This is an apprenticeship type role

Logo: The Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust

Apprentice Woodland Ranger (Level 2)

The Ernest Cook Trust is an educational charity and one of the UK’s foremost providers and funders of Outdoor Learning. Our vision is for an environmentally engaged society with better connections to nature.

The Trust cares for 9,000 hectares of land across the UK. These authentic, living communities are home to our tenant farmers, residential tenants and small enterprises, while also serving as unique open-air classrooms for our Outdoor Learning programmes.

As a land-owning educational Trust, we are uniquely placed to be a model for innovative methods of land management and an exemplar provider of training in the outdoor sector. By sharing our land, knowledge and experience, we inspire a greater love and understanding of the natural world, and are influencers in the debate around the environment, farming and sustainability.

By embarking on this apprenticeship, you are helping us support the next generation of countryside workers, aligning with our values of progressive stewardship and cultivating connections within the community and the natural world. 

Redwood Outdoor Learning Centre 

The role will be based primarily at the Trust’s Redwood site near Halmore, Glos. This 34 hectare site is one of our core learning resources, with regular visits by school and community groups who use the space for Forest School and Outdoor Learning activities, led by our team of Outdoor Learning Officers.

The Redwood site comprises 23 hectares of mixed woodland, 1 hectare of orchards and 10 hectares of pasture and meadow land. It benefits from a variety of rich habitats and this role provides an exciting opportunity to work alongside our Estate Forester to improve the wildlife and habitat diversity at this site even further, while maintaining a safe an accessible site for the delivery of outdoor learning. 

The Role 

As an Apprentice Woodland Ranger, you will play a vital role in preserving our natural heritage. Working under the guidance of our Estate Forester, you will gain hands-on experience in forestry, wildlife management, and conservation.

This 12-month apprenticeship will not only provide you with valuable practical skills, but also offer the opportunity to broaden your knowledge in woodland management. You will learn from qualified professionals and collaborate with our dedicated team to ensure our woodlands thrive. You will also attend College to support with coursework, assignments and exams. 

Key Responsibilities:  

Your enthusiasm for learning new skills, increasing your knowledge, and embracing new opportunities will be key in this role. As Apprentice Woodland Ranger, you will play a vital part in the following activities:

  • Managing woodlands for forest health
  • Planning, creating and maintaining diverse and vibrant habitats to enhance biodiversity
  • Monitoring wildlife, keeping detailed reports to contribute to our understanding of the environment
  • Engaging in wildlife management, including predator and pest control
  • Contributing to pond clearance and water management projects
  • Maintaining access including fence repairs and maintenance
  • Participating in tree and hedge planting initiatives to contribute to sustainable land management
  • Involvement in tree work and grass cutting activities to enhance the management of our woodlands
  • Engaging in public-facing work and building relationships with stakeholders
  • Gaining competency of machinery and hand tool skills

Main Priorities:

  • Demonstrating excellent listening skills and following instructions effectively
  • Consistently meeting training deadlines and displaying commitment to completing college assignments and training
  • Building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and partners, fostering a collaborative atmosphere
  • Building your awareness of our ongoing responsibility as landowners and a commitment to integrating best practices into everyday tasks

Training provided: 

As well as the L2 apprenticeship qualification, the successful candidate will be offered the opportunity to undertake the following internal and external training courses as part of their role:

  • First Aid
  • Tractor driving
  • Brush cutter
  • Chainsaw: crosscutting and maintenance
  • Health & Safety
  • Use of IT

Person Specification

Specific Requirements

  • Level 1 Math and English (equivalent to GCSE Grade 2) or above (Apprentices without this qualification will be supported in achieving it)
  • A passion for forestry, wildlife, and habitat management
  • Basic knowledge of the woodland environment, including tree recognition and wildlife habitats
  • A strong work ethic, reliability, punctuality, and pride in doing a job well
  • Flexibility and adaptability to various working conditions, weather, and working environments. Willingness to work alone occasionally and in remote locations
  • Strong organisational skills for self-study and personal skills development
  • Effective communication and the ability to interact with a diverse range of people

Skills and Knowledge

  • Excellent listening skills and a willingness to follow instructions
  • A strong desire to learn and a dedicated work ethic


  • Full clean driving license

Any previous experience is helpful, but not essential as you will be receiving comprehensive on-site training from the Estate Forester and the wider team. 

Working at The Ernest Cook Trust 


As a landowning educational charity, the Trust is uniquely placed to share its woodlands, farms and natural habitats to inspire a greater love and understanding of the natural world, farming and sustainability. We do this for children, young people, their families and communities, particularly those who face barriers to accessing and participating in the outdoors.

We are part of an impressive community of networks and organisations across the UK, working to help create a more environmentally engaged society. Our work is increasingly done in collaborations and partnerships with like-minded organisations, particularly with our funding partners, whose contribution significantly boosts the scale and reach of our work.

To discover more about us, visit our website at


The unique spirit of The Ernest Cook Trust is best expressed through our values:

Cultivating Connections 

At the heart of our work lies the belief that meaningful and lasting change happens through the cultivation of connections. We value the relationships we build with the people and communities we serve, as well as each other and the partnerships we form with like-minded organisations. We understand that these connections create the conditions for people and places to flourish. 

Freedom to Try 

We embrace a culture of innovation and resilience, where both our team members and the individuals we serve have the freedom to try new things. This value encourages a dynamic and adaptable approach, nurturing trust and courage in ourselves and others. 

Progressive Stewardship 

We believe in responsible, forward-thinking management of our outdoor resources, as places where diversity can thrive. By actively caring for the environment, we ensure that the beauty and benefits of the outdoors are accessible to all, changing lives through individual and shared positive experiences.

Recruitment process

Open day

Tuesday 18 June from 2pm to 6pm at Redwood Outdoor Learning Centre.

How to apply

Please submit a CV with an accompanying letter to briefly introduce yourself and why you think you are suited to this role. This should be addressed to Claire McIntosh, Managing Agent. We’re also very interested to know where you heard about this role.

Upload your letter and CV here

Closing Date: Friday 28 June 2024 at 17:00

Interviews: w/c 15 July 2024 at The Ernest Cook Trust Head Office, Fairford Park, Fairford GL7 4JH

What3Words here

We look forward to hearing from you.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Embracing diversity is an essential part of the work of The Ernest Cook Trust. We are committed to treating everyone as a unique individual, fairly and with respect, irrespective of race, disability, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or religion. We are committed to ensuring equality, respect, and safety for all, and prioritising the wellbeing of the children, young people and vulnerable adults we support. Our safeguarding policy can be found here.

The appointment will be subject to satisfactory background checks including Disclosure and Barring Service and relevant online searches to comply with best practices in Safeguarding, and proof of the right to work in the UK.

Closing Date: 28/06/2024  Location: Redwood Outdoor Learning Centre, Slimbridge Estate, Gloucestershire, with some time spent at our Fairford Estates

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