Jenny Phelps MBE

JENNY PHELPS MBE will talk about employment opportunities in  conservation and the stark environmental challenges facing farm and water management in the  coming years.

Jenny has been a passionate and expert voice working  to implement more joined up and sustainable land-management and  agricultural practices for over thirty years. She pioneered the  Water with Integrated Local Delivery approach (WILD), which she delivers as the Senior Farm  Conservation Advisor for Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory  Group (FWAG), as well as teaching at the Royal Agricultural University. She has  also presented her work at the Oxford Real Farming Conference and made expert contributions to other high level consultative bodies and working groups. She is frequently requested to provide expert advice to DEFRA.

Jenny is a strong believer that  military personnel of all ranks have a great deal to offer in rural  conservation management and has provided work experience opportunities  to a succession of resettling personnel in recent years. She has also  worked on two projects to offer sustainable employment to ex-military in  the field.

You want to be in her network!

All meetings are free to attend but please do book via Eventbrite.

A unique opportunity to hear Jenny Phelps MBE speak on the challenges facing integrated farming and conservation in the coming decades and to gain inspiration on building a career in this field.

Sign up here

The National Trust - 10 October 2019

Clare Muir - formerly RAF

Our first alumni speaker!

Clare Muir moved seamlessly from a joint COS role at the Defence Academy to her first civilian role as Regional Director for The National Trust in 2019. On the way, she attended a meeting of The Rural List, so she is one of us!

Hear from a recent, successful resettler, get her top tips on CVs, interview preparation and what gave her the edge. 

Also a unique chance to find out about roles in The National Trust and to benchmark your own experience against those roles. 

Whatever your rank, service or where you are on your resettlement journey, this could be the inspirational two hours which shapes your future. See you there!

All meetings are free to attend but please do book via Eventbrite.


Agri-tech -July 2019

What a fantastic meeting of The Rural List yesterday. Thanks to Ian Bester of (formerly DiAgri) and Farm 491 for an engaging and truly inspiring talk on his entrepreneurial journey in tech. 

I’m pretty sure the audience of veterans and resettling military personnel went straight home to write their own business plans!

If you are looking to recruit ex-military into your business, come along and meet us at the next meeting. 

If you are resettling and are seeking information or just need a nudge from a friendly veteran who is a few months ahead of you in the journey, come along.

Informal, informative and for you!


Visit to Western Arable Limited - June 2019

Thanks to our friends at Western Arable Ltd who invited us to their annual open day. It was a great opportunity to talk to farmers from across the south-west and learn about their needs and the particular challenges facing them today. Touring the grain processing, testing and storage facility provided an invaluable lesson in bespoke functional business design clearly demonstrating how investing in a painstakingly tailored facility has underpinned their business success.

Western Arable have recently hosted a Rural List member on a day's bespoke work experience and are keen to offer more. They also have two paid work experience opportunities available for the harvest period. Contact for more.

If you run a  rural business and are interested in recruiting ex-forces personnel, please get in touch or simply attend one of our forthcoming meetings. We would be delighted to welcome you


Food and Drink - May 2019

Nick Waloff, Executive Chairman of Cotswold Taste, spoke about the retail business of premium food and drink, explaining how he was working with businesses across the Cotswolds to enable all to benefit from the premium associated with the region. His talk touched on branding, marketing and establishing a small business. 

Celebrating success!

Congratulations to Sam who has joined the Environment Agency.

Congratulations to Clare on your new role with The National Trust.


Arable - April 2019

A very sociable evening with  several employer representatives:

- Phil and Julie of  Western Arable Ltd

- Jeremy, an entrepreneur developing an emerging forces employer in farming - watch this space!

- George, a volunteer with military CIO and Foundation Farm-Able.

As a direct result of this meeting, two attendees arranged work experience with Western Arable and two subsequent introductions have been made. Western Arable are also keen to offer paid seasonal experience to two veterans during the busy harvest season this year. See advertisements elsewhere on this website.


Rural Estate Manager / Rural Surveyor / Land Agent - March 2019

For our first monthly meeting, fifteen resettling personnel welcomed David Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Land Management and Forestry at the Royal Agricultural University. David spoke about the role of a rural estate manager, the qualifications routes and professional training required and then spent further hour answering individual questions. The RAU courses team were also there to answer questions on finances and course structure.

Thank you to the RAUSU for allowing us to meet in The Tithe Barn on campus.


LAUNCH EVENT - February 2019

Over 80 people helped launch The Rural List Cirencester at a special event held at the Royal Agricultural University. 

The Alliston Centre, home of Farm 491, the university's specialist agri-tech incubation centre, provided a superb venue for guests to mingle, be inspired by Wendy Faux's exhibition, "If the Boot Fits ..." and hear the stories of veterans who now operate within the rural sector. It was a fertile ground to create a fellowship of mentors and the peer support network which is often cited as vital to successful resettlement.

The Rural List is associated with The Liquid List. This event was kindly sponsored by FWAG-SW and the RAU.

The event was widely covered by local press and Farmers Weekly ran a feature a few weeks later.