Conservation Land Manager

Saving key sites for nature

Conservation Land Manager

Saving key sites for nature

What does a Conservation Land Manager do?

A career on the frontlines of conservation…

Conservation Land Managers oversee the management of land and natural resources for a key site or sites. They work on the ‘frontlines’ of conservation, carrying out practical activities and often getting their hands dirty. 

There are two important aspects of managing sites for nature and people: the habitat and the visitor access. Habitat could be grassland, wetland, woodland, etc. Access management can include roads, footpaths, signs and gates, alongside the health and safety of a site. In this way, Land Manager roles often combine practical, hands-on work with public-facing duties.

If you enjoy being outside, hard work and being in touch with people and sites, this could be the role for you!

Typical Conservation Land Manager duties

Conservation Land Manager roles often involve diverse duties, which can be practical or public-facing. These can include:

  • Managing sites in accordance with the management plan – habitat and site work. Examples include:
    – Monitoring the health of plants, trees and wildlife.
    Restoring natural areas, such as controlling invasive species.
    – Monitoring and maintaining trail systems.
    – Patrolling areas to protect resources and prevent damage.
    – Conducting fire prevention activities. 
    – Using and maintaining tools and equipment.
  • Welcoming visitors and providing a good visitor experience.
  • Preparing, administering and controlling income and expenditure budgets for projects.
  • Working with contractors and volunteers.

More senior Land Management specialists may take on additional duties such as:

  • Developing and updating the management plan(s).
  • Training and leading land management and conservation workers.
  • Ensuring land use is compliant with regulations, including enforcing regulations.
  • Working with private landowners to manage lands in accordance with laws and regulations.
  • Planning and managing projects.

Image credit: Lowveld Rhino Trust / International Rhino Foundation via Flickr.
A member of a Bureau of Land Management Fire Crew, near Spokane, Washington, USA. Credit: BLM Oregon and Washington on Flickr.

Conservation Land Manager employer types

Types of conservation employers that hire Land Managers include:

Conservation Land Manager sub roles

Common Land Manager sub roles include:

  • Countryside Managers (UK) – managing, protecting and improving the rural environment. Similar roles outside of the UK are often called Land Manager.
  • Wardens – protecting, managing and improving natural resources, including wildlife and habitats, usually in parks and other protected areas.
  • Rangers – protecting natural resources, enforcing rules and providing visitor services. For example, rangers may patrol protected areas, monitor wildlife, prevent illegal activity (e.g. poaching), help resolve human-wildlife conflicts, engage local communities in conservation, and support tourism.
Sunrise on the Cairngorms mountain ranger, Scotland. Credit: Caroline Legg on Flickr.

Conservation Land Manager context

What contexts support your happiness at work? Typical Conservation Land Manager roles include the following contexts:

Conservation Land Manager salaries

 To research salaries for Land Manager roles in your region, we recommend searching the Economic Research Institute’s Compensation HubTo research salaries for Conservation Land Managers in your region, we recommend searching our Conservation Job Archive as a Conservation Careers Academy member.
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Conservation Land Manager requirements

Typical early-career Conservation Land Manager roles require the following:

Typical job titles for Conservation Land Managers

Examples of Early Career Land Manager job titles include: 

Examples of Mid and Senior Land Manager job titles include: 

Find more examples of Land Manager job titles by searching our Conservation Job Archive as a Conservation Careers Academy member.

Rangers support both wildlife and visitors. Here a ranger in Aberdare National Park, Kenya speaks with a tourist. Credit: Ninara on Flickr.

Conservation Land Manager resources

Katmai Bay, Katmai National Park and Preserve, USA. Credit: NPS Photo/Nate Hughes via Flickr.

Example Conservation Land Manager jobs

To help illustrate Conservation Land Manager roles, here are four job descriptions that represent (real) entry level Land Manager jobs. Pay particular attention to the selection criteria (specifications) to learn more about what conservation employers are looking for when they hire Land Managers.

Seasonal Restoration Technician | Solano Resource Conservation District | California, USA (2022-23)

About Solano Resource Conservation District

Solano Resource Conservation District (Solano RCD) is a special district to the State of California that works closely with a variety of local and regional partners to enhance and protect Solano County watersheds through strategic restoration activities, water education and outreach programs, and by offering conservation planning and watershed coordination services to local residents and landowners. Solano RCD staff and its Board of Directors strive toward excellence, equity, inclusion, collaboration, and appreciation in the work performed and welcome candidates who share these same values. 

