MEET THE TEAM
A day in the life of a Planning Coordinator… Claire Harness
How do you explain a typical day… it’s somewhat impossible as no 2 days are ever the same; that’s what I love about being a Planning Coordinator.
First job of the morning is to check emails and review submitted Planning Applications on the relevant Council websites, to address any Consultee replies.
Promptly moving on to preparing a planning statement for an existing Producer whom has recently given us the green light to submit a Planning Application for a
12,000-bird capacity Free Range Unit extension.
A lengthy conversation ensues with our “go-to” Landscape Consultant regarding the need for a Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment on a new green field site for a 16,000-bird capacity Free Range Unit.
After a quick lunch break it’s on to looking at the ammonia emissions from an existing Free Range Unit for one of our existing Producers in Wales. The Producer is looking to expand and therefore submit a
Planning Application for a second Free Range Unit, so I carry out a preliminary desk top to assess the levels of ammonia against thresholds set by Natural Resources Wales.
Early afternoon heads into a meeting with our “go-to” Drainage Engineer, to discuss the proposal of a drainage scheme
which needs discharging under Planning Conditions. Some focused time spent preparing a number of supporting plans on AutoCAD, for submission with various Planning Applications,
and ensuring the detail within those plans meets the relevant Local Planning Authority’s validation requirements.
A quick catch-up with our in-house Build Coordinator to update them on a Producer’s Planning Application, as we are working towards discharging pre-commencement of build conditions
for a recently approved 24,000-bird capacity Free Range Unit.
Finally, another catch-up on my emails and a few admin jobs ticked off the list, then off home!
A day in the life of a Pullet Consultant... Andy Seale
I have been with Bowler Eggs for over 8 years; before this I was a retail manager and buyer. I decided to try something new and applied for a position within Bowler Eggs, where I started out in the Build department, under the watchful eye of Andrew Watson, now our Sales & Marketing Director. After a few years I moved into the Pullet department as extra resources were required to help deliver the expanding flock, after all this is where it all begins for a new flock.
My main objective is to ensure that our Bowler Eggs Producers receive the best possible pullets available. Behind the scenes I am continuously monitoring all current flocks on the ground, making sure vaccinations are carried out, numbers are correct and hatch and delivery dates are correct.
I plan my diary a month in advance and ensure that I visit each flock in rear up to 5 times. This can be a little challenging when we can have around +700,000 birds in rear at any one time, all at different ages.
Although there are less glamorous parts of my role, such as time out on the road travelling to visit rearing sites located as far North as Barnard Castle and as far South as Bristol, the rewards are worth it when you help see through good strong, healthy pullets in the rearing process, receiving positive feedback from the laying farms on how well the birds are performing, and ultimately these birds going on to become healthy laying flocks.
Dealing with livestock is not always straight forward. Handling delicate situations and decision making is vital in my role, as although our Producers are always welcome to visit their flock in rear, we appreciate they are busy with their current flock and rely upon me and the team to deal with the day to day rearing decisions.
Alongside this I am in constant contact with our pullet suppliers field representatives and decision makers on how we can keep improving the standards of pullets and the rearing process, including perching, enrichment and shed conditions.
We are always looking ahead, usually anywhere up to 14 months in advance to ensure rearing sites are suitable and meet the standards required and expected.
A day in the life of a Free Range Consultant... Rachel Davis
Shortly after completing my final degree year at Harper Adams University, in Bio-Veterinary Science, I found myself wanting a new challenge, as previous experience had, until then, been very much small animal based, with some sheep, beef and dairy thrown in.
This desire led me to apply for the role of Trainee Free Range Consultant, where I joined the Bowler Eggs Field Support team in July 2016. My role involves travelling around the UK to visit our farms, advising on all aspects of bird management to help maximise both egg production and bird welfare.
This is a 24-hour service; being at the end of the phone to offer support remotely, when needed, is also an important aspect of the role. Training to be a Free Range Consultant has been a challenging experience, being new to the industry and having to learn everything from the ground up is no easy task; every day is still a school day! I've gained new experiences in the different parts of a flock cycle, from hatchery to old hen depletion, providing me with as broad a knowledge of the processes as possible.
The role involves frequent travel, staying out overnight and putting in long hours to provide the best service possible.
Though the key focus is to provide advice, the whole team also mucks in to do carry out tasks such as birds-in, vaccinating flocks, and weighing birds on farm. There can be some hard graft involved, but its a pretty good feeling at the end of the day! I have worked closely with other members of the Field Support team since starting, and the support and help from everyone has been invaluable.
As everyone knows, livestock is never straightforward; you often here on farm thatno two flocks are the same, so inevitably the role can be tricky and involve thinking outside the box to come up with solutions to issues. So its not just about what help each individual can provide, but about bringing the whole team to work together, knowledge-sharing and banging our heads together to come up with solutions and new ideas to help our egg producers to the best of our abilities, and thats what we take pride in.