Natural Prospects

Natural Prospects - Training the Next Generation of Urban Conservationists

Credit: Amy Lewis

The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Natural Prospects trainees with the bridge they have built at Licky Hills

Credit: Shannan Poyner

Do you love wildlife and working outdoors? Are you practical and willing to learn new skills? Ever thought about a career in nature conservation?
The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is providing a series of 24 one-year practical conservation training placements to highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in wildlife and conservation.

If you are looking to start your conservation career in Birmingham or the Black Country, you could be eligible for Natural Prospects

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £544,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the Natural Prospects programme.  Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this work based practical training will equip 24 trainees with the skills to to gain an entry level role in the urban conservation sector including a City & Guilds Level 2 Work Based Certificate in Environmental Conservation.

The Natural Prospects programme has been specifically designed to challenge the barriers that exclude some people from working in the environmental conservation sector. To be eligible, you must be 18 or over, based in Birmingham or the Black Country, and either:
  • from a black or minority ethnic group, or
  • a non-graduate, or
  • in receipt of benefits/from an economically deprived area.

Each year, 3 trainees will be hosted by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and 3 trainees will placed with either Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils - based at the Lickey Hills, Brownhills and Pendeford Mill respectively.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate their ability to work hard outdoors in all weathers, the motivation to connect with people from a range of backgrounds, the desire to learn new skills, to work as part of a team and the personal commitment to complete the training programme. Some kind of volunteering experience in a related activity will be beneficial, as will good practical skills and basic IT skills.

A monthly bursary of £675 per month will be paid to trainees, a total of £9,000 over the year with the remaining 10% retained and awarded upon completion of Diploma.

The recruitment process will include working as part of a team on practical conservation tasks at different location across Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

To find out more about working in your local natural environmental and for opportunities to take part in volunteering or taster sessions please contact Jen Jones, Natural Prospects Co-ordinator on 0121 523 0094 or by email at

It is strongly recommended that you attend a taster day before applying, to learn exactly what's involved in the traineeships - new dates will be added ahead of our 2022 intake.