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Level 2 Countryside Worker Apprenticeship StandardApply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Workplace

Years: 1


Course Summary

The Countryside Worker Apprenticeship Standard will stand you in good stead for supervisory and management roles in the countryside industry.

You will gain more specialist knowledge and skills as well as the confidence, versatility and problem-solving abilities you need to succeed.

Entry requirements

You must be in employment and be committed to a career in the countryside industry. Entry qualifications are flexible and can include a relevant Level 2 qualification in Countryside or a minimum of three GCSEs at grade C/D (3/4) or above, preferably including English Language, Maths and a Science.

You will undergo an initial assessment before starting the programme to ensure that you are capable of achieving the outcomes and have an interest in this area of work.

Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and take Level 2 tests prior to the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3.


Course Content

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. They should also be able to interact with the public and explain their work as well as to undertake 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 or 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 will vary depending on their 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. For example, in the North Yorkshire Moors, native wildlife includes freshwater salmon, golden plover, merlin, hen harrier, turtle dove and freshwater pearl mussels while native plants include oaks, ash and a wide variety of cornfield flowers. Countryside workers also control invasive species, such as Himalayan Balsam, and use the right techniques 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 (a 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, which is encouraged as these are attractive to merlin in a moorland landscape.

How will I be assessed?

Training is largely work-based, with ongoing practical assessments undertaken in your workplace.  You will complete an end-point assessment at the end of your programme.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to provide safety boots, overalls, waterproofs and writing materials.

There are no course fees for applicants aged 16-18. For apprentices over the age of 19, an employer contribution is required towards the cost of training.


What can I do after this course?

You could progress to further study in environmental conservation or gain employment in many conservation establishments, surveying industries or countryside management roles.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


Graeme Turner

Graeme Turner

A natural career choice

For Graeme Turner, Derby College provided the ideal preparation for his job as a ranger at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.
The wide-ranging content of the BTEC National Diploma in Countryside Management stood him in good stead for a role where every day is different and involves duties from showing visitors around and running events to looking after livestock and liaising with contractors. Graeme praises the “friendly and approachable” lecturers and the chance to bounce ideas off his fellow learners, whose ages ranged from 16 to 38.
He went on to gain a degree in Travel and Tourism with Countryside Management but says he would not have secured his current role without the experience he gained at College.

Derby College gave me the qualifications to pursue a career as a ranger and ultimately secure a degree which led to further career advancement. The course helped me learn how to handle responsibility, share my ideas and work well with others.


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