Landscape managers use their understanding of plants and the natural environment to advise those involved in the planning, development and care of new and existing landscapes.
They are frequently consulted during the planning stage of both short- and long-term land development projects. They advise on the probable effects of such developments and provide ideas for alternative uses for the land.
Much of the practical side of the landscape manager’s work consists of biological surveys. These involve listing the plants, birds, animals and insects that inhabit a site, the type of soil and the site’s drainage, plus the local geography. Landscape managers write management plans, which can be on a short-term maintenance basis as well as longer-term developmental needs.
The types of landscape they deal with include nature conservation areas, historic gardens, city industrial parks, woodland for timber production or recreation, motorway verges, and communal grounds in residential areas.
Landscape managers are also involved in letting and administering contracts to manage and maintain the land. Once the contract is awarded, they go out on site to oversee the project, supervise the contractors, volunteers and others who carry out the work on the ground.
Landscape managers may be called to advise on planning applications and public enquiries prior to major construction projects. They often work with other professionals such as landscape architects and landscape scientists; see relevant job profiles for further details.
Hours of work can be long and irregular, with evening and weekend work common.
Landscape managers work outdoors in all weathers for much of the time. The work can be physically demanding with a lot of walking, and possibly climbing. Some time is spent indoors dealing with administrative tasks or attending meetings.
Those who work in the private sector may spend a lot of time travelling to sites. They may occasionally have to stay away from home. A driving licence is usually necessary.
To work as a landscape manager, you should:
There are opportunities throughout the UK. Employers include local government and central government departments, and companies involved in building, civil engineering, mining, power supply and land reclamation. Landscape managers may also work for organisations such as The National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and English Nature. Some may work in private practice.
Promotion can be to a senior or management role. Self-employment may be possible on a consultancy basis. There are also opportunities overseas, especially in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
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