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Thread: mature student gamekeeping/countryside management courses

  1. #1

    mature student gamekeeping/countryside management courses

    Are there courses, collage or otherwise that cater for mature students in gamekeeping / countryside management. I am 28 and I have experience of keepering when i was younger and have always been involved in shooting by either helping out on shoots or running a small one of my own. I should have done it when I was younger but if I wanted to go into keepering full time it seems that qualificvations are much needed in this day and age so was wondering if these can be sought at my age?

    Also do you think my age ( proving I had the papers ) and with the knowledge that I have or keeping it would be a benigit to me over say a collage leaver? Given that I may be seen as a little more mature and wise to the world.

    I understand competing with collage leavers the pay would be poor but my wife has a decent job and I could maybe get away with doing something I love instead of my boring day job.


  2. #2
    Hi I went to Sparsholt to study Game, Wildlife andCountryside Management as a mature student and was not the only one on mycourse either.

    Didn't go into it in the end after graduating as I needed a better paidprofession that I had begun before changing my mind and going to Sparsholt. Hada blast for 3 years and met some good guys however and never regret doing it.

  3. #3
    Hi Cris, thanks for your reply. I went to Sparsholt on a weeks taster course with my mate when i was still at school. I was really impressed with the place and wished I had gone.

    Did you live on the campus whilst your were there? Do you mind me asking how old you were when you went and did you feel at all out of place being a different age to everyone else?

  4. #4
    Think most of the collages will consider mature applicants, however your age maybe a bit of a disadvantage to getting a start once you have graduated

    As most youngsters who get a start after leaving collage still start on estates as trainees, usually with bothy accommodation, which would be entirely unsuitable for you as a married man, to fill a beat or underkeepers position , most places would be looking for a candidate of your age to have some practical experience in the job as well as over and above your collage
    diploma, you say you have keepering experience, how relevant is it? were you employed as a keeper? if so why did you give it up? how long ago was it? these are questions you will have to be able to give any prospective employer convincing answers to.

    Also keep in mind there are more experienced keepers out there than there are jobs for, so you become just one more, what makes you better than them, you need to have something more to offer than the other applicants for a job.

    Don't expect to just finish collage and walk into a job, you may be lucky, just don't expect it to be so.

    Will your wife be willing to uproot and move to another part of the country, if so it will increase your chances of gaining employment.

    Having read this far you will think I am being negative, not so, but you do need to be realistic
    about whats a head of you, but if, you are sure its what you want, then it can be done.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    I was 26 and never felt out of place but as I said we had a number of mature guys and girls in my year at that time. Some however did drop out for financial reasons and family commitments that you get as you're older.
    One other notable name on here that was at college with me now runs Jelen Deer Services. ...

    Oh and no I lived off campus at a converted manor house that the college owned. It was isolated and we were left on our own except the cleaner and housed about 12 off us. Not sure I can publish antics that we got up to but do remember on one occasion a roe buck being cleaned in one of the bathrooms..
    Last edited by Cris; 30-12-2013 at 16:45.

  6. #6
    I wouldn't worry too much about the age thing. its about how you apply yourself and how you sell yourself after you qualify that matters. for example, if you do well and keep your head down during the course you are likely to come out with good grades and good skills. if you sell yourself well that should out compete a lot of the "middle ground" candidates. its then down to the criteria set by the employers. that's the chance element!

    I train at a college and get a fair few "mature" students and find they are more dedicated to the cause, so to speak. after all you will have chosen to do this why not bust a gut to get the most out?

    28, I don't think is too old to learn!! im 44 and considering more education!!

    good luck
    Big bloke... but outta shape

  7. #7
    you are never too old to learn, it just takes a little longer sometimes. The last course I did I was 46 when I started it

  8. #8
    Go for it! I started my NC course at 25... now doing my HNC gamekeeping and wildlife management!
    Probably the best choice I've made!!

  9. #9
    Thanks for the positive input guys. Seems like it might be a more common thing than I first thought.

    Call me a bit ambitious but If I did this it would be in the hope that I could put myself forward for a job on one of the estates localish to me. I am surrounded by big shooting estates and some of them I know very well.

    With my Mrs business being very local to where we live I wouldn't expect her to give it up and move to the other side of the country with me. Me getting the relivent qualification would enable me to at least put myself forward should a vacancy arise. I know a few of my local estates have a fairly quick turn around of under keepers due to them being young lads and not being cut out for the hard work ( i'm not saying all young lads have this attitude so please don't take that the wrong way )

    It may be a bit of a pie in the sky idea but hey, he who dares.

  10. #10
    colc08 if you really want it you can achieve anything regardless of your age , yes you have to be realistic in that you may not find a position straight away , but you have waited long enough to not find a new career but change your way of life , you only get one chance at this so grab it. I too am now about to start on a long path , but I can see light at the end . I am lucky enough to be self-employed I guess so I can slowly intergrate my new way of life with what I am doing at present , if needs be think of something else you could do as well . Vermin control on a part time basis maybe .

    Good luck

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