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Articles and Features

ladybird (image: Simon Smith / Unsplash)

Library of in depth features covering a wide range of subjects across the many different areas of the countryside, conservation, wildlife sectors as well as looking at careers and how to get a job. Many articles are written exclusively for CJS.  Some articles were originally sourced for CJS Focus, others have been written exclusively for CJS by our Featured Charities, you'll also find profiles of relevant organisations and charities.  There is a wealth of information from across many different areas.  This page has the most recently published articles and features, to view the full index of features covering several years click here.

 

Click on the article title to read or here to use the search function.

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Logo: Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru

Filling In the Gaps

The Initiative for Nature Conservation Cymru (INCC) was founded in 2018 as a charitable incorporated organisation. Our vision is of ‘a Wales with more wildlife in more places, created by a society that intrinsically values the natural world’.

INCC was formed in response to the growing need for a truly independent nature conservation organisation for Wales. An organisation that was able to speak out and challenge environmental decision makers to do more for wildlife. Prior to its formation as a charity, INCC trustees consulted with a wide variety of academics, volunteers and practitioners working in the nature conservation sector. The question asked was - where are the gaps in nature conservation and how could a new organisation fill them?

Logo: Royal Agricultural University

Royal Agricultural University offers new scholarships for applicants from under-represented minority ethnic communities

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has launched two new undergraduate scholarships to attract and reward the brightest applicants from the UK’s under-represented minority ethnic communities.

The awards, which are for both full and part time students, are each worth £9,000 a year for a maximum of three years. These new scholarships are open to UK students from under-represented minority ethnic communities who have a place on one of the University’s undergraduate programmes to start in September 2023.

Logo: TCV

Balancing volunteering, studying and employment

I’m sure there’s no such thing as an easy career path, but from the offset I was very much aware that working in conservation wasn’t one. Being hugely competitive, with so many qualified and passionate people in the field, it can be incredibly difficult to ‘get your foot in the door’. For that reason, I have tried to gather as much, varied experience as I can to not only expand my skillset but navigate which roles are better suited to me. It might have made my life schedule very hectic over the past few years, but I hope it will pay off in the long run.

Logo: Operation Galileo - Illegal hare coursing

Criminal activity against wildlife

Hare Coursing is an activity where two sighthound dogs (typically Lurcher/Saluki type breeds) are released at the same time, in pursuit of a hare across large, flat, open fields.

For hundreds of years it was a legal sport, and remains so in the Republic of Ireland, but in the UK it was banned by the Hunting Act 2004.

There are variations of how Coursing is run, as the sighthounds are much larger and less agile, they find it difficult to follow the hares' sharp turns made in an effort to evade the dogs. This agility gives the hare an advantage as it seeks to escape, and some Coursing will “score” the number of times a hare can be turned, as well as whether a dog catches the hare.

image of Debs standing in front of a pickup full of tools

Every day is a school day

Taking a deep breath (remembering to exhale) I find it hard to believe I have now been a Countryside ranger for over 3 years!

Graduating from Plumpton June 2019, I was accepted for a maternity cover role with WSCC for 1 year, then onto a permanent part time role in 2020. Now I am a full time Countywide Ranger with 3 (plus) sites to manage across West Sussex.

Wow! Say wow with me ……. Because, although it’s been a long difficult road, it is achievable with the right attitude and training.

Logo: Dorset Wildlife Trust

What volunteering experiences do employers rate?

Volunteering is fun, exciting, and sometimes life changing. People volunteer for a variety of reasons including health, physical fitness and wanting to change career. A career in conservation is a dream for most people, looking to work with wildlife, in the outdoors, actively helping species and habitat protection and recovery and inspiring and engaging with people from diverse communities. Volunteering is often a useful way of gaining experience to get a foot on the environmental career ladder. Volunteering enabled me to transfer from the health to the environment sector and to start a career again after eight years out of the workplace. I have been a volunteer, employee and sat on interview panels for Dorset Wildlife Trust so what volunteering experiences do employers rate?

Logo: John Hutton Institute

Creating and restoring new habitat or accidently spreading plant pests and pathogens?

