18th September – 25th October 2024
4th November – 13th December 2024

Becoming A Conservation Leader

6 weeks
Aimed at those age 18-35

The nature conservation movement is a unique community of amazing people who all want to make a difference, to protect and preserve our wildlife and the environment it depends on. We are all aware of the grave ecological crisis the planet is facing, and if we are going to do anything to help nature make a comeback then we urgently need entrepreneurial conservation leaders who think differently, communicate engagingly and have a bold and proactive vision. You have the potential to become one of those leaders and we hope this programme will help you to, at the very least, gain the mindset you will need to tap into that potential.

Becoming A Conservation Leader is a unique collection of thought-provoking opinion pieces – some written, some audio; as well as reflection exercises and discussion points. Week by week we’ll explore the traits of what we believe makes a truly effective leader, and how these skills are relevant for a career in conservation. We’ll also direct you to further reading and other relevant material. Study materials will be added to the website on a weekly basis so that you can work through them and complete the exercises at your own pace.  There will be plenty of opportunity to interact with the group; we’d love you to contribute your thoughts and opinions, pose questions to the group and participate in the discussion sessions on Zoom.
The nature conservation material is drawn from the combined experience, thoughts and reflections of Dr Tim Mackrill and Becky Park – our Founder and Programme Manager. Aside from his role with the Osprey Leadership Foundation, Tim leads the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation’s work in England, including the pioneering project to reintroduce White-tailed Eagles to the Isle of Wight, and he has been the driving force behind the successful reintroduction of Ospreys to Poole Harbour. Tim is also well known for his work for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust where he managed the Rutland Osprey Project. Before joining the Osprey Leadership Foundation Becky also worked at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, where over ten years she undertook a range of people engagement roles; Becky is also a qualified coach.
We’ve developed this programme with our Chair of Trustees and Leadership Guide, Barry Dore. Over the past twenty years, Barry has worked with thousands of people (including hundreds of leaders at all levels within The Wildlife Trusts movement). Barry shares his comprehensive understanding of the key traits of great leaders in his book Lead Like Mary, and podcasts Leadership Reflections; these traits underpin the themes in each unit of Becoming A Conservation Leader. Week by week we’ll explore how the traits of a truly effective leader can set you apart as someone who can and will make positive change in the nature conservation movement.

This six-week, online programme is aimed at those in the early stages of their career in conservation, and those looking to improve their leadership skills in entry and middle level roles in conservation or related organisations. Our prerequisites are that you are aged 18 – 35, that you can commit to the duration of the programme and that you are able to attend all the zoom sessions. 

You will need to allow approximately 3hrs a week to complete the material, plus you will need to be available from 9:30am for around an hour and a half on the 3rd, 5th and 6th Wednesday of your programme to participate in the online discussion sessions. 

You should already be involved in conservation work either as a student, regularly volunteering or paid employment.
It is completely free of charge – all you need is access to a computer and the internet so that you can access our website and join our online discussion sessions, and an email address we can contact you on.

If this sounds like it’s for you, complete our registration form by clicking “Register Here” under the date of your preferred programme. 

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I found the Becoming a Conservation Leader programme to be throughly worthwhile and meaningful, as an aspiring conservationist. The content was very well put together and delivered with great insights from the course leaders. I really appreciated the tone of the course, in being guided by the expert course leaders in a humble manner, with plenty of opportunity for open discussion and ideas from the students. This helped with my realisation that we all face similar challenges and self-doubts, while providing me with strategies and examples to tackle these. It has certainly changed my perspective on what leadership is and given me more courage to be an effective leader in all parts of my life. I would highly recommend this course to any young person in conservation. Sam (2023)

Having completed the leadership training I now feel empowered to not only support and motivate those around me with my values and passion but also to have confidence in taking control in my own life and career. Implementing simple steps explored throughout the programme almost ensure the most effective team possible. Barry’s, Becky’s, and Tim’s extensive experience support the shift occurring in conservation, of balancing our own welfare and of those around us, as well as protecting the wildlife. Kelly (2023)

When I started the becoming a conservation leader course, I had a very narrow view of leadership, and throughout the process my mind was really opened to the scope and potential of being a leader in all settings, most of all within myself. I have since found myself referring back to the materials more than with any course I’ve done before, it’s not just theoretical but really practically helpful. I’m now about to embark upon a new step in my career and this course couldn’t have been better timed to help me start strong and be the leader I aspire to be. Josie (2023)

I thoroughly enjoyed this training course. It is run by a trio of accomplished leaders who communicate their trials with the conservation sector incredibly well and share personal wins and losses in an inspiring way. I have taken a lot from this course and am already thinking more consciously about leadership in my current role, and know that this will help me in my future career. Thank you to Becky, Tim and Barry for sharing their wisdom! Issy (2022)

The OLF 12 week course has been a delight, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The content touches upon so many relevent, yet too often neglected topics, that will have you reflecting on your experiences in a different light. As for the team, they are genuine, kind and have so much wisdom to share – I couldn’t be more grateful for their support.

Jane (2021)

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