What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£30,001 – £40,000
Please describe the work that you do.
I advise private landowners on all aspects of woodland creation, tree planting and agroforestry and Veteran Tree protection – from funding available, designs, species mixes, management, and aid with applications for government or internal Woodland Trust funding support. This involves a good range of desk-based GIS and report writing, mixed in with site visits to a wide range of sites in the North, and working with partners such as Wildlife Trusts to enhance their projects as well.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I love having the mixture of desk based and site work, it adds variety to my week and no landowner or scheme is ever the same! I’m able to work alone and develop the site from a blank canvas all the way through to planting or on larger schemes work as part of a team to manage ecological surveys, GIS data and land management schemes.
What inspired you into this career?
As a child I was always obsessed with nature and being outdoors and watching wildlife documentaries so studying geography with the aim of working outdoors seemed like the only possible option for me! What continues to inspire me is the sense that if I can do something, anything, to help combat the biodiversity and climate crisis then that is better than doing nothing at all.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
As a young woman, it could be difficult to be seen as someone with knowledge of woodlands and up-to-date funding opportunities as well as knowledge on land management, farming and wildlife. This job requires you to know a lot about several different fields to ensure you’re able to give the most suitable advice.
What education/training did you have?
I studied for a BSc in Physical Geography at Bangor University. Once I joined the Woodland Trust in an admin-based position, they were able to provide a wide range of training on woodland creation, management etc. through online courses or shadowing colleagues which enabled me to secure my current position. From there, the Woodland Trust has continued to support my progression and are now funding an MSc in Landscape and Ecological Restoration via an apprenticeship, which has improved my knowledge of restoration projects on the ground as well as best project management policies and frameworks.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Specifically for my role… don’t just focus on the trees! Learning about other habitats, such as peatlands, heathlands or wetlands, will enhance your ability to recognise when planting trees might not be the best course of action for a site! Work on plant ID as well as tree ID and get out to see as many different habitats as possible to build a knowledge base to use in future designs.