CJS Silver Anniversary logo 1994-2019

2019 was our birthday:  All year we celebrated the silver anniversary of the founding of Countryside Jobs Service.

And what a year it's been!

We've been delighted, amazed and occasionally slightly embarrassed by the lovely things our friends and colleagues have said about us but it's been the unprompted comments from our readers that have really made us know that CJS is something special - not that we ever doubted it, of course.

  We received lots of Congratulations and Happy Birthdays and thanks for all the hard work messages:

  • Well done to the team at CJS on your continued invaluable service to those of us slogging onwards & upwards in the wider countryside. Please keep it up! :-)
  • Happy birthday CJS, thank you for the amazing work you do for the environment. Putting people in touch with others who share the same goal of improving the environment and aiding in conservation!
  • Happy Birthday CJS - you have been a part of my life ever since I studied Countryside Management and have been a font of useful information. Thanks!


But it's the ones that mention how we helped get someone started on the their careers or to get a job that really mean the most - it is, after all, what Countryside Jobs service was founded to do:

CJS you kick started my career with a great volunteer position, got me my first job and continue to inform me about conservation and wildlife news and great job opportunities. Here’s to the next 25 years!


Thank you to everyone. We've collated all the comments here (scroll down) and although our birthday year is nearly over you're welcome to add your comments email is the easiest way.

We'll leave the comments and the articles written by past and present CJS editors, Niall and Kerryn, here as part of our digital archive - at least until our next big birthday


Click each title to read more. 

CJS Introduction to our 'Birthday' year: Some things change and others stay the same 

To mark the half way point through our Birthday Year and actual anniversary of the first Countryside Jobs Service publication a second piece from CJS Editor, Kerryn.

Inspired by Kerryn's recounting of how the CJS Team came together Niall has been digging into the memory banks and has put together some of his recollections of the earliest days of CJS.

What a year it's been, a round up of events and details of new developments from CJS Ed, Kerryn

Birthday wishes from Friends and Colleagues  and also from our readers

Birthday wishes from Friends and Colleagues

logo: lantra

Congratulations to the CJS team and partners on a very special anniversary

If, like me, you were searching for conservation or countryside management opportunities in the late 1990s then you might well recall waiting for the postman to deliver your printed Countryside Jobs Service weekly update! Over the past 25 years I have worked as a National Park ranger, focussed on public access and recreation, managed countryside projects in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, delivered cultural tourism and visitor diversification initiatives, and worked in a variety of skills development roles. Reflecting on that career today, I realise just how many times I have engaged with CJS, either directly and personally, or by highlighting the importance of the team, its work and resources to potential students, volunteers, new entrants, career changers and those looking to develop new skills and progress.

Things have moved on - conservation is becoming more integrated into sound and sustainable land management, different interest groups value collaboration more than they once did, we’ve become more professional, we communicate and do business (and search for job opportunities!) online – but the core values that have made CJS such a successful and valued countryside management partner remain. As many of us working in countryside management know, it’s people and effective collaboration that make the real difference. The CJS team remains as committed, approachable and engaging as ever; the business values and principles continue to reflect what many of us work to achieve; and many, many people beyond the lovely village of Goathland in North Yorkshire feel part of a wider ‘family’ of countryside managers and conservationists due, in no small part, to the work of CJS over the last 25 years - the contacts, colleagues, networks, knowledge, skills and friends that have developed over that time highlight how fantastic it is to volunteer and work in conservation and countryside management.

I would like to say a big “thank you” to the CJS team, congratulate them on a fantastic 25 years in business, and acknowledge the commitment and support from many partners and supporters throughout that time - long may it continue - and “here’s to the next 25!”.

Kevin Patrick

Rural Skills Development Manager (Scotland), Lantra

logo: Woodland Trust

We’ve always appreciated the help CJS has given us here at the Woodland Trust. Over the years we’ve successfully recruited many volunteers as well as paid staff through the website and we really value being able to advertise our roles here. The service we’ve had has always been very prompt and thorough.

But it’s not just recruitment that’s important to us. The knowledge sharing that goes on through CJS is invaluable too. Whether it’s a “how to” guide, an article on current thinking on a particular issue or the handy news digest, it’s a great way for the sector to keep updated with developments and opportunities.

Twenty-five years is quite the achievement. Here’s to the next!

Dee Smith, Senior PR Officer, Woodland Trust

logo: Scottish Wildlife Trust

Back in the mid 1990’s there weren’t many options for environmental job seekers other than looking at individual newspapers and contacting individual organisations. CJS made the process a whole lot easier by collating these jobs and putting them in one place. Organisations then realised that CJS was the best place to advertise their jobs because it was the publication for environmental job seekers. Although there are now many more competitors, CJS is the original countryside jobs service. Thank you CJS and best wishes for your next 25 years!

