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 (commonbynature.co.uk)
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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' !".
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!!
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 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!