Operations Director – part time

Embercombe is undergoing a transition in its vision, mission, values and activities – see below. We are looking for someone who can help us to achieve this transition, to join us at an early stage of re-shaping our organisation for the future, to make sure that we place nature and people at the centre of our operational activities whilst delivering world-class programmes, events and experiences.

In this role you will work alongside a Creative Director who is responsible for the content, programming, communications, partnership and fundraising activities of the organisation.

Your role will include:

  • Management of Operations – overseeing the site and operations teams in the delivery of programmes
  • Management of Finance and Reporting
  • HR & pastoral care of staff and volunteers
  • Management of Site development and refurbishment – rewilding our buildings and land
  • Partnership and fundraising work related to these activities

We are particularly interested in what individuals feel they can bring to the job – we are looking for someone with experience, enthusiasm and a desire for a challenging and rewarding project. If you are concerned about the state of the world and long to make a more active contribution, this job may be for you.

Please send a CV and covering letter to by the deadline of 29 February.


Our vision

Inviting the wild, working with nature

What have we done with the wild? It is all around us, above, below and inside us. And yet we have all but banished its mystery and majesty from our thoughts and actions, from our lives.

As we stand on the very edge of ‘what next’ for the human species, we begin to realise the need to adapt and evolve – to work with nature instead of against it, to ensure our place and the future of our children, alongside those of all species, inside a story that is bigger than all of us.

It is time to bring back the wild, to invite it into our lives, in all the different ways we can think of – to our land, to our bodies, to our souls, in our stories, in the ways we live and work, to our culture.

This is the work of Embercombe.

Our purpose

Embercombe is a beautiful valley on the edge of Dartmoor, founded by Mac Macartney in 1999 as place to inspire and catalyse action for a sustainable world.

For 20 years, thousands of people have come here to experience a deep connection with nature, to ignite the fire of their soul’s purpose and to light a beacon for generations to come.

Embercombe has played a major role in inspiring a critical mass of people to call for change. Now that change is underway, we have renewed our purpose to reflect the need of our time:

to inspire and support people to work
with the rest of nature in all aspects of their lives, for the benefit of future generations of all species.

Our activities

Embercombe is a charitable organisation that runs residential programmes and experiences based on nature-based and indigenous wisdom and practice.

We encourage participants to explore the ‘Twin Trail’ – the inner path of self-development, and the outer path of action; and the ‘Children’s Fire’ which reminds us to consider actions which support the next seven generations of all species.

Our participants are families, young people and adults seeking to make change in their lives, and organisations looking for authentic transformation. We offer volunteer opportunties, provide venue hire, short courses and public events; and design and deliver tailored programmes for groups.

Our programming focus for the next five years is to explore ways in which we restore our balance with the wild – in how we manage our land, design and build our homes and villages, how we grow our food, run our organisations, parent our children, how we tell stories and hold ceremony.

We will be calling on experts from our country and further afield to help us teach, faciltate and deliver a wide range of programmes from practical skills based apprenticeships and workshops to more philosophical, imaginative and community-focussed aspects of our lives.

Our place

Nature is at the heart of everything we do at our 50-acre site in rural Devon. We have pastures, mixed woodland, gardens and a lake, with views to the wilds of Dartmoor. Our accomodation is in simple yurts, hand-crafted cabins and soul-ful vintage show vans and we hold our programmes in a range of beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, including a ceremonial stone circle.

We have recently embarked upon a process of ecological restoration or rewilding, which over the next five years will allow us to run practical programmes in pioneering conservation and ecological practice, including demonstration of species reintroductions. We will engage with local partners to catalyse change in land managment in the region and become a beacon for rewilding in the UK.

We have also a new Masterplan for the development of our site which, once underway, will lead to hands-on skills programmes on regenerative settlement, natural build, permaculture design and forest gardening, working alongside experts and teachers in these fields.

5 year targets

We have a number of targets that set our trajectory for the next 5 years which include:

To work with at least 2,500 programme participants, hosting a minimum of 36 weeks of courses, experiences and trainings per annum.

To work with at least 20,000 online participants through our communications outreach, and high quality online content.

To be a nature-based venue hire for at least 50 organisations or individuals seeking to make change.

To convene and curate leading UK debate in at least 5 different areas of our programming.

To develop outreach through speaking and workshops in places other than Embercombe with our network of teachers, facilitators and practioners.

To develop glamping, camping and retreat offerings.

To rewild our site by 50% over the baseline survey of species diversity and inspire the rewilding of at least 50 other sites through partnership work, local community and through our programmes.

To refurbish our existing buildings, build 40 accommodation spaces, glamping and retreat spaces and a new teaching facility, increasing the number of participants, both individuals and organisations, by 100% in 3 years.

Assets & Staffing

Embercombe is a company limited by guarantee (05943952) and a charity registered in 2006 in England & Wales (1116793).

The primary asset is the 50 acre valley in which it is based, with a range of buildings used for teaching, kitchens and accomodation.

It has a loyal following of around 15,000 people across media platforms with steady annual increase.

Embercombe is governed by a 4-person board of Trustees and is run by a director, Dr Rachel Fleming, with a staff team of 9 people, supplemented by volunteers. Founder Mac Macartney continues to provide consultancy and support as an internationally known author and speaker, with a 30 year reputation as a thought-leader in this space.

The development of Embercombe is currently supported by a number of organisations proving expertise and consultancy in natural build and design, permaculture, agro-ecology, forest gardening, rewilding and conservation. We have a network of well-known international teachers who consider Embercombe their top teaching venue in the UK and Europe.

We are 30 minutes by car from the Centre of Exeter and right next to Dartmoor National Park.

Higher Ashton