Peter Gilbert, Volunteer Development Officer at Scottish Wildlife Trust

logo: Cranborne Chase AONB

I offer my congratulations to Countryside Jobs Service (CJS) for 25 years of dedication to the countryside and environment sector. Here at Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) we have utilised the vacancy advertising service CJS offers on a number of occasions – to great effect! The swift service, very competitive pricing and vast audiences CJS reaches, ensures we will continue to use their excellent services into the future. The CJS team is highly knowledgeable and experienced and genuinely committed to serving the sector and those who have a passion for it. Their enthusiasm for all things ‘countryside’ shines through and they are an absolute pleasure to work with.

Linda Nunn

Director, Cranborne Chase AONB

logo: Exmoor National Park

I entered the countryside management field in 1997 so CJS has been there for my whole career. I fondly remember the jobs sheet turning up in the post each week at my first volunteer position with Saltwells Nature Reserve. It always included great sounding jobs in far flung parts of the UK. The CJS team have a real passion to support our industry and offer more than just a jobs promotion service. I feel particularly grateful for the work they have done to support the Countryside Management Association, both financially and through practical support over the years. CJS have supported skills, knowledge and networking across our industry which helps us all to deliver the important work we are all doing. I’d like to wish CJS and the team a very happy birthday and wish you all good luck with the next 25 years.

Dan Barnett

Access and Recreation Manager, Exmoor National Park Authority

I owe a great deal to the Countryside Jobs Service. Not least my first, full-time role in the conservation sector: a position in field ecology advertised solely on CJS which, in hindsight, formed a solid basis for advancement in the years to come. That said, equally important have been the voluntary opportunities sourced through CJS and the team's ceaseless support of the endeavours of young conservationists. By providing a platform for promotion and discovery, and actively supporting start-up initiatives such as New Nature Magazine, they really do go above and beyond.

Rare among environmental careers portals is the breadth and diversity of the opportunities featured on CJS. Too often do jobseekers find themselves stuck in a rut, browsing the same positions over and over to limited or no success. By showcasing opportunities from all corners of the sector, CJS help individuals discover routes never previously considered – inspiring jobseekers to think “outside the box” on their quest for success. It is this diversity that makes the platform my first port of call when the need for change arises.

The environmental sector needs diversity: it needs opportunities tailored to all interests, experience levels and backgrounds. This is exactly what the Countryside Jobs Service provides, and I wish them all the luck in the world in continuing this for another 25 years.

James Common (


logo: Groundwork

Groundwork has proudly worked with Countryside Jobs Service for the last few years to both promote our work and provide advice and support to readers. 

Given the reach and target audience of the publication, we have also placed advertisements for our various volunteer roles, and the CJS team always pick up on our latest news and help to share it through their online and social channels. 

It is always a pleasure to talk to Amy in the marketing team and to provide articles and content for the publication. 

Happy Anniversary!

Stacey Aplin, PR and Communications Officer. Groundwork

As a very long term weekly subscriber, I look forward to your weekly newsletter. It carries comprehensive up to date jobs and services from throughout Britain, and a large section on current news, wide ranging (countryside) topics.

Periodically there are extra sections on specialist subjects and volunteering – these are valuable student resources.  

The newsletter was a great support to me, when, in retirement, I embarked on a second career. I started with an NVQ and on to a diploma in countryside subjects (now registered with Sussex University). It’s what every student should have!  

The office staff are always polite, answer quickly, are knowledged and offer a great service. In fact, I’ve never had a problem with anything and I always request the postal service which could be difficult. CJS THANK YOU FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE THROUGHOUT (please never go away)! 

Lynne, CJS subscriber


logo: North York Moors National Park

At the beginning of my Ranger career I worked on Merseyside and Niall Carson (founder of CJS) worked at a nearby Country Park. I hadn’t known Niall for long when he moved from Merseyside to the North York Moors and set himself up as Rent a Ranger. Always enterprising and developing his business Niall eventually set up CJS - a brilliant idea to bring together in one place job opportunities within the environmental/countryside area of work . Over the years this has become a must for anyone looking for a career or job move within the environmental sector.

Eventually (after a number of career moves) I found myself in the North York Moors and soon made my acquaintance again with Niall.

Over the years CJS has come to be recognised as the place to go if looking for a Ranger job or other job or volunteering opportunity. I may not need to make use of it these days but I work with lots of apprentices and others working toward a career in our field. CJS is my recommendation every time. I’m sure there are many people out there who started off on their career path via CJS. Well done to all at CJS and congratulations on 25 years of great service.

