Valley Futures

Offers young people the opportunity to learn practical and rural management skills whilst undertaking an apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation

The Valley Futures Apprenticeship programme offers young people the opportunity to learn practical and rural management skills whilst undertaking an apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation. Up to ten apprentices will receive training in a range of landscape management skills such as coppicing, Cumbrian hedge laying and dry stone walling. Together with volunteers, they will work alongside, and gain knowledge from, a variety of experts from across the Partnership. They will carry out landscape conservation work in the scheme area by delivering the practical outcomes for the scheme.

We are delighted to announce that we are now recruiting four new apprentices to be part of the Valley Futures Apprenticeship Programme.

For more information and to apply visit the LDNPA website.

The eighteen month programme offers a fantastic opportunity to enable young people to develop vital practical skills and knowledge essential for pursuing a career in the rural sector, becoming part of a team dedicated to restore and protect the landscape of the Rusland Horizons scheme area.

Our first six apprentices are now well under way with their apprenticeship and have been out in the scheme area undertaking a wide variety of practical conservation projects with project partners. We are now looking for a further four apprentices to join our team.

With valuable qualifications, skills and training on offer, the project is looking for enthusiastic committed individuals to work within the Rusland Horizons project area on practical countryside management activities.

A comprehensive training package is included in the apprenticeship, with the opportunity to complete certificates of competence in, amongst others, chainsaw & brush cutter use, atv and first aid. A key part of the apprenticeship is to complete a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation through Newton Rigg College.

Skills & Experience

Apprentices will be able to choose from a number of modules, but core skills on the apprenticeship will include:

  • Coppicing & timber production
  • Woodland management
  • Dry stone walling
  • Fencing
  • Cumberland & westmorland hedgelaying
  • Rights of way maintenance, gate and stile installation, waymarking
  • Fieldwork & wildlife surveying
  • Footpath creation & maintenance

For more information about the apprenticeship scheme, please email Skills & Training Coordinator Claire Green at

Please note: If you have a qualification at level 5 or higher in a similar subject you will not be eligible for this scheme.

Taster days

Why not join us on our taster day on 20th April 2017, 10am - 2pm and find out more? Visit our offices and workshop in Haverthwaite and join us on site to meet and chat with our current apprentices.

The day will run from our offices at Saunder Pot,Lane Ends, Haverthwaite, LA12 8AB. For more details and directions please download our taster day details.

To come along, please book by emailing

Or, alternatively, drop in for a chat and to find out more at our drop in session on 20th April 4-7pm.

We look forward to meeting you!

So far so good...

Update March 2017:..

  • Six apprentices now 6 months into their placement, with recruitment for 4 more apprentices starting in April.
  • Apprentices trained in a wide range of skills including: first aid, use of chainsaws, abrasive wheels and brushcutters, advanced driving, coppicing, hedge-laying and winter tree identification
  • 4 woodlands improved by the apprentices as part of the Coupes and Cords project.
  • 300 metres of boardwalk built at Rusland Moss as part of the Greenwood Trails project, and work almost complete on 2 Greenwood Trails
  • 100 metres of hedge  laid.
  • 50 metres of walls repaired.

Did you know?

54% of staff employed in the rural sector are aged 45 and over. As these people reach retirement age and as the sector grows, the sector could need 595,000 new entrants by 2020 to address the growing skills gap.


Project Lead

Rusland Horizons Staff Team

The Challenge

The character of the Rusland Horizons area is made up of a variety of habitats and features including woodlands, hedgerows, dry stone walls, open fell, archaeological sites and pathways. All of these need careful management by a skilled workforce if the landscape character is to be retained, but there is an increasing shortage of skilled practitioners, matched with limited opportunities to gain these skills. Young people are leaving the area to find training and employment elsewhere.

Our Approach

We are working in partnership with Askham Bryan College, Newton Rigg to deliver an industry-based apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation. We have created ten level 2 and two level 3 placements. The apprenticeships will enable young people to learn important traditional skills alongside modern techniques and equip them with the right skills portfolio to pursue a career in the rural sector.

© Rusland Horizons 2017. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons is a Landscape Partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund