The UK's official graduate careers website

Not signed up?


Nature conservation officer: Job description

So you think you want to be a

Nature conservation officer?

See how well you suit this job in Career Planner.

Try Career Planner

Nature conservation officers work to protect, manage and enhance the local environment. This can include grassland, woodland, forests, coastal areas, moorland, mountains and rivers. Depending on the region, officers might also work in marine habitats.

Part of their role is to encourage people to use the countryside and promote awareness of, and understanding about, the natural environment. They also develop policy which may have local and national impact.

In conjunction with their counterparts in other voluntary and statutory organisations, they set and promote targets within national biodiversity action plans and advise and negotiate with employers.

With a remit to educate and raise awareness of environmental issues, nature conservation officers work with all sectors of the local community including local schools and colleges.

Job titles within this sector are varied and include sustainable development officers; project officers or biodiversity officers; conservation assistants and technicians.

Typical work activities

Tasks often involve:

  • promoting and implementing local and national biodiversity action plans in partnership with local/national statutory and voluntary organisations;
  • contributing to planning and policy development for sustainable management, including input in environmental impact assessments;
  • providing advice to clients, community groups, landowners, planners and developers;
  • preparing and implementing annual management plans based on ecological surveys and scientific observation;
  • contributing to the selection of, and assisting with, casework for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and National Nature Reserves (NNRs);
  • evaluating and monitoring features of nature conservation interest in habitats and sites;
  • maintaining and developing own knowledge and skills, especially with regard to knowledge of developments in policy, legislation, European and international regulations;
  • promoting the concept of sustainability to the public, colleagues and fellow professionals through talks, tours, literature, displays and workshops;
  • organising, supervising, training and supporting paid staff and volunteers;
  • maintaining effective records using IT database systems;
  • preparing applications for funding and grants on behalf of own organisation;
  • assessing applications for funding from other organisations;
  • liaising with the media to publicise organisation or conservation sites;
  • dealing with enquiries from the public;
  • educating young people, and those considering entering the profession, through talks and seminars to local colleges and universities.
Written by AGCAS editors
July 2012

Graduate jobs


Spotlight on...

Sponsored links


This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.