Bernie McLinden

Senior Ranger, North York Moors National Park

logo: IPROW

IPROW has long recognised the value of CJS to the wider countryside and environment sector beyond the Institute’s work in rights of way and access.  It has been good to work with CJS to extend our reach to countryside workers, paid and unpaid, and to welcome new members to the Institute from outside public rights of way and access via their work.  We wish them happy birthday and continued success.


logo: greenspace Scotland

Congratulations to Countryside Job Service on 25 years of connecting people with great employment and volunteering opportunities in the countryside, greenspace and environment sector.

Julie Procter, Chief Executive, greenspace Scotland

logo: Bat Conservation Trust

Congratulations to CJS on their silver anniversary; what a wonderful milestone to celebrate!

Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) was CJS’s first featured charity in 2016; we couldn’t have planned it better as that year was BCT’s silver anniversary! It was really helpful to have a platform such as CJS where we could share the work that we do to protect bats and their habitats, both on the ground and behind the scenes.

During our year we were able inform CJS readers about our National Bat Helpline, invite them to get involved in Citizen Science and illuminate what we do whilst bats are hibernating during winter.

Thanks to CJS we were able to make more people aware of the importance of bats and some of the ways people can get involved to help protect these wonderful creatures and further bat conservation in the UK. Thank you to CJS for giving bats a voice.   

Andreia Correia da Costa, Bat Conservation Trust

logo: Canal and River Trust

CJS & me

I’ve had a close relationship with the Countryside Jobs Service ever since we were first introduced at college, way back in 1996.  I’ve been a subscriber on and off ever since then, whenever I’ve needed a job really, and it’s been a great help: CJS introduced me to my first full-time volunteering role and first lasting paid job (both with the Conservation Volunteers), helped me move into (and stay in) the Midlands, and alerted me to the fact that the newly-established Canal & River Trust were looking for volunteering specialists.

So what have I got personally from CJS?  Well, I’ve always found it quick, convenient (in both postal and on-line formats) and comprehensive – the fact that it pulls together everything advertised that week across the sector is a real boon.  Perhaps my strongest endorsement is that it’s helped me discover new organisations and parts of the country, in a way that local press and word of mouth never could.

As a volunteering professional, I’ve made regular use of CJS, particularly since taking on dedicated volunteer development roles at the Canal & River Trust.  I’ve regularly used the volunteering section and Focus specials to promote our Towpath Taskforce work parties, and found it ideal for specialist roles in volunteer leadership, environmental education and customer service.  The Focus on Volunteering has been a great opportunity to get articles published, and paved the way to our becoming CJS Charity of the Year 2019.

How does this help us?  Well it’s important as a new player in the charity world to raise our profile and standing in the sector, and regular exposure in the pages of CJS helps this; we hope that being chosen as their Charity of the Year will take this to another level. We’ve recruited some effective and lasting people through CJS; the data’s sketchy for our volunteers, but I’m aware of several other paid colleagues who’ve come to us through their pages, including some I’ve interviewed.  Finally, the articles we’ve contributed have been a great opportunity for both my volunteers and I to get published, and it’s inspired me to write more articles for the wider media… and of course CJS.

Thank you for being around for the last 25 years Countryside Jobs Service, and here’s to celebrating with you again when you hit 50!

Tom Freeland, National Volunteering Development Co-ordinator at the Canal & River Trust

logo: RSPB

Congratulations to CJS on celebrating 25 years of supporting and enabling people to find a volunteering opportunity or career in conservation.  The RSPB and CJS have worked together for many of those 25 years to promote volunteering and the importance and value of volunteering to nature conservation in the UK and indeed to the health and wellbeing of those you regular donate their time and talents to saving nature.   

There is a quote that says ‘A civilisation flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit’.  CJS has played a key role in enabling and empowering many people to do just that and hopefully will continue to do so for the next 25 years.  Happy 25th Birthday from the RSPB.

Alan Murray, Head of Volunteering and Employee Engagement at RSPB 


Happy birthday CJS! 25 years is a long time and has seen a lot of changes within the Countryside sector.

I first came across CJS 20 years ago when I was volunteering at a local country park. Each Ranger read it eagerly and then us volunteers scoured it looking for the next handful of jobs we would be applying for over the coming week.

Over the following years I’ve subscribed on and off as circumstances have changed and seen CJS increase in scope and quality. Now I am always drawn to the news and grants sections of CJS Professional to help me deliver my various roles in ever shifting circumstances.

When my employer has vacancies I always call for them to be sent to CJS. It is still essential reading for anyone looking to get their foot on the ladder or to move up and onwards.

