Countryside

Do you like the idea of maintaining landscapes and coasts, as well as ensuring the preservation of grassland, moorland, heathland, woodland and wetland habitats? If the answer is yes, then you could meet the increasing need for well qualified staff in the management of rural resources.

You could be patrolling sites, making sure bridleways and other public areas are safe, promoting environmental conservation, devising and implementing surveys to monitor wildlife, recruiting and supervising staff and volunteers, developing a business plan, marketing and controlling budgets, preparing applications for funding or assessing planning applications organising activities and projects.

Why choose us?

Natural resources in abundance
We are privileged that Shuttleworth College is situated in a large conservation area containing grassland, moorland, heathland, woodland and wetland giving you a diverse range of real life working environments to gain experience in.

Specialist equipment & facilities
Shuttleworth can give you access to almost every kind of habitat. Uniquely situated in a conservation area, the estate itself has a working farm, a shoot, a fishery with several well stocked lakes, a site of special scientific interest, ancient woodland, a country wildlife site, and formal parklands with county specimen trees, all in addition to a huge range of learning resources from which you can benefit.

The future
Land management in the UK depends on the people gaining the skills you will develop when you take one of our Countryside qualifications. Whether you end up as a warden, a ranger, a game keeper or an ecologist, we guarantee that at Shuttleworth you will get the very best grounding for your future.


Student destinations

56% of our Land & Environment students continue their studies within further or higher education. Destinations include the University of Bedfordshire, Harper Adams University and the University of Northampton. 35% of our students go straight into employment.

Source: Bedford College FE Student Destinations 2012-13

Countryside careers


» Environmental Policy Officer

Environmental Policy Officers contribute to the development, implementation, promotion and review of environmental policies within their employing organisation.

Salary £20,000-£30,000. Depending on experience and qualifications.

» Estate Worker

Estate workers help to maintain and manage the environment for the benefit of people and wildlife. This can involve the management of field staff & volunteers working on a variety of different habitats, including grassland, heathland, wetland and woodland. Work also involves maintaining facilities for public access and recreation.

Salary £20,000-£26,000. Depending on experience and qualifications. Rates of pay will differ depending on employer and location.

» Game Manager & Game Keeper

Gamekeepers work in the countryside looking after areas managed for shooting, called beats or estates. They make sure that there is enough game in their beats for shooting. Game includes deer, and birds such as grouse, partridge and pheasant. They also manage wildlife habitat and their skills play an important part in shaping the countryside and protecting vulnerable and endangered species.

Salary £12,500-£20,500. Depending on experience and qualifications.

» Ranger

Rangers are responsible for a range of activities that benefit both the natural environment and associated public access and recreation. Their role is to encourage visitors to the countryside, promote awareness of the natural environment and protect and preserve the countryside for future enjoyment.

Salary £18,000-£30,000. Depending on experience and qualifications.

Countryside courses & student profiles

Jamie Ping - Countryside Management Level 3

Jamie Ping

“I studied Level 3 Countryside Management at Shuttleworth College over two years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and enjoyed all aspects of my course, as well as the social life at College.”

“Part of the course involved undertaking a work placement where I worked at a local shoot as a gamekeeper – and after I finished the course I had developed the skills to continue working there full-time. My qualification also gained me a place at university and I studied a Foundation Degree in Agriculture and Conservation. I am now employed full-time on a large arable farm.”

Carl Allen - Countryside Management Level 3

Carl Allen

“When I originally arrived at Shuttleworth I wanted to become a gamekeeper, however this slowly changed and I found that through College I really enjoyed woodland and tree work. The time I spent at Shuttleworth was one of the best times of my life – I met some truly amazing people and the College has given me many different options for work. The student support was also a huge help and the lecturers were always supportive.”

“While on the Countryside Management course I learnt everything from heathland habitat management through to farming and woodland management. I have since worked as a groundsman, within farming and in gamekeeping. Now I am now employed as a foreman for a tree surgery firm specialising in large trees.”

Stuart Manley - Countryside Management Level 3

Stuart Manley

Manager at A Different Calibre Ltd, Letchworth
“I entered the College as a part-time mature student in Countryside Management. During the three years I was there I received three distinction grades and won the Student of the Year award – not bad for someone nervous at entering further education due to being in their mid-thirties!”

“Thanks to the staff and College principles, however, I soon settled down to become one of the team with the younger students and my time was highly enjoyable. With the College’s brilliant principle of mixing practical and theory work with the facilities on site, it made time there very rewarding.”

“The skills and knowledge I have learnt about firearms, their usage and legislation have had a real, positive effect on my work as a manager for a registered firearms dealer. But as the first point of contact for the general public, other aspects of my Countryside Management education have also become useful in educating and advising them. Another plus point of College life is the friends you make and network that carries on well after the last day of College.”

Josh Ord - Countryside Management Level 3

Josh Ord

“I studied countryside management for 2 years on a level 3 programme. My favourite units were gamebird production, game management and deer management. I took part in incubating 350 pheasant eggs and rearing them to poult stage ready to go to the shoot The practical skills I gained at college has helped me to get my dream job as  an underkeeper.

During my studies I did lots of practical habitat management of wetlands, woodlands and farmland on the college campus and off site.

There was good support from the tutors to help with theory work.

Overall I would recommend the course to young, enthusiastic people wanting to work outdoors.”

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