29 August 2014

Busy working....

So not much news from the CJS Team this week, but you know what they say - no news is good news, or something like that!

Did you know tomorrow is International Bat Night? A night to celebrate all things die fledermaus. If you're feeling creatively batty Bat Conservation Trust are running a competition to commemorate the night, create something original and inspiring that represents how you celebrated International Bat Night.  We like the sound of bat shaped biscuits (or just biscuits if we're honest!)  There are even prizes. Find out more on the BCT website here.
With batty biscuits in mind were off to put the kettle on...

26 August 2014

Apprenticeships and Interns

Over the past year we've noticed an increasing number of apprenticeship and intern posts being advertised. Therefore, we've created a new section specifically for this type of post.  Like voluntary positions we will include basic details online free of charge on the new Apprenticeships page (here: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/Jobs/apprenticeships.html) and also like volunteers we're offering a discount on paid advertising options.  We're also including details of any found from other sources under a new heading in the CJS Digest but these are in the Weekly newsletter only and not included online.
What's the difference between an apprenticeship and a volunteer placement?  CJS classifies a voluntary placement as one which is totally unpaid or has only out of pocket expenses. Whereas an apprenticeship has some remuneration in addition to a significant level of training leading to a recognised qualification. Occasionally there are a few unpaid internships and we'll include these too.
Click through to see the current adverts, here.  At the moment they're all in one block, most recent additions at the top, however if we find we're getting lots of adverts we will sub-divide the section.
If you have an apprenticeship or intern vacancy send it to CJS for free inclusion, either email us the details or use the online submission form, here.
Do tell us what you think about the new section and let us know if there are any other changes to CJS you'd like to see, email us, ranger@countryside-jobs.com

22 August 2014

Gremlins return from summer holiday

The office IT has been reasonably well behaved for a while and then with a pop (literally) the good behaviour came to an end.  First one of the machines started behaving as if it had just finished a marathon when you'd only asked it to open up a simple word document, then it turned all its pdf icons into firefox ones - IT support came and turned them all back, checked various things and went away.  Next day it blew the power supply unit with a pop and a little wisp of smoke accompanying an odd slightly frazzled smell.  IT support returned took it apart and gave it a new power unit which lasted about an hour - just long enough for them to be on the other side of the hill again before it went pop again!  This time the box disappeared overnight for a thorough gremlin fumigation being returned with another new power unit and a new fan on the CPU on Friday morning (phew, it would be tough to manage a Friday with a workstation down). And so far, say it quietly, no evidence of gremlins.

Wednesday was the 'office outing' not that we went together but everyone (well nearly everyone) took the day to go to the local agricultural show at Egton.  The sun shone, rosettes were awarded, ice cream and bacon butties were consumed and green fields became a shiny sea of cars. A good day was had by all.

TB couldn't resist the goats, although hers were not there - this year! Maybe next.

In other news I had a peregrine try to write itself off on my bonnet / windscreen! Returning from a trip to Pickering slightly to one side and ahead of us we saw a peregrine chasing a grouse across the moor, both banked to a 90degree angle, the grouse disappeared but the falcon kept on coming and with a remarkable "hit the brakes and they'll fly right by" type of manoeuver lifted over the bonnet and whizzed across the car right at eye level flapping hard to gain lift and speed before disappearing across the otherside of the moor.

And after that little lot how about some boring numbers? OK, the latest CJS Weekly has gone to press, 15 pages this week with 35 adverts for paid posts plus 10 for volunteers.

15 August 2014

Little green job

This particular LGJ is flitting about the garden, making itself at home in the deciduous hedge, the mixed shrubbery, up and down the huge Christmas tree, rootling around the herb bed and bobbing in and out of the bug tubs of annuals - pretty much everywhere except on the feeding stations or conveniently in front of any windows for anything longer than ten seconds.  I suppose it makes a change from a little brown job, (OK, it's slightly brownish so shall we call it a little khaki job?).  What is it? That's the million dollar question, I've narrowed it down to a chiff-chaff, a garden warbler or a willow warbler.  We hear all of them so that doesn't help, as outlined above it's not showing any habitat preference and as it won't still still long enough to get a decent look or even better a photo we're still none the wiser and every time I think I've decided next time it looks different - so maybe we have all three!  - and until it's positively ID'd it's a wonderful excuse for gazing out of the windows.
Also seen buzzing across the garden this week was a large green dragonfly, so far just one fly through but we're ever hopeful of more; the butterflies have been busy too, feasting on the globe thistles lots of huge peacocks and over the last few days some red admirals too and yesterday evening a large yellow underwing moth was also spotted.

