Rural Heritage Farm and Site Traineeship

Farming traineeship

An exciting Heritage Lottery Funded Farming Traineeship

Job Title: Rural Heritage Farm and Site Trainee

Hours: 40 hours per week
Some bank holiday, weekend and evening work will also be required from time to time for which time off in lieu will be given.

Salary: £16,765 pa

Contract: 18 months starting 3 July 2017

Holidays: 28 Days including bank holidays

In addition we will be recruiting a Heritage Buildings Trainee later in the year.

Chiltern Open Air Museum

We are an independent Museum and charity with a collection of 33 historic buildings, including a traditional working farm set in 45 acres of traditional Chilterns landscape.

Following a successful award from Heritage Lottery Fund for Skills for the Future, the Museum is pleased to be recruiting  a Rural Heritage Farm and Site trainee. This new training scheme offers high quality, paid Museum/Heritage work placements for 18 months and trainees will leave the scheme with a range of work-based training and a wide variety of heritage building and rural skills to support future careers in these areas.

The Traineeship

This traineeship will require a practical aptitude for learning new physical skills and a desire to work outdoors in all weathers implementing those skills in farming, as well as a love of historic buildings and landscapes. The nature of the work will be very physical for the majority of the traineeship.

The individual will be expected to work independently once they are deemed competent by their supervisor. They will also be expected to take on responsibility for themselves and their work where appropriate. As a Trainee you will be offered a supportive learning environment, with a close working relationship with a supervisor, and an individually-tailored training programme.

Rural Heritage Farm & Site Trainee

In this role you will be assisting the Farm & Site Manager by learning and using traditional farm management techniques to ensure the smooth running of the site and Museum livestock. You will be involved in lambing during April / May, traditional hay making, growing and harvesting rye, wheat and feed crops, restoring and interpreting traditional farm equipment and the daily care of a small flock of Oxford Down sheep, two shorthorn cows, two Old English goats and Dorking Silver Grey hens.

You will be assisting the Farm and Site Manager with site maintenance and landscaping jobs, including hedge laying, fencing, rick thatching and gardening, often juggling multiple projects and responsibilities so good organisational and prioritisation skills are key for this role, as is an awareness of health & safety regulations.

You will also have the opportunity to work with and supervise volunteers where you will use your strong communication and people skills to get the best out of them while they work with you, as well as continuously learning from them.

The role includes working with the Front of House team as a duty staff member on up to two weekend or Bank Holiday days per month during the open season from April to October after training.

Short Placements

The project includes funding for you to travel and participate in additional training that you can chose according to your interests, including a number of short placements with another rural heritage organisations and day study visits or training courses organised by you with support from your supervisor. Some of these opportunities may offer certification for your portfolio of achievements and qualifications for future employers.

Social Media

Trainees are expected to write a regular reflective blog about their learning and experiences at the Museum during their traineeship, these will be posted regularly on the Museum Blog section of the website. They will also be expected to keep photographic and video records of their achievements which may be used on the Museum’s social media channels.

Preparing for future employment

You will also receive support in developing employability skills including preparing your CV, interview training, tailored support in short-listing potential employers and guidance on accessing heritage opportunities.

About you

To apply for this role you will need to have a strong interest in and a passion for heritage buildings and conservation or traditional agriculture and farming.

You should have some practical experience in building /farming or landscape/conservation work or another relevant field as well as the ability to learn new practical skills and think creatively. You will need good problem solving skills, great interpersonal skills and the ability to work both in a team as well as on your own initiative.

You should be prepared to work outside in all weathers and to perform very physical tasks, so a good level of stamina is also required, along with a sense of humor!

If you have any previous experience of working with volunteers or volunteering yourself or experience of working in a heritage setting this would be highly beneficial as would any relevant qualification (habitat management, heritage building skills, CSCS card, agricultural BTEC etc.).

You will need to be a car owner due to the location of the Museum, where there is no public transport and the nearest station is over 30 minutes walk away.

Principle tasks

  • To participate in the training plan for this trainee role
  • To assist the Farm and Site Manager
  • To learn and implement traditional farm management techniques
  • To assist with livestock care and management
  • To assist with management, administration and routine operational tasks
  • To assist with vehicle and machinery tasks
  • To assist with site maintenance
  • To assist with agricultural/arable tasks
  • To ensure compliance with Health & Safety regulations
  • To work with and supervise farm volunteers
  • To lock and unlock the Museum buildings on a regular basis
  • To assist Front-of-House functions with support when necessary and volunteer management
  • To take part in the Duty Staff weekend/Bank Holiday rota (approx 2 weekend days per month in open season)
  • To assist with any task required for the operation of the Museum when necessary

Person Specification


  • Practical experience in buildings /farming or landscape/conservation work
  • An interest in and a passion for heritage building and conservation or traditional agriculture and farming
  • Understanding of the crucial role played by volunteers in the heritage industry
  • Ability to learn new practical skills
  • A positive attitude to learning
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Good problem solving skills
  • A positive and conscientious attitude to work and people
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to achieving high standards
  • Good stamina levels
  • Ability to work well in a team and with people from different backgrounds
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work flexible hours to suit workload and needs of the Museum
  • Sense of humor
  • Car owner


  • Volunteering experience (in any sector)
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of working in a heritage setting
  • Any other agricultural or heritage qualifications

How To Apply

Please complete the COAM HLF Application form, supported by a current CV and email this to: Chris Bateson at Horizon HR at Chris is providing our recruitment support and handling all applications on our behalf for this project.

If emailing is not possible for you, please send by post to: COAM HLF Recruitment Team, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks. HP8 4AB

Please fill out our Equal Opportunities Form and submit it with your application.

Deadline for applications: 16 April 2017

Interview process: Initial telephone interview. Successful candidates will be invited to the assessment day, which candidates must attend on that day.

Rural Heritage Farm and Site trainee Assessment Day: Thursday 11 May 2017


We regret that we are unable to contact all applicants regarding the outcome of their application. If you have not been contacted by the date of the interview, please assume that on this occasion, your application has been unsuccessful. Thank you for your interest in this post and our Museum.

Chiltern Open Air Museum is an equal opportunities employer. This post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The appointment of the post holder will be subject to an enhanced DBS and satisfactory references.