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£27,500 per annum plus excellent benefits
West Dean
Full Time - 35 hours per week

Position: Ranger
Hours: 35 hours per week (with occasional weekend/evening work)
Salary: £27,500 per annum

About the Organisation
West Dean is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for art, design, craft and conservation education. The work of staff and students, frequently rooted in traditional skills, is both innovative and world leading.

Our programmes are delivered across two sites in the UK: West Dean, the idyllic Grade II listed rural campus in the stunning South Downs near Chichester (West Sussex), and our prestigious Chelsea Harbour site in the heart of London. These inspiring locations provide the ideal environment in which students can work across disciplines and forge exciting new collaborations.

We are making bold and ambitious moves as an organisation with the expansion of our portfolio, the redevelopment of our estate and our strategic push on diversity and sustainability.

About the Estate
Our 6,500-acre estate at West Dean, nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park, provides an inspiring environment for students, a place of work or home for many and a welcome retreat for many of our garden visitors. 

Two major valleys run through it: the now dry Chilgrove valley and the winterbourne Lavant valley. The hills on the Estate are rounded with steep slopes and consist of middle and upper chalk interspersed with patches of clay with flints. Most of the land is classified as Grade III for agricultural purposes. The altitude ranges between 38 and 280 metres above sea level.

As custodians of the estate, we have a duty to ensure it can thrive long into the future and are taking action to ensure a sustainable future for West Dean. Against a global backdrop of environmental and social challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss and inequality, our need to act has never been stronger. We are looking to lead the way in our sector, meeting annual emissions reductions, incorporating sustainability improvements across all areas of our work and breaking down barriers to enable equitable access.

About the Role
We are looking for a Rangerto help us to develop and maintain the wider Estate landscape and to achieve our sustainability aims as an organisation. It’s a varied and busy role. You’ll help with the protection and care of habitats which could include tasks such as scrub control, fencing and mowing. Other tasks will include some habitat and species surveying, maintenance of site infrastructure and other maintenance tasks as required. A strong knowledge of ecology and land management, with an understanding of woodland management, is essential to be successful in this role.

You’ll need to be prepared to be flexible in your approach to work and be able to adjust priorities as things arise. Although in the main we see this as a job you can work Monday to Friday, we know it’s just not feasible to run a night survey during the day, so some evening and weekend work may at times be required.

You’ll be working outdoors a lot, regardless of the weather. You will also be a key point of contact for members of the rural community and wider general public whilst out on the Estate, so a friendly, approachable and positive outlook is key.

You’ll report to and work closely with the Director of Estates and external partners engaged in the running of the Estate, but you’ll need to be able to manage your own workload, develop ideas and solutions to problems arising and look for opportunities for improvements.

To be successful in this role, you will need:
Education / Qualification

  • A basic level of certification in the use of power tools such as chainsaws is essential. Further training will be provided to the successful candidate.
  • Experience with grazing livestock (cattle, sheep and ponies) will be an advantage.
  • As a wooded property you will need experiences in tree work and related equipment.
  • First Aid training.
  • A full UK driving licence.
  • Experience in working within a similar outdoor setting.
  • Experience in a land, access and conservation management.
  • Experience in implementing and operating stewardship schemes including monitoring and annual submissions.
  • Experience of completing risk assessments and able to evidence compliance with safety procedures.
  • Practical experience of work to conserve and enhance landscapes for wildlife, heritage and public enjoyment.
Skills, Knowledge & Behaviours
  • Strong communication skills, able to relay instructions and decisions clearly both verbally and in writing.
  • Friendly, approachable and positive approach to working with others.
  • Constantly looks for opportunities to improve performance, seeks out feedback, and embodies West Dean’s high standards.
  • Professional and motivated.
  • A flexible attitude, unphased by unexpected change and ambiguity.
  • 33 days holiday per year(including bank holidays)
  • 3 additional Christmas closure days
  • Pension(we’ll match you up to 7.5%)
  • Life Assurance(up to 6 x annual salary)
  • Employee Assistance Programme & Mental Health First Aiders
  • 50%offshortcourses
  • Salary sacrifice schemes: cycle to work, seasonal ticket loans