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Conservation and Design Officer
North East Lincolnshire County Council

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Stephen P

00:00:03 I am Stephen P and my job title is conservation and design officer for the Local Authority. I’m responsible for looking after the historic environment that is listed buildings and things like historic town and village centres. It’s something that we look after and it’s my role to make sure that it’s in a good state to be passed onto our children and grandchildren.

00:00:30 When I was growing up the one thing I always really wanted to do was to be an engineer. I’ve always had an interest in things that men have made. Buildings, bridges, trains, aircraft, these were the things that always interested me when I was growing up.

00:00:49 The biggest mistake I made would probably been when I was about 14 or 15 in not realising that I did have an artistic side and that art combined with history was really my big passion in life and that’s what I should have been doing rather than the maths or the sciences. I was very much pushed in that direction both specifically by my parents and also by the general society around me.

00:01:20 I grew up in a mining town so it was really the culture of the place that if you wanted to better yourself you either did engineering or you did something like accountancy which sounded even more boring than engineering to me.

00:01:41 Then when I went to university I was distracted by all sorts of new experiences such as bars that were open till two o’clock in the morning and new friends and I didn’t find the course very interesting, it was a bit of a hard slog and it got to the stage where I basically didn’t do any more of it with the inevitable consequences.

00:02:07 That was in the early 80s in a mining town so I joined the majority of my school colleagues in signing on for a few months. I was lucky that I was able to get a clerical job but it wasn’t terribly interesting. I decided that it was going to be time for me to move on so I went moved down to London, got another clerical job whilst I was down there. The job came second to the fact that I met my wife.

00:02:38 We then thought about what we were going to do in the future. We decided neither of us wanted to continue on the paths we were going along. My wife qualified as a nurse, that then freed and enabled her to earn enough money for us to live on whilst I was able to go to university then and do another degree.

00:02:59 The first thing I decided was that I was going to do a course that was in something that I really, really enjoyed doing. So, I switched to doing the architectural conservation degree which basically taught me most of the skills that are required for my current job.

00:03:17 I would say that when my current line manager rang me up to say that I’d actually got the job it was probably one of the most exciting moments of my life. At that point, yes, I definitely felt that was a turning point in my life and one which had made all the really hard work worthwhile.

00:03:35 We spend a huge amount of time at work. If you do something that you enjoy at work and you can really feel fulfilled at work then you are going to have a much nicer, better life than otherwise.

ENDS

Stephen P is a Conservation and Design Officer for North East Lincolnshire County Council. He makes sure the historic environment is in a good state to be passed on to the community's children and grandchildren. "The biggest mistake I made would probably been when I was about 14 or 15 in not realising that I did have an artistic side and that art combined with history was really my big passion in life and that's what I should have been doing rather than the maths or the sciences. I was very much pushed in that direction both specifically by my parents and also by the general society around me." But his wife supported him while he studied for a degree in architectural conservation, which enabled him to get his dream job.

More information about Conservation professionals

Data powered by LMI For All
£37,960
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

40
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

49%  female  51%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Conservation professionals are responsible for ensuring that landscapes, habitats and species are protected and enhanced via appropriate management and conservation. They promote public understanding and awareness of the natural environment and help to develop and implement appropriate policies to achieve these objectives.

Qualifications

Entrants normally require a degree in a relevant subject, sometimes with a related postgraduate qualification. Entry is also possible with a relevant BTEC/SQA Award or HND. Prior practical work experience (which may be obtained on a voluntary basis) is needed for most posts. Additional on-the-job training is available.

Tasks

  • Promotes and implements local and national biodiversity action plans, particularly with regard to threatened species and habitats;
  • Carries out environmental impact assessments and field surveys;
  • Implements, evaluates and monitors schemes for the management and protection of natural habitats;
  • Provides advice and information to government at national and local levels, clients, landowners, planners and developers to facilitate the protection of the natural environment;
  • Liaises with other groups in the selection and maintenance of the Protected Site System including Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Ramsar sites, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and National Nature Reserves (NNRs);
  • Maintains and develops knowledge in relevant policy areas within a national and European legislative context;
  • Promotes conservation issues via educational talks, displays, workshops and literature and liaison with the media;
  • Prepares applications for funding to other organisations, and assessing applications for funding from other organisations;
  • Carries out research into aspects of the natural world.
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