Land management isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation says Senior Associate Land Agent Charlotte Gilfillan

Land management isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation

A pivotal shift in how land is being managed means it is an exciting time to join the vibrant and growing rural land management sector.

The Climate Change Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis have been major catalysts in developing new ideas, new opportunities and new technologies. Natural Capital, Carbon Offsetting and the Green Recovery are at the heart of this and are driving the demand for more professionals, specifically qualified chartered surveyors and foresters, who have the knowledge and expertise to help clients maximise their assets.

There is perhaps a misconception that the only route to becoming a qualified chartered surveyor and securing chartered status, involves having an RICS accredited degree and undertaking the Assessment of Professional Competence while working for a firm. In fact, there are many routes available through the RICS, including senior professional, specialist or academic assessment, direct entry and preliminary review for those with more than five years relevant work experience with any degree.  These alternate routes are increasing in popularity and helping facilitate changes in profession later in life.

I myself did not consider moving into land agency until my late twenties, having worked on a number of sporting estates in Scotland prior to joining Bell Ingram. My experience on the ground gave me an intimate understanding of how the land and the people worked and provided a crucial foundation on which I would build (and continue to build) future knowledge and expertise. Many of my rural colleagues have also come from different backgrounds including farming, military, commercial surveying, insurance and health and safety. This diversity of life experience coupled with professional competence is something that adds a lot of value to the work we do for our clients. 

One thing we all have in common though is our passion for managing land. From meetings with lawyers in smart Edinburgh offices looking at Option Agreements for a new windfarm, to bumping out the hill in a Land Rover to look at a deer fence with a keeper, no two days are same. We travel to some of the most beautiful places in Scotland, places that others may only ever see on a screen, and we get paid to do it. One of my colleagues likes to call it ‘professional tourism’. We manage people as much places, cultivating relationships with clients, staff, tenants, guests, visitors, statutory bodies, communities, and everyone in between.  We are problem solvers, lateral thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators. Land agency is not just a job to us, it’s not just a career, it’s a vocation.

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Land management isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation says Senior Associate Land Agent Charlotte Gilfillan

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    Article posted on 06/10/2021