Employee / Location: Morton Hall Estate, Ranby, Retford, Nottinghamshire

 

Background

The Morton Hall Estate is located between Retford and Worksop on the edge of the Dukeries region of north Nottinghamshire.  The woodlands cover about 75 ha and comprise two main blocks (Morton Park and Dunstans/Walkers) plus a number of smaller outliers. These are mixed woodlands which originate from plantations established in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The woods are managed commercially under a long-term forestry plan to meet multiple objectives including timber production, biodiversity and amenity: a Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) approach is practised wherever possible.  The woods contain a wide variety of tree species and there is also a small pinetum with a range of rare and interesting trees.  Annual forestry operations are expected to break even or show a small surplus.  On three occasions since the mid-1990s the woodlands have been commended and/or won prizes in the Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry Awards. Although not resident on the Estate, the owners take a close and professional interest in the management of the woods.

The existing forestry supervisor is retiring at the end of March 2021 after several decades of overseeing operational woodland management at Morton.  We are looking to recruit an experienced individual to take over this position on a part-time basis, whose role would be to continue and build on the work of his/her predecessor.  There are no permanent employees in the woods and all work is done on contract.  The successful applicant would be expected to continue to expand the use of CCF while adapting the woodlands to future climate change.  There may also be potential for further expansion of the woodland area through a programme of new planting.

Main duties

Carrying out regular inspections of the woodlands and agreeing and supervising an annual programme of works (e.g. planting, weeding, thinning) with the owners.  Arranging the purchase and delivery of plants from nurseries and liaising with contractors to carry out planting and subsequent maintenance.  Carrying out the marking of thinnings in accordance with the management plan, preparing sales particulars, and circulating these to timber merchants.  Arranging for removal of any dangerous trees that have been identified in health surveys carried out by other parties.  Ensuring that all operations are carried out safely in line with the estate H&S policy.  Providing verbal or written reports to the owners on at least a quarterly basis.

Skills

Essential – Candidates must provide evidence of practical experience in the execution and supervision of forestry operations including planting, weeding, thinning, and harvesting.  They must have experience in the management of contractors and in preparing and monitoring timber sales.  They must be competent in the use of the computer/ internet.  They must be able to work independently without supervision.

Desirable – Applicants should hold a Diploma or Certificate in Forestry or an equivalent professional qualification.  Candidates should have an interest in Continuous Cover Forestry and in woodland management to improve biodiversity.  They should have an understanding of current woodland grant schemes and experience with GIS will be an advantage.  Living within an hour’s travel time of the Morton Estate will be an advantage.

Remuneration

The workload varies during the year and according to the forestry activities on the estate, an approximate guideline based on current activity is 60—80 hours a year.  Indicative hourly rate:  £30.00, plus all reasonable expenses.  Mileage will be paid as per HMRC guidelines.  Payment will be quarterly, on receipt of an itemised invoice.  A successful applicant will have a full driving licence and will be expected to provide evidence of holding appropriate public liability insurance.  There is a possibility of accommodation being provided.

Applications

Applicants should send an email with a curriculum vitae and a covering letter outlining their relevant experience to bpmason@blueyonder.co.ukThis should be received not later than February 8th 2021.  Please use the strapline ‘Morton Estate – Forestry Supervisor’ in all applications.

Because of the Covid pandemic and associated restrictions, interviews are likely to take place online during late February or early March 2021.  Further details will be provided to candidates who are invited for interview.

Further information

Further information about the Morton Estate woodlands and the duties of this post can be obtained by contacting either Bill Mason on 01314 476 886 or Ian Glenny on 01636 892 044.  Alternatively please contact Martin Borley at Savills, Olympic House, Doddington Road, Lincoln, LN6 3SE; telephone 01522 507 316; email martin.borley@savills.com.

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