- Manage 'game' animals and their habitat for hunting and fishing
- You'll need good organisational skills, countryside and animal knowledge
- You'll need to be able to cope with seeing animals killed
As a gamekeeper, you'll make sure there's enough game like deer, and birds like pheasant, partridge and grouse for clients to shoot. If you manage rivers and streams for trout and salmon fishing, you'll be known as a river keeper or ghillie.
- Plan and organise shoots and fishing parties
- Hire and supervise staff like beaters to flush out birds during shoots
- Keep records of what's shot or caught
- Arrange the sale of game
- Train and work with gun dogs
- Breed game birds for release
- Protect game from poachers and predators
- Repair equipment, buildings and game pens and cleaning guns
- Clear woodland and burning heather
- Work with the police to deal with crimes like badger digging and hare coursing
You could work in a park, in woodland or in a workshop, and your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.
To be a gamekeeper, you'll need knowledge of public safety and security, customer service skills, legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, flexibility and openness to change, and patience and ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
There are no set requirements, but employers may value experience of working outdoors and knowledge of the countryside. Practical skills like carpentry can be useful.
You may be able to start as an assistant or underkeeper. With further training and experience you could work your way up to become a gamekeeper.
College courses such as Countryside and Environment, or Countryside Management may also be helpful.
You could also get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in game and wildlife management.
Volunteering may be a useful way to get experience, on an estate or park.
You'll need to have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months, and for some jobs a firearms or shotgun certificate. Employers can sometimes provide free or subsidised accommodation and a vehicle.
With experience, you could progress to head keeper. You could also become self-employed by renting the shooting rights to land, or work as a contractor.