HB is back in the office this week, recovering from the trials and tribulations of the village show which was by all accounts a wonderful day, warm and sunny with a gentle breeze stopping it from becoming too hot, number of entries was up slightly as well. However, Mr W has his eyes on greater prizes in the form of the heaviest marrow competition at the Harrogate Autumn show but in preparing his entries for the village show he realized he's made a "School boy error" - he forgot his thermals!! Not really being au fait with the world of giant vegetables I have no idea why a marrow would need to wear thermals but apparently it keeps it young and stops it ripening too quickly.  AW says it's already huge and would make enough marrow soup to keep them all fed for several months. The show is not until mid-September so watch out for updates on the marrow.

Despite the many distractions the latest edition of CJS Weekly is printing and digital editions are live, 19 pages this week including the Training Calendar for October, 50 adverts for paid posts plus 6 for volunteers. Watch out for a new section next week!

Next Wednesday is the Egton Show, our local agricultural show and as usual everyone wants to go, which means we'll be short handed and consequently on shorter than usual hours for one day only, thanks for your patience.

14 August 2014

CJS Professional: August edition

The latest edition of CJS Professional is now online, read it in full here: www.countryside-jobs.com/Professional/current.htm   You may need to refresh your browser.

Jobs advertised in this Month's edition:
Countryside Learning Officer, Clinton Devon Estates (East Devon)
School Farm & Environmental Leaning Centre Coordinator, Ravensbourne Environmental Learning Centre (Bromley)
Estate Maintenance Person, Giffords Hall Estate - South Suffolk Estate
Green Spaces team member, Stroud Town Council
Assistant Operations Manager, Maelor Forest Nurseries Limited (just inside Wales on the Welsh/Shropshire border)
Subscriber recruitment, Natur Cymru Ltd (South Wales)
Estate Workers, Woking Borough Council (Dinton Pastures Country Park)
Ecologist, Footprint Ecology (Dorset)
Analyst, Footprint Ecology (Dorset)
Ranger, Northamptonshire County Council (Irchester Country Park)
General Manager, The Penllergare Trust (Swansea)
Farming and Education Officer, Bill Quay Community Farm (outskirts of Gateshead)
Field Assistants, Ecology Solutions  (Several locations: Dorset, Kent, Northamptonshire and West Sussex)

CJS Notices:
1. Can you believe it? CJS is twenty years old and we've published the 1000th edition of CJS Weekly!
2. CJS Focus on Volunteering, in association with TCV, advance notice. Send your free adverts now.
3. CJS Training Directory, bigger and better than before (and more easily searchable too)

Top headlines from the past month: Click here to read

Training Calendar for October is 4 pages Click here to read

08 August 2014

National Lazy Day

Did you know there's such a thing? No, it was news to us too but it will be very welcome seeing as Saturday is Show Day! otherwise known as the most exhausting day of the year... the following Sunday is usually a lazy recovery type of day. So for it to be 'official' just makes it all the more welcome.

However, Maia says every day is Lazy Day - but that's the privilege of a 14yo labrador!

This week a man was foolish enough to pick up an adder, he was bitten three times for his trouble and is now in a critical condition in hospital. We occasionally see adders whilst out and about but not too many because my thunderous footed pack tend to scare them away so it's usually only spring and autumn when the reptiles are a little cold and sluggish that we get to see them.  However, on Sunday afternoon on our way back home we timed it just wrong and had to wait for the steam train to pull out of the station before we could cross the track, Hester and I sat on the steps from the moor to the station and there basking on the raised flower bed edging was a beautiful male common lizard.  Our other unusual sighting this week was not so pleasing, on the back road is the shoulder and top part of a wing from, what I think was, a tawny owl; we have plenty of owls (although maybe not so many this year for some reason) and this a common area for them to roost, nest and hunt, but I've never come across either dead ones or parts of before.

