Merrist Wood College has over 50 years of experience training land-based professionals for their chosen outdoor careers.
With our 400-acre outdoor classroom and dedicated workshops perfect for studying wildlife and conservation, our campus comes complete with woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, and a fully functioning farm so you will get a fully rounded hands-on experience of land-based learning!
All our courses are run by professional staff who are passionate about their individual subject areas and have strong links with local organisations such as the Surrey Wildlife Trust. Our students learn a wide range of skills and benefit from specialist instruction around the safe use of the machinery they use as part of their training.
Countryside Management students study an exciting and diverse range of modules such as ecology, estate skills, greenwood crafts, heathland, woodland and coastal management, plant and soil science, forest recreation and farm habitat management, to name but a few!
Our Arboriculture courses combine practical and theoretical principles in the science, management, ecology and planning of woodland care whilst experiencing practical work on the college’s estate with access to specialist machinery and industry standard equipment. You will learn how to safely use a chainsaw, climb, prune and dismantle trees, use brushwood chippers and stump grinders. Whilst our countryside management courses will teach you skills in estate management and conservation, including wildlife surveying and traditional greenwood crafts such as coppicing.
The college has an excellent reputation and strong partnerships within the land-based sectors. Many of our former students have moved on to work for local and national organisations such as the National Trust, Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.
With only 10% of the UK landscape having been built on, our countryside constantly needs managing and caring for, and there are many careers available working within our great outdoors.
Jobs which involve hands-on environmental and conservation work are hugely varied and hard work but are, ultimately, very rewarding. Arboriculture and Countryside careers can vary from woodland management and undertaking surveys of wildlife, plant and tree species, to teaching others about the importance of managing their local environment. Various niche careers are dedicated to woodland environments, such as tree surgeons and forestry management specialists. Other careers are dedicated to the sustainability of animal life, including careers in gamekeeping, animal health, welfare and wildlife conservation.