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The Ernest Cook Trust - Gloucestershire - Land Agent

Job Added: 17 July 2017

To apply:

Main Contact:
Alison Wright


The Ernest Cook Trust

Fairford, Gloucestershire

Job description:


The Ernest Cook Trust (ECT) was founded as an educational charity by Ernest Cook in 1952.  The Trust was endowed with 14,462 acres of agricultural land, which has grown through acquisition and endowment to over 22,000 acres today.  The Trust’s head office is based on the Fairford Estate in Gloucestershire.

The Trust has three main functions: management of its landed estates; educational grant-giving; and direct provision of education.

The Trust’s landed assets consist of nine estates in five counties – Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Dorset and Oxfordshire.

The estates’ surplus, together with the return on the Trust’s investment portfolio, allows the Trust to distribute grants of around £2m annually to a range of different organisations.  Currently around of 550 grants are awarded each year.

The Trust operates a programme of outdoor educational visits on all its estates throughout the year: every visit takes the curriculum into an outdoor natural environment.  Currently around 32,000 children, students and adults visit the estates annually.  Each visit is tailored to the requirements of the group, directly linked to the National Curriculum, and planned and led by qualified Education Officers.  There are currently 12 Education Officers spread across the ECT estates together with an additional ECT-funded Education Officer based on the Chatsworth Estate.


The ECT’s mission statement is ‘Learning from the Land’ and the Trustees have a vision to be leaders in outdoor education.  This will include increasing the current use of the estates as an outdoor classroom for core curriculum learning and building partnerships with other estates to provide more opportunities beyond the Trust’s own landholding.  It will also include seeking new ways of using the Trust’s estates for the benefit of learning, including research, demonstration, training and dissemination.  The management and development of the estates will support this vision going forward, with significant development opportunities that might shape the nature and scale of the estates.


The Trust’s diverse landholding comprises some 22,650 acres of land across five English counties: Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Oxfordshire.  Each estate comprises several major let farms, some in-hand woodland and the usual collection of recreational land and allotments, commercial and leisure properties, shooting, fishing, wayleaves and easements.  Over the nine main estates, there are some 245 let cottages/houses and 31 farm tenants – 40 farms.


The successful candidate will be responsible for supporting the management of The ECT’s property interests and to ensure that all objectives are met in line with the strategy.



  • Degree in Estate Management, Land Management, or related RICS accredited subject (desirable)
  • RICS accredited or MRICS (desirable)
  • Fellow of the CAAV (desirable)


  • 2-4 years post qualification experience in assisting in relevant estate management activities.
  • Experience in working to agreed targets in a commercial environment.
  • Knowledge of the law relating to property, land, buildings, and estate management.
  • Experience of working with or for a charitable organisation would be helpful.
  • An interest in deriving educational benefit and ’value’ from good estate management practice.

Skills & Personal Attributes

  • Competent negotiator, with excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent written and interpersonal skills.
  • Effective team working and networking skills and the ability to work independently using own initiative.
  • The ability to plan, prioritise and organise own workload.
  • A professional approach that generates credibility and confidence in others.
  • Proficient IT skills in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.
  • Ability to analyse data and understand trends.

Further information about The Ernest Cook Trust can be found at

Apply by email with full CV, covering letter and supporting information to: for the attention of Michael Birnie MRICS FAAV, Property Director, The Ernest Cook Trust, The Estate Office, Fairford Park, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4JH.

Closing Date for applications: by 5pm on Monday 14 August

First interview: Wednesday 06 September

Second interview: Monday 18 September

Post to commence: As soon as possible

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