Giving young people the opportunity to learn practical, rural management skills, whilst undertaking an apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation.
The Rusland Valley has a diverse landscape made up of woodlands, hedgerows, dry-stone walls, open fell, archaeological sites and pathways. Maintaining this requires experience, specialist skills and careful management. The Valley Futures project provided young people with a solid background in woodland management and the opportunity to learn traditional, rural skills.
They received training in a range of landscape management activities such as coppicing, woodland ecology, tree identification, Cumbrian hedge laying, dry-stone walling and using chainsaws.
The apprentices worked alongside experienced partner organisations and volunteers. They became an integral part of the team, dedicated to restoring and protecting the landscape of the Rusland Horizons scheme area.
- With the help of the apprentices, many of the woodlands in the Rusland Valley have now been put back into management, ensuring the heritage is preserved and the area is now in much better condition.
- In just one season, thirteen coupes were coppiced in addition to twenty woodlands.
- Using the practical skills learnt, they carried out significant amounts of work, particularly within the Coupes and Cords, Hidden Hedgerows, Share Wood and Greenwood Trails projects.
- To date, eight apprentices have successfully completed the course and progressed to employment. A further two are all set to successfully complete in autumn 2019.
- Most of the apprentices who have completed have gained local employment within the landscape and rural skills industries.
Take a look at our landscape conservation map to see where the apprentices have been working.