Help hone countryside talents

Published on: 17 Jul 2014

A pioneering training scheme to stem declining rural skills is seeking out inspirational mentors.

Backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the applauded Lake District National Park's Fell Futures project has found success among apprentices and employers.

Currently hosting nine 16 to 23 year-olds, it is looking for volunteers with experience in conservation, landscape management or outdoor education to help guide and bolster the group.

Apprenticeship supervisor, Matt Eaves, said the mission to address serious shortages in a range of countryside skills had been a resounding success.

Eight have already been trained and are now either in full-time employment or continuing their education. Nine are currently taking part in the wide-ranging training programme.

Matt explained that the calibre of students was extremely high and they were working hard repairing footpaths, bridges, boundaries, protecting woodlands, rivers and habitats, alongside studies in environmental conservation.

He added: "Hands-on practical experience is a major focus. And the search is on for keen individuals to help our apprentices hone their understanding of countryside needs and actions.

"Literally, we just need five days over the next year from people with the relevant knowledge and background. Through workshops and field visits they will share their own talents and experiences.

"This is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of Lake District land managers. We look forward to hearing from those who think they can make a difference to a dedicated and completely driven young team."

Training and travel expenses will be given.

Find out more from Tim Duckmanton, email: tim.duckmanton@lakedistrict.gov.uk, phone: 01539 792674 or Matt Eaves, email: matthew.eaves@lakedistrict.gov.uk, phone: 07500 987980.

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