CLOSING DATE: 1 April 2024 LOCATION: Emmaus Cornwall - Emmaus Community Trees SALARY: £29,000 per annum TYPE: Full time, 40 hrs week

The Tree Nursery Lead role is an excellent opportunity for the right person to take a pivotal role in the inception and continued development of an innovative community project and hence the Emmaus Cornwall Board of Trustees is looking for a dynamic leader for the role. The successful appointee will report to the Board, coordinate with partners and all stakeholders and continue to facilitate the development of the Community Tree Nursery at Trewoon.

Our Mission Statement

“To enable socially excluded people to regain control of their lives, discover a sense of purpose and to help those in greater need establish and maintain a self-supporting Community.”

The story so far

Emmaus Cornwall has an agricultural lease on 28 acres of land, just outside Trewoon. 25 acres of that land are currently being farmed on our behalf under contract. The other 3 acres of land is to run a social enterprise to earn money for the charity. It transpires that the field we chose was the place where all of the top soil from Blackpool pit was deposited, meaning that we have an excellent depth of good quality soil. After much thought and research, the decision was made to develop a Tree Nursery and a formal Business Plan was prepared.

With funding from Forest For Cornwall, deer fencing was erected and a polytunnel was purchased. In June 2022 we advertised for a Tree Nursery Manager but we were unable to appoint at that time. From August – November 2022 we collected our own tree seed from the Trewithen estate. These were subsequently planted, mainly in root trainers resulting in approximately 15,000 plants at present. Our target is to grow (and sell) in excess of 200,000 trees per year, mixed cell /field and pot grown. To this end we have sought to mechanise where we can and now have virtually all of the equipment we will need to enable our field grown stock. We will seek to mechanise cell grown stock where possible.

Following a request from Forest for Cornwall (FFC) for us to look after some trees on their behalf, the nursery started up on 12th December 2022 with the arrival of those trees. They were due to be destroyed prior to FFC showing interest. They were planted out in the field as directed. In March 2023 a part time appointment was made of a part time Nursery Manager, who was in post until health issues resulted in them leaving us. They were able to start our tree seed collecting in August from Trewithen, Trelissick, Lanhydrock and the hedges around our own acreage. This continued until November. In August 2023 FFC asked for us to look after another parcel of trees and these were cell grown. Since early November, both sets of trees have been dispatched on a regular basis to fulfil FFC projects across the County. They will continue to be dispatched on a weekly basis until March 2024. We are now UKISG (United Kingdom Sourced and Grown) accredited and are in the process of gaining Plant Healthy accreditation also. We are registered with the Forestry Commission to collect our own Forestry Reproductive Material (FRM).

The tag line of Emmaus Community Trees is – “nurturing people, plants and planet”.

This phrase seeks to encompass all that is implicit in our values above, and more. We seek to do our work by involving volunteers from across the spectrum of society and the community. We are especially keen to attract socially prescribed individuals to work with us as such opportunities are proven to improve mental health and mitigate against depression, anxiety and social isolation that seems to be endemic in the world at large. We are also a recognised provider for the Department of Works and Pensions and work closely with our local Job Centres, especially seeking to help those homeless individuals. We intend to appoint a part time support worker to assist with this endeavour once this appointment is made. We are continually developing new links with a wide range of organisations.

This is a serious commitment on our part and we are seeking someone who can display similar commitment on our behalf. This will be a position of trust for someone with proven industry, entrepreneurial, communication and organisational skills and experience. The challenge will be for you to build your own efficient and successful business, with Board level oversight. We hope that we have given you a sufficient start to fulfil your own ambitions through this post. A great deal of the infrastructure is in place, or planned, and we have already achieved a good degree of credibility with stakeholders and partners, with quality relationships and communications.

Job Purpose

To oversee the planning, organisation and control of the Nursery site which includes polytunnels and open field areas, establishing and coordinating the activities of a volunteer workforce and growing increasing numbers of best quality trees, hedging and other plants for sale. We are looking to produce the best quality trees at the same time as we are offering life enhancing opportunities to our volunteers, building skills, confidence and supporting well being. This is, therefore, a challenging and highly rewarding opportunity for a suitably talented, experienced and qualified person. This role really is about people, plants and planet, and the appointed person will have an important role in all of our futures.

Job Tasks

  • Adopt the existing Business Plan and adapt where necessary to meet personal ambitions and an ever changing market place.
  • Own the business and encourage others to own their contribution to it.
  • Agree strategic direction with the Board and implement it effectively and efficiently.
  • Establish and manage the tree nursery to grow a wide range of plants for the trade and retail market, whether cell, pot or field grown. To grow other plants that may from time to time be relevant.
  • Organise the day to day operation of the nursery, arrange volunteer/staff attendances, their appropriate workload and set priorities, both on site and during seed collection.
  • Work towards maintaining the accreditation needs for the quality and biosecurity standards.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with potential and actual customers, looking to exceed expectations and raising our profile.
  • Allow groups of volunteers to engage in a variety of Nursery activities, complete the tasks set and enjoy the activities and the company of others, in a welcoming and mutually supportive atmosphere.
  • Prioritise Health and Safety compliance at all times. Ensure maintenance and safe operation of all equipment (agricultural/horticultural machinery, power, hand tools etc)
  • Ensure that all risk/hazard assessments have been completed, informing working practices so that all involved are working safely.
  • Construct polytunnels, benches, shelters and any other structures required.
  • Maintain oversight of the plants to ensure healthy growth/compliance with Biosecurity standards.
  • Operate all relevant equipment safely and/or oversee appropriately trained others.
  • Provide necessary training for volunteers and maintain a Training Register.
  • Maintain up to date records of all activity in whatever formats are required and report accordingly.
  • Manage the budget for the operation, controlling costs, making savings where possible whilst maximising sales and income.
  • Network with other local community organisations and support structures to continue to develop our pool of volunteers, control our social media content, website and our overall marketing.
  • Be aware of and operate within the set policies and procedures of Emmaus Cornwall.
  • Take advantage of continued personal and professional development where appropriate.
  • Make the Board aware of any and all opportunities for the project’s continued development
  • Report back to the Board at regular intervals.
  • Assist with any required funding bids

Skills and Experience

  • Proven entrepreneurial skills and experience a benefit
  • Experience of managing and cultivating tree production – preferably in a commercial setting.
  • A good knowledge of successful plant propagation.
  • Experience of maintaining strict hygiene, pathogen and pest control.
  • Experience of managing and supporting people with a range of skills and abilities.
  • Ability to motivate others and create a rewarding culture for all, whatever their role.
  • Experience of business planning in a horticultural setting.
  • Able to thrive on enabling and supporting others to learn and develop in horticulture.
  • Able to build genuine connections with people, think holistically and take responsibility for the team’s welfare whilst at work.
  • Have the energy, enthusiasm and aspiration to enable others to develop and to keep developing.

For the full person specification please download the Application Pack below.

Terms of employment & how to apply

  • Job Title: Tree Nursery Lead
  • Full Time, 3 month probationary period
  • Salary £29,000 PA.
  • 40 Hours a week (flexible working) and 28 days Annual Leave.

Please email your CV and letter of Application to: [email protected]

Closing date for applications will be 1st April. Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.

After interviews, the successful candidate will need to provide evidence of right to work in the UK


Application Pack