Countryside Worker Apprenticeship
Countryside Workers are the custodians of our rural outdoor scenery. They conserve the environment that makes the English countryside both distinctive and special. They take care of our protected landscapes - National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Nature Reserves as well as private landed estates, country and, to a degree, urban parks. 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.
Apprentices will develop the following skills, knowledge and behaviours:
- Conservation; how habitats and vegetation are managed to promote conservation. The different types of management used and which is appropriate depending on the location.
- Ecology; the principles behind how our flora and fauna (both native and non-native) live and survive
- The principles of boundary management; how the different types of boundaries (hedges, fences, walls) relate to their location and usage
- The principles of access management; the legal status of a Right of Way and Open Access to the Countryside legislation. The different types of surfaces and furniture/structures and their suitability for different areas and usage
- Common farming practices; practical conservation work and farming support each other. A knowledge of the farming calendar, for example, lambing and harvest affects both the timing and the nature of conservation work that is carried out.
- Land management; how conservation work complements/interacts with other land management uses such as recreation, game keeping, tourism and estate management.
- Surveys; the common techniques which can be used to carry out a range of surveys to help determine the nature of work on habitat or access management in a particular location.
- Countryside legislation; the major pieces of legislation that govern the use of the countryside, such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act, Environmental Protection Act and the Countryside Rights of Way Act.
- Designations; conservation designations in the UK, for example, National Nature Reserves, National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Climate change; the way increased rainfall and higher temperatures impact upon the countryside, conservation practices, habitats, flora, fauna and water levels and how we can go about managing these changes at local/national level.
- Sustainability; understanding environmental best practice and the importance of using products from the local area or from sustainable sources such as wood from Forest Stewardship Council woodlands
- Map reading; navigating in the countryside using a map and compass in areas where satellite navigation is unreliable.
- Health and safety; understanding clearly the risks inherent in carrying out tasks such as building a fence, surfacing a footpath and cutting back vegetation.
- First Aid; practical first aid techniques for use in outdoor situations.
- Pollution; the environmental impact of conservation work
- Construct or maintain access ways, for example a path surface using aggregate, stone pitching, slabs, bark, concrete or tarmac.
- Manage vegetation in a range of different situations
- Construct and /or maintain site furniture for access and interpretation.
- Use a range of hand tools and powered tools safely such as hammers, panel saws, levels, drills, strimmers or chainsaws, hold the relevant certification for powered equipment and undertake the routine maintenance of the tools used.
- Identify a range of British flora and fauna native to the specific local area
- Undertake surveys which feed into site management plans and work plans
- Write a simple dynamic risk assessment and be able to use it on site.
Model of Delivery
- Regular Trainer visits at workplace
- Reviews in the workplace with Line Manager and Trainer every 8 – 10 weeks
- College workshop sessions with lecturer once a week - Spring Lane
We must ensure that an apprentice spends 20% of their contracted working hours developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours illustrated on the Standard. This is achieved via a flexible approach and also by using learning that occurs as part of the job role within the workplace.
End Point Assessment
End-Point Assessment is the final test for apprentices during their apprenticeship. It is designed to be an objective and impartial assessment of an apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours. At the end of an apprenticeship, the apprentice will go through a 'gateway' process where they are signed-off by their employer as ready for a final assessment of their knowledge and practical capabilities. The assessment will be conducted and graded by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation.
End Point Assessment Consists Of:
- Review of behaviours evaluation log - Apprentice behaviour evaluated on 3 occasions
- Synoptic assessment test (SAT) - Achieved through workplace observation. Supervised by Assessor, observed by External Assurer.
- Vocational competence discussion - Determines how much apprentice understands role. Conducted under test conditions.
- Scenario case study - Apprentice transfers knowledge and skills to a prescribed situation, under test conditions
5 GCSE’s (grade 4+), or equivalent in English, Maths and Science.
Apprentices without a level 2 English and mathematics will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their apprenticeship.
Maths and English are a vital part of your apprenticeship and can really support your progression on your chosen course. If you do not already hold the described levels of Maths and English we have a friendly and experienced team of lecturers who can support you throughout and who will arrange exams once you are ready. We deliver Functional Skills in a variety of ways including classroom based and also using an online platform.
Typical job titles of roles that successful Countryside Worker apprentices undertake include; Estate Worker, Access Ranger, Maintenance Ranger, Site Warden, Assistant Ranger, Field Operative and Volunteer Leader.