Building up practical experience remains the most important part of a Keeper, Stalker or Ghillie's career, but it is just as important these days that land managers have a grasp of health & safety, wildlife law and other connected skills. For people whose role is based outdoors, getting the time during the working day to find out about current best practice and training can be difficult. This area of our website sets out to provide up-to-date information and support to help practitioners, which they can access at any time.
While the traditional route into the land management professions through direct employment with private and public land-owning groups remains, three Scottish Colleges provide specialist education for gamekeepers. Qualifications blend practical skills with training in health & safety, food & hygiene, wildlife law and other essential requirements. The courses are becoming increasingly recognised by Employers. Several other Colleges cover courses including agriculture and environmental management. Demand for all these subjects has rapidly increased in recent years. Young people are clearly turning in large numbers to land-based industries to find meaningful, rewarding careers. This presents Scotland with a major opportunity to train and re-train the people who can make a crucial difference to our all-too fragile rural economy. The three colleges providing specific keepering courses are:
North Highland College in Thurso www.northhighland.uhi.ac.uk
Elmwood College in Cupar, Fife www.elmwood.ac.uk
Borders College, St Boswells www.borderscollege.ac.uk
In addition, Oatridge College in West Lothian ( www.oatridge.ac.uk ) provides countryside and environmental management courses, whilst Barony College in Dumfriesshire ( www.barony.ac.uk )specialises in fisheries management training.