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What the job involves
As a countryside ranger, you will maintain and develop areas of land and green space by planting trees, managing ponds and working with volunteers and the local community to engage them in projects. The work is very practical and physically demanding.
As well as this, you will usually have the opportunity to share your knowledge about the landscape and wildlife that inhabit the area on guided walks and educational visits.
Other tasks could involve:
- Planning and building habitats to protect plants, animals and birds
- Working with volunteers and encouraging community involvement in projects
- Taking part/managing community projects and exhibitions
- Maintaining equipment
- Ordering materials
- Keeping records and writing reports
You will need to be physically fit enough to complete the practical tasks of the job and have a passion for nature and the outdoors. Good leadership, team working abilities and communication skills are all essential.
You will usually work around 37 hours a week. This could include unconventional hours in the evenings and on weekends particularly during busy visitor seasons.
The work is physically demanding and will usually be working outside for large parts of the day. This means you will need to adapt to working in all weather conditions.
Qualifications and training
There are a variety of qualifications at differing levels available to those wishing to work in the countryside. Entry into such jobs is often competitive so a formal qualification which reflects your knowledge and skills, alongside practical experience, will help strengthen your application.
For those looking for their first qualification to give them a solid grounding in countryside practices and principles may wish to consider a qualification such as the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment online, distance learning course.
In addition to qualifications and experience, you will most likely need a full driving licence and may need to drive an all-terrain vehicle.
Getting into the profession
Countryside ranger positions are often highly competitive, there are several placed to look for job vacancies, including:
Salary and benefits
On average, the starting salary for a countryside ranger is around £16,000. With experience, rangers can earn as much as £30,000 a year.
As you gain experience, you could become a senior, district or head ranger or warden. You may also want to pursue a career as a countryside officer. Alternatively you want to more into a more specialised area such as woodlands or coastal areas.