With guest speaker, Stephen Ensell, Education Officer of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). Stephen will talk about career opportunities for landscape contractors, landscape architects, garden designers and suppliers, including necessary training and qualifications for various career pathways.

BALI is a professional body, whose members carry out works in all areas of landscaping, including but not limited to garden design, hard and soft landscaping, lawn care or artificial grass, hydroseeding, irrigation and drainage, groundworks, roof gardens and sports grounds and maintenance.

The Rural List is a relaxed, friendly rural networking group which brings together resettling military personnel, veterans and employers across the land-based sector. 

Small print: By registering for this event, you consent to receive occasional emails providing information on relevant courses and events linked to rural resettlement.

DUE TO THE CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY, THIS SESSION WILL BE DELIVERED ONLINE.  In order to receive dial in instructions you must please register in advance, through Eventbrite: 

Register here


the rural list cirencester - 14 may 2020


Guest Speaker: Martin Newnham, Head Keeper and Constable City of London Corporation, Open Spaces - Epping Forest 

Martin served in the regular army and then in the reserve before landing his dream job as Keeper and Constable of Epping Forest. He says no two days are the same as he includes strategic planning, policing, wide stakeholder engagement, recruiting and mentoring new staff and game management amongst his varied duties. He will explain how he has turned a lifelong sporting interest into a follow-on career and how qualifications, experience and connections he was able to gain whilst serving - and at little personal expense - helped set the conditions for a successful application process.

The Rural List is a relaxed, friendly rural networking group which brings together resettling military personnel, veterans and employers across the land-based sector.

Small print: By registering for this event, you consent to receive occasional emails providing information on relevant courses and events linked to rural resettlement.

Register here


Sam Meredith (ex-Army) - Catchment Coordinator, Environment Agency - March 2020

Sam Meredith is now working as a catchment Coordinator with the Environment Agency.

Sam recounted his resettlement journey, starting with a rewarding period volunteering in southern Africa with Veterans for Wildlife in Kruger National Park and then with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) in Gloucestershire. 

His story also included honest recollections of the times when his job search stalled and how having a strong network gave him the "kick up the bum" to get a job and actually start his civilian career.  As he says:

 "Getting a job is easier when you have a job."


The Rural List is One Year Old - February 2020

Happy Birthday to us!

Following on from the first ever Rural Careers Insight Day during the afternoon, up to forty people enjoyed excellent food by Joe at Wildgoose washed down with a glass of Corinium Ales' Premium and listened to a truly inspiring talk by Jonny Kerr, former Army officer, 2020 Oxford Farming Conference Emerging Leader and current farm manager. His talk proved that it is wholly possible for people with drive and determination to succeed in agriculture, even without a traditional farming background.

Thanks to everyone who came along, including business contacts:

Richard Charles, AGCO

Jeremy Gibbs, Forces Farming

Woodchester Valley Retirement Village (a rural community seeking a new manager)

Jonny Kerr gave a very personal and inspiring talk at The Rural List Cirencester.

Networking - What is it and why should I? - January 2020

A very friendly group of fifteen rural networkers gathered to drink, chat and exchange best practise on business cards, elevator pitches and how to get the best out of LinkedIn. (If you missed out, a handy guide to producing an elevator pitch is available to download here.)  

Thanks to Matt Sheerin of After The Military for his insights into how a recruiting agency works and to Wendy Faux for top tips on business cards and for bringing along a very welcome group of military spouses, including an off-duty insider from Recruit for Spouses; we hope you will come again soon!


Charlotte Boole - Gateway Training - Outdoor Skills Instructor (Lantra) - November 2019

Despite floods and snow only a bound away, a determined group of hardy resettling military personnel met to hear from Charlotte Boole about the huge demand for outdoor skills instructors and how military personnel are highly sought after as much for the personality they bring into the training environment as for their reliability, presentability and punctuality.  Unfortunately the snow had prevented Alec Hands of Lantra reaching the meeting but along with his apologies he also sent a message that changes are afoot which will make it even easier for resettling military personnel to access this career path. The current process is summarised here: https://www.lantra.co.uk/become-instructor-or-assessor.

It was also a pleasure to welcome Nigel Chute of Chute Designs who, as ever, was delighted to meet so many entrepreneurial people in one room! 


Clare Muir - formerly RAF - The National Trust - October 2019

Our first alumni speaker, Clare Muir, recently moved seamlessly from a joint COS role at the Defence Academy to her first civilian role as Assistant Director South West Landscapes and Infrastructure at The National Trust. On the way, she attended a meeting of The Rural List, so she is one of us!

Clare presented a raft of top tips for transition including:

- Big up positive military stereotypes and address negative ones head on.

She highlighted that there are a great many ex-mlitary across the National Trust and highlighted how an introduction to a former army officer within the business had helped her considerably with interview preparation. She wants to provide similar assistance to those who follow and said she'd be "really annoyed" if an ex-service person who is applying for a National Trust role didn't get in touch, offering to introduce them to the best-placed internal contact to assist.

You can contact Clare via her LinkedIn profile page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clareemuir/

We were also delighted to welcome Jo Sturdy from the Officers' Association and local entrepreneur Jan Smuts of Cotswold Hose and Fittings as well as some new resettling personnel.


Environmental Conservation & Regenerative Farming - September 2019

Out largest turn out so far to hear the passionate and engaging Jenny Phelps MBE, Senior Conservation Advisor at the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (South West) (FWAGSW), talk about the context in which we will all be working in the coming years. 

Jenny also offered work experience and volunteer opportunities to all Rural Listers in order to support resettling personnel in gaining the necessary real life experience and sector confidence to apply for related work.

It was also lovely to have an experienced land agent in the audience providing the employed perspective and also to welcome a trustee from Veterans FarmAble and a Regimental Careers Management Officer (RCMO) from a local unit.

If you run a rural business and are looking for reliable, robust, quick-learning staff, come along and meet them at The Rural List.

Likewise, if you are somewhere along your own resettlement journey, and need some inspiration, solid advice or just to spend a couple of hours with like-minded people, come along to the next meeting.


Agri-tech -July 2019

What a fantastic meeting of The Rural List yesterday. Thanks to Ian Bester of kraal.farm (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 info@ruralink.org.uk 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.