A few years ago I began as committee member of Countryside Management Association which has had a long and productive partnership with CJS for many years. For a time CJS carried out our admin and also brought fresh eyes and experience which helped us with moving forward as an organisation. They are still key partners and continue to help us to serve the Countryside Management sector.

So much has changed over the last 25 years, but CJS has always played an important and evolving role.

So happy birthday and thank you for all you have achieved both for the individual ranger and the industry as a whole. I’m looking forward to seeing you continue your great work well into the future.“

Alan Preece, Senior Warden, Saltwells Nature Reserve


logo: Plantlife

Way back in the last century, I earned a living in the commercial world.  I was spending more and more of my leisure time outdoors close to wildlife, an avid birder, enjoying work less and less and finally deciding that a career in nature conservation would be a good move.  But would there ever be a job that suited me?

Countryside Jobs Service, I was told.  It was pretty new then and that’s where I started looking.  My first memory of trying to change career is of learning as much as I could about ecology and habitat management.  My second is searching through CJS ads.  There were some jobs!  Maybe I would see one I might be able to do.  I can’t actually remember where I saw my first conservation job advertised but either CJS or the Yorkshire Post led me to the Wildlife Trust, then to the RSPB and now Plantlife. 

And I haven’t looked back since.  Although now I’ve typed that, I’ve realised it’s not true.  I look back regularly at all that’s happened since I took that new job and the wonderful conservation activity that so many great colleagues and volunteers allowed me to play a small part in.  Nature still faces huge challenges but looking back at the results we’ve all achieved must give us confidence that we can succeed. 

What’s the biggest change over the years?  Well, personally, the birder from the last century was quickly convinced (and rightly so!) than the rest of the natural world was just as intriguing as the avian bits.  Hand lens and moth trap, as well as binoculars, now.  I’m now working for Plantlife, conserving plants and fungi.  We all know where wild flowers lead, wildlife follows. And, across the sector, it’s been really heartening to see rivalry replaced with ever more co-operation and joint projects.  Just as I started writing this, I checked the CJS website and what did I see?  A vacancy in the Back from the Brink team alongside the Plantlife logo.  There’s no better example than England’s biggest species recovery partnership of how we’re working together to do even more for nature. 

And thanks CJS for playing your part as you have for 25 years. 

Michael Krause, Acting Chief Executive Plantlife 

logo: Harper Adams University

Harper Adams University Careers Service have promoted and used the Countryside Jobs Service Weekly for many years in a whole manner of ways. We promote the service and highlight the website in all our taught sessions and engagement with students. This can be part of one to one guidance sessions with students and also in larger group sessions. Feedback from students has been excellent and the opportunities advertised and written articles have proven helpful in kick starting careers once students have completed their degree courses.

Volunteering and seasonal work has also been able to enhance students CV’s and help them evidence and gain experience, all things essential for candidates competing for posts.

The Careers Service feel the Countryside Jobs Service is an essential part of our guidance tool kit and frankly we could not do without it!

 Maria Simpson, Careers Service Manager, Harper Adams University   

logo: TCV - The Concervation Volunteers

On behalf of all our staff and volunteers at TCV, the community volunteering charity we would like to wish Countryside Job Service a very Happy 25th Birthday. A huge thank you for your continued support in helping us to achieve our goal of creating healthy, happy communities for everyone. We look forward to another 25 years of supporting the countryside and environmental sector.

TCV, the community volunteering charity.

logo: High Ground

We have been subscribers to CJS for nearly 2 years – I wish I’d found them sooner..!!

HighGround is a charity I started in 2013.

Our Mission is to Improve the wellbeing and employment prospects of serving personnel and veterans using the green environment.

We do this is 2 ways – by providing the Horticultural Therapy service for injured serving personnel at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall and, for those still serving and veterans who know they don’t want to work in an office but not quite sure what they want to do, we provide advice and support about opportunities in the land-based sector, with Rural Weeks at the core.

Long before they are ready to search for a job, we help them to look beyond their military identity and consider their transferable skills. Being able to direct them to CJS’s jobs board is a fantastic way for them to see that there are so many roles which they are ideally suited to – some even involve wearing camouflage…..!

I think CJS is a terrific organisation which punches well above its weight. Happy Anniversary and here’s to the next quarter century!

Anna Baker Cresswell @HighGroundBoss

Read more about HighGround in their In Depth profile article here.

