NPWS seeks farm planners to design conservation measures at farm level

Date Released: Thursday, February 6, 2020


The NPWS Farm Plan Scheme provides a number of opportunities for supporting and promoting positive interaction between landowners and Ireland’s natural heritage. Lessons learned through trialling innovative and bespoke measures for particular habitats and species can inform approaches to delivering on Ireland’s biodiversity commitments. While in some cases the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme will provide an important test-bed for particular agri-environmental measures, in other cases it may be the most suitable and responsive mechanism for incentivising and delivering conservation measures. 

It is intended in 2020 to establish a number of new farm plans across a range of ecological targets and plan types. Examples may include species rich grassland plans, bird plans, arable farm-biodiversity plans and multi-functional High Nature Value farmland plans. To design measures on a site-by-site basis, skilled and experienced farm planners will be required. NPWS Agri-Ecology Unit is now seeking to form a panel of such planners from ecological and/or agricultural backgrounds. All applicants will be evaluated on the information provided within their applications and CV, and only those who obtain an evaluation score of at least 60/100 will be considered for a position on the panel. Applicants will be categorised according to the specialist areas they have indicated on their applications.

As plans are selected for creation, panellists for that particular plan type (category) will be contacted by NPWS with a view to tendering for the plan and ultimately a planner or team of planners will be contracted to design the plan and be the planner for the duration of that plan. Being placed on the panel is not a guarantee of a contract to draft farm plans.

Making an application

Prospective applicants are in the first instance advised to inform themselves about the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme. Applications to be registered on the panel should only be made using the official application form and emailed to by 1700 on Wednesday 04 March 2020. A single application can only be made by an individual for themselves. Employers cannot apply for multiple employees. A CV should be included with each application.

Applicants are asked to nominate the categories or disciplines for which they feel they can contribute best. Applicants can nominate any number of categories or disciplines, but if they do not have adequate experience or qualifications under a particular category or discipline, they will not be placed on a panel for that category or discipline.

Shortlisting for panel

NPWS will assess each application and assign a score, based on the experience (60 marks) and qualifications (40 marks) of the candidate as relevant to the categories or disciplines highlighted on the application. Applicants who receive a total score of 60/100 for particular categories or disciplines and at least half marks for experience and expertise respectively will be listed on the panel for those categories or disciplines. Panellists will be ranked according to total score. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email. The panel will in the first instance last for a duration of 24 months from the time of establishment.  NPWS reserves the right to open the panel for further applications during that time if necessary.