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.
The Green Action Trust delivers environmental regeneration across Scotland; especially in the Central Scotland Green Network. This includes woodland planting, green infrastructure and active travel. I work towards delivering projects. This can mean taking an initial idea for a site and working it up by exploring options, finding funding, getting relevant permissions and consulting stakeholders. I’m also an ecologist; I complete phase 1 & protected species surveys and am working towards licencing.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I like the variety – different projects and activities keeps things interesting. Spending time outdoors on ecological surveys and site visits is a big bonus too. We have a fair amount of opportunity to think outside the box and be innovative when it comes to projects; it’s interesting to research what could work and what could be included. My colleagues have really different experience across the environmental board so often someone knows the answer to a tricky question, or they know someone who does.
I dislike ticks– the downside of field surveying!
What inspired you into this career?
I’ve always been interested in conservation; when I was younger I wanted to save the rainforests. I came to realise that conservation wasn’t just about tropical places! My first “proper” job was as a Countryside Ranger which gave me a chance to try lots of different things – working with volunteers, environmental education, habitat surveying and practical skills. I was then a Biodiversity Officer, working at a more strategic level to develop, deliver and report on plans and projects. This enabled me to get more involved with project development, which led to my current job.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I’ve found it challenging to move between jobs, so have perhaps spent a relatively long time in individual jobs. I don’t necessarily see this as a negative as I’ve always enjoyed my work and have made great friends with my colleagues.
If you do want to progress your career I think it’s important to keep pushing yourself to try new aspects of your job, volunteer for different tasks and keep challenging yourself to learn more and develop your skills.
What education/training did you have?
I have a BSc in Ecology (conservation and habitat management) from Edinburgh University. Before, during and after this I did a fair bit of short term and volunteer work including with the RSPB and Glasgow University before getting a seasonal and then permanent job. I’ve been on lots of short courses of all different types from Walk Leader training to citizen science and species-focused courses.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Take all the opportunities you can – look out for local volunteer groups or citizen science projects and join in as much as possible. Don’t worry too much if you don’t immediately find your interest and passion – there are so many options out there that you can explore and work towards.