How to become a countryside officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could complete a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could do a college course, which will teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment
  • Level 3 Certificate in Countryside Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You could start out on a countryside worker intermediate apprenticeship..

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Volunteering

Paid or unpaid work experience can be very useful when applying for jobs.

Organisations like The Conservation Volunteers, the National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts offer training for volunteers.

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Further information

You can get more details about countryside careers from the National Land Based College and Grow Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could :

  • advise landowners on how to manage their land
  • conduct surveys, carry out research and analyse data
  • write reports and deliver presentations
  • prepare funding applications
  • deal with complaints
  • organise the upkeep of country parks and woodlands
  • make sure footpaths are clearly marked and litter bins and car parks are provided
  • advise on planning applications
  • give talks to local groups
  • produce resources like leaflets and information boards
  • support local environmental events, activities and projects

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a park or in woodland.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

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

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Landscaping Technician

  • Wage: £290.00 Weekly
  • Location: Weston Super Mare

Courses In England

Level 1 Certificate in Gardening & Horticulture

  • Provider: HAVERING LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
  • Start date: 22 April 2021
  • Location: ROMFORD

Level 1 Certificate in Gardening & Horticulture

  • Provider: HAVERING LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
  • Start date: 05 November 2020
  • Location: ROMFORD

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