Countryside management

path winding through grassland bordered by woodland

Countryside management covers all land management including urban parks and greenspace as well as rural estate workers, but is usually thought of as rangering. Including elements of conservation, access, recreation, ecology, environmental education, wildlife and visitor management working in countryside management requires a wide range of interests and skills.

Jobs and employment

Typical jobs include Ranger, Countryside Officer, Reserves Officer, Site Manager, Countryside Worker, Estate Manager, the National Careers Service has role profiles of all of these and many more (click the links).

The National Trust stories blog has case studies and stories about Countryside Management at the Trust, read them here.

See current vacancies advertised with CJS here.

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

See current volunteering opportunities advertised with CJS here.


Skills, training and CPD.

There are many different skills and qualifications required to work in countryside management from practical land management techniques to running a social media stream and managing volunteers.

Practical skills frequently requested include:

Other skills often required include: 

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

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

A day in the life of a Countryside Ranger, Cheshire East Council

Changing nature of fly-tipping, CLA

Designated Sites - A Site Managers Perspective, Cornwall Wildlife Trust

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

The perfect Countryside Ranger applicant - is there one? SCRA

Applicant vs employer - the difference of opinion

How did you get into that? Questions Rangers get asked, National Trust

Managing an Urban National Nature Reserve - Community Involvement, Dudley MBC

Rangers helping Rangers - Is the answer in our hands?, Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Volunteering at Dean Castle Country Park - something for everyone, Dean Castle Country Park 

Get clarity, save nature and boost your career with The RSPB

Volunteer Management - the Essentials, Volunteer Scotland

Working with Volunteers, Derrick Hale from Heart of England Hedge Laying Group

‘Cairngorms – A National Park for All’, Cairngorms National Park Authority

You think your site would benefit from a “Friends of” group but don’t know where to start?, CJS with thanks from Leeds City Council

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

Embrace the Dark Side; How to Plan & Resource an Environmental Project, Wildlife Trusts Staffordshire and South & West Wales

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

Grassroots Challenge: creating a bright young force for nature, Our Bright Future

A Career in Conservation Grazing?, Rare Breeds Survival Trust

Hedgelaying, National Hedge Laying Society

The use of social media in the conservation sector, Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Championing Apprenticeships, North York Moors National Park Authority

Volunteer Driven Success at Rutland Water, Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust

Helping secure a brighter future for people living and working in the countryside, The Princes Countryside Fund 

Volunteering in the Outdoors with the National Trust

Grow your own through volunteering - the RSPB approach

Countryside Ranger Training - The Next Generation, North Ayrshire Council

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

Valued but set to decline - what's happening to our public parks?, Heritage Lottery Fund

The UK's new parks innovators, Rethinking Parks

The development of a city park - from brown to green, Birmingham City Council

Volunteering: developing relationships on Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park

Fixing the fells - an all-weather task, Fix the Fells

Lots more here. 


Useful organisations

Countryside Management Association

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

National Trust

National Trust for Scotland

Natural England

Scottish Natural Heritage

Natural Resources Wales