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Ecology & Conservation – Skills Bootcamp

Petroc is working in partnership with Train4Tomorrow to offer free*, high-quality training to employed and unemployed adults. Skills Bootcamps are short and flexible courses giving people the opportunity to build sector-specific skills and fast-track to a job interview with a local employer or improve their prospects in their current role.

This Skills Bootcamp will provide you with introductory knowledge and understanding of ecology and ecosystems focusing on the broad range of environmental settings in North Devon. The nature of ecosystems and the populations within them will be reviewed in theory and in practice, and you will also engage in fieldwork to gather appropriate data. National and international conservation strategies will be discussed. This course will also provide an introduction to the new Environmental Living Lab facility on the North Devon campus.

The learning outcomes for the course are as follows:
– Demonstrate a broad understanding of ecosystems and their dynamic nature, exploring the mechanisms and ecological implications of evolution.
– Analyse human and wildlife interaction and identify and explain factors affecting population dynamics.
– Identify and evaluate conservation strategies for wildlife and their habitats.
– Work effectively as part of a group.

– Key UK environmental legislation, land and wildlife designations, permissions and licences relevant to the management of habitats and species and other countryside management works e.g. Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act and Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act.
– Ecology including main UK ecosystems, habitats and indicator species and identification and requirements of a complex range of native and invasive species and the relationship between them and the environment in relation to their local area.
– Main uses of land in the UK such as agriculture, forestry, housing, recreation and their interactions.
– Survey techniques and how to plan surveys, appropriateness of the surveys and techniques and technology used in their implementation for habitats and species, visitors or volunteers, assets and access work.
– How to examine and interpret survey data with particular attention to how this data is used internally such as Ecologists, externally, locally and nationally to assess current populations of flora and fauna and current and future habitat management and visitor management.
– How to plan, research, design, analyse and evaluate environmental interpretation and information provision including selecting methods, style and structure best suited to the needs of the audience, location and focus of content.
– The importance of and organisational approaches to performance management and supervisory practices to improve performance.

Occupational skills:
– Organise and prioritise environmental and land management work activities such as habitat management, work associated with public access or assets such as bridges and scheduled monuments. This includes assessing tasks, identifying and allocating the required resources to deliver the task effectively and review completed work.
– Survey, analyse, communicate and evaluate results for habitats, species and countryside assets.
– Supervise, motivate and work alongside others while undertaking habitat management, construction and maintenance of boundaries, access routes and associated countryside assets.
– Present information to the public and relevant stakeholders on planned works, site designation, its species and habitats and techniques used to manage an area.
– Design, produce and evaluate various types of environmental interpretation and information provision for a range of audiences.
– Speak in public and engage with a wide range of audiences such as stakeholders e.g. tenants, local community or interest groups, volunteers, educational and corporate groups and members of the public on a range of topics. For example, planned or ongoing habitat or access management, local flora and fauna or history and archaeology of an area.

This is a hybrid course with in-person masterclasses, fieldwork and workshops on campus alongside online delivery. This is a certificated course.

*Subject to eligibility

The course starts on Monday 16 September and runs through to Monday 9 December. The times of the course are: 12.30-3.30pm on Mondays and 1.00-5.00pm on Tuesdays. For more information and a full timetable, please contact projects@petroc.ac.uk

Apply for this course

Select from the start date/s below…

Sep 2024 : North Devon : Part-time
Course Code : PTB666
Level : Level 4
Duration : 13 Weeks

Cost : Free

North Devon Campus Apply

Course details


The final assessment is a piece of coursework involving the development of a case study and presentation of this work to an invited audience.

Entry Requirements

This Skills Bootcamp involves a commitment of 60 hours taught through a hybrid approach over 13 weeks. It will involve an introductory masterclass, weekly online sessions, practical workshops/fieldwork, weekly tutorials and a summative masterclass.


Progression can include a job interview with a local employer or use of the Bootcamp to improve your responsibilities and/or prospects within your current role.

Facilities and resources

You will have use of the Environmental Living Lab facility on campus.

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

Melanie Merchant

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