Jenny Paterson, Countryside Management
Jenny Paterson graduated in 1998 with an Arts and Social Sciences degree and fell into a variety of office-based jobs. After being made redundant, Jenny began considering a career outdoors.
“My moment of clarity came when I read a magazine article about a lady who was in a similar situation who had packed up her life and travelled to Africa as a conservation volunteer. Six months later I travelled on my own to Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, situated in the breath-taking Wild Coast of South Africa, where I volunteered for 6 weeks. I learned about habitat management, the conservation of indigenous plant species and the eradication of alien species.“
“When I returned to the UK I set about investigating how I might land such a job. I contacted Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and met with Tony Wilson (who is now employed as a lecturer at the Elmwood Campus). He advised me to do the Countryside Management course at Elmwood and I’ve never looked back.”
“The course covered so much: land and its uses, whether for agriculture, recreation and conservation; interpretation, archaeology, bird ID, red squirrel surveys, geology, to name only a few of the subjects. As well as studying I had a part time job as an Education Ranger at The Scottish Deer Centre, and I also volunteered with Fife Countryside Trust, helping with the West Sands dune stabilisation project.”
Jenny was awarded The Student of the Year accolade for 2 years running, before being selected out of 850 applicants to become an apprentice with Forestry Commission Scotland. Following nearly 4 years with FCS Jenny has landed her ultimate dream job as Conservation Manager of Cameron House and The Carrick on Loch Lomond, where she is responsible for 400 acres of woodland and wetland which border the 18 hole golf course.
“I absolutely love my job and I feel honoured to be a guardian of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.”