Following many years of successful, collaborative working, many congratulations to all the team at CJS for such a fabulous job! The CMA immensely values all the services offered by CJS especially the very fast and efficient services promoting vacancies, volunteer opportunities and the exceptionally helpful, wide-ranging information, on a myriad of topics, in the regular editions of CJS Focus. The latter offers key facts, lots of opportunities and genuine encouragement to the broad audience of those interested in countryside management. The services offered by CJS are held in great esteem by CMA members and long may our close relationship continue. Well done for 25 years of excellent work!

Linda Nunn

Chairman, Countryside Management Association (CMA) 

CJS Introduction to our 'Birthday' year:

Some things change and others stay the same

One thing that has remained unchanged across all the years is that CJS is unique in offering free advertising for just about everything relating to our sector.  However, we know that sometimes you need more information than we can include in the short free linages and often logos are required so we're delighted to be able to keep the rates for these paid options unchanged for another year.

What has changed is that Countryside Jobs Service now advertises much more than countryside jobs our range has expanded to include ecology, wildlife, animal care, community involvement, rural and urban sites, fundraising, admin support, visitor management, arboriculture, environmental and outdoor education and today we publish a lot more than 'just' jobs advertising voluntary roles and recruitment days, apprenticeships and intern placements, citizen science projects, training courses, professional events, a full news round up service and a vast array of in depth information and articles providing insights and help to establish professional and new starters alike.

Celebrating Niall's retirement

From small beginnings

In July 1994 the first edition of CJS Weekly landed on doormats - mostly those belonging to members of CMA who, along with SCRA, received a 10% discount off subscriptions (no longer I'm afraid).  It seems like it was only five minutes ago that we were stuffing sheets of A4 from a daisy-wheel printer into multi-sized, shaped (and even perfumed) self addressed envelopes.  Yes, that's how it all started which was a huge step forward from photocopies of adverts in newspapers which formed the Jobs Service for CMA members way back when.  CJS founders, Niall and Anthea Carson took on the task of converting those snippets into a cohesive newsletter, Anthea devised the unique advert format, Niall sorted out the filing system for the envelopes and they were off.  As word spread of how good this new service was, subscriber numbers increased and the daisy-wheel printer was swapped for a dot-matrix before the heat from the printwheel caused the office to combust.  In those early days there was no paid advertising only the Standard Linage which was all free; with the increase of outside funding and funding partners needing to use logos (even on a free advert) we started taking paid adverts. CJS has continued to grow following the natural progression of the countryside sector with just a gentle nudge every now and then.  Niall retired in 2006 - we had a little celebration - since then the CJS Team has grown to five members plus office dogs, people often can't believe that it's just our small team producing the behemoth that is CJS, covering three newsletters, one quarterly publication and the huge website - sometimes I'm not sure I do either!

Digging out the lane after heavy snow

We're incredibly proud that in our 25 years we have never missed a deadline despite some very trying circumstances ranging from seriously broken websites and multi-day power cuts to needing a large digger to excavate several feet of snow from the lane to the office.

Helping to get the post to the Post Office

When things get tough it's all hands on deck even if those are very little hands helping to sledge a sack of newsletters to the local post office - school might be closed but CJS keeps rolling on!


We're just as proud that we hold true to Niall and Anthea's principals of putting back as much into conserving the countryside as possible, CJS is run along Social Enterprise principals.  We still offer Standard Free Linage in CJS Weekly in fact, it's possible to advertise virtually anything (anything relevant to the countryside that is) free of charge with CJS. 

Inspired by Kerryn's recounting of how the CJS Team came together (below) Niall has been digging into the memory banks and has put together some of his recollections of the earliest days of CJS.

I was delighted to catch up with Kerryn and all the news from the CJS Team last week. Yes, she has been running it longer than I ever did – and been doing it very well, too! Thanks to the CJS Team it is now much bigger, even better and far more complex than ever before.

Her memories of the early CJS days sparked a few of my own, even earlier memories. I remember:

When a very small job ad for a Ranger in a national newspaper would cost about £1,000 of a charity’s hard earned fund-raising, which I thought was horrific, so we offered free job ads.

When every weekend Anthea and I took crates full of a 1000 freshly-printed CJS Weeklies, each in an A4 envelope, to fill the big, double-sized Post Office pillar box in Whitby town centre – just as the drunks were leaving the clubs in the early hours of Sunday mornings - exciting, but without incident.

When a hard copy of vitally urgent artwork could only get to us in time by high speed motorbike from Leeds (the ‘Northern Regional office’ of a large agency) over the 70 miles to our house in a village in the middle of the North York Moors – not the biker’s usual urban delivery, I imagine.

When the arrival of a fax machine needed another phone line, and then payment by phone using plastic needed yet another phone line, then the advent of email and the interweb – which needed British Telecom to install a ‘bundle’ of 8 more copper phone lines all working together as one.

