CJS turns 25!

Blog written by Kerryn Humphreys, CJS Editor

The first edition of Countryside Jobs Service, which later became CJS Weekly, was published 25 years ago – that’s roughly 1250 editions.

We’re celebrating our birthday in lots of different ways across the year, so please keep an eye on our blog and social media feeds for details.  The first thing you’ll see is an updated logo: just for our 25th birthday year which you’ll see throughout the year.

Some things change and others stay the same

One thing that has remained unchanged across all the years is that CJS is unique in offering free advertising for just about everything relating to our sector.  However, we know that sometimes you need more information than we can include in the short free linages and often logos are required so we’re delighted to be able to keep the rates for these paid options unchanged for another year.

What has changed is that Countryside Jobs Service now advertises much more than countryside jobs.  Our range has expanded to include ecology, wildlife, animal care, community involvement, rural and urban sites, fundraising, admin support, visitor management, arboriculture, environmental and outdoor education and today we publish a lot more than ‘just’ jobs advertising voluntary roles and recruitment days, apprenticeships and intern placements, citizen science projects, training courses, professional events, a full news round up service and a vast array of in depth information and articles providing insights and help to establish professional and new starters alike.

From small beginnings

In July 1994 the first edition of CJS Weekly landed on doormats.  It seems like it was only five minutes ago that we were stuffing sheets of A4 from a daisy-wheel printer into multi-sized, shaped (and even perfumed) self addressed envelopes.  Yes, that’s how it all started which was a huge step forward from photocopies of adverts in newspapers which formed the Jobs Service for CMA members way back when.  CJS founders, Niall and Anthea Carson took on the task of converting those snippets into a cohesive newsletter, Anthea devised the unique advert format, Niall sorted out the filing system for the envelopes and they were off.

As word spread of how good this new service was, subscriber numbers increased and the daisy-wheel printer was swapped for a dot-matrix before the heat from the printwheel caused the office to combust.  In those early days there was no paid advertising only the Standard Linage which was all free; with the increase of outside funding and funding partners needing to use logos (even on a free advert) we started taking paid adverts. CJS has continued to grow following the natural progression of the countryside sector with just a gentle nudge every now and then.

Niall retired in 2006 and since then the CJS Team has grown to five members plus office dogs, people often can’t believe that it’s just our small team producing the behemoth that is CJS, covering three newsletters, one quarterly publication and the huge website – sometimes I’m not sure I do either!

Feeling proud

We’re proud that we hold true to Niall and Anthea’s principals of putting back as much into conserving the countryside as possible and CJS is run along Social Enterprise principals.  We still offer Standard Free Linage in CJS Weekly in fact, it’s possible to advertise virtually anything (anything relevant to the countryside, that is) free of charge with CJS.


We’ve been asking friends to let us know what CJS means to them and we’ll be sharing their thoughts with you throughout the year.

We’re also accepting and giving away birthday presents starting with a lucky dip for 25 annual email subscriptions to CJS Weekly. Simply send us your name and email address and at the end of the month we’ll pull the names of the lucky winners out of a hat (OK, use a random number generator but you get the gist!). We also have four 2019 calendars from the British Wildlife Photography Awards which will be drawn one a week.  You can find out more on the Birthday gift draw page.

Into the future…

During the year we are launching several new projects, not least of which will be a sparkling new website later this spring.  We also have something exciting planned for July which is our actual birthday month, so keep an eye on the CJS website!

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