Countryside ranger

estate warden

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

What's it like?

You would do practical work to look after the countryside and conserve wildlife and habitats.

You’d repair paths, fences and signs to assist people who visit the countryside. When you speak with the public and answer questions about the wildlife and landscapes you’d be able to convey your enthusiaism about the natural environment.

You would:

  • Plan and create habitats to conserve plants, animals and birds
  • Plant trees, manage ponds and other practical tasks
  • Do field surveys to monitor changes in the environment
  • Patrol sites to help visitors and to discourage poaching or damage
  • Give talks and lead guided walks
  • Manage exhibitions and resource centres
  • Take part in community projects
  • Work with local landowners and businesses whose activities may affect the environment
  • Keep records and write reports

As you would be using tools ands and equipment you would need an awareness of health and safety issues.

You could specialise in habitat management, fieldwork or education, or focus on managing certain types of habitat such as waterways, coasts or moorlands.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work around 37 hours a week, which may include evenings and weekends. Weekend work could increase significantly during the main visitor season. Some jobs are part-time or seasonal.

Environment

You would spend some time in an office or visitor centre, but there would be a lot of active outdoor work. You would be outside in all weather conditions and do a lot of walking.

Travel

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Working as part of a team
  • Being tactful
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You would usually require relevant qualifications such as countryside management or environmental studies, at Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree level (SCQF level 9/10).

To enter a Higher National Certificate courses in Environmental Sciences requires three Highers at grade C or above (SCQF level 6).

To enter a Higher National Certificate courses for countryside management require the applicant to hold two Highers (SCQF level 6).

Entry to a relevant degree requires a minimum of three Highers or a suitable HNC/HND.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects - biology or environmental science preferred (required by most courses)
  • English
  • Social studies such as psychology

You will also need

  • A driving licence is often essential 
  • Relevant work experience is often essential 
  • A Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check may be required.

Helpful to have

 Qualifications and experience that demonstrate physical fitness and experience working with nature such as Skills for Work Rural Skills (SCQF level 4) or the John Muir Award.