Farm Adviser CSF (Ref: 3572)

Natural England

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 30th September 2021


Reference number





Higher Executive Officer
Lead Adviser

Contract type


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



East Midlands, Eastern, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber

About the job


These positions are based Nationally

Job description

The team

We are the Government’s statutory advisor for the natural environment, playing a vital role in delivering the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. This describes an ambitious vision, bringing new opportunities to protect and enhance, and to achieve real outcomes for the environment.

At Natural England, we love what we do. We’re here to make sure people and nature can thrive. A healthy natural environment is fundamental to our wellbeing, prosperity and happiness – that’s why we collaborate with scientists, lawyers, project managers and experts to implement environmental policy and shape decisions.

We work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and customers on a huge range of projects, from influencing construction, advising farmers and landowners how they can manage their land in a sustainable way for the benefit of the environment, gathering and analysing environmental data, and carrying out vital statutory duties. Across the country, we’re helping nature to support people and our planet.

We are focusing our efforts on six key programmes:

Greener Farming and Fisheries – supporting those who manage land and sea to operate in harmony with the environment

Sustainable Development – creating great places for people to live and work

Connecting People with Nature - promoting health and wellbeing through the great outdoors

Resilient Landscapes and Seas – protecting and restoring wildlife and natural beauty for future generations

Specialist Science and Evidence - an evidence-led organisation that is driven by science

Managing the Organisation – gathering business data to enable decision making

Natural England staff are inclusive, motivated and ambitious to achieve results for our environment, for everyone. We welcome and encourage applications from all communities and we operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the role.

Wherever possible Natural England accommodates requests for both full-time and part-time hours and other flexible working patterns to help employees achieve a good work/life balance and maintain their health and wellbeing.

From induction to ongoing learning and development, everyone in Natural England is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. Where appropriate there will be offers of training under our apprenticeship schemes.

See more about the work of Natural England at:

National team roles can be done from any NE office. There are also area roles available.

You can view a map of our office locations here:

Natural England delivers a wide range of farm advice to improve the condition of protected sites, by working with farmers to help them deliver measures through advice and schemes including Countryside Stewardship. The next few years will see significant changes to the support and schemes available to farmers. Associated with these changes will be improvements to NE’s farm advice service. This role will evolve in tandem with these changes.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) in partnership with Defra and the Environment Agency is a part of NE’s farm advice service. CSF operates through a network of locally based farm advisers and partner organisations to deliver Defra’s 25-year plan ambitions for water quality, air quality (ammonia) and sustainable water management through nature-based solutions. We make a significant contribution to nature recovery through helping farmers to take action.

We are looking to expand CSF’s capabilities to tackle environmental impacts from agriculture in relation to water quality, ammonia and flood risk. We are looking for people to develop both their skills and those of the team in these areas. The focus of the role will be to work with farm advisers, partner organisations, the agricultural industry and colleagues from the Defra group to build our capabilities to deliver a range of priority outcomes.
Some Farm Advisers work in partnership with Water Companies, Flood Authorities and others. All Farm Advisers in CSF will have the opportunity to enrol in a structured training programme.

The role of the Farm Adviser is to:

• Evaluate and understand environmental priorities for CSF within the specified catchment(s) using national data validated locally.

• Work in priority areas to develop and lead specific CSF training, information and advice campaigns for farmers and landowners. Give advice on farm and organise and deliver, with the aid of specialists, further advice, group events and workshops.

• Secure agreement and ownership in the priority area on key pollution issues and solutions. Achieve practice change and help farmers and landowners take action.

• Communicate, advocate and promote CSF activity internally with Natural England colleagues and externally with farmers, land managers and partners.

• Work with NE 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.

• 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 in high priority areas for water and air quality by advising farmers on suitable land management options and/or capital items, approving CS Capital Grants and Mid-Tier measures and giving advice on water and air quality options/ items in Higher Tier applications. Offer general advice on other CS options such as those addressing biodiversity and/or signpost applicants to additional advice from other sources where targeting overlaps.

• Work with the FaLMA Contract Manager to provide timely information for tenders for group events and farm advice. Conduct quality control 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) and incorporate into CSF plans where appropriate.

How to apply

We'll assess you against the competencies below during the selection process. When completing the application form you should present relevant examples using the STAR format. STAR stands for:

• Situation
• Task
• Action
• Result

Examples should be given in no more than 250 words for each competency. Please ensure you read the Candidate Information Pack before you begin completing the application form.


Competence 1
Professional competency

Technical/specialist knowledge/qualifications

There is no requirement to use STAR format to demonstrate this competency


• The ability to communicate effectively with farmers and persuade them to engage with CSF. (Essential)
• Good level of agricultural knowledge. (Desirable)
• Good knowledge of agricultural water and air pollution. (Desirable)
• Basic project and contract management skills and experience. (Desirable)
• An understanding of agri-environment schemes, such as Countryside Stewardship. (Desirable)
• A basic knowledge of ArcGIS or similar GIS software. (Desirable)
• Understand and select the most appropriate measures to address water and air pollution from source to receptor. (Desirable)
• Recognise and identify farming practices which can cause water and air pollution. (Desirable)

Competence 2
Professional competency

Creating resilient landscapes and seas


• Understand and use appropriate agri-environment schemes and other interventions to contribute to a healthy natural environment that benefits people and the economy (Practitioner)
• Identify appropriate solutions for avoidance, mitigation, compensation of environmental impacts and meeting shared outcomes; and identify opportunities for enhancing the natural environment (Practitioner)
• Understand and apply appropriate management techniques to maintain or enhance the condition of sites (Practitioner)

Competence 3
Professional competency

Personal effectiveness


· Use clear and appropriate language, communication styles and techniques that engage your audience. (Basic)
· Respect the diverse needs and experience of other people, be inclusive in everything you do - (Basic)

Competence 4
Professional competency

Putting people at the heart of the environment


· Nurture trusting partnerships and collaborate to achieve pragmatic outcomes that help deliver Natural England’s vision, mission and aims (Practitioner)
· Deliver the environmental benefits that people and places need most and take practical steps to enhance opportunities for people to access, engage with, enjoy and take action for the environment. (Practitioner)
· Listen to and understand our diverse partners and customers so that you achieve the best outcomes for them and Natural England (Practitioner)

Competence 5
Professional competency

Work Delivery


• Manage and deliver your work to meet agreed targets and deadlines. (Practitioner)
• Handle data responsibly, understand your role in good governance, and comply with delegations, policies and procedures. (Practitioner)


Please refer to Job Description


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

Please refer to Job Description

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  CSF Recruitment
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

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