Learn about the British countryside – and the modern challenges it faces
This introductory course aims to give you a solid understanding of the conservation and ecology of the British countryside and environment. You will study different habitats and their management – from woodlands and wetlands to hedgerows and heathlands – and learn about ecological principles, historical background and relevant legislation. You will also explore how we can maintain the balance between protecting endangered habitats with opening up the countryside to access by the public and the demands of agriculture and urban development. As well as being rewarding for leisure learners (who could go on to volunteer for charities), this course could also provide some of the underpinning knowledge required by those working in practical land-based conservation or related employment, and general land-based work for employers like charities, wildlife trusts and councils.
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace, studying when and where you choose.
This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by conservation experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
There is no formal examination. On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You have 2 years to complete the course.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Lesson 1 – Biology of the tree; ecology of woodlands; man’s impact on woodlands
Lesson 2 – Hedgerows and verges. Management and maintenance; types of hedgerows
Lesson 3 – Conservation and ecology of wetlands. Study of wetland area
Lesson 4 – Conservation and ecology of heathlands. History of heathlands
Lesson 5 – Conservation and ecology of the seashore. Seaweed zonation
Lesson 6 – Access to the countryside. Rights of way; common land, problems with access
Lesson 7 – Brief history of agriculture; organic control methods, agriculture and habitat
Lesson 8 – Towards a sustainable society (1). Conservation and the search for alternatives
Lesson 9 – Towards a sustainable society (2). The urban fringe; wildlife in urban areas
Lesson 10 – Conclusions, perspective and a directory
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 6-12 months*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development
RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation
RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting
ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture
ABC Level 2 Certificate in Forestry
The HCC Certificate in Arboriculture
The HCC Diploma in Arboriculture
You do not need previous knowledge or experience of conservation or ecology to enrol on this course.