Back in the office the latest edition of CJS Weekly has gone to press, digital editions are on their way, this week there are 13 pages with 47 adverts for paid posts plus four for volunteers.

01 August 2014

Streamlining, holidays and it's Yorkshire Day

We've spent part of the week streamlining the advertisers information online.
CJS is rather complex, with three publications and multiple options in each, and we are aware that's all too easy to get lost in the various options available to advertisers. We started with the Online advertising which now has the basic information on the first page and moved the more in-depth wordy pages further into the website so they're still there if you follow the links.  The online submission form has been simplified too and there's still no need to register to advertise with us.  We'll look at the newsletter advertising information pages next, that's CJS Weekly and CJS Professional with a view to producing a similar basic details page followed by the more detailed information on a second page.
We've also made a couple of changes to the home page to make some information more readily available.
We're open to suggestions for any other alterations and updates, please email us your ideas.

AW is not in the office today, her sister is arriving today from New Zealand for a few weeks catching up with family - needless to say she's very excited!  HB is demob happy because she has a week off next week - although it's not a holiday - holiday; as Chair and Secretary of the Village Flower and Vegetable Show she's spending the week in frantic last minute preparations for the Show which is a week tomorrow (Sat 9th).   In other office news, the latest edition of CJS Weekly is now live and paper copies are printing, this week contains details of Surveys and Fieldwork added to the website over the past month, plus the usual jobs, 42 adverts for paid posts and 15 for voluntary ones.
Being a proud North Yorkshire dog, Hester wishes everyone a Happy Yorkshire Day, but would The Person to stop faffing about and get on with the walk please?  The mug of tea will be at waiting when we get back. Speaking of, time to put the kettle on I think....

27 July 2014

Moving into the 21st century

Woo-hoo. The fibre broadband network has been switched on for Goathland and today we're being upgraded. This means we may be without internet access for some or all of the day. We hope it's for as short a time as possible, fingers crossed.
Update: all done and we're back online.  Catching up now.

25 July 2014

20 years and 1000 editions!

Can you believe it? 

CJS is twenty years old this month.

No, we can't quite get our heads round it either, in some respects CJS has been around for ever but then again it seems like it was only five minutes ago that we were stuffing pieces of A4 from a daisy-wheel printer into multi-sized,shaped (and even perfumed) self addressed envelopes.  Yes, that's how it all started which was a huge step forward from photocopies of adverts in newspapers (mostly The Guardian) which formed the Jobs Service for CMA members way back when.  Niall and Anthea took on the task of converting those snippets into a cohesive newsletter. Anthea came up with the nine unique three letter headings of the standard linage adverts, Niall sorted out the filing system for the envelopes and they were off.  As word spread of how good this new service was subscriber numbers increased and the daisy-wheel printer was swapped for a dot-matrix before the heat from the printwheel caused the office to combust.  In those early days there was no paid advertising only the Standard Linage which was all free.  It was with the increase of outside funding and funding partners needing to use logos (even on a free advert) that we started taking paid adverts. Niall and Anthea went on a holiday of a life time to New Zealand leaving Tracey and me in charge and I think I got a bit carried away!  By the time they came back CJS was slightly bigger, open five days a week (instead of the previous three) and we needed a new member of staff - welcome to Amy. CJS has continued to grow following the natural progression of the countryside sector with just a gentle nudge every now and then.  Expanding to include the whole countryside, conservation and wildlife sectors, increased coverage of complimentary areas such as professional training and more recently the daily news round up.  We still hold true to the principals of putting back as much into conserving the countryside as possible and we still offer Standard Free Linage in CJS Weekly keeping with Anthea's original nine headings.  In fact, it's possible to advertise virtually anything (anything relevant to the countryside that is) free of charge with CJS.
Since that very first edition of the Countryside Jobs Service in July 1994 there has been a copy of CJS Weekly produced every week and we're very proud to be able to say we have still not missed a deadline despite some very trying circumstances at time! For twenty years 50 editions per year (no copies over the Christmas and New Year break) have been posted and emailed out to thousands of subscribers.  Those numbers all add up resulting in this the1000th edition of CJS Weekly.

