Landscape managers specialise in planning, developing and maintaining open spaces. They ensure that developments are suitable for their intended purpose and advise others on the long-term care and development of the landscape.
They work on a wide range of landscapes, including:
- Nature conservation areas and wildlife parks
- Historic gardens
- Woodlands (including those used for recreation)
- Motorway verges
- Public parks
- Housing estates
Depending on their employer and the type of landscape they specialise in, landscape managers may have different job titles, including countryside and green space, parks and woodlands officers, reserve wardens or rights of way officers.
Landscape managers rarely carry out the practical work involved in caring for the land, but they use their knowledge of plants and the environment to advise on the long-term care and development of the landscape. Tasks vary from job to job, but may include:
Landscape managers may work closely with landscape architects and landscape scientists, town planners, conservation officers, engineers, parks officers and horticulture specialists.
Landscape managers working in the public sector usually work around 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. This may include evening meetings, and additional hours may be required to meet deadlines. Those working in private practice may work longer, more irregular hours. Part-time or flextime work may be available.
Landscape managers are usually based in an office and may spend a lot of time attending meetings. Some jobs involve traveling to sites and working outdoors in all weather conditions. Walking, often over rough ground, and some climbing may be required.
It may be necessary to spend periods of time away from home. A driving licence may be useful.
The starting salary for a landscape manager in the public sector may be around £20,000. With more experience this could rise to between £24,000 and £30,000 a year.
Landscape managers are employed by a number of organisations, including local and national government, and charitable organisations such as the National Trust and Natural England. Some work for companies involved in building, civil engineering, mining, power supply and land reclamation. Landscape managers may also work in private landscape practices. There are opportunities throughout the UK.
Vacancies are advertised in the local and national press, on the website's of the Landscape Institute (LI), the Landscape Design Trust and the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), and in specialist sector publications. Local government jobs are advertised in jobs bulletins, on the website's of individual local authorities, and at www.lgjobs.com.
The requirements for getting into a landscape management role may vary.
There are no specific qualifications required for this role but competition is fierce and many have a degree or HNC/HND in a subject such as environmental science, biology, surveying, geography, ecology or countryside/environmental management. Candidates may also benefit from experience gained through voluntary or temporary work. It may be possible to start in a more practical role (for example, as a landscape assistant) and, after training and experience, apply for jobs in landscape management.
The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies available at Levels 1, 2 and 3 may also be advantageous. These new qualifications for young people focus on practical skills, knowledge and understanding in environmental and land-based studies and may prepare individuals for a career or further study (at college or university) within the sector. To find out more about the new Diploma in environmental and land-based studies visit www.diplomaelbs.co.uk .
The Diploma in environmental and land-based studies will be available nationally from 2013. However, from 2009, it will be available in a number of different areas of the country.
Some landscape managers have a degree or postgraduate qualification accredited by the Landscape Institute. Its website has a list of accredited courses offered by universities and colleges throughout the UK.
The minimum requirements for a degree course are usually two A levels and five GCSE's (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. Subjects such as geography, environmental science, biology, and art and design are particularly useful. Admissions tutors may take previous relevant experience into account.
For a postgraduate course, students need a good first degree. Subjects such as environmental science, biology, geography, land-based sciences, landscape design, planning, soil science, forestry, engineering, agriculture and ecology are useful.
Candidates are advised to check specific course requirements with individual institutions. There may be opportunities for part-time or flexible learning.
Training varies according to the employer, and may be through internal and external courses as well as on the job.
Local government employees have regular job appraisals at which individual training needs are identified.
Licentiate members of the LI may follow the Pathway to Chartership (P2C) to become a full member of the LI. During this time, licentiates are mentored by a fully qualified member of the LI. The Pathway is flexible, allowing associates to progress at their own speed. However, it usually requires two to three years' professional experience before licentiates are ready to progress to the oral examination which is the final stage of the Pathway. Upon successful completion of the Pathway, licentiates can become full members of the LI.
Full members of the LI are expected to undertake at least 20 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) a year to keep their skills up to date.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
A landscape manager needs:
Promotion prospects vary from employer to employer. In local government, there is a structured career path through to supervisory and managerial roles. In other organisations, it may be necessary to move to another employer to progress.
Successful landscape managers working in private practice may be made a partner in their organisation. Some experienced landscape managers become self-employed and set up their own practices. There may be opportunities to work overseas.
British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI),
Landscape House, Stoneleigh Park,
National Agricultural Centre, Warwickshire CV8 2LG
Tel: 024 7669 0333
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management,
45 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9EH
Tel: 01962 868626
Landscape Institute (LI),
33 Great Portland Street, London W1W 8QG
Tel: 020 7299 4500
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.