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Apprentice Ranger positions

Each summer we recruit Apprentice Rangers across Dorset. These positions vary in the type of countryside management work you can get involved with.

Each post is based within a team which consists of friendly, very experienced people covering a range of innovative countryside projects. These posts offer a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to start a career in countryside management.

Each Apprentice Ranger works under the supervision of an Assistant Countryside Ranger. Each post will have the opportunity to spend time with other sections of the Ranger Service, for example at a country park.

Greenspace East Team

The Avon Heath roles cover a range of habitats including internationally important heathland, grassland, mixed woodland, and scrub. They range from small car parks and local nature reserves to linear trails such as the Castleman Trailway. At Durlston, there is 280 acres of meadow, downland, cliffs and woodland. The work involves supporting and helping with a variety of tasks including:

  • dry stone walling
  • path cutting and restoration
  • erecting gates
  • sign replacement
  • visitor centre work
  • interpretation
  • guided walks
  • school groups
  • computer-based data recording
  • wildlife and habitat monitoring

The posts are based at Avon Heath Country Park, Ringwood and Durlston Country Park, Swanage

Key practical aspects the post is involved with:

  • day to day maintenance of the countryside sites and trails including - inspections and repairs to furniture and structures, grass cutting and litter picking. Also basic checks on grazing livestock

  • site improvement works, including access improvements, fencing and footpath works

  • conservation work on the eastern sites, this includes control of invasive scrub and non-native vegetation through clearance, coppicing, felling trees and other vegetation control methods

  • maintenance of tools and equipment

  • monitoring the sites wildlife and visitors

  • assisting with guided events and volunteer days

  • assisting with work on other sites

Greenspace West and North

The West and North Team manage several large nature reserves including Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre at Thorncombe Wood LNR.

They aims to conserve and enhance the wildlife and landscape quality on its 37 countryside sites and provide an excellent facility for the local community. In addition they also manage and maintain a number of recreational trails. Improving access to our countryside sites and wider countryside is an important aspect of the work in North Dorset. 

There are several roles with the West and North Team, based in Dorchester and Blandford.

Key practical aspects the posts are involved in:

  • day to day maintenance of the 24 North Dorset countryside sites including furniture replacement, grass cutting and litter-picking. The main habitats are downland, grassland, wetland and heath. These range from small picnic sites to local nature reserves

  • management of five Nature Reserves such as Blackdown and Hilfield Hill in West Dorset

  • day to day maintenance of the South West Coast Pathand other trails such as repairing and replacing stiles and gates, constructing and installing finger posts, way-marking and other path furniture, as well as clearing vegetation

  • conservation work on these important habitats and scheduled monuments

  • day to day maintenance of the local Rights of Way Network, the Wessex RidgewayNorth Dorset Trailway and Cerne Valley Trail. This includes constructing and installing signposts and waymarks, vegetation clearance, path surfacing and repairs and installing and maintaining gates and stiles

Applying for a position

If you would like to apply for one of these positions, please search for apprenticeship opportunities. We recruit in May of each year with interviews in June. You will be in post by September 1.

If you have any questions, contact us:

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