Position Summary
 
Solano RCD is hiring 1-2 Seasonal Restoration Technicians for the 2023 field season. Seasonal Restoration Technicians (SRT) will assist with habitat restoration projects in Solano County. Tasks will include establishing native plants, irrigation operation and maintenance, weed control, propagation, and monitoring restoration sites. The technician position is an outdoor, field-based position that will require work in wildland settings, inclement weather, and temperature extremes. The SRT position is geared towards individuals who are considering a career or course of study in restoration ecology, landscape management, environmental studies, botany, or biology.
 
Work Schedule
 
The seasonal position will run from January to June of 2023. Depending on project funding there may be a possibility to extend the position(s) through the summer and/or converting to permanent employment. The work week consists of four 8–10-hour work days each week from Monday to Friday (32-40 hours/week). Occasional Saturday work may be available but is not required. Work days may occasionally be rescheduled based on weather and field conditions. Start times between 6:30-7:30 AM will be typical but may occasionally be earlier or later.
 
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Transportation: Driving pick-up trucks, towing trailers and equipment, loading and unloading tools, plants, mulch, and supplies.
  • Planting: Planting and propagation from seeds, cuttings, and nursery stock.
  • Weed control: Herbicide application, weed whacking, mowing, and manual weed removal.
  • Irrigation: Operating pumps, hand watering, and installing and maintaining drip irrigation systems.
  • Monitoring: Observing and recording plant health, weed populations, and wildlife.
  • Fire and Flood Recovery: Removing vegetation, clean-up, mulching, and seeding.
  • Leading volunteers on restoration activities.

This position is 90% outdoor field work. Project sites include grasslands, riparian and wetland habitat, hedgerows, vegetated canals, public lands, urban parks, and farm and ranch ponds. On-the-job training will be provided to Seasonal Restoration Technicians for all technical habitat restoration activities, including the safe use of equipment and herbicides. Applicants must be able to work as a team member and also independently at project sites.

Work days will begin and end at our office in Dixon, CA. Transportation to field sites will be in Solano RCD vehicles. Our Covid-19 policy may require masks in shared vehicles, the office, and indoor spaces. SRTs may occasionally need to drive their personal vehicles to field sites and Solano RCD will provide mileage compensation at the IRS-approved rate. Job announcement for Seasonal Restoration Technician

Minimum Qualifications

  • Experience and enthusiasm for working outdoors.
  • Professional or personal experience working with plants.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver’s License and have personal liability insurance.
  • Must be able to lift, bend, stoop, kneel, and carry heavy objects up to 50 pounds.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated interest in California native plants, habitat restoration, botany, or ecology.
  • Experience operating weed whackers, power equipment, ATVs/UTVs, trailers.
  • Familiarity with the communities, agricultural lands, and natural landscapes of Solano County.
  • Degree or course work in environmental studies, botany, biology, or restoration ecology.
  • Experience applying herbicides with backpack sprayers and ATVs

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be able to work in a variety of environments, temperature and weather extremes, standing/walking outdoors in extreme temperatures as well as on uneven terrain.
  • Must be a team player with an ability to work with staff, volunteers, board members and local landowners who have a diverse range of backgrounds, motivations and interests.
  • Employment at the Solano RCD is employment at-will. Employment at-will may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the employee or the District.

Compensation and Benefits

The Seasonal Restoration Technician position is temporary and non-exempt (hourly) with a wage of $20-22/hour, depending on experience. A monthly medical stipend will be provided. Paid holidays will be provided. SRTs will receive a uniform stipend and cell phone allowance.

 

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife TrustAssistant Reserves Officer (North) | Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust | Hook, UK (2022)

We are looking for a passionate Assistant Reserves Officer (North) to assist the Reserves Officers in all aspects of the day-to-day management of the suite of nature reserves the Northern team cover.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is a grassroots movement working for nature’s recovery and to bring people closer to nature.

Our vision for a wilder future is beautiful and vital!

We want great places to live that are good for people and good for wildlife.
We want nature to be normal, for children to grow up with wild green spaces to explore.
We want to restore and re-wild our land and sea and tip the balance in favour of nature.

We know this is what’s needed for our food, oxygen, physical and mental health, our prosperity and for a strong and vibrant society. We know that nature’s recovery can help tackle the climate crisis.

Our future has to be wilder!

We are seeking an Assistant Reserves Officer (North) to join our cause.

