Countryside Ranger

Local government countryside rangers manage and maintain open spaces such as parks, woodlands, heaths, common land and urban green spaces.  In more urban areas they may be known as park or leisure rangers.

Work Environment
Most of a local government ranger's time is spent outdoors patrolling open spaces.   There may be some time spent writing up reports in an office.

Daily Activities
Local government countryside rangers are usually part of a team of rangers within the countrysideorparks and recreation service.  Each ranger takes responsibility fora number of sites in a specific geographical area and is usually the first point of contact forpeople living in that area if they have difficulties or need advice about issues relating to the local council's open spaces.

Local government countryside rangers carry out a range of duties, which may include someorall of the following:

  • patrolling open spaces to ensure they are safe for public use, this might include addressing antisocial behaviour issues such as motorbike riding, vandalism, littering and fly tipping;
  • undertaking practical conservation and maintenance tasks, often in partnership with local conservation volunteers;
  • running events for local people to promote proper use of open spaces and care forthe natural environment;
  • visiting schools and community groups to talk about environmental care and conservation;
  • leading guided nature walks and events;
  • offering advice to individuals, conservation groupsororganisations on conservation management, landscape enhancement, arboriculture and practical conservation skills.

In more urban areas additional tasks might include overseeing and monitoring parking areas, skate parks and working closely with community/street wardens.
Skills & Interests
Local government countryside rangers need:

  • to be friendly and approachable and able to communicate with many different types of people;
  • confident presentation skills;
  • to be able to carry out physically demanding tasks;
  • a good geographical knowledge of the area where they would like to work and an ability to read maps;
  • beorganised.

Entry Requirements
Entry requirements will vary depending upon the specifics of the role within any Local Authority.  A full driving licence may be required orprevious conservation-related experience; experience dealing with people, ora knowledge of the local area.

Many countryside rangers begin their career working as volunteers on conservation projects.  This is a great way to build up practical experience.  You can find out more about becoming a countryside volunteer by contacting your local council countrysideorparks and recreation service directly.

A countryside ranger may be asked fora recognised environmental qualification as well as practical skills such as being able to use certain appliances such as a chainsaworbrush-cutter.

An urban Ranger post will usually require a lower level of qualification, and there may not be any specific entry requirements other than experience of dealing with peopleorvolunteering on a project

Alternatively, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) can provide information on where to look forvolunteer projects in your area.  BTCV also run a range of training courses from coppicing, footpath construction and chainsaw use, to map reading, pond management and hedge-laying.  Once in a countryside ranger position you may find that there are opportunities to work towards relevant N/SVQs and/oran apprenticeship in environmental conservation and land based engineering.
Future Prospects & Opportunities
With appropriate training and experience, there may be opportunities to progress to local government countryside officerorcountryside manager.  It may be possible to move into different types of role within the wider environmentalorleisure services departments in the council.

Further Information & Services
Countryside Council 
Environment Council 
Instituteof Ecologyand Environmental Management 
The Conservation Volunteers

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers officeor school careers library.

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