Plants are fundamental to our landscapes, underpin many of our rural industries and recreational activities, and are the building blocks of our habitats. However, we are experiencing an exponential increase in non-native plant pests and pathogens due to increased global trade and climate change which are causing substantial economic losses. There is growing awareness of the damage plant pests can do within the agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries. What is less commonly considered is the impact non-native plant pests and pathogens can have on the natural environment.

Logo: Rural Skills Hub

The Rural Skills Hub: Kickstarting careers in traditional boundary crafts

Traditional field boundaries are a familiar feature of our landscape – there are over 300,000 miles of hedgerow and 120,000 miles of dry stone wall criss-crossing the British countryside. Sadly, the skills required to look after these boundaries are in decline, and fewer people are training to a professional level to maintain them. The Rural Skills Hub, a joint project between the Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) and the National Hedgelaying Society (NHLS), was launched in November 2021. The project aims to help people start a career involving traditional boundary crafts, through providing financial support, training, and employability advice.

Logo: Scotways

Wanted! Miracle worker …

…To be an outdoor access or rights of way officer. It’s a fascinating job. You will meet lots of characters, visit new places and learn about the history of the routes you walk every day.

It’s very multidisciplinary in nature and what you will be doing on a daily basis will depend upon where you are in the country. You could be part of a team where each person looks after a different aspect of outdoor access or you may be the entire team. You could be looking after greenspace areas or processing planning applications. There’s also a fair chance you’ll be managing outdoor access from your desk rather than the footpath!

Logo: Redlist Revival

Measuring ecological performance: An example of one of the farms using The Life Map to benchmark performance

Collecting data to monitor species is invaluable for showing population trends which, for priority species, invariably means relentless declines. Connecting that data to people that have the potential to make a difference to those priority species, motivating change and highlighting and promoting success would seem an obvious necessity to reverse these declines. The charity Redlist Revival set out to create The Life Map where monitoring data for birds became accessible, understandable and usable. This process for England has resulted in The Life Map becoming a key stakeholder in the United Nations Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age.

Logo: Soil Association

What Is Organic September?

A call for better. Our world faces emergencies in climate change, diet related ill-health and widespread decline in wildlife. But the future doesn’t have to be daunting - changing our food systems and growing, eating & living in balance with nature is possible

Organic September is a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits that organic food and farming can bring

Logo: National Trust

What makes a countryside job application stand out from the crowd at the National Trust?

With ambitious plans to halt the decline of nature, improve access to the places we care for, and reach carbon net zero by 2030 – now is an exciting time to join the National Trust. People are at the heart of everything we do, and our countryside and outdoor spaces are expertly cared for by teams of dedicated staff and volunteers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our roles are as diverse as the places we look after, and can include gardeners, foresters, countryside managers, rangers, tree and woodland advisors, farm workers and apprentices – and in all kinds of locations, from parks and formal gardens to islands and mountains.

Logo: University of Reading

Calling all conservationists: Help deliver next generation of nature enthusiasts

The impacts of July’s record-breaking temperatures and wildfires in the UK will not have been felt much more keenly than by those in environmental roles.

As 40-degree heat scorched parts of the country, wildlife and countryside professionals faced the unenviable task of mitigating the damage to parks, habitats and biodiversity, and of counting the inevitable costs.

Logo: Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Make Connections

I have arrived at my current role as a Conservation Officer at Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust after a few twists and turns along the way. Most recently I have worked on the LoveLincsPlants herbarium project which was a four-year partnership project with the Natural History Museum in London and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. I firmly believe that all of my previous work and voluntary experiences played a part in developing the skills needed for this role and my current work.

Image of Denbies Hillside, trees and fields with a setting sun in the background

It’s all about balance

I am very fortunate. I work for the National Trust, who are a very good employer, and I look after the area where I grew up and have lived my whole life. From the heathlands and woodlands of Leith Hill to the chalk grasslands of Denbies Hillside and the ancient woodlands of Bookham Commons. I have a fantastic job, working with some great people. I also have a wife and two teenaged kids who take up a fair bit of time and always have. As well as a smallholding with cows, goats, pigs, ducks, horses etc. etc. and an acre of walled vegetable garden. My reason for saying this is not to gloat, but rather to give you an idea that I am a tiny bit busy and that flexibility in my job is vital to my work/life balance.

