, air quality (ammonia) and natural flood mitigation through nature-based solutions. We make a significant contribution to nature recovery through helping farmers to take action.

The next few years will see significant changes to the support and schemes available to farmers. Associated with these changes will be improvements to Natural England’s farm advice service. This role will evolve in tandem with these changes.

Farm Advisers work on partnerships with Water Companies, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), Flood Authorities and others. All Farm Advisers will have the opportunity to enrol in a structured training programme.

The role of the CSF Farm Advisor is to:

  • Evaluate and understand environmental priorities for CSF within the specified catchment(s).
  • Develop information and advice campaigns for farmers and landowners. Including group events, farm visits and newsletters.
  • Undertake targeted farm visits to assess environmental priorities and advise on appropriate mitigating actions
  • Secure agreement and ownership, on key pollution issues and solutions, to achieve practice change and help farmers and landowners take action.
  • Drive delivery via a range of tools including specialist training and advice (own or procured through contractors) and using incentives such as Countryside Stewardship.
  • Support Countryside Stewardship (CS) applications by advising farmers on suitable land management options and/or capital items, prioritising and approving CS Capital Grants and Mid-Tier measures and providing advice on other Defra grant schemes. Offer general advice on CS options such as those addressing biodiversity and/or signpost applicants to additional advice from other sources where targeting overlaps.
  • Support Defra’s new Tackling Pollution from Slurry programme including offering advice to Slurry Infrastructure Grant applicants.
  • Communicate, advocate, and promote CSF activity internally with Natural England colleagues and externally with farmers, land managers and partners.
  • Work with Natural England colleagues and partners such as the Environment Agency, water companies and catchment partnerships to deliver a joined-up approach including developing formal partnerships where appropriate.
  • Work with the local Contract Manager to provide timely information for tenders for group events and specialist farm advice. Conduct quality control on technical farm reports to agreed processes and deadlines.
  • Record interactions and advice given. Monitor the effectiveness of engagement with farmers and landowners.
  • Understand the relevant Diffuse Water Pollution Plan(s) and Shared Nitrogen Action Plan(s), Flood Resilience Plans (s) and incorporate into CSF plans where appropriate.
  • Vacancies working in catchments across Cumbria, North Lancashire, and Cheshire.

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