As Senior Operations Manager you will be at the front line of making our sure our forests are resilient as our climate changes. This is an exciting opportunity to join our Plant and Seed Supply unit, at a time when we are investing over £10 million to help us grow the millions of high-quality trees we need each year.
We are looking for an ambitious, energetic manager with impressive experience in leading teams, and improving processes, in an operational environment.
The position is based at our Delamere Nursery hub in Cheshire. The postholder will be expected to be primarily based on site, with support provided for a blended working approach. Some infrequent travel to sites across England will be required.
The Forestry England Plant and Seed Supply (PSS) unit manages 150ha of Forest Nursery sites, plus our Seed Processing Facility. Our operations are focussed on supplying trees for the 250,000 hectares of public land we manage.
From our Seed Processing Unit, we supply tree seed to our own nursery and to external customers. The unit, run by a team of three, is responsible for processing and storing the seed collected from our forests and seed orchards. We are looking ahead and recognise that the climate is changing. We therefore also source some seed from places where the climate today is similar to conditions we’re expecting in the future, thereby increasing the resilience of our forests.
We will shortly begin work on the construction of a new, world-leading, seed processing facility. The custom designed building will house state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring we are able to meet forest production requirements for decades to come.
At our nursery sites in Cheshire, we sow the seeds and nurture their development into high quality transplants to be planted out in our forests. We produce both bare-root plants in our open fields, and as cell-grown plants in our glasshouse and polytunnels. A team of 30 staff produce over 7 million trees annually.
Our one-hectare glasshouse currently produces 3.5 million trees each year; we have exciting plans to increase this through mechanisation and automation. The germination and growth of the seeds is carefully managed using automated systems. The whole glasshouse environment is computer-controlled using a combination of fans, shade screens and roof ventilation to regulate the temperature, humidity, and light levels; the system helps us to grow a more diverse range of species. Controlling the environmental conditions in our glass house increases survival rates and reduces the need for pesticides.