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Countryside officer Conservation officer

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Countryside officers manage, protect and improve the rural environment.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

Employers will usually expect you to have an HND, foundation degree or degree in a relevant subject like:

  • biology
  • countryside or environmental management
  • ecology and geography
  • environmental sciences

Paid or unpaid work experience may also be useful. Organisations like The Conservation Volunteers, Groundwork, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts offer training for volunteers.

You could get into this job through an environmental conservation apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • effective communication and 'people' skills
  • negotiating skills
  • planning and organisational skills
  • IT and record-keeping skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work on environmental improvements and conservation management. 

You could also be responsible for making sure the public have access to the countryside.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • advising landowners on how to manage their land
  • conducting surveys, carrying out research and analysing data
  • writing reports and delivering presentations
  • preparing funding applications
  • dealing with complaints 
  • organising the upkeep of country parks and woodlands
  • making sure footpaths are clearly marked and litter bins and car parks are provided
  • advising on planning applications
  • giving talks to local groups
  • producing resources like leaflets and information boards 
  • supporting local environmental events, activities and projects

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000

Experienced: £30,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 to £50,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 37 hours a week. 

You might work in the evening, at weekends and on public holidays. 

You’ll be based in an office, but spend a lot of time outdoors.

The role can be physically demanding and you’ll work in all weather conditions.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and further qualifications, you could progress to senior countryside officer or manager and then regional manager. 

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Last updated: 13 September 2018