Countryside ranger

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Countryside rangers look after green spaces, woodlands and animal habitats that allow entry to the public.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £30,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
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You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Relevant courses include:

  • environmental studies
  • rural resource management
  • countryside management

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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You may be able to get into this job with a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Countryside Management.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
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You could start by doing a countryside worker intermediate apprenticeship, or an environmental conservation intermediate or advanced 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 and experience

You could get experience by volunteering with National Parks or conservation charities like The Wildlife Trusts. This will give you an advantage when you’re looking for work.

More information

Career tips

A first aid qualification may help when applying for jobs.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Countryside Management Association for professional development training and to build up your contacts.

Further information

You can get more details about working as a countryside ranger through National Parks and the National Land Based College.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of geography
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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Day-to-day tasks

You’ll usually:

  • plan and create habitats to protect plants, animals and birds
  • plant trees and manage ponds
  • lead guided walks, talks and educational visits
  • work with volunteers and encourage community involvement in projects
  • balance the needs of conservation and visitor management
  • manage exhibitions and resource centres and talk to the public
  • maintain machinery like chainsaws and mowers
  • order materials, keep records and write reports

Working environment

You could work in woodland or in a park.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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You could join a professional body like the Countryside Management Association, which may improve your career prospects.

With experience, you could become a senior, district or head ranger or warden. You could also become a countryside officer.

Another option is to move into more specialised work like forestry or coastal area management, or wildlife conservation.