Explore: Environment

Countryside Manager
National Trust

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Stuart C

00:00:02 Hi, I’m Stuart C. I’m the Countryside Manager here at Clumber Park for the National Trust. Clumber is four thousand acre country estate, with something like seven hundred thousand visitors. My job as Countryside Manager, first and foremost, is managing the countryside as a whole. I manage everything on the estate as regards the land, everything except for the gardens really. We’ve been trying to raise the standard of conservation here at Clumber Park. We’ve been more aware of the habitats we’ve got, and the animals and plants that we’ve got, and we’ve been trying to protect those and preserve those.

00:00:38 My favourite part of the job is possibly being out in the countryside, especially on the heath lands. I love heath lands. I’ve made it my business to be involved with the heath lands probably more than any other habitat. My granddad in Devon was a farm worker. When I say a farm worker, it wasn’t tractor work then, it was mainly labour work. And we used to go and stay at my granddad’s when we went on holiday to Devon, and we used to love, you know, riding bikes down the country lanes in Devon, four or five miles from the nearest town, absolutely superb onto Exmore, so I think I’ve always had that interest in the countryside.

00:01:21 When I first left school, I did do six months at an engineering factory in the drawing office, mainly as a tea lad, I would say, in those days. And I quickly realised that because I was sporty at school, I did all the sports, I was in the football team, and swimming, and things like that – I was an outdoor person – I quickly realised that to be in an office all the time at work was so frustrating and I knew I had to do something physical, and the opportunity to become an apprentice electrician came along and I grabbed that with both hands.

00:02:05 I was a very home-based person initially in my life, but travelling around you suddenly realise what there is out there in the world and the different opportunities. In the early eighties, I got made redundant, and I took stock on my career and I realised I wanted to do something that I really liked doing, and I had the opportunity to come here to Clumber to manage a small team of long-term unemployed and I’ve stayed ever since, you know. I’ve been here twenty-five/twenty-six years now and gradually worked through the ranks from assistant warden to countryside manager.

00:02:46 It’s not a nine until five job. If something needs doing, it has to be done. If something has gone wrong, it has to be sorted whatever time of day it is. It may be a deer knocked down on the road. You’ve got to do something about it, but that’s what makes it interesting. It makes it different from going working in a factory or an office.

00:03:11 We have quite a large number of volunteers helping us. They want to help the National Trust, they enjoy being outside. I’ve got one guy who was a senior manager with a government organisation and he just loves to come and ask to do something and get on with it. He just wants to come out and do something practical – keep fit, be active, meet other people, and I think that’s what a lot of volunteers do. That’s why they come into the countryside and help us at Clumber and the National Trust.

00:03:48 It has realised a dream for me, being here for twenty-odd years, and I still enjoy it every day, and I don’t think there are many people in employment who can go and say ‘I enjoy my job every day of the week,’ which is superb to me.

00:04:04 End

Stuart C is Countryside Manager of a National Trust estate. He loved the countryside ever since he was a boy, when he spent his holidays on the farm where his grandad worked. He tried office work and was an electrician for a while, but following a redundancy he got a job managing volunteers for the National Trust. He’s stayed on the estate ever since.

More information about Conservation and environmental associate professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

82%  male 
18%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Conservation and environmental associate professionals are responsible for the day-to-day running and management of areas of the countryside and the wider environment in a way that reconciles the interests of conservation, land owners and the public. They carry out practical conservation activities and assist in promoting awareness of the natural environment.
Entrants typically possess a relevant BTEC/SQA award or similar qualification and have prior related experience, often as a volunteer. Apprenticeships and NVQs/SVQs in relevant subjects at Levels 2 and 3 are available.
  • Assists with ecological surveys to identify plant and animal species, map their habitat and draw up conservation plans;
  • Implements schemes for the management and protection of natural habitats;
  • Assists with environmental audits and impact assessments;
  • Organises and supervises conservation projects and the work of part-time and voluntary staff;
  • Provides information and education to the public through setting up displays, writing leaflets and making presentations;
  • Organises guided walks and answers questions from the public about an area and its wildlife;
  • Works with the emergency services in instances of fire, flood, injury or mountain rescue.
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