I even remember the government-funded Business Advisor who came to see us in full production one day and described the CJS as a ‘kitchen table operation’!

My, how times have changed! But the mixed oakwood which Anthea and I planted in 1982, is still growing strongly and now supports my many wildlife neighbours, and my firewood from coppicing and thinning. ‘Groves Coppice’ has vigorous young growth, new shoots and lots of surprises. It has developed and matured, its biodiversity has increased, it has become established as a major feature in the countryside and its long-term future is secure – just like the Countryside Jobs Service.

I am delighted to congratulate Kerryn, Tracey, Amy, Carla and Katie on the 25th Anniversary of the Countryside Jobs Service and I wish them, you and the countryside every success in the future…

Niall Carson

(Catch up on Niall's latest exploits on his blog)

To mark the half way point through our Birthday Year and actual anniversary of the first Countryside Jobs Service publication a second piece from CJS Editor, Kerryn

You might have noticed that this year is our 25th birthday (no? really? perhaps we should have mentioned it a bit more?!?) - in fact it's actually this week.  We've always counted the first edition in July as 'our birthday' edition as the very first Countryside Jobs Service was printed and sent out to readers on 1 July 1994, although being a print edition by first class post most were actually received on Monday 4 July.  However, things ran a little more slowly back then, no internet or email just pen and paper (or dot matrix printers) and snail mail.

Earlier this year in conversation with Niall over a cuppa whilst watching the pheasants decimating the spoils from under one of the many bird tables at Groves Bank he commented that I'd been running CJS for longer than he had.  It was a total surprise, I had no idea so much time has passed - where does it all go? So we thought that whilst you all know how he and Anthea set up CJS (read January's introduction if you don't) you haven't heard much about how the current Team all came to be here. My story is one of happy coincidence, tinged with sadness, I'd been working at The North York Moors National Park's Moors Centre and bumped into a colleague in Whitby, he said, "you know a bit about computers don't you?, Niall is looking for someone to help out whilst Anthea's not too well."  I can't remember who phoned whom but over the obligatory tea and biscuits I agreed to do a couple of afternoons a week and to take over some of the freelance ranger-ing Env Ed as well.   Tracey was already doing some of the typing, she'd been doing another job for them when Niall asked if she knew anyone who could type, "I can" came the reply.  So Tracey and I learnt the ropes together and filled in whilst Anthea received her treatment - which was so successful they took a long holiday to New Zealand leaving us to our own devices.  Before they set off on holiday we had been discussing adding another pair of hands which is where Amy joins our merry little band in another series of odd events.  Amy's aunt Jane had the litter sister of my lab and we'd met up a couple of times to talk dog and compare puppy progress (of course); when it became obvious that Tracey and I couldn't carry on on our own I tentatively mentioned it to Jane who thought Amy might welcome some 'pocket money' before she went back to India.  So I phoned and Amy came for, yes you've guessed it, tea and biscuits and to see what was involved. Like me she never left!

A few team members came and went but Carla became our next long term recruit.  Hers was the very first application we received, within hours of posting the advert, and was early for her interview catching us on the hop but she wasn't fazed by our unpreparedness and confusion or the flood of dogs that greeted her - perfect, she could cope with the general chaos that working at CJS throws at you!  A couple of years later the team grew again, adding Katie, whose arrival was relatively uneventful, an application followed by a come and meet the team and have a talk (no tea this time) to see if you're as crackers as the rest of us - apparently she is and fits in perfectly.  We're supported by two local businesses providing assistance with the IT and website as needed.

And there you have it - the unorthodox makings of a CJS Team.  We bring our own strengths and skills to keep everything running smoothly - at least that's what you see!  Tracey still does most of the typing, Carla's great with data entry and posting jobs online, Katie oversees the Training Directory, puts the Weekly together and collates some of the online news, Amy runs the Focus and most of our marketing. I oversee it all, deal with all the little (and not so little) problems, try to keep the harebrained ideas to a minimum, keeping a hand on the tiller steering our little ship into the next 25 years.

What a year it's been!