Logo: National Highways

National Highways: Low Nutrient Grasslands - reducing maintenance and increasing biodiversity

With progress things are going to be built, it is inevitable, but if development can intelligently build in biodiversity - as a consideration from the outset and include in the planning stage then we might be onto a winner. National Highways is a government-owned company charged with operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A roads in England which is otherwise known as the Strategic Road Network (the SRN).

Logo: Denbighshjire County Council

Working for Denbighshire Countryside Service

By Claudia Smith, Countryside Ranger, Denbighshire Countryside Service

I’m a Countryside Ranger, working for Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside team in the north of the county. My role involves the practical management of our 43 Countryside Sites in a variety of habitats, including woodland, wetland and sand dune, as well as allotments. Throughout my time at Denbighshire, I’ve been working on the Nature for Health project, which encourages local people to get outdoors and enjoy the countryside on their doorstep through volunteering opportunities.

Logo: BCP Council

Virtual Fencing, a Conservation Graze-Changer?

Rewilding seems to be a buzz word for conservationists at the moment, for those in favour and those against. However, the benefits of landscape scale management and connectivity of habitats that are resulting from rewilding seem to be common ambitions for conservation organisations abandoning the traditional intensive habitat management to maintain populations of less abundance species in increasingly isolated pockets. Projects such as the Tauros genetic manipulation and introduction project by Rewilding Europe are working towards having large roaming grazers as part of their habitat restoration and connection.

Logo: Countryside Classroom

The fifth article from our featured charity details activities for the school holidays

Countryside Classroom Passport

Countryside Classroom works with partners to produce the very best curriculum linked resources covering a range of issues relating to healthy eating and sustainability. One popular resource aimed at Primary school aged children is an activity booklet called the Countryside Classroom Passport. The Countryside Classroom Passport has three exciting sections with a range of challenges asking children to find out, write, make, draw, do, and visit, all encouraging students to discover topical issues relating to food, farming and the natural environment. Each successfully completed task has a corresponding badge on the score card. Once completed, booklets can be emailed in to receive an e-certificate.

Job Profile: Highways and PROW Officer at the Isle of Man Government

I am responsible for all aspects of the Islands PROW network including but not limited to, investigating disputed paths, investigating calls for presumed dedications, liaising with land owners wishing to dedicate PROW, liaising with landowners to resolve disputes, progressing and guiding a small team with PROW orders to effect changes to the definitive map or statement. I am also responsible for a small maintenance team of 8 ensuring that the Islands PROW maintenance is kept up to date and any works are carried out.

Logo: University of Sussex

#PlasticInMammals research – Looking at the ingestion of plastic by our UK small mammal populations

During the past decades there has been growing concern about the ecological impacts of plastic waste, however, this has not ceased plastic production. In 2019 alone, global production reached a staggering 370 MT, with Europe being responsible for almost 57.9 MT. Our understanding of how microplastic (<1mm) and mesoplastic (1 - <10mm) pollution in aquatic systems has been extensively researched in recent years, however, the same cannot be said for their terrestrial counterparts.

Logo: Northumberland NPA

An interview with..

Chris Jones, Historic Environment Officer at Northumberland National Park Authority

The UK’s National Parks are all distinctive places and all have been shaped by the interaction between people and the natural world over thousands of years. Working in a National Park you see evidence of this relationship everywhere. This includes evidence for farming, fields and forests and in more recent centuries of mining, quarrying and industrial processing.

All National Parks are different and contain a wealth of archaeology, built and cultural heritage. Northumberland is a border county, a land of hillforts, farms and fields from when people first lived in the hills and valleys, long before the Romans made it the northern frontier of their vast Empire.

Logo: Arbtech

Arbtech MD Robert Oates highlights how ecologists can boost their employability

In an effort to advise budding ecologists with enhancing their chances of securing employment in the ecological consultancy sector, Robert Oates – Managing Director of Arbtech – has offered insight into the fundamental factors that make an ecologist more appetising to potential employers. Arbtech are the UK’s number 1 experts on arboriculture, biodiversity and ecology, and following over a decade of providing a selection of services to clients across the country, the consultancy has grown to more than 30 surveyors, developing a positive yet effective company culture in the process.

