In the spotlight: James Pyrah


Here’s a brief interview with our trainee surveyor James Pyrah who sheds a bit more light on life at Robson & Liddle, his studies at Harper Adams University, and what it takes to break into the industry.

What made you want to get into working in the rural sector?

I’ve always enjoyed getting out and about and the opportunity to do that on a daily basis really appealed to me. I started to look into surveying while completing my forestry degree and was drawn in by the wide variety of work and the opportunity to meet a lot of people. Doing work experience at the Duchy of Cornwall inspired me and confirmed that I wanted to be involved in the industry.

What made you choose Robson & Liddle?

As a new and expanding company with many years’ experience and managing a number of estates, Robson & Liddle was the perfect opportunity. It’s a great place to work and I haven’t looked back. The Eden Valley is also a beautiful part of the world to work in.

What kind of work are you involved in?

As a trainee surveyor I get involved in property/estate management, planning, mapping, compulsory purchase and compensation claims. My experience in digital mapping while working in forestry meant I could apply my skills in this immediately while expanding my knowledge in other areas.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learnt so far?

A good general rule in this profession is to check everything thoroughly. Detail is key.

What would your advice be to others considering a career in surveying?

The best way to get into the industry it is to go out and get involved through work experience. To get the right role you have to put the time in making contact with companies, even if there aren’t any jobs advertised. I landed the job at Robson & Liddle because I was phoning around various estates asking about job opportunities and that’s when someone put me in touch with Julie Liddle.

You’re now studying for a diploma at Harper Adams. What will this enable you to do?

Studying the diploma at Harper Adams part-time is enabling me to broaden my knowledge of the industry and start my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and the path to becoming a chartered surveyor.

The university has a great reputation. What does it mean to be a Harper Adams student?

Being a Harper Adams student is great and I thoroughly enjoy meeting up with people in a similar situation to myself. The facilities on offer at Harper Adams, such as the onsite farm, are brilliant.

What are your hopes for your future career?

Firstly, to finish my diploma, then my APC qualifications to become a fully qualified surveyor, and then progress my career at Robson & Liddle.