An exciting opportunity has arisen to lead the national Pesticide Usage Surveys (PUS) team, from their base near York. Applicants must have practical experience of the agricultural and horticultural industry, an appreciation for the use of pesticides in these industries and the value of quality data to generate better understanding of trends and emerging issues.

The PUS team gathers the data directly from farmers and growers and stores it in powerful relational databases. Surveys are undertaken on a 4-year rolling programme covering arable, outdoor vegetable, grassland and fodder, edible protected, soft fruit, orchards, potato storage, aerial sprays and amenity uses. The team also participates in research projects and undertakes analysis of the extensive PUS databases. In addition, this position will also provide many opportunities to work with Fera’s senior scientists in supporting current projects and developing a variety of new business areas.


  •  To manage delivery of the pesticide usage surveys on a day-to-day basis, working closely with the delivery team
  • To ensure that the annual programme of visits runs to schedule and that all quality
  • parameters are met and maintained
  • To organise, prioritise and complete their own work whilst also overseeing that of the four other survey team members, both from the office and when working away from Fera’s headquarters in York
  • To conduct pesticide usage surveys with farmers and growers to collect information on their pesticide applications and do all the follow-up work
  • To work with the delivery team and colleagues to ensure all data entry and validation and transfer to the PUS databases goes according to plan, and generate annual reports
  • To work with colleagues in the answering of queries on the use of pesticides from a wide range of stakeholders
  • To participate in research projects as required
  • To represent the pesticide usage surveys at meetings and events
  • To work with Fera’s business development team to identify potential opportunities

The surveys have two key activity cycles: during the months October through to March, extensive travel to farmers and growers in England and Wales is required to gather data. The Senior Surveyor will be required to stay away from home overnight between Monday and Friday, potentially for consecutive weeks at a time. Once the survey visits are complete, the remainder of the time (April to September) is spent mainly in the office validating the data that has been gathered, entering the data into PUS databases and generating the annual reports.

 Candidate requirements

  • Ideally a degree or equivalent level qualification in an agricultural, horticultural or biological subject
  • Detailed working knowledge current agricultural and horticultural
  • practices with respect to the use of pesticides on a wide range of crops
  • Able to demonstrate a clear understanding of good survey design, data collection and management, and have experience of computerised data handling
  • Able to maintain good relationships with the farmer and growers
  • Highly effective telephone, interpersonal, written and oral communication skills are essential
  • Well organised and able to deal with management of data from a wide range of sources including paper, email, phone and farm visits;
  • Candidates should have a demonstrable record in staff or team management;Project management experience – helpful
  • Candidates must hold a valid driving licence

Please call Margaret Wilkinson of Hunter Chase Consultants on 07921 454473 for a confidential discussion about the role, or alternatively, email your CV or message to