Logo: Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue

Saving lives in wild and remote places

In winter 1964 walkers getting lost or injured on the increasingly popular Lyke Wake Walk prompted discussion over actions needed to improve the safety of those walking across the tops of the National Park. The result was the formation of Scarborough and District Search and Rescue Team in July of 1965 with twelve volunteers. Deploying to help outdoor enthusiasts continues but has diversified from just hill walkers to include mountain bikers, horse riders and people simply enjoying the great outdoors when something goes wrong. Increasingly though the Police and other statutory blue light services use us to help find those with mental health issues and missing from home, be that suffering from the likes of Dementia, Alzheimer’s or those intent to self-harm or worse.

cracked earth image

Will the water always flow?

This last winter was dry, one of the driest I’ve known, consequently the water table was low as we entered spring. A dry spring and now an incredibly hot and dry summer with no rain on the horizon. We’ve been using our water carefully since earlier in the year and are now restricting the water we use and saving any we wash with to put on the vegetable patch or else the peas and beans are never going to swell.

Logo: CJS

Finding your feet and the perfect countryside job for you

It's something I'm sure we've all heard: Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. But perhaps the caveat to this often repeated phrase is something you've not previously encountered: But you'll never have a day off. After the upheaval of the last couple of years many people are looking again at what they want from life and even before the pandemic there was much talk of work-life balance. The words 'burn out' were being heard more frequently as it became more apparent that everyone needs a break from day-to-day working life and that includes even your most passionate worker, indeed perhaps especially those so passionate about their job they work 24/7.

Logo: Festival of Archaeology

This is Archaeology

Have you ever found yourself wondering how our landscape was created, how the field patterns and the hedgerows came about or what the Barn Owl actually tells us about change in our landscape and farming practices?

Whilst on the face of it these are very general questions; they lie at the heart of archaeology. So, what is archaeology? Well for me it is about who we are today and not necessarily all about the past. It is the way we ask questions about the things we see around us, the things which define and shape us today.

Logo: Wild Ideas - connecting community & nature

Lone Working – Are You Managing the Risk?

Lone workers face all the same hazards as someone working in a team, but the risk is enhanced, not least because there is no immediate help or support in managing issues as they arise. The HSE defines a lone worker as: ‘someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision’. In conservation, we generally consider the team members who are out surveying or delivering practical work to be our lone workers, but there are other activities which also need to be considered, such as working alone at the office/base/tool store (including out of hours working) and home and remote workers.

Logo: National Trust

Successes for the new suite of Countryside Apprenticeships within the National Trust

Apprenticeships are an exciting opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds and experience to learn on the job through hands-on experience. Since the new apprenticeships standard went live here at the National Trust, we have been working hard to utilise the new routes available across the organisation. Since spring 2020 we have created 48 opportunities and counting, for people to gain the knowledge and skills to start or progress their career in countryside management.

Image of Matt Harris looking perplexed

“Are you having a laugh?”

An opinion piece by Matt Harris
It’s a question I find myself asking more and more frequently when searching through conservation and countryside management jobs. Since when were PA1/6 and Tractor tickets entry level requirements to get a ranger job? When did this change happen? I’ve only been in this sector for six years and even I remember posts asking for enthusiasm, some volunteer experience and maybe a strimmer and brushcutter ticket - when did a full suite of machinery tickets, 5+ years in the sector, volunteer management experience and a BSc become the benchmark for a barely above minimum wage, entry level role?

Logo: UK100

Marking a milestone for local authority commitment to Net Zero

From the first Earth Day in 1970 to Earth’s atmosphere exceeding 400 parts per million of CO₂ for the first time in human history in 2017, we tend to measure the climate crisis in milestones. And the milestones keep flying by. Last month, the Met Office announced the chance of breaching the 1.5C turning point on global heating in the next five years is now 50-50.

Logo: Stephen Jenkinson Access & Countryside Management

Managing visitors with dogs post-Covid

Dog owners are passionate about the feel-good health benefits daily dog walking provides for human and canine alike.

More than ever, Covid-19 showed their tenacity in getting outside with their pets, despite threats of fixed penalty notices and being stalked by Police drones.