To celebrate we're making today's edition open access to everyone, click here to read.  And for all new and current subscribers we're offering you a 50% discount on electronic (email or download) subscriptions* simply quote CJS20 at the online checkout or over the phone.

There are plenty of plans in the pipeline to ensure that CJS continues for several more decades. However, rest assured promoting job opportunities in the countryside, conservation and wildlife sectors remains our top priority and we will hold true to the founding principles of CJS, read more about those online here: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/CJS_Stuff/About_Us.htm

1994 - 2014, here's to the next twenty years and beyond ...
Kerryn Humphreys, Editor

*T&C: minimum spend £5, offer valid until Thursday 21 August 2014, not valid on postal subs (sorry).

18 July 2014

Bigger and better.

This week we have made our updated Training Directory live.  Although it remains mostly unchanged in appearance to link seamlessly with the rest of the website it is now bigger and better than before with several new features including:
  • Dedicated search facilities to make finding specific courses easier.
  • Increased information in listings such as qualifications offered by training providers.
  • Ability to search for courses by geographic area.
You can search the whole directory or just a part of it.  Meaning that if you want to attend an introduction to NVC course you don't need to read through details for lichen identification or tree survey.  And if you want to brush up your skills but need to stay local now you can see all the courses happening in your area.

Click through and give it a go: www.countryside-jobs.com/Training
A new simpler address too!

Tell us what you think. If you love it or hate it; if there is anything you think we've got wrong or suggestions for ways to make it even better. Tell the team on training@countryside-jobs.com
We have a few admin niggles to iron out yet but we think we've checked everything however, if you find links that don't work or pages that don't look quite right please tell us by email at training@countryside-jobs.com including as much detail as you can.
We hope you find the new directory even better than the previous version.

11 July 2014

Nice surprise

It's not often we receive a nice surprise in the office post, usually it's just bills and the mountain of journals that we read. However, on Wednesday there was a very smart looking envelope containing a cheque as a dividend payout on a company that went into liquidation several years ago owing us quite a lot of money.  We'd given up hope of getting anything back after so long making it an unexpected boon.  It wasn't much only 3p in the pound, yes, you're reading that right a 3% return but better than two others this year, one with no dividend payable and the other was less than 1p in the pound. 

Keep your fingers crossed for a nice weekend, AW's extended family is going on a camping trip! The new tent has been tested, the blow-up beds checked for punctures, food coolers packed with essentials and the car is already loaded with everything under the sun but no room left for the kitchen sink. Miss India is very excited and (Great) Aunty J is under instruction to be prompt in collecting her from school and to make an early tea then they can go as soon as Mummy gets home from work! (AW is not quite so excited).
HB's had a mixed week as Master B has been on his transfer days to 'Big School' which he has thoroughly enjoyed, much to everyone's relief but he did not appreciate having to go back to the village school to finish off term (only one more week to go).

TB & I reckon dogs and horses are so much easier. Speaking of, we can't quite believe that the Troublesome Twosome, (aka Dido & Hester) have been with us a year next Friday - my, my, doesn't time fly.  TB's Troublesome Twosome (aka Golden Guernsey goatlings, Ruby & Millie) are finally coming on well and getting used to handling and petting, Ruby more so than Millie who is still of the opinion that people are murderers and "would you please just get on with deading me!", however, being goatlings both are quite capable of getting in mischief and only one occasion (so far) have been found on the roof of the stable block.

Back in the office, life rolls on and with it another CJS Weekly hits the presses, 15 pages this week with 52 adverts for paid posts, 27 of those direct to CJS plus a further 7 for volunteers.

10 July 2014

CJS Professional, July edition

The latest edition of CJS Professional is now online, read it in full here: www.countryside-jobs.com/Professional/current.htm   You may need to refresh your browser.

