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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.

Please note that the full CJS Focus edition is a PDF download of the original publication and therefore contains all the adverts, many of these may now be out of date and we ask you to proceed with caution if you're following up any of these.

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.

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.

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: 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).

Image: Cossack the horse (Amy Worley)

Only slight regrets

Learning to live with pets for National Pet Month

In December Amy's family took on two loan ponies; Cossack is a 12 year old fell pony, the breed is native to the North of England, and are mostly found in Cumbria; Shelly is a 20 year old cob – a draft type pony where the name determines the body type rather than a specific breed. 

If you’re thinking of getting a pet, consider the work involved and make sure you are able to commit the time and energy needed in looking after them well. But just remember they give us far more than we need to give them.

Logo: Countryside Classroom

In the third article from our featured charity we get a heads up for Outdoor Classroom Day in May and find out why it's so important

Outdoor Classroom Day

Countryside Classroom is a forward-thinking partnership of organisations that represents the very best in food, farming, and environment education. The partnership understands how important global initiatives such as Outdoor Classroom Day are for students and actively promote the benefits of taking the classroom outside. Research has shown that pupils feel a sense of freedom when learning outside the classroom, they are also more able to express themselves, more engaged and more positive about the learning experience.

Our Bright Future

Your new job: could it be greener than you think?

As society begins to slowly emerge from the Covid-19 health crisis, there is an urgent need to shift to a greener economy, that will protect and regenerate the natural environment, and better sustain the people who depend on it. We need to remember that Covid-19 is not the only crisis we are currently dealing with, as we are in the middle of a climate and nature emergency, and the two are inextricably linked. Therefore, they must be addressed together as part of broader efforts to achieve a green and inclusive recovery.

Logo: Birchill Access Consultancy

Public Rights of Way and access - an insight nearly 20 years on

Crises generate interesting effects. In the Public Rights of Way field this often brings opportunities. Roll on to 2020 with Covid-19 and another national and worldwide crisis and we see a different scenario where lockdowns had the opposite effect, we witnessed a massive increase in footfall on public rights of way across the whole UK as many more people started using the network for exercise and simply to help keep their sanity intact.

Logo: Social Farms & Gardens

How to set up a community garden

Chances are, there’s a community garden to visit near most of us. With over 1,000 gardens in the UK alone, and the pandemic bringing into sharp focus the importance of green spaces in our lives, community gardens are increasingly being recognised as powerful connectors of people and the environment that create lasting health benefits and help our communities become more resilient.

Logo: GreenSpace Dark Skies

Thousands of people to come together to create mass participation artworks in the countryside as part of UK-wide celebration of creativity

23 April – 30 September 2022

Green Space Dark Skies invites 20,000 people, from all paths in life, to make a journey into the landscape together. There, we will experience wild and beautiful places across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as dusk falls.

Logo: Biosphere Foundation

In the heart of South West England

The North Devon UNESCO Biosphere is an important meeting place of rich natural and cultural heritage in a stunning, diverse landscape in the heart of South West England. From the red deer of Dartmoor, along our meandering rivers, past historic coastal communities, to the diversity of our marine environment stretching beyond Lundy Island.

Logo: Adventure Smart

Have you seen the forecast?

We are renowned for being a bit obsessed with the weather in the UK. According to social anthropologist Kate Fox (2014), at almost any moment, at least a third of the population is either talking about the weather, has already done so or is about to do so. Why the fascination? Well, there’s a lot to talk about - several features of Britain’s geography make the weather here very changeable and famously fickle

Logo: Lyme Disease Action

Watch out, ticks about!

Many, if not most, of those working in the countryside will have come across ticks, but it is worth emphasising the need for awareness as tick-borne human disease is spreading in the UK.

Our island status has protected us to a certain extent, so we have fewer of these pathogens in our wildlife than most of Europe where they have known about Lyme disease for more than a century. The UK’s first confirmed case was not recognised until 1985.

Logo: The Heart of England Forest

The right tree in the right place

Tree planting is a widely recognised way of combatting climate change, However, it is not just about the quantity of trees that go in the ground, planting the right tree in the right place is crucial.

