While our Rural and Coastal portfolio is managed by people with distinctive and varied experiences, they all have a common sense of purpose. On this page you'll find stories from people who work across our Rural and Coastal portfolio, giving accounts of life in our business.

Watch Jayshree Patel's video

Read what Jayshree says: Video transcript (PDF, 0.07 MB)

Neil Jacobson

Neil is one of the longest serving and most experienced Crown Estate employees. Joining in 1987 as a zoology graduate, Neil spent his early years as an urban estate administrator, before beginning the process of retraining as a Chartered Surveyor that has ultimately led to his current senior role as the Portfolio Manager for the rural and coastal estate for the south of England.

“It’s a large portfolio that includes rural estates, forests, seabed and around 1,000 kilometres of coastline from the River Medway in Kent to the River Severn in north Somerset - and fascinating in its diversity.

“I guess I’m a really good example of just how varied the career opportunities are within The Crown Estate. I think I’m currently the only person to have worked in all three areas of urban, rural and marine and this has taken me to some beautiful coastlines, to offshore wind farms, potash mines, shopping centres and out onto farms in some of the most delightful parts of the British countryside.

“Of course the organisation has changed out of all recognition since I arrived, but there are some things that have remained the same, not least the assets, but also the personal qualities of the people who work here and the sense of collaboration and teamwork that exists. I’m never quite sure whether it is the ethos that attracts the people or the people that create the ethos, but what is clear is how special a place The Crown Estate is.

“Once I decided to retrain and study for my RICS qualifications, I had nothing but help and encouragement from the organisation. The motto is, if you show interest, enthusiasm and a drive to do well, The Crown Estate will fully support you.”