Countryside/conservation officers are involved in the management, protection and enhancement of the local environment. If you love the outdoors and want a job where you're actively working to protect the environment so others can enjoy it, this may be the job for you. The work is varied, and can cover the following areas.
Landscape conservation, which may include:
Nature conservation, which may include:
Access to the countryside, which may include:
Community involvement, interpretation and education, which may include:
The work also involves maintaining detailed records, analysing data, writing information leaflets and press releases, preparing applications for funding or assessing applications for funding from other organisations.
Countryside/conservation officers typically work 37.5 hours a week. This often includes making early starts or attending evening meetings. It may be necessary to work some weekends and public holidays. Temporary and seasonal work is often available.
Although the work is office-based, a lot of time may be spent working outside in all weathers. Officers spend time travelling to meetings and to sites, so a driving licence is usually required.
To work as a countryside/conservation officer you should:
People with a relevant HND are able to enter this sector, however competition is fierce so graduates are usually preferred.
Opportunities exist with local government, government agencies such as English Nature and the Countryside Agency, with charitable trusts such as the National Trust and the Woodland Trust and with environmental consultancies. Competition for jobs is high.
With experience and further qualifications it may be possible to progress to become a senior officer or countryside manager.
There may be opportunities to work overseas for national government and conservation organisations. Some officers move into lecturing, teaching or journalism.
If you would like to know anything about becoming a conservation ifficer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Field Studies Council
Tel: 0845 345 4071
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
163 Balby Road
Tel: 01302 572 244
Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland
159 Ravenhill Road
Tel: 028 9064 5169
Tel: 0845 707 8007
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM)
45 Southgate Street
Tel: 01962 868626
John Dower House
Tel: 01242 521381
Tel: 01733 455000
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