Valley Futures Apprenticeship Programme

Recruitment for our second round of apprenticeships is now open!

To apply visit:

Valley Futures offers the opportunity to learn traditional rural heritage and woodland management skills whilst undertaking an apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation.

Up to ten apprentices will receive accredited training in a range of traditional craft and 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 Coupes and Cords, a woodlands restoration project, as well as many other projects in the scheme.

How Will It Work?

We have six apprentices currently on the programme. We will recruit four new apprentices to start in September 2017.The apprentices work towards a level 2 Work-Based Diploma in Environmental Conservation.The apprenticeships last 18 months, and the end of this time two of our current apprentices will have the opportunity to go on to achieve a level 3 Work-Based Diploma.The apprentices work four to five days a week in the scheme area (see map). They carry out the practical work needed to help conserve the historic landscape and its features.The apprentices are supervised by our Rusland Horizons Skills & Training Coordinator. From time to time, they work with National Park Rangers and some of our other partners to learn specific skills.During term time, the apprentices spend one day a week at Newton Rigg College, Penrith. They will need to prepare a portfolio to evidence the skills that they are learning, and demonstrate these skills to an assessor to gain their qualification.Salaries will be in line with national minimum wage.The cost of college fees and training certificates, worth at least £2500 per apprentice, are covered by the programme.

Skills & Experience

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

  • Coppicing and timber production
  • Woodland management
  • Drystone walling
  • Fencing
  • Cumberland and Westmorland hedgelaying
  • Rights of Way furniture maintenance and installation including gates, stiles and waymarking
  • Fieldwork and wildlife surveying
  • Footpath creation and maintenance


Apprentices attend Newton Rigg College one day a week for a Work Based Diploma in Environmental Conservation. They also receive training to achieve nationally recognised qualifications in:

  • Chainsaw operation and maintenance
  • Brush-cutter and strimmer operation
  • All-terrain vehicle use
  • First aid
  • Driving with a trailer

More Details

Visit our Valley Futures apprenticeships page

We regularly post updates from our current apprentice team on the Rusland Horizons Facebook Page

Visit the Newton Rigg College website for information about the college and the apprenticeship.

For more information or to receive recruitment updates, contact

© Rusland Horizons 2017 - 2023. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons was a Landscape Partnership funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund until July 2019. It is now being delivered by The Rusland Horizons Trust Limited. Company No. 2133450; Charity No. 519410; Registered Office: Bleacott Farm, Witherslack, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria LA11 6RZ.