But how best do we as countryside professionals respond to that passion, compounded by the Covid-induced 40% increase in dog ownership?

Logo: 2 Minute Foundation

Plastic Free July and The 2 Minute Foundation

The 2 Minute Foundation have been pioneering approaches to changing mindsets towards plastic waste since they launched the hashtag #2MinuteBeachClean in 2013. Their innovative 2 Minute Beach Clean and Litter Pick stations are now in over 1000 locations across the UK and have inspired thousands of people to pick up litter. Now the charity’s new Marine Plastic stations, made from plastic waste found on beaches, are starting conversations about how to reduce what we use.

Selfie image of Casey-Jo Zammit wearing a blue woollen hat

Job Profile: Countryside Ranger with Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust

Casey-Jo Zammit works for the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust on the Isle of Gigha, off the west coast of Scotland

The job involves many things including monitoring and surveying wildlife: pollinators, cetaceans, bats, birds, wildflowers; developing low carbon initiatives (e.g. e-bike schemes, community zero carbon group); improving habitats for wildlife through woodland and reedbed management & working to improve visitor experience, whilst promoting on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Logo: World Female Ranger Week

The Rise of Female Wildlife Rangers Globally

British Adventurer Holly Budge launches World Female Ranger Week (June 23 - 30th, 2022) to amplify the impact of female wildlife rangers on a global stage.

This ground-breaking global awareness week, spearheaded by international NGO, How Many Elephants, celebrates and supports female wildlife rangers - They're bold, changing the game and paving the way for women to stand alongside men at the forefront of conservation, but they need allies.

low sun streaming through trees over a wetland

Job Profile: Lecturer in Land-based studies at Easton College Norwich

Teaching a variety of subjects across the land-based sector at levels 2, 3 and access to higher education. Course tutor for the level 2 land and wildlife management group which involves interviewing and enrolling students, organising the course throughout the year and communicating with parents where necessary. Communication with employers in the industry and organising any trips or talks from relevant organisations. One of the most important parts of my job role is to build rapport with students and ensure a safe environment for their learning and development.

Logo: Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Wildlife Trust welcomes farmers’ response to new approaches to speeding up efforts to tackle nature and climate crisis

In a county with a profitable farming sector and few obvious candidate areas for large-scale rewilding in its purest sense, the increasingly polarised debate on the future of farming can act as a barrier to progress – potentially putting off farmers keen to do their bit to welcome wildlife onto their land.

Whilst there’s no escaping that modern intensive agriculture has been a major driver of nature’s decline, we can’t pin all the blame on farmers.

Logo: Association of Volunteer Managera

Supporting the Volunteering offer

People have been long encouraged to volunteer as part of their wellbeing and increasing happiness. Linked to the increased recognition during the pandemic of the importance of being outside and the value of spending time in the countryside there is growing interest in volunteering within nature. But in order to support these initiatives and enable people to contribute effectively, it is vital to think about how to develop and provide the relevant set up. A key element of this infrastructure, I would argue, is having well-trained and well-supported people to provide the volunteer management. We are all familiar with the well-deserved accolade of volunteers. But in order to enable volunteers to offer the greatest value, we need to recognise that Volunteer Managers matter as well.

Image showing Hannah standing in a snow covered landscape

The mother of all career issues?

An opinion piece written especially for CJS

Hannah began work as a ranger in 2006, specialising in environmental education from 2011 onwards. She has two children.

For a long time, most of my career in fact, I didn’t really see that there was that much of a gender imbalance in conservation employment. When I was a ranger, I knew loads of female rangers and ecologists! When I began work in environmental education for a large wildlife trust, the whole education team was female! As I got older, I realised that these people were nearly all the same – young, and child free.

Logo: BBOWT

Communication makes volunteers feel appreciated

The Berkshire Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust was started by volunteers in 1959. We are now supported by over 1800 volunteers. Volunteers are vital to our success in effectively achieving our aims. Our volunteers tell us that they offer their time because they believe in the work of the Trust, they work hard and want feedback about how their efforts benefit wildlife. The most valuable way that BBOWT can show its appreciation to our wonderful volunteers is through communication.

Logo: Countryside Classroom

In the fourth article from our featured charity they highlight the annual celebration of food, farming & the natural environment

Farming Fortnight 6th – 17th June 2022

Countryside Classroom works with partners to highlight the latest initiatives that promote the very best resources relating to the themes of food, farming and the natural environment. One such initiative is Farming Fortnight, a two-week long celebration during 6th – 17th June all about farming and food production created by the leading agricultural charity LEAF Education.

Logo: CJS Volunteers

For Volunteers Week an overview of the CJS Volunteer Directory

The jury may be out on long term volunteering placements and at what point volunteering becomes a proper job that deserves a proper salary and benefits but it is an unescapable fact that without our wonderful volunteers the countryside and wildlife sectors simply would not function. Thousands if not millions of hours are put in by volunteers keeping our countryside properties and reserves tidy, logging sightings, walking and checking rights of way, carrying out bird counts, pulling tons of Himalyan balsam (and other invasives), walking butterfly transects, running bioblitzes, leading guided walks, manning information stalls at events and even checking and emptying collecting tins left on the counter at the local shop.

Logo: Royal Forestry Society

How Volunteering Helped me get a job

In April 2021 I made the decision to leave my job in the law sector in order to devote my time to volunteering and gaining practical skills that would hopefully lead me to a career in forestry. At this point in time, I was in the first (of three) year of studying for a distance learning Forestry MSc with Bangor University. This course has given me a wealth of knowledge to take forward into my forestry career, but I knew, as many job hunters will discover themselves, that practical skills were just as sought after as academic skills in the world of conservation.

Logo: Norfolk Wildlife Trust

The role of the Volunteer Coordinator/Manager in the conservation sector

I became Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT)’s Volunteer Coordinator in April 2017. When I applied for the role I was living in Brighton and I was managing a small Health and Wellbeing volunteering project for people aged 50 and over called Lifelines, which was run by the national volunteering charity Volunteering Matters. The premise of that project was to get over-50s volunteering with other over-50s, either by running activities in a sheltered housing scheme, or by supporting them to medical appointments. As such, my job had nothing to do with conservation.

Alister sitting in a canoe on a river

Conservation & Neurodivergent Me

An opinion piece by Alister Harman, Park Ranger

I truly adore what I do. Weaving all those threads of nature to create something special for wildlife, the climate and people is a magical process. It’s an art, science and craft that, like many, took a great deal of blood, sweat and tears to achieve such necessary skills. Like anyone else I expected to be judged on my merits and passion at any interview I went for. Yet, while I’m a capable Ranger and human being I’m also Autistic-Dyslexic, which in translation means no matter the wisdom and experience I’ve garnered, I’m frequently judged for my non-conformity first and capability second, as is the case for many like myself.

Logo: CJS

CJS Focus on Employability

Published 23 May 2022

Full edition

Logo: The Ramblers

The future for protecting right of way as 2026 deadline to register historic paths is dropped

Five years ago, I walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Over four months I saw the importance of the paths that connect villages and travel through fields across the length of the country. I joined the Ramblers to help protect those paths. So, after four years working on the Ramblers Don’t Lose Your Way campaign, the UK Government’s announcement that it intends to scrap the 2026 cut-off date for registering historic paths in England comes as a huge relief, for us and our team of fantastic volunteers who have been racing to save thousands of miles of rights of way at risk of being lost forever.

Logo: WWT Generation Wild

Generation Wild: Inspiring the next generation of nature lovers

At the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, we have recently launched our Generation Wild project. In many ways, this marks a significant departure from our previous work. Evaluation of our programmes was showing that children were having a great day out with us and we receive great feedback from teachers showing that our sessions effectively cover key areas of the curriculum.

Logo: Tenant Farmers Association

Landowner Estates Pushing Tenants Out for Tree Planting

The UK Government’s green objectives for net zero and biodiversity recovery have put tree planting firmly on the political agenda. The UK Government sees tree planting play a huge role in meeting its targets to achieve net zero by 2050 and improving biodiversity by 2030. However, it is feared that tenant farmers will lose out in the Government’s push to meet its tree planting targets, firstly because most tenant farmers will be excluded from taking part in planting schemes themselves due to their tenancy agreements. Secondly, some tenant farmers may even face having land removed from their tenancy agreements due to their landlord wanting to cash in on the lucrative planting schemes available themselves.

Logo: TCV

7 Ways Volunteering Can Kickstart a Conservation Career

Conservation is an increasingly competitive field to enter, especially when preserving wildlife and natural resources is so topical and urgent. Environmental concerns are taking centre stage in Government policies across the globe and pledges made at the much-anticipated COP26 in 2021 included the conservation of forests and terrestrial ecosystems. Due to the extent of the work needed in this area, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities available.

Image: Pete with a sand lizard (Iain Simpson)

Job Profile: Connecting the Dragons Project Officer with Amphibian & Reptile Conservation

Pete Hill spends a lot of his time on habitat management, creation and restoration, and engagement in Wales. The role also involves community engagement and working with the media.

Image: Matt Postles

Digital wildlife recording - reaching a new scale of mass participation

Recording wildlife is a great British tradition stretching back to the 1700s, and in the 21st Century, recording in the UK is still a triumph of public contribution to our collective knowledge of the natural world. Devoted volunteers and enthusiasts generate vast databanks supporting environmental policy, research, and practice with baseline data for thousands of native and non-native UK species.

Logo: Living Streets

Walk This May

This May sees the return of National Walking Month, the chance for us all to enjoy the benefits of walking and being active.

Now that we are once again able to meet friends and family, why not catch up over a walk? Spending time in fresh air and keeping active can do us the world of good – for our physical and mental wellbeing. Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay active, plus it’s free! And it’s great for busy people too: just 20 minutes can help improve our health and help you get from A to B. When you leave the car at home and walk for short journeys, you’ll soon notice the difference in how you feel.

Logo: Lowe Maintenance

Importance of health and safety in countryside work

You wouldn’t be the first and you certainly won’t be the last to assume that health and safety isn’t a serious consideration for those working in the countryside sectors. Now more than ever, the safety of not only operators, but the general public and the environment, must be considered by those working in our glorious countryside. Specialist land based training helps to avoid work-related incidents, as well as protecting the environment.

Logo: RZSS

Waddling Wildlife Conservation

Penguins have been an integral part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) history and have played an important role in our charity’s conservation projects around the globe since Edinburgh Zoo opened in 1913. 
People think working with penguins is an easy job – feeding, cleaning, feeding, cleaning – but it is essential to have keepers that are passionate about the birds and know each individual’s feeding habits, preferred sleeping spots, previous illnesses and so much more.

photo: Nick Fewings on Unsplash)

Tread lightly on the Earth and leave nothing but footprints

CJS has always tried to be a low impact business, using recycled paper and inks long before it was fashionable to do so, indeed in the early days it wasn't always easy to obtain sustainable, environmentally friendly products particularly when you consider that we used 3-4 boxes of A4 every week (yes boxes, that's 15-20 reams) and a similar number of toner cartridges.

Logo: SEED Madagascar

SEED Madagascar’s Conservation Research Programme

Madagascar is one of the poorest yet most biodiverse countries on earth, with 83% of the island’s species endemic. The social challenges and environmental threats Madagascar faces are inextricably linked and require an integrated response. At SEED Madagascar, we design sustainable, holistic projects informed by the needs of both the community and environment.

Logo: Keep Scotland Beautiful

Litter – it matters to us all – the little actions you can take to make a big difference

And there are easy ways we can all take actions to improve the places we live, work and spend time.

Since lockdown, I have done a “morning commute” even whilst working from home. I go out for a walk locally to waken up. It feels like more and more often I’m having to pick up a couple of pieces of litter from just round about my garden perimeter. Has it got worse, or am I just more aware it’s a problem?

Logo: London Wildlife Trust Logo: Black Girls Hike

Wild Wellbeing Walks for Women in Nature

Young women in London have reported feeling more likely to use green space to benefit their health and wellbeing, as well as feeling more confident exploring the outdoors after participating in the ‘Wild Walks’ initiative. With support from Natural England, ‘Wild Walks’ provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together London Wildlife Trust and Black Girls Hike in partnership to deliver wellbeing-centred activities on urban nature reserves, specifically for young women from Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic backgrounds (aged 16-25).

CJS Focus publications in 2022

CJS Focus publications in 2021

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