Logo: COAST

Communities in action take lead on marine conservation

Recognised as a global pioneer in community-led marine conservation, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) has a track-record of success when it comes to protecting our blue spaces. COAST was established in 1995 by two local scuba divers; Howard Wood and Don MacNeish. Having dived the waters around the Isle of Arran within the Firth of Clyde for many years, they witnessed first-hand the catastrophic collapses of the Clyde sea fisheries, damage to seabed habitats and the loss of marine life caused by unsustainable fishing.

Logo: The Ecology Co-op

Early Career Ecologists and Exploitation

By Paul Whitby, Managing Director/Principal Ecologist

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to work as an ecologist. I get a balance between working in an office with a wonderful team and working in the great outdoors observing nature in a role that so many people would dream of.

Image: Samantha Kerr

Job Title: Countryside Ranger with Hart District Council

Samantha Kerr works for Hart District Council

Based in North East Hampshire covering a range of sites including Fleet Pond (SSSI)

The job of a Countryside Ranger is a varied one, we look after a range of green spaces including SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest), SINCs (Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation) and SANGs (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces). A Ranger’s focus is to ensure these green spaces are the best they can be for both nature and the public.

Image: Ally birdwatching (Ally Lemon)

Job Profile: Marine Policy Officer (Scotland)

Ally Lemon works for a Wildlife Charity in Scotland

He aims to influence the future of marine nature conservation and restoration in Scotland, with a key focus on seabirds. Help secure gains for nature by helping develop, advocate and secure the legal and policy frameworks needed to drive nature's recovery in Scotland and beyond. I have a particular focus on the fisheries and the creation and management of Marine Protected Areas.

Image: Bournemouth University survey demonstration by ARC Trust (ARC Trust)

Job Profile: Engagement and Education Officer

Owain Masters is employed by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, a national wildlife charity with staff across the UK.

In the nature conservation sector, Engagement Officer and Education Officer roles involve informing groups of people about something that we wish to conserve and trying to work with those groups to benefit said thing. If you were to see these job titles they could be for everything from delivering outreach at a small local reserve to delivering events across a huge project area and being involved in strategy planning for national wildlife conservation.

Image: Em Witcutt with a bird on her hat (Will Scott)

Women in Conservation

An opinion piece from Em Witcutt

In countdowns of the least inclusive sectors of work, conservation languishes at the back of the pack, and women lose. Women are climbing in the frozen dark of a winter’s night, the path’s jagged edges biting at blisters through flimsy boots, the map taking shelter in the valley far below, long since torn from numb fingers by the merciless wind. Surely not, you might be thinking. Maybe back in the day, when we had to fight for the right to vote, or work outside the home. But we found equality decades ago, right? What am I complaining about? Well…

Logo: Derbyshire County Council

Recruitment in the Countryside Sector - opinion piece

What we’ve begun to notice in recent times is a real difficulty in recruiting experienced and skilled staff, especially at the front line of our sector – Wardens and Rangers. Where in the past we’ve received up to 80 applicants for a Warden post, now we are more likely to see 9 or 10, of which 1 or 2 are of the standard to be offered an interview. Also, applicants are less knowledgeable, have fewer years of experience (if any at all), and have fewer practical skills. This seems to be a trend across the sector, where we are seeing posts re-advertised several times, even for the previously much-coveted National Trust posts. We are also finding that good quality candidates have the pick of the roles, and when offered a post may decline and go elsewhere. So what is happening to recruitment in our sector?

Logo: Dorset Wildlife Trust

Beavers – a year in Dorset

A year ago, Dorset Wildlife Trust brought beavers back to the county for the first time in at least four centuries for an enclosed scientific study into the changes they have made in a landscape. Here we look back on what we’ve learnt from these amazing animals so far. Observing the beavers’ behaviour has been achieved using trail cameras, capturing their secretive night-time habits, which otherwise would have been impossible to see.

