Trainee Scheme

The trainee scheme is an excellent opportunity to spend a year working alongside our Estates team and volunteers, developing key professional skills to help take that first step to a career in conservation.

Being a Trainee has given me a behind the scenes insight into the important work that goes on at SWT. There’s always something different to do

Trainee  placements require 3 days a week for 12 months, which will be agreed upon from the onset of the trainee role.

We can help trainees develop experience in:

  • Practical habitat and site management
  • Species identification
  • Implementation of site management plans
  • Co-organise and lead volunteer work parties
  • Assist with preparation of interpretative material and site signs
  • Plan and lead guided walks, educational visits and events
  • Assist with aspects of grazing, including fencing, moving cattle and stock checking

In addition to training and working alongside staff, trainees will also receive formal training in first aid at work, minibus driving and the use of chainsaws or pesticides, as well as internal training courses on topics such as livestock welfare checking, wildlife legislation and protected species.

Depending on abilities, experience and career goals there may also be the opportunity to assist other departments of the Trust, such as the Education team or Ecology team. This would be agreed from the onset of the trainee role.

Out-of-pocket travel expenses will be reimbursed, and appropriate protective clothing will be provided along with nationally certified training in relevant subjects.

Don't just take our word for it, hear what past trainees have got to say...



Andy Jennings-Giles (2012)

“Being a Trainee Ranger has given me a behind the scenes insight into the important work that goes on at SWT. There’s always something different to do and it’s really satisfying to know that your work can directly benefit some of Surrey’s rarest habitats and creatures. On a typical day I might help to check the grazing animals, patrol the car parks around Chobham, talk with locals, coppice woodland, or remove scrub which is encroaching on the valuable open heathland.”

Sarah Bunce (2013)

“I joined Surrey Wildlife Trust as Voluntary Trainee Ranger in November 2013. I’d had my eye on the role for a while and was already preparing my application when it was advertised in August! I love being outside and learning about nature and was keen to break away from my desk job building financial computer systems. I’d talked about moving into conservation for ages, but to be honest I didn’t really know how to go about it until I heard about this role. It’s a great pathway for people like myself to get experience." 

How to apply

We recruit for four trainees each year with the next opening in autumn 2017. Advertisements for trainee posts starting in October 2017 will be posted on our jobs page in July 2017. Deadline for applications is friday 11th August 2017. If you’re looking to gain experience in the meantime, then you would be welcome to join our volunteer work parties which run throughout the year.