Jobs advertised in this Month's edition:
Wetland Landscape Officer, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Isle of Bute Countryside, Mount Stuart Trust
Parks Development Officer, London Borough of Havering
Access and Interpretation Officer, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Countryside Project Officer, Northamptonshire County Council
Education Officer, Conservation Officer and Cley Living Coast Project Community Education Officer, all with Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Assistant Ecologist / Ecologist Strath Caulaidh Ltd (Ardargie, Perthshire)
Deputy Head Ranger and Assistant Ranger, Nene Park Trust Peterborough
Training and Education Officer, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Field Studies Tutor - Calshot Activities Centre (Hampshire)
Farming and Rural Enterprise Officer Vacancy, Northumberland National Park

Top headlines from the past month: Click here to read

Training Calendar for September is 4 pages Click here to read

27 June 2014

Bring your dog to work day

Was actually last Friday, and you may have noticed we didn't quite get round to posting anything on the blog, we were battling with some new software and by the time it started behaving the day was gone and with it the opportunity to post some news.  Note to self, don't even try to deal with new hardware, new software, new methodologies, new anything really on a Friday, save it for Monday when it can flow out across the rest of the week.

Anyway, back to dogs.
We have office dogs, they're mentioned often so you probably know, they're resident and join us in the office most days.  And even try to help out, the pups are particularly helpful.....
Dido supervising a website backup
Hester assisting with dispatch of the Weekly edition

Hebe knows all about reattaching wires to boxes on the floor (mending the office intranet cables) and if ever the big printer breaks down she'll know exactly how to mend it - if only her paws could deal with screwdrivers and the cleaning fluid didn't make her sneeze.
We still have a box in the office to store thimblettes (those rubber fingers that help with counting paper) with a label reminding you "to count your fingers" and to "remember wolfhounds", the first office hound Cara was adept at swiping them from under your nose. (read more here).

Although sometimes they can be a little over enthusiastic:
Dido's attempt at dispatching the Weekly - Hester is NOT impressed.
Despite their occasional over-enthusiasm  they can be genuinely helpful too - no need of a doorbell with a canine early warning system and in times of stress like last week's software shenanigans there's nothing quite like a quick a labra-hug to ease the tension.

For more about our office dogs and those of the team check out the Dogs tag 

The labs and their Bean (person) will be absent next week, we're off to virtual Wimbledon, ensconced in front of the TV and hooked up to the internet to focus on the yellow fuzzy balls with maybe a bit of gardening / cooking / drawing / painting thrown in to break up the routine.

The latest weekly edition is on route (almost, once Dido gets off the table!) this week there are 20 pages with  67 adverts for paid posts, 9 for volunteers, details of work days and conservation tasks happening next month and lots of news.

And in other exciting news we've finally got our link shortening to work and integrated with other programmes so instead of bit.ly addresses you now see c-js.co.uk  (a bit longer but more personal).

13 June 2014

The scent of summer

This week it has been warm and still with a heavy dew or light rain overnight meaning that in the mornings my nose is assailed by a bewildering array of aromas. The scent of rain on hot paving and newly turned earth, the glorious sweet elder blossom and pungent herb robert (stinking geranium).

The conifers smell green (OK, I know colours don't actually have a smell!), slightly resinous, the newly cut field is high with drying grass and fresh hay, the day lilies by the gate are muskily floral.  But there are some not so pleasant bouquets too, walking around the village the greasy woolly smell of slightly damp sheep is never far away. Apologies for waxing lyrical but I've been missing all of these smells for years because I had hayfever, but that's now under control thanks to a daily dose of local honey - it works much better than anti-histamines!

It's been slightly problematic collating the news this week, our main news aggegrator service has been under sustained DDoS attacks, the third wave hitting them this morning and on Wednesday our main twitter client went under for a short while too.   We think we've covered all the main news but may have missed some of the smaller items.

On a more domestic level HB had to go home early when Miss B was sent home from school with the tummy bug that's been doing the rounds, Master B succumbed over last weekend, AW's phoned home to warn the family not to overstuff the snotties - just in case....

Anyway, the latest CJS Weekly is now assembled, there are: 49 adverts for paid posts plus 14 for voluntary placements over 17 pages. Digital editions are live and emails on their way out, paper copies will be dispatched tomorrow as usual.

(PS, we're doing our best to ignore events in Brazil - the ball is the wrong size and shape for us! much to AW's relief)