We’d like to introduce Simon Moth – he’s the head of our Conservation team. Alongside his team of 12, Simon has looked after everything from conservation projects & building sites to renewable energy, site maintenance, property maintenance and landscaping… all since he started 19 years ago!
We had a chat with Simon and asked him to give us a bit of an insight into the day-to-day workings of his job:
“First of all every day is very different because the job is so diverse. I could be going out to work on a tree planting scheme, or working on our current photovoltaic project (PV) which has taken up a lot of the time lately!
Generally I get up at 6:00am to arrive at the office for 7:30am. I then either get stuck into paperwork or go out and around the farms, meeting contractors or staff depending on what projects are on.
We are also currently working on lots of other projects including property refurbishments, landscaping schemes and continuing work on our biomass heating projects. Following on from the success of the renewable energy scheme at Yeo Valley HQ, we are now starting to introduce a biomass scheme to houses on the estate.
The biomass heating system runs on Miscanthus, also known as elephant grass, which is grown on our land up on top of the Mendip Hills. It’s a great step towards sustainability at Yeo Valley and will save on annual energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.
As well as projects, my day can often involve getting hands-on with some of the more mundane tasks such as un-blocking drains. Probably my fault for grabbing the plunger too readily from the Property team! In my opinion, management is about making things happen in a timely and efficient fashion – if possible! It’s always a challenge because you have so many projects going on at once, you’ve got to push each one along, and I don’t mean the drain!
My day normally finishes about 6pm depending on my whereabouts, or what project I’m working on.
Something I have learnt is anything is possible working at Yeo Valley. There are grand ideas for the estate and grounds, and it surprised me when I first started how many of these ideas actually happen.
I come from a farming background; I was a herdsman for a while before I went back to formal education at Reading University, and from my time here at Yeo Valley, I have learnt that you need a good team around you.”
As if Simon’s role isn’t challenging enough, he is also on-call as a Fire Fighter at Blagdon Fire Station during his working day and Weston-super-Mare Fire Station whilst at home! One of his most memorable days at Yeo Valley was turning up to work and being “tipped out” to the Pier fire at Weston-super-Mare, “you could see the fire from work so it was quite a big job and thankfully not an everyday occurrence”. Simon gets called out by the Fire Service on average twice a week and enjoys helping people in their hour of need. “It’s a different type of work completely but there are transferable skills between the two roles.”
When not saving the day or working out and about at Yeo Valley, Simon enjoys walks with the family, running, DIY and caving. When asked to finish the following sentence, ‘Most people don’t know this, but I’m very good at…’, Simon admits “it sounds a bit quirky but… tying knots.” With caving as a hobby and being part of the Fire Service, “tying knots is one of the things you just need to know!”