There are many reasons why time spent outdoors is good for us, especially when it comes to our physical and mental health. For example, being out in the sun helps to top up our Vitamin D levels, and being in green spaces is a great mood booster. So why not consider taking on a role that’ll get you outside and into the fresh air?

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of seven outdoor jobs – a mix of paid and voluntary – that’ll hopefully get you inspired.

1. Apply for a job as a gardener

If you’ve got green fingers and are in the market for a new job, why not consider applying for a job as a gardener?

There are plenty of sites around the country that rely on gardeners to look after their grounds by doing tasks such as pruning, weeding, and leaf clearing.

Gardeners also help with planting and maintaining trees, plants, and herbaceous plants. So if you love interacting with nature in the great outdoors, this could be the perfect role for you.

Not only will you get to spend the warmest months of the year feeling the sun on your face and getting plenty of fresh air, but you could also reap a whole range of health benefits, including…

  • Reduced stress levels Research has shown that gardeners tend to have lower levels of cortisol (‘the stress hormone’) – which could be something to do with being in the great outdoors!

  • A stronger heart – It’s easy to forget how much physical exercise you’re getting while gardening because your focus is on getting the job done. But research suggests that gardening can help you increase endurance and stamina, boost heart health, and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

  • Improved balance and flexibility– You’ll be on your feet a lot as a gardener, and you’ll also be working at different levels, requiring you to bend and stretch. So if you’re not into yoga, you can still enjoy some of the perks.

Gardening is also a fantastic opportunity to get in touch with your creative side and build something beautiful. There’s a lot to be learned about different plant species and the more you learn, the more wonderful the final result will be.

Alternatively, if you like the sound of being your own boss, why not advertise your services locally and get paid to help people in your local community with their gardens?

2. Become a dog walker

dog walker

One of the best and most accessible roles that’ll get you out into the fresh air is dog walking. Plus, you’ll get to make some furry friends and work on your physical fitness.

The great thing about dog walking is that you can choose how many dogs you want to walk, depending on whether you’d like to work full or part-time. You can also choose which sort of dogs you walk.

If you’ve got plenty of energy, you might want to walk more active breeds like cockapoos or border collies which need a lot more exercise. Or, if you’d like to start slow and build up your fitness, you could start by walking older dogs who don’t need to walk as far.

Dog walkers get to spend a lot of time outdoors; increasing their fitness and chatting to other dog walkers and owners. A walk is often a dog’s favourite thing in the world too, so it’s difficult not to love the greeting you get when you go to pick them up!

Dog walking is a job that’s easy to fall in love with, and there are plenty of dogs out there just waiting to be walked. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, Tailster is a great national website that allows you to search for dogs that need walking in your local area.

Alternatively, if you love animals and want to explore other ways to incorporate them into your professional life, check out our article; 12 interesting roles working with animals.

3. Apply to be a tour leader

tour leader

Landing a job as a tour leader could be a breath of fresh air for those who fancy escaping the confines of a 9-5 office job. If you’re already a keen adventurer with a love of culture and heritage, you could consider turning your hobby into a paid job.

Ramblers Walking Holidays are always looking for tour leaders to join their team and lead people on beautiful walks in the UK and beyond, whilst educating them about their stunning surroundings. Your main responsibility will be to make sure that people have a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Not only will you increase your fitness levels, but you’ll also get to appreciate some beautiful landscapes and socialise at the same time – making it seem less like work and more like play.

If you’re looking for your next adventure, why not apply for a job that’ll give you the opportunity to see as much of the world as possible?

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4. Become a ranger

Rangers play a hugely important role when it comes to maintaining the beauty of natural outdoor spaces such as coastal or countryside areas – particularly those spaces that get a lot of visitors.

A ranger must carefully balance the needs of conservation and visitor management, to keep both people and wildlife happy.

Once in the role, you could be doing anything from planting trees and managing ponds to leading guided walks, talks, and educational visits. It’s an incredible opportunity to unleash your passion for the great outdoors and get others excited about it too.

You’ll be helping people to get the most out of their visit, whilst making sure that their presence doesn’t cause harm to the natural environment.

The National Trust offers a variety of ranger positions for people with differing levels of experience. So if you’re a people person with excellent customer service skills and a strong interest in geography, it could be worth giving a go.

5. Help clean up the environment

If you want to give generously to your community and are able to take on a volunteer role, you could consider helping to clean up your local area.

Many charities run clean-up events, especially during the spring and summer months when people are spending more time outside (and generating more litter).

The Keep Britain Tidy project runs clean-up events where an army of volunteers come together to pick up litter in local communities and natural spaces like beaches. Commitment is flexible as you can pick and choose whether you attend an event as a one-off, or whether you want to attend them all.

Helping to clean up your local area is a great motivator for getting active outdoors, and it comes with the reward of knowing that you’re making a difference and giving something back.

Plus, clean up events are usually run as fun, sociable affairs where you’ll get to meet lots of other like-minded individuals in your local area.

6. Volunteer in conservation

conservation - bee

If you’re passionate about maintaining the health of the natural world and creating a more stable environment for future generations, then conservation volunteering could be an option.

Charities such as the National Trust and the Woodland Trust offer a range of opportunities and are always looking for willing volunteers to join them on their conservation mission.

There are plenty of ways you can get involved from bumble bee monitoring and seed collecting, to being a woodland warden – and all take place outside.

For example, as a seed collector, you’ll be collecting tree seeds and cuttings using simple tools and equipment to improve the availability of certain plant species that are diminishing. The cuttings and seeds are then planted in a suitable environment where they can thrive and continue to reproduce.

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be helping to preserve and protect the Earth’s natural resources. You can also decide just how much time you wish to give – whether it’s a few hours or several days a week.

7. Get involved in an outdoor charity event

If you’d be interested in a few one-off outdoor activities, then it’s worth getting involved in some outdoor charity events.

You have two options when it comes to taking part; you can either participate in an event directly to raise money for charity or you can volunteer as support staff and help with the running of the event.

Many big events – including charity events like Race for Life – are attended by hundreds, if not thousands, of people, which promotes a heartwarming sense of community.

There are plenty of different fundraising events to choose from with a range of different charities. For example, Blue Cross runs a National Forest Trek, where you can choose to walk anywhere between 20 and 75 miles. Your entry fee includes drinks, snacks, and meals, as well as free camping, parking, and transfers.

If you want to get involved in an outdoor event but you’re not sure where to start, we’d recommend choosing a cause that’s close to your heart, and finding out which outdoor charity events they run throughout the year.

Final thoughts...

If you want to read more about work opportunities that’ll get you into the sunshine, why not check out our article; Summer-inspired jobs that’ll make you feel good?

Alternatively, if you’d like some more career-change inspiration, head over to the jobs and careers section of our website.