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 work in a team that manage NatureScot’s National Nature Reserves in the Highlands of Scotland. This includes 7 sites totaling more than 25,000ha of land. The work involves planning and delivering our National Nature Reserve’s objectives of nature restoration and as places for people. This involves managing staff, contractors and budgets, as well as doing wildlife surveys, delivering guided walks and demonstration events to the public and some practical work.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I enjoy the variety of the work. No one day is the same. I enjoy the opportunities to get outside to assist with practical work and undertake various species and habitat surveys. I also enjoy being able to work with people, both staff members, contractors and members of the public.
What inspired you into this career?
I always had an interest in the natural world, and my career path has followed that interest. What particularly inspired me with this job is that I have an opportunity to do something positive and proactive for nature, which is both exciting and rewarding.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I have been very lucky in finding work that I enjoy throughout my career. However, this field of work is very competitive, and so I think everyone who works in this area has had some problems as their careers progress. There are periods where getting a job can be difficult, but the more experiences you can get the better.
What education/training did you have?
I studied Ecology BSc (Hons) at the University of Aberdeen. Following that all the training and experiences have been developed through periods of volunteering (along side unrelated paid work), short-term contracts doing ecological surveys, rangering and wildlife guiding, environmental education and working for NatureScot.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
I would say that it is best to do what you enjoy, even if you are not sure what it will bring as a career. Being committed and enthusiastic is really important, as it can be a competitive field and so you need to be able to show and demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment. Gaining experiences through volunteering can be useful.