Repair and maintenance of footpaths, gates and stiles is vital to the tourist economy. Funding had been secured for the Fix the Fells programme enabling much essential path repair work to be completed. However there were not enough skilled and experienced staff to complete the work.
We also identified a lack of young people with rural and heritage skills necessary for continued maintenance of the Lake District special landscape.
A successful bid was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish an apprenticeship scheme. Key elements of the scheme are:
The scheme is a partnership between the main organisations who own or manage land in the Lake District. They provide specialist knowledge and advice in return for labour from the team.
The scheme started in September 2012. By June 2014, eight apprentices had been trained. Five went on to full time employment with LDNPA, National Trust South Lakeland District Council, BAE Systems and Lakes Tree surgeons.
The remaining three are continuing their studies. New apprentices have now been recruited to join the scheme.