Salary: £20,500 – £22,000 depending on experience
Contract type: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time – 35 hours per week, with on call rota and occasional evening and weekend working
Location: College Copse, Rotherwick, Hook

This permanent role involves

  • Working with the Northern Reserves Officers, to deliver the annual work program in compliance with Stewardship agreements.
  • Practical land management operations including fencing, site repairs, chainsaw work, and tractor driving (primarily flail mowing), and supporting the grazing team with cattle checks and associated livestock handling
  • Providing effective supervision and support for the various volunteer groups
  • Carrying out work on Acid Grassland, Heathland, Wood Pasture and Fen there will be lots of opportunity to learn how to manage these habitats; knowledge of this is an advantage but not essential
  • Carrying out various surveys e.g., butterfly transects

Experience

  • Practical land and management experience, use of power tools (essential)
  • Off road driving experience 4×4, UTVs and tractors (essential)
  • Risk assessment (essential)

Knowledge

  • A genuine interest and knowledge of British wildlife and nature conservation (essential)
  • Understanding of Health and Safety issues related to countryside management and the public (essential)
  • Familiarity with land management and maintenance tasks (essential)

Skills

  • Certified and confident in the use of Chainsaw, brushcutter and tractor (essential)
  • Full driving licence (essential)
  • Ability to work alone or as a part of a team (essential)

Personal Qualities

  • Polite, reliable and good communicator (essential)
  • Positive, forward-thinking attitude (essential)
  • Self-managing, but capable of working as part of a team (essential)
  • Willingness to work unsociable hours, including evenings and weekends (essential)
 

Ranger | Department of Conservation | Te Anau, New Zealand (2022)

Toitū te marae a Tāne-Mahuta, toitū te marae a Tangaroa, toitū te tangata
If the land is well and the sea is well, the people will thrive

  • Short term opportunity to gain some great biodiversity conservation skills
  • If you enjoy working in conservation, making a difference on the ground, visiting remote backcountry locations, and don’t mind getting your feet wet, then apply now!
  • This is a fixed term role from 7 February to 14 April 2023 based in Te Anau.

We’re open to all types of people applying. Are you…

  • in between jobs or wanting to dabble in something new?
  • living elsewhere in NZ but have always been keen to explore Fiordland?
  • keen to have an outdoor job for a few months before heading overseas in the NZ winter?
  • on a short-term working holiday visa, with a strong base of outdoor skills?

Dates are flexible so if your availability doesn’t line up perfectly, still get in touch. There is likely to be an opportunity to extend this work contract.

Te Papa Atawhai, Department of Conservation (DOC) serves to protect and sustain nature across Aotearoa. As an honourable Treaty partner, we are working to ensure our kaupapa, Papatūānuku thrives, leaves a footprint that strengthens the future for our mokopuna, whānau, hapū and iwi. We put nature and people at the heart of our mahi, guided by te reo Māori, te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We do this by:

  • Protecting land, species, ecosystems, and cultural heritage for conservation purposes
  • Managing threats and adverse impacts
  • Being a voice for conservation
  • Connecting people to nature

He angitūtanga | About the role

The Te Anau biodiversity team has around 15 permanent staff, with four to six seasonal rangers in summer who work predominantly in the field.As a Ranger, you will be heavily focused on delivering conservation work across Fiordland. Biodiversity conservation that the team delivers includes:

  • Predator control and monitoring
  • Ecosystem restoration (terrestrial and marine)
  • Weed/invasive species control
  • Threatened species monitoring and management
  • Infrastructure maintenance

This work will involve substantial time in the backcountry of Fiordland, requiring a high level of fitness and confident navigation skills. You may be required to be away from home for long periods of time (up to 10 days at a time). Specific work coming up between February to April 2023 includes:

  • Trapping in the Eglington Valley
  • Remote island trapping trips – Secretary and Resolution Islands. Some of these trips are fly-in and some are based off our boat, the Southern Winds.
  • Weed/invasive species control in the Arthur Valley
  • Trapping and tracking tunnel work in the Waitutu area (near Lake Poteriteri, South Coast)
  • Rodent monitoring (tracking tunnels) near Lake Hauroko

Flexibility is required. Often our workplan changes due to the weather. Sometimes it’s sunny for weeks on end, other times we have some longer periods of rain and our work is more around town.The salary range for this position is $50,770 to $59,978 with the starting salary of the successful applicant being based on their relevant skills and experience.

