Approx. duration: 12-18 months.
Start date: Anytime.
Attendance: All assessment and training is undertaken in the workplace with occasional visits to college
Entry requirements: Entry onto the Apprenticeship is subject to a thorough initial assessment to clarify course suitability. You may be required to come in and undertake an interview or assessment. Entry onto the Apprenticeship is subject to 4 GCSEs including Maths and English 9-3/A-E or a commitment to undertake Level 2 Maths and English. Apprentices need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week and have a contract of employment.
On programme learning:
- Countryside Worker Standard
- English and Maths (if required) Level 2
End-point assessment: Delivered by Lantra
Progression: On completion of this apprenticeship, a Countryside worker will have the opportunity to progress within the industry into roles such as Estate Worker, Access/Maintenance Ranger, Site Warden, Field Operative and Volunteer Leader.
Course Summary: Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the need of both the Apprentice and their employer.
Countryside Workers carry out specific environmental and conservation tasks and they will also be clear about how practical conservation work interacts with the productive and recreational use of the countryside, including allied farming (livestock and crop production) and sporting activities (most commonly fishing and shooting) and how these relate to countryside management practices. For example, a Countryside Worker would know that work on paths on upland farms should avoid lambing season and that work on grouse habitat should be done in the winter.
Countryside Workers will be able and willing to do challenging work outdoors, in a variety of locations, which may be remote, including moorland, heathland, woodland and coast, interact with the public and explain their work as well as undertaking their role all year round in a variety of weathers, both on their own and as part of a team. Their day to day work will include:
- Building and repairing a variety of field boundaries including fences, walls and hedging. The type and techniques used will depend on the use of the boundary, for example, controlling livestock to maintaining geographical location specific landscape features such as stone walls and hedging.
- Maintaining public rights of way for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The type of surface and associated gates, stiles and bridges varying depending on the use, terrain and landscape.
- Improving habitats and woodland to get them in good condition by using a variety of appropriate techniques, including pruning, felling or planting so native flora and fauna (plants and animals) can thrive. This varies depending upon the local area. Countryside Workers control invasive species, such as Himalayan Balsam, and use the right technique for each species – this could be cutting back, pulling out, spraying or injecting with pesticide.
- Surveying/monitoring habitats and flora and fauna to understand species numbers and relate this to relevant habitat management practices. For example, monitoring of the numbers of merlin (native bird of prey) has resulted in areas of moorland being left unburned (burning is a common management technique to encourage new heather growth) and the establishment of single trees encouraged as these are attractive to Merlin in a moorland landscape.