00:00:02 My name’s Joanne. I work for the Forestry Commission and I’m an education ranger which means that I mainly work with school groups that come out into the forest with a range of ages from about three up to 18, and I also run sort of events for members of the public coming out into the woods. Most of my work is with school groups so you do need to be able to communicate with children and enjoy being with them and I think it’s great fun. Just get paid to go and play in the woods with them, it’s great.
00:00:31 Our family holidays have always consisted of going out walking in wild places and so I’ve always enjoyed that, always enjoyed playing outdoors and walking and spending time outside. So I definitely knew that I wanted to have a job that was going to let me go outside sometimes and not be stuck in the office all the time. When I was at school, I still didn’t really know what jobs were available. I didn’t really know quite what I wanted to do within the environmental sort of sector. So I chose A levels that would head roughly in that direction. I did geography and biology and chemistry and then at university I studied ecology and economics.
00:01:08 University was definitely a major thing for me in terms of what I studied, but also just the kind of life experience of being away from home and making new friends and learning to live on your own. I think that really helped me to realise that, who I am, and then once you know who you are, you’re able to choose your job because you can suit it to what kind of things you like and what kind of things you want to do.
00:01.31 When I was actually at university, I thought I wanted to work in sort of science and environmental consultancy. I really enjoyed studying and learning about the natural world, and I had a go at that. I did a Masters degree. I find it really interesting but I decided that I missed people too much. I like talking to people, I like being around people and I wanted a job that would combine them both, that I could still spend time outdoors and still be doing a bit of science and work with the environment but also working with people. So I started looking for ranger jobs and education tutor jobs that would give me chance to combine them both really.
00:02:09 I definitely care quite passionately about the environment and about our planet and I wanted to do a job that would make a difference in that respect. That would encourage other people to be looking after the planet, which involves first of all respecting it and then learning to enjoy being outdoors. I managed to get a placement as a shadow ranger with the Forestry Commission and it was a long-term kind of six-month placement shadowing one or two of the rangers that worked out there. The people that I worked with were really inspiring. I really enjoyed being with them and really learnt a lot from them in the few months that I was with them.
00:02:50 I’m not far off my dream job really at the moment. There’s lots of things that I love about it. I love being able to work outside even in bad weather. I like the variety as well. I can be sort of pond-dipping with four-year olds one day and then doing some survival skills with 16-year old lads the next day, so it’s really nice to have such a variety. I’d like to do it in a place where I get to move around a bit more. At the moment, I just work in one forest, which I love, but it would be nice to be able to go out into lots of different forests and to go into places with mountains, I like mountains, and open spaces as well.
00:03:24 The Forestry Commission as an organisation is really big. It’s national and there are teams working all over the country so there does seem to be plenty of opportunity to develop, lots of training available and then lots of chances to sort of move on and move around into different places and move up the scale as well, yeah.