Ngā pūkenga me ngā wheako | Skills and experience

Most importantly we are looking for a responsible and reliable team player, who is not afraid of hard work.  If you have any of the following skills these would be of benefit:

  • Good bush craft/navigation
  • Great initiative and self-drive
  • Familiar with G.P.S. use
  • Familiar with weed work or trapping
  • Conservation field work experience
  • Able to use weed eaters/scrub bars; chainsaw experience is desirable
  • Has a current Full Driver’s License

Ngā āhuatanga kei a mātou | What’s in it for you?

Te Papa Atawhai is committed to fostering a diverse workforce that represents the communities we serve, creating an inclusive workplace culture, supporting the relationship between Māori and the Crown, and lifting our cultural capability. We encourage our people to bring their authentic self and unique perspectives to work, in pursuit of our collective aspirations.

Assistant Warden – North West Norfolk Reserves | RSPB | Titchwell, Marsh, Norfolk, UK (2022)

Salary: £23,939.00 – £26,558.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave (pro-rata)
Duration: until June 2023

Would you like to be part of something special? An exciting opportunity has arisen for a dynamic and motivated person to join the team in North West Norfolk on contract from December 2022 to June 2023 (to cover an internal secondment), caring for four nature reserves including the famous wildlife watching destinations of RSPB Titchwell Marsh and RSPB Snettisham.

Our North West Norfolk reserves combined attract more than 100,000 visitors each year and are home to some incredible breeding species including avocet, marsh harrier, bittern, bearded tit, common tern, redshank and ringed plover – not to mention the vast assemblages of non-breeding birds such as knot and pink-footed geese that delight thousands of visitors each year. Our reserves are also home to a wealth of other wildlife including dune tiger beetles, sea-aster mining bees, water voles and the scarce red-hemp nettle.

We’re incredibly proud of the reserves we manage and are looking for someone who will help us continue to keep these reserves special for wildlife and for people.

This role will be varied, you’ll carry out a huge range of tasks, so you’ll need to be energetic, adaptable and have a desire to achieve. You will lead in the delivery of estate maintenance and organising and supervising work parties. You’ll assist in the delivery of habitat management, species surveying, and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

It is important that you are a strong team player with the ability to generate ideas and see them through to successful high-quality completion. You’ll have a love for natural history, and you’ll enjoy working outside.

You’ll be easy going, organised, responsible, resilient, adaptable and you’ll care about good presentation as well as being practically capable. You’ll have plenty of energy and a willingness to learn and develop as part of your role. If, so far, this sounds like you, then read on!

Key areas of work:

  • Habitat management as defined by the reserve’s management plans and agri-environment agreements to ensure conservation targets are being met
  • Maintenance of tools and machinery to ensure they are operating safely and efficiently
  • Repair and maintenance of buildings and estate infrastructure to ensure an excellent visitor experience
  • Monitoring of key species and habitats to enable performance to be managed and targets to be set
  • Managing, mapping and storing data ensuring this can be accessed by the wider team and organisation
  • Maintaining high standards of health and safety to minimise risk to the RSPB and ensuring understanding and compliance of health and safety while undertaking duties
  • Developing, leading, and managing work parties, including recruitment of new volunteers
  • Collaborate with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including the wider reserve team members, Reserve Ecologists, Project Managers, contractors, neighbours and visitors
  • Assist with ensuring legal compliance of conservation and land management operations
  • Planning and implementing small projects
  • Running and helping to develop events to generate income
  • General administration and report writing, ensuring admin and reports are up to date and systematically organised

Essential knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Experience of practical land management and delivering estate management tasks
  • Experience in the safe operation and maintenance of machinery, tools and equipment
  • Experience of managing and leading volunteers
  • Ecological knowledge of reedbed, freshwater lagoons and coastal habitats
  • Experience of biological monitoring
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Proven time management and organisational skills
  • Working unsupervised for extended periods, as part of a team or leading a team
  • Experience implementing risk assessments and updating health and safety records
  • Excellent teamworking and interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving skills, creating well thought through practical solutions
  • LANTRA, or equivalent qualification, in the safe use of brushcutter
  • Competent in the use of Microsoft Office packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Full, manual driving licence that is valid in the UK.
Preparing for the Bureau of Land Management's Trout Springs Prescribed Fire in southwest Idaho, USA. Credit: DOI/Neal Herbert via Flickr.

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A Red Grouse. Credit: Caroline Legg on Flickr.

Useful links & free stuff

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