The Blenheim Estate is looking to recruit a shepherd to help care for its 1,000-strong flock of sheep, as well as its collection of rare breed British white cattle .
The successful candidate will live and work on the 12,000-acre estate in the heart of Oxfordshire with its mix of farmland, ancient woodland, landscaped parkland, lakes and formal gardens.
Reporting directly to the Oxfordshire estate’s farm manager, the role includes day to day management of the flock, ensuring the welfare and safety of all livestock alongside the mentoring of an apprentice.
In addition to the shepherding duties, the applicant will also be expected to support other members of team including forestry, and game as needed and there will be lots of opportunity to be innovative and contribute their own ideas to the estate’s wider land strategy.
The new lead stockperson will work alongside Farm Manager and shepherd Charles Gerring, who has been looking after the estate for more than 28 years.
“Blenheim is renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest,” said Charles.
“Its ancient woodlands are home to some of the oldest oak trees in Europe and it supports a huge variety of native wildlife.
“The entire estate team is also committed to not only conserving and protecting what is already here, but also looking at innovative ways to further improve the quality and the diversity of the land for the benefit of generations to come.
“In many ways this really is a dream role as it offers the successful candidate an opportunity to make a difference; working as part of a dedicated group of people to nurture and develop the estate’s unique natural capital,” he added.
In addition to the sheep, the role will also include overseeing the care and calving of the estate’s resident herd of British white cattle, which roam freely within the ancient oak woodlands, trampling down bracken and undergrowth to clear spaces for acorns to germinate and grow.
The reintroduction of the cattle is just part of the Blenheim Estate’s wider Land Strategy plan which looks at innovative ways to protect, utilise and open up access to the 12,000-acre estate over the coming decades.
All applicants will need to have substantial experience and their own sheepdogs. The successful candidate will also be able to live on the estate in a three-bedroom cottage.
Closing date for applications is 30th July 2021.