Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Skills for the future trainees 2013 © Steve Davis
(Left-right Kerrie Gardner; Megan Lowe; Amy Baker; Tom Raymond; Sally Wright;
Emma Godden; Charlie Forrest; Claire Thackway)
Wildlife Trusts in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, and Wiltshire have received initial support¹ for a £829,200 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme² for their Wild Futures project. The project aims to:
- Diversify the conservation workforce by providing opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly young people and those in transitional phases of their lives and careers to develop the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in nature conservation.
- Meet the identified skills gaps in the conservation of Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire with key skills and knowledge vital for the future of the natural heritage.
New career opportunities across the South
Development funding of £9,600 has also been awarded to help Wildlife Trusts in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire work together to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Wild Futures will provide new career opportunities for people from a wide range of backgrounds, especially young people and those at a transitional phase in their lives and careers. Working in partnership the four Wildlife Trusts will deliver a total of 48 training placements over a 3-year period, 12 in each County consisting of a combination of work -based training and accredited training in specific skills. The training programme will equip participants with a range of skills and knowledge that will enable them to pursue a career in nature conservation and to make a positive contribution to the conservation of the natural heritage. Trainees will receive training in: Wildlife Survey, Monitoring and Management Planning; Volunteer and Community Engagement; Practical Conservation Skills.
Skills and dedication wanted from all backgrounds
Diversifying the appeal of the natural heritage to people of all backgrounds is vital for the future of natural heritage conservation. Through the Wild Futures project we will demonstrate that there is a demand for a non-academic route into nature conservation and that this route can provide high quality skilled employees who are committed to conserving the natural heritage. By providing the opportunity for 48 people