In January 2019 we excitedly entered our silver anniversary year announcing a change in logo for the special year and giving a brief history of CJS over the years; we also started giving away 'birthday presents' to our lovely readers. As CJS's many friends and colleagues began to send us birthday greetings we happily shared those too. We've always counted the first edition in July as 'our birthday' edition as the very first Countryside Jobs Service was printed and sent out to readers on 1 July 1994, although being a print edition by first class post most were actually received on Monday 4 July and last July I wrote a 'how to build a CJS Team' post explaining how we all came to be here and then Niall added some thoughts. You can read all our anniversary articles and birthday wishes on this page which will remain online as part of archive. Due to many inevitable delays our wonderful new website wasn't ready for launch until the end of the year but we think it was worth the wait. The official 25th birthday in July also saw the launch of our Photography Competition and I should be announcing the winners in this edition - but a global pandemic put paid to that! As I'm sure you'll agree the last few months have been a rollercoaster. The official lockdown in March caused an immediate upheaval with a virtual

working from home image (laptop on a table)

cessation in recruitment advertising, we hastily built a Volunteering From Home page on the website and for many weeks it was the most viewed section (here). We collated resources from many different organisations and posted links to their information hubs as well; all whilst getting to grips with working remotely. As remote and home working looks to be part of the 'new normal' we have also built a working from home page section for the main CJS Online section here. Coronavirus also put a dampener on our planned developments for this year which are slowly surfacing again. The review of subscription rates planned for March didn't happen until April but when it did we were delighted to be able to reduce them to an all time low of just 60p per week and when the following week the Chancellor took the VAT off digital publications we hit our target of 50p per week. Instead of holding the announcement until now as a 26th birthday present we decided to make the change immediately.

path through a field

Another major development which was slow to mature was the creation of an index of every organisation that has content on the website: that's jobs, training, features, news, volunteers; we've been busily tagging them all and the web designer built a new section so you can browse through and see what organisations have to offer and share. With 1838 (at time of writing) and growing every week it's a monster task but although they might not all have their logos and website links added yet you can have a browse through here in theory only organisations with anything current should be on the list but apologies if one or two have slipped through! This also means that we've been able to add links to further content from organisations or on similar subjects to every feature article which should allow you to explore the website more easily and find the information you want.

At the start of June we relaunched the photography competition for a further two months of submission with lockdown-friendly suggested themes and you'll get a chance to pick your favourite in August with the Reader's Choice selection. We will now be announcing the winners in September.

We've increased our features output although one Focus edition was dropped from this year's schedule and later this month will ask you for your suggestions and which sort of features you're enjoying and want to see more of. The coronavirus outbreak has affected us all and in recognition of how particularly hard hit our new graduates are we've given them a gift of a year's free subscription to CJS Weekly (sign up here) The CJS Team has (more or less!) adjusted to working from home, although the office dogs are missing their extra pats and ear scratches, we are looking at new flexible working arrangements for the team when 'it's' all over'.

Even a round, spikey virus can't keep CJS down for long and we have one or two new developments to come before our next birthday. So here's to many more and as one reader said last year: " Great service and keep it going for your 'Golden Jubilee' !".

Birthday wishes from readers:

Happy birthday CJS thanks for helping find great jobs in my first ten years of working in the industry!

Have a simply stunning silver birthday...heres hoping you have many more to come

Have a birthday drink on me!   Ummm, virtually of course....

All the best for your 25th year and beyond. You have running as long as I have! I look forward to hopefully broadening my career from one of your adverts!

Yayyy congratulations! You've been there for me over the course of many years!

Many happy returns and keep up the good work.

Happy anniversary CJS! Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do to keep us connected to what matters, Leanne Clements

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all your hard work on an excellent website. A daily joy! :) Take good care xx

I have found the free services offered by CJS very useful over the past ten years and I wish everyone at CJS all the very best for the future as they celebrate 25 Years. Keep up the good work!

Wishing CJS a VERY happy 25th birthday. You don't look a day older! ;-) And thank you for helping me find meaningful employment doing something I love! Katie x

Happy Birthday Team CJS!! Keep up the great work. Claire Davis

Happy Birthday and thank you for being here xx

Happy Birthday! You do great work!

Happy 25th! Thanks for all your hard work!

Happy Birthday you lovely lot! Thanks for all the years of fab e-mails!

Compleanos Jubilados Senores y Senoras!  Spanish so much more appropriate to wish CJS the best!

Happy Birthday CJS! Can't wait to find my next job with you!

Happy birthday! Drink sensibly and eat unsensible! :)

Thank you for your very comprehensive jobs advertising service. Always a good read in have itself.

Happy 25th Birthday to CJS keep up the good work and here's to the next 25!
Best Wishes. Gary Cooper

Happy Birthday, so glad you are still going strong (I found my last 3 jobs through CJS). X 

You have been part of my conservation career work life for the last 20 plus years.  So glad you\'ve evolved and retained the independent spirit.  Here\'s to another 25 years!

Happy Birthday and well done on all the hard work you do bringing us details of jobs and wildlife-related news. I find it really useful to keep up to date with what\'s going on in the world! Mel Dodd

Excellent opportunities to consider - thank you!

