Marine Advisory Officer
Growing up by the sea, I suppose it was inevitable that it'd become a big part of my future.
Joining SNH gave me the chance to actually influence the sustainable use and protection of the marine environment. The job's quite diverse, this year I managed a three week loch survey in the Sunart SAC and SSSI, evaluating the reef, algal and seagrass features the site's designated for. Fascinating stuff.
This kind of work means I need a lot of ongoing training - diving, powerboat handling, first aid and taxonomy are just the start. And that's great. It ties in really well with my personal interest - I'm a keen diver, and I teach at a local club as well as dive with friends regularly. Just one way my job and my personal life work together.
The feeling you get when you find exciting and rare marine features really is its own reward. So bringing that together with the training I receive, the friendly and encouraging atmosphere in our team, loads of social opportunities, and the chance to make a difference, even if it's just a small one, makes it a job in a million for me.
Operations North Area Administrator, Golspie
I've been with SNH for a while - and when we made the move to Inverness, I saw it as the right opportunity to move my career on. So I changed jobs - and I changed my life too.
Everything about SNH feels interesting and worthwhile. I have a financial admin background - processing invoices, dealing with payments and queries, banking and accounting procedures - and I really love it. But what makes SNH different is what I'm doing it for - spending time in the natural heritage and seeing, and hearing about, all the different things we've achieved, makes me feel very proud. And it's made me look at life outside work differently too - I enjoy taking time to appreciate the natural heritage now, even just simple things like going on walks in the country and trying to identify the different species I see.
And as far as the working culture goes, I feel really fortunate. There are loads of different people doing loads of different jobs - specialist, administrative, managers. And that makes it a really interesting place to be - opinions everywhere, fresh ideas, you name it. The benefits aren't bad either - 30 days' annual leave, flexi hours, training and development, and a good pension.
Area Officer – Dingwall
While I was a student, I was lucky enough to do two weeks' work experience with SNH's Aberdeen office, supporting the Cairngorms National Park consultation but most importantly getting the chance to go on a number of site visits with different Area Officers. This first contact really impressed me - the diversity of work the Area Officers were involved with was very impressive. So I jumped at the chance to join the team when I graduated.
I've been in four different area officer jobs since then - all very different from one another - and I'm now in a more specialist role leading on complex casework, including wind farm and hydropower applications, and advising on environmental education. For part of my job I work closely with the Scottish Government, local authorities, and developers as well as colleagues advising on the natural heritage implications of these big developments. For the other part I work closely with organisations DELIVERING environmental education.
The variety of my job suits me well and I enjoy the challenges that it presents. For someone who's really interested in the outdoors and nature its a worthwhile and rewarding career, and the fact that it's matched by a friendly atmosphere, good working conditions, great training and opportunities to progress and push myself means, for me, it's pretty much perfect.
Head of Corporate Planning & Information
I really feel that helping the organisation use good business information makes a real difference to the way it delivers for the natural heritage, for our customers, and as an employer.
I've been with SNH since it was formed in 1992 - I had worked with its predecessor, Nature Conservancy Council, advising on bats, badgers, newts and other wildlife, as a species protection officer.
I work alongside some really smart people - so it's always stimulating. There is a strong sense of purpose, and a very open culture. Different views are respected and the internal debate is ultimately channelled into helping improve decisions. So there's a really good feel to the organisation and some great colleagues. But more than that I feel we make a positive difference to SNH's work. Sometimes the best rewards are not from our own core tasks but when we can help someone else achieve something. Right now I'm working closely with a colleague leading a project to raise standards on all our National Nature Reserves. My role's limited. But I'm getting a real buzz from feeling that I am actually helping someone overcome genuine difficulties and deliver something of lasting benefit to both nature and the thousands of people who will visit our reserves.