Join us on our Nature Recovery Internship

Want to work on green space projects that help to boost the wellbeing of our staff, patients, and our local community? Our new internship at Southmead Hospital could be just for you.

The internship is 3 days a week, for up to 6 months, starting between 1 and 30 September 2021 (must end 31 March 2022). You will be based at Southmead Hospital.

Pay £24,000 pro rata 

Application deadline: 8am September 6, 2021

To apply, please send your CV and a letter describing how the internship would benefit you and how you meet the essential and desirable skills listed below to:

The Nature Recovery Intern will support the work of the Nature Recovery Ranger at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.  The Ranger is working with a range of hospital staff to improve hospital green spaces for biodiversity and to engage patients, health staff and local residents in those green spaces. 

Under the Ranger’s direction and supervision, the apprentice will work on a bespoke programme of activities to enhance green space, improve biodiversity and encourage people to connect with nature. Activities may include food growing projects, tree-planting with local residents, conducting habitat and species surveys, running guided nature walks, holding community events to support biodiversity - for example through establishing ‘hedgehog highways’ and wildlife homes - and the creation of meadow areas, green on-site walking routes, and pollinator-friendly planting schemes. 

The Support Officer will assist in these activities, helping both with practical tasks and in promoting the sessions and working with participants. 

We are looking for someone who is a good communicator with a good awareness of the needs of others, and able to engage well with patients, health staff, visitors and residents; who has a strong interest and enthusiasm in relevant areas such as horticulture, landscape design, ecology and biodiversity; who enjoys working outdoors, has good practical skills and is well organised.  

The Support Officer will act at all times in accordance with the responsibility to safeguard the health and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults and will be willing to undergo a DBS check. They will be committed to environmental conservation and its importance for physical and mental health, and be able to share this passion and explain to people why it is important. 

Essential skills, experience and attributes 

  • Confidence in working closely with others 
  • Experience engaging people in activities 
  • Commitment to principles of equality and diversity and working with people from different backgrounds and with different abilities 
  • Willingness and ability to work outdoors regularly
  • Ability to follow instructions closely 
  • Good practical skills
  • Enthusiasm for the natural world 

Desirable skills, experience and qualifications

  • An interest in the benefits of green spaces for mental and physical health 
  • An interest in photography 
  • Gardening or other horticultural experience 
  • Knowledge of ecology and biodiversity. 

There may be some evening or weekend activities, which the Support Officer is welcome to attend (as part of their working hours), although this will not be mandated.  

Training and support available 

The training will be on-the-job.  The Support Officer will work with the Ranger in all aspects of their role.  The role will be mentored by the full-time Nature Recovery Ranger.  In addition, the role will be supported by NHS staff with extensive and varied experience.  The CSH Green Space for Health Partnerships Project Manager will also provide remote support. 

Skills, experience and knowledge developed will include:

  • Techniques for engaging members of the public in outdoor activities 
  • Understanding of managing green spaces for biodiversity 
  • Documenting conservation and people engagement activities 
  • Horticultural skills 
  • Working with colleagues 
  • Problem solving in a range of contexts 
  • Knowledge of the natural world. 

This internship would be particularly helpful for anyone seeking a career with estate and green space management, people engagement activities, social prescribing or environmental services.  


The Ranger role is financed and evaluated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH). CSH offer numerous training courses and will review their offer and identify courses that will further develop the skills of the Support Officer.  

The Support Officer will be employed by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH).  CSH is a registered charity that inspires and empowers people to transform healthcare for a sustainable future. We collaborate with partners inside and outside healthcare to engage professionals, patients and the wider community in understanding the connections between health and environment, and to reduce healthcare’s carbon footprint.  

This Support Officer role forms part of the Green Space for Health programme, run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. The Green Space for Health programme has received funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for a project that places Nature Recovery Rangers at NHS sites. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.