shell on the waterline of a gravelly beach (image: Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

Conservation is a broad all encompassing term, however countryside and nature both sit well with conservation and conservation is often an integral part of many jobs within the countryside sector.

Countryside conservation is ensuring that the landscape, ecosystem and habitats are in a good condition and managed sympathetically.

Wildlife conservation looks more specifically at protecting and promoting good management for healthy populations of animals, from small oil beetles to large furry Scottish wildcats.

Nature conservation is a combination of both countryside and wildlife conservation.

Jobs and employment

Typical jobs include Countryside Officer, Reserves Officer, Wildlife and Conservation Officer, Nature Conservation Worker, Conservation and Policy Officer, Conservation Advisory Officer. Many ecology roles are conservation based either in practical terms or advice and policy provision. 

See current countryside conservation vacancies advertised with CJS here.

See current wildlife conservation vacancies advertised with CJS here.

See current nature conservation (ecology) vacancies advertised with CJS here.

To gain the experience required volunteering is frequently a good start.

See current countryside conservation volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.

See current wildlife conservation volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.

See current nature conservation (ecology) volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.


Skills, training and CPD.

There are many different skills and qualifications required for conservation work ranging from practical land management to publicity and promotion ensuring the project aims are heard.

Practical skills frequently requested include:

For wildlife posts specific training for the species involved these could include

Office and admin skills often required include: 

For Countryside conservation a qualification in countryside management is usually a prerequisite.

For Wildlife conservation a zoology based qualification is usually needed.

An ecology qualification covers both aspects.

Information and in depth articles

Some things change, some stay the same – reflections on the countryside profession in 2019, Ted Talbot

Conservation Grazing – the right animal in the right place at the right density, Rare Breeds Survival Trust

The Green Halo - Where nature, people and business flourish, New Forest National Park Authority

Fit for the Future, Rewilding Britain

Designated Sites - A Site Managers Perspective, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

The resurgence of traditional countryside management methods, reasons and benefits, SRUC

National Bat Monitoring Programme – a volunteer based project, Bat Conservation Trust

Rural skills -their importance and how we can preserve them, Cotswolds AONB

Dry Stone Walling: A Living Craft for the Present Day, Dry Stone Walling Association

Next generation of Countryside Custodians, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

Coppicing - realising the potential of our woodlands, National Coppice Federation

A Career in Conservation Grazing?, Rare Breeds Survival Trust

Hedgelaying, National Hedge Laying Society

Working and volunteering in amphibian research, British Herpetological Society

Working for Conservation, Martin Harper, Conservation Director for the RSPB

Conservation Volunteering; from Pastime to Pay Packet, the National Trust for Scotland

Protecting wildlife, preserving heritage, involving people, Caring for God's Acre


Useful organisations

Countryside Management Association

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

National Trust

National Trust for Scotland

Natural England

Scottish Natural Heritage

Natural Resources Wales

The Wildlife Trusts


British Trust for Ornithology

List of generally useful organisations from across the whole sector.