/ Countryside Ranger

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Steve Dunne on 08 Nov 2012
Hi Guys, I'm wanting to move jobs from construction management into countryside management and am wondering if anyone could offer any advice to help me along the way. Ta
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toad - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:

1 Get some experience/ do some voluntary work. Doesn't need to be with a prospective employer (though it helps to be known) but some sign that you've got some committment is very important on the CV.

2 For most it's a vocation not a job. This isn't neccessarily healthy, but it tends to be true. Why the career change? Do you like being outside? - that's probably not going to be enough. do you have a longstanding interest in birds/ moths/ dragonflies? - that might be more help

3. Mostly it's about selling stuff - be it gift shop tat or ideas or the latest campaign about meadows. You'll also be the face at the front for litter/ dog mess/ badger culling/ the fact that someone from the council didn't fix Aunty Bessies kitchen once.

4. All the exciting jobs are done by volunteers or contractors. Mostly you'll be applying for grants for other people to spend.

5 Still interested? Get a qualification. A lot of places do part time FE courses, or better yet, a degree. It's a ridiculously over qualified sector.

6 Long hours and low pay are still the norm. Though it's better than it used to be.

7 Public or voluntary sector? Vol sector is often more demanding/ difficult to get started but the work is more interesting and the sites are better (usually) Public sector has lots of pay/ recruitment freezes at the moment. Conservation budgets get cut first

Very rewarding area to work in (not withstanding the above!) but still very competetive.
Doug on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to toad: All the countryside rangers I know (mostly in Scotland so England may be different) had many years experience of voluntary work before getting a first post, which was often just seasonal. All seem to work very long hours for relatively low pay & most are (on paper) over qualified for the job (typically they have an MSc, often a teaching qualification as well). Posts seem to vary a lot both in pay, conditions & type of work.

If you are interested, get volunteering!

Richard White on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:

And of course don't forget you will have to deal with bears stealing picanic baskets all day long.
Steve Dunne on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to toad: I'm aware there is a lot to take on board but having worked in construction for 15 years i just don't feel like it's a challenge anymore. Desperate for change really. I've inquired into volunteer works but unfortunately just missed the recruitment drive for the Yorkshire Dales (where i live)this winter. Yeah I love been outdoors, I like most have a huge respect for the area I live in and would like to know that it is been looked after, hence why i'd like to be a part of it. My qualifications match the job requirements in 90% of aspects required. The thing I don't have is experience in that particular field. Looks like i'm waiting for the summer recruitment drive then hey? Thanks all for the heads up.
Steve Dunne on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug: Nice one Doug ta. It's not really a financially driven decision to be fair. I'd just like to do something a bit more rewarding than building houses for the masses.
Timmd on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:A chainsaw, brushcutter and pesticide spraying bit of paper and some experience can be handy from what i've gathered from doing volunteering in conservation.

I think you might be able to get some experience as a volunteer sooner with your local Wildlife Trust? Not sure if it'd be Yorkshire Wildlfe Trust or if it's split into different areas of Yorkshire, but a google would tell you.

If you can make it apparent that you're experienced in making things and can make yourself usefull, once you've got your first aid it mightn't be too long untill you can cover for team leaders if they're sick or busy, and drive the van of other volunteers and kit out to places for the day, obviously it'd depend on how where you volunteer does things though, so long as your face fits as it were and you seem friendly enough and are okay with groups that's all they're after, along with knowing what you're doing.

I'd definately check out your local Wildlife Trust, i've gained a lot from volunteering for my local Trust.
Timmd on 08 Nov 2012
Dave Perry - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:
Apart from the YWT & YDNP you could also try the National Trust as a volunteer.
derryclimbs - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:

I work as a countryside ranger down in dorset. I must say it is an amazing job which pays more than just in monetary terms. As stated in the above comments, volunteering is the way to go to get experience and get a good few contacts.
Currently we have a few volunteers with us and one, like yourself, has been working in construction for a long time and needed a change in career. His background has put him in good stead practically, and unlike the other volunteers he doesn't need a lot of direction to be proactive. He is also doing an NVQ in Countryside Management and I have no doubt he will pick up a job once finished.
Good luck. A change in career is a tough decision but if you know what you want to be doing then it is more than worth it.
Ron Walker - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:

Good luck.....
My lifetime ambition which despite a life sciences degree, the highest outdoor instructing qualifications and living in the countryside I've yet to achieve!
annieman - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne: Have a look on here for full time and volunteer job options - http://www.countryside-jobs.com/Intro/index/Jobs.html
Steve Dunne on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Timmd:Thats a great help thanks. I'll get straight on that.
Steve Dunne on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to derryclimbs: Nice one thanks. Guess it's just waiting for the right time to apply really. I've been in touch with the YDNPA on a few occasions to just really get my name recognized. They are a massive help and have guided me in the right direction as to gaining a qualification. Just a bit difficult trying to work it round a full time job. Appreciate all the help though.
toad - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne: many years ago I did an HNC in countryside management as an evening course with Bishop Burton. Don't know if they still do them, but there were several people looking for a career change. Caveat - this was 199something. My current employer does one day/week part time FE CM courses, but they're daytime, and not in Yorkshire!.But PM me if you want details
Steve Dunne on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to toad: Unfortunately that's not possible at the mo. Has to be in or around Yorkshire and definitely evenings. Gotta keep paying the bills!!! I have spoken to Bishop Burton and they no longer offer any courses (evening or PT) in this field. Think the route to my goal is maybe going to be volunteering. I have however got an meeting with Craven College to discuss whether i could do their PT course HND in CM on an evening. Fingers crossed. Thanks Again.
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ranger*goy on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Dunne:

Volunteer! I did my HND Countryside Management at Bishop Burton and got straight on the course because I'd volunteered and worked part time at my local country park. It was really hard landing my first full time job though, loads of competition.

You might find it hard getting a job at the moment. I know of a few councils who have sacked all their rangers and countryside team to cut costs.

I'm not a ranger at the moment, having kids messed that up, but I would go back to it like a shot if I could get a job near where I live now.

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