New career in the countryside for passionate conservationist Wendy

Reaseheath opened doors to a new career for Wendy Nulty after working for 12 years in the NHS.

Wendy Nulty

Wendy Nulty

With a passion for the outdoors and countryside conservation, Wendy looked to Reaseheath to help take her first steps with a career change by studying our Foundation Degree in Countryside Conservation and Recreation Management.  After just a year on the part time degree programme,  she was chosen to join the National Trust Ranger Academy training scheme, which she pursued alongside the degree.

Combining the academic knowledge and practical experience gained from her degree and the National Trust programme Wendy’s now a fully qualified Ranger, working for the National Trust.

As a Ranger, Wendy coordinates the day to day operational and land management of a number of National Trust properties across Cheshire, spanning Bickerton and Bulkeley Hills. The properties cover just short of 400 acres and contain a mix of woodland and lowland heath habitats. Responsible for a mix of practical estate maintenance, habitat management and visitor engagement, Wendy also manages groups of volunteers for 2-3 days a week. With no two days ever the same, she absolutely loves her job.

During her degree Wendy covered all the components of countryside management studying a wide range of topics from plant identification through to visitor management.

Said Wendy: “The opportunity to make industry links and the support from dedicated staff really helped me get the most out of my degree. I really enjoyed the variety of modules and the field trips helped to inspire us and see the importance of the content of lectures in the ‘real world’ of land management.”

“The flexibility of the course allowed me to work full time whilst studying, which was invaluable as I took the plunge with a career change.”

Wendy’s top tips –  careers in countryside conservation

  1.  If you want to get into conservation, having plenty of volunteering experience is essential. Look at role profiles of the jobs you are interested in and try and find volunteering roles that help you fill the practical or public engagement elements of it. It takes effort and perseverance to get into this sector so be smart about how you spend the little free time you may have.
  2. Whilst you are at college or on work placement remember you are meeting potential future employers or work colleagues so make a positive impression. I always remember the hard workers or those that take an interest in field trips to Bickerton. Likewise I always remember those that don’t make a great impression!
  3. Don’t be afraid to contact people who are already doing the job you are interested in. They can often give you valuable advice that can help shape your career path and tell you what to focus on.

Ambitious young farmer achieves dairy herd manager role

Owen on his graduation day

Owen Davies on his graduation day

Ambitious young farmer Owen Davies started his career in Australia after completing his Foundation Degree at Reaseheath.

This international job opportunity came about for Owen whilst he was still a student after impressing our then farm manager Mark Yearsley. Mark, who has since moved to a senior dairy operations management post in Australia, approached Owen when looking for an ambitious dairy herd manager – and he jumped at the chance.

Owen, 23, is now working at an impressive 10,000 acre dairy farm two hours drive north of Melbourne which currently has 2,000 high yielding cows but plans to expand to 4,000 cows in the not too distant future. He is spending his first year learning all the aspects of the business, including the care and commercial output of the dairy herd, the breeding  and production of youngstock.

Coming to college with no previous farming background, Owen initially completed his Level 3 Diploma in agriculture with us, which included a full middle year work placement at a dairy unit. He then progressed on to his Foundation Degree in Agriculture, excelling in all areas, Owen achieved an overall distinction.

He says: “I wouldn’t have got this amazing opportunity without being an agriculture student at Reaseheath. Coming to college has been the major factor in getting me to where I am now and where I’m likely to be in the future.”