Happy birthday CJS, raise a glass to yourselves and all those you have helped find employment :-)

Congratulations to you all on 25 years of fantastic publications.  Long may it continue.

happy birthday and thank you for publishing jobs I can apply for x

Keep up the good work

Happy birthday CJS, thanks for helping us find new teammates, and for all the insights into wildlife news and courses. Cracking job xx

Happy birthday! Thank you for circulating countryside jobs, news, courses & events info - all very useful!

Happy Birthday, is it really that time! Congratulations

Happy Birthday CJS! Thank you for all your hard work :) Jasper

Congratulations CJS.. Heres hoping you have many more.. What would we do without you

Happy birthday CJS...keep up the fab work!

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and lots of cake!!

Happy birthday - love the site and e-mail alerts

Happy 25th Birthday CJS! I first came across CJS nearly 20 years ago when I was volunteering for TCV and looking for employment – it got me my first 2 jobs and started me off on my career path in the environmental charity sector :0)

Happy birthday! Well done for all your work, you're an amazing service, thank you!

:Happy Birthday to you, thanks for the good things you do, happy birthday dear CJS, happy birthday to yoooooooou!

Happy birthday.  Look forward to checking out what\'s happening in the environmental job sector everyday.

Have a wonderful countryside birthday.

Happy birthday CJS, keep up the fabulous work! Leanne

 \" C onsistent J ewel of a S ervice \"  happy birthday guys and gals. Paul Regulski, Leeds

Happy Birthday, keep doing what you do!

Happy birthday CJS. I\'ve found a few jobs on here. It\'s been such an important thing in my life. definitely made my life easier. Keep up the good work.

Here\'s to the next and the next and the next...i hope you grow very old indeed!  Thanks for all your hard work!

Happy birthday CJS, keep up the good work! Tom Heenan.

Congratulations on 25 great years!

Happy 25th Birthday, CJS! Always a pleasure to receive and read your emails.

Congratulations on 25 years of being a great source of user-friendly information about countryside jobs. Emma Lothian

Congratulations!! Thank you for all of the environmental benefits that you\'ve provided for us socially, economically, and for all living things! Happy birthday!

Happy birthday you fantastic humans!!
Fiona-May Aylward

Happy birthday CJS! Thank you for the work you do - your free daily update helped me find a new career path and the courage to apply to university. You have been an inspiration so here\'s to the next year for us all and the happiest birthday to CJS and it\'s staff.

Happy birthday lovely people!  :)

Happy birthday!!! You\'re doing an amazing job!!!

Happy birthday and congratulations on keeping a great website running!

Thanks for all of your hard work

Happy Birthday CJS. Thank you for a super publication. Wishing you all fabulous celebrations. Best birthday wishes to all, from Jo Gamble

Happy Birthday, Thank You for getting me my dream job

Happy Birthday to you! May the trees be green and the skies be blue. Happy Birthday to you! Love Rebecca

Another year of wonderful news and jobs from CJS!  Happy birthday!

Happy birthday CJS. Please find me a job soon! Nick

Happy birthday countryside from the seaside

Another year of wonderful news and jobs from CJS!  Happy birthday!

Brilliant service, thanks!

If only i cpuld gift you a pound for every countryside job you\'ve advertised

Best wishes from me and congrats on your 25th Birthday! It only seems like yesterday when you were naught but a fresh-faced (albeit bearded) \'start-up\' but clearly have provided a valuable jobs service - together with being an informative and knowledgeable provider of useful information to a widely spread but dedicated community.  Chris Lines

Happy happy birthdayyy!!! Thanks for everything you do

Happy birthday! Have been receiving your newsletters for many years and have have found out about great organisations, updates and job leads for friends, so thank you

Happy birthday - keep up the good work!

Congratulations to CJS on their birthday - 25 years young and growing strong :-)

Happy Birthday - just up your path!

Happy Birthday and thank you for all the great advice and interesting opportunities!

Happy birthday CJS your a great company and your  web site is always so interesting. Thanks also for keeping me posted on important countryside issues and courses. Regards to you all Jeni

Congratulations on the big anniversary and thanks for all the really useful information shared: love the news item feature too.

Happy birthday CJS. Please keep up the great work!

Congratulations on your anniversary - love your website and e-mails. Best resource around.

Happy Birthday CJS. The original and still the best!

Happy birthday and thank you for all that you do.

Happy Birthday CJS from the Warden Team at Cambridge PPF

Happy bird-day!

Happy birthday you have helped so many people over the years. Well done!

Well done to the team at CJS on your continued invaluable service to those of us slogging onwards & upwards in the wider countryside. Please keep it up! :-)

A very Happy Quarter of a Century to CJS!

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