Logo: Vincent Wildlife Trust

Increasing efforts for greater horseshoe bats

Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) has been leading the way in greater horseshoe bat conservation for more than 40 years and has recently focused its efforts on safeguarding a very significant, newly discovered maternity roost in the southeast of England. Since the early 1980s when the Honourable Vincent Weir, founder of VWT, became concerned about the plight of Britain’s bats, there have been several VWT research projects aimed at identifying the needs of rare bat species. From these it was clear that the widespread loss of roosting and breeding sites across the south and west of Britain was driving the dramatic decline in the horseshoe bat population.

Logo: Association of Volunteer Managers

CJS Focus on Volunteering

in affiliation with the Association of Volunteer Managers

Published 28 February 2022

Full edition

Logo: Conservation Coaching

Protecting yourself and the planet – Tori Jeffers and Kathleen Harkins of Conservation Coaching - Live video

They asked initially “What are your stress levels right now?” – it’s important to have an awareness of your stress levels. When you work in conservation it’s so much more than just a job. It is all consuming. So often it’s about a lifestyle more than a career. Adaptive leadership is an approach that draws on many different styles – in practice it looks like challenging the status quo or perhaps raising a taboo issue. Trying to change the system from the inside.

Logo: Woodcraft Folk

Safer recruitment: why does screening matter?

Woodcraft Folk is passionate about giving all children and young people opportunities to play in, learn about and take action to protect the environment.
Woodcraft Folk’s workforce involves a small staff team of 25 employees on a mixture of permanent, fixed-term and sessional contracts. The team is roughly divided into a third who operate outdoor education centres, a third who lead inclusion projects and a third who keep the wheels of the organisation moving. The aim of safer recruitment is to ensure a fair process that attracts the right individuals for the role without creating unnecessary risks to beneficiaries or discriminating against potential employees or volunteers.

Logo: Scottish Forum on Natural Capital

An introduction to the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital

The Scottish Forum on Natural Capital was formed in late 2013, as an outcome from the first of three World Forum on Natural Capital conferences held in Edinburgh. At its inception, a key part of the Scottish Forum vision was to increase awareness across society about natural capital. This increased awareness was not considered an end in itself, rather that it should result in increased actions to protect and enhance our stocks of natural capital.

Logo: Countryside Classroom

In the second article from our featured charity, Countryside Classroom we learn how they link food and farming

Chef on the Farm

Countryside Classroom partners work together on specific initiatives which help children and young people to learn more about food production and farming.

A long-standing and highly successful project is Chef on the Farm, a joint venture between LEAF Education and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School Trust. It provides an opportunity for a class of children to visit a farm, to meet the farmer and to learn about what is grown and reared on the farm and then to learn to cook with a professional chef.

Logo: Conservation Evidence

What Works in Conservation?

Perhaps you work in conservation, or want to. If so, it is probably because you care about wildlife and wild places and want to protect them. So how can we best protect the nature that we care about? One important aspect is making sure that each conservation action we take is the most effective one possible.

Logo: Bridgwater & Taunton College

Countryside Apprenticeships

Why, within sector, are they are good idea?

The environmental sector is filled with a wide range of practical jobs which require a skilled workforce and significant knowledge of the natural world and the interactions of a variety of flora and fauna. Many people follow an academic route through Level 2 and 3 qualifications and up to Degree, Masters and PhD level courses to try and gain entry to this massively competitive field only to be told “You don’t have any practical experience”

Logo: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

An incredible 75 year milestone for international wetland charity

From pulling birds back from extinction to creating wonderful new nature friendly habitats - the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) recently celebrated 75 years of ground breaking conservation work and sharing the wonders of wetlands and wetland wildlife with over 40 million visitors at its sites across the UK.

Logo: Chris Holland - Nature Connection

Re-storying connection: 6 tips to help you become a better storyteller

In our everyday and work lives, many of us would like to be a better ‘storyteller’, and many of us are nervous and shy of ‘Storytelling’, lacking the courage to stand up and deliver, so here’s a handful of tips on developing your own storyteller’s voice for National Storytelling Week from Devon based author, storyteller and outdoor educator, Chris Holland.

CJS Focus publications in 2021

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