People on a TCV training course

Learning & Skills

Through the work of TCV, people improve their confidence, skills and prospects, through learning inspired by the outdoors

TCV trains volunteers, community groups and other organisations. Delivering a wide range of learning and skills through non-accredited and accredited training courses.

Through our Community Network, TCV supports community groups with access to free conservation mini-guides and practical safety resources, along with discounted conservation handbooks and training.

TCV runs a range of programmes that offer people a chance to learn more about their natural environment and take part in scientific research and surveying.

We offer a wide range of environmental activity across the UK, where people can learn how to protect and enhance their local greenspace and biodiversity whilst also learning new skills, getting fitter, engaging with their environment and meeting other like-minded people.

Training – Inspired by the outdoors

If you are keen to learn more about the environment, for either a hobby or as a way of advancing your career, there are numerous opportunities to become involved in voluntary work with TCV or, depending on your location, to attend one of our short courses.

Where available, our training covers a wide range of subjects including different practical skills, habitat management, people management and wider environmental knowledge. There are also many opportunities to gain accreditation through training.

So if you want to know how to manage ponds or woodland, or are looking to learn how to build steps or bridges, if you have an interest in practical skills and would like to know more about heritage skills such as hedge laying or dry stone walling take a look at some of our short training courses.

Find a TCV course near you

Excellent, very informative course set at a manageable pace. Lindsay was a brilliant trainer, really approachable and provided us with a wide range of knowledge.


Supporting Natural Talent

The Natural Talent UK traineeship programme aims to increase expertise across the whole of the UK to protect our less well known species and create awareness of the habitats that support them.

The programme was developed to address skills shortages in the conservation sector by providing trainees with the opportunity to develop an expertise in a specific taxonomic group, habitat or a mixture of both.

Find out more about the Natural Talent programme

At RBGE, we have found that Natural Talent UK is effective in supporting exceptional individuals who go on to make a fundamental difference to our understanding of the natural world, and can effectively communicate the importance of nature to society.

Dr Chris Ellis, RBGE

Natural Learning for young people

TCV understands the importance of supporting children to learn and play in the great outdoors – our natural classroom. Many of our sites run fun sessions in local parks or nature reserves so that young people (and their parents or carers) can enjoy nature ‘hands-on’ without realising they might be learning something too!

We can also help “green up” local schools by creating a nature garden, explaining issues like recycling and composting and, of course, teaching about conservation and wildlife. We have even run award-winning Green Gyms in conjunction with some schools – to encourage youngsters who might not enjoy traditional sports or exercise to try their hand at something active.

Find Children's activities in your area

Citizen Scientists

TCV is proud to support Citizen Science, which aims to get everyone, from experts to amateur biologists, school children or enthusiastic beginners, involved in science.

It’s a great way to get people outside, to learn more about the natural world and contribute to important scientific research. Across the world, volunteers gather information vital to protecting and improving our environment, from spotting butterflies to identifying new galaxies, from counting birds to collecting worms.

Citizen Science is much more than just science. Getting involved is fun, helps develop skills and connection with others. It improves health and wellbeing and helps us all feel more connected to the environment around us.

Find out more about Citizen Science

Accredited Learning in Scotland

TCV Scotland offer accredited learning programmes which are delivered outdoors with environmental conservation as the main focus of the practical activities.

The outdoor setting allows participants to gain a range of skills such as woodland management, tree planting, raised bed building and habitat creation.

We offer a range of short and long term accredited environmental employability programmes for people aged 16 and over, regardless of level of experience, disability or background.

Find out more about accredited learning in Scotland

TCV’s Conservation Handbooks

Whether you are an enthusiastic individual or a member of a community group, TCV’s Handbooks have long been the definitive ‘how to’ guides to managing the countryside and green spaces.

These books, which were originally over 1,000 pages of fantastic background, advice and instruction, have recently been converted to digital format, covering everything from tree planting to dry stone walling, sand dunes to footpaths.

Subscription is just £12.50 per year and half price to our Community Network members

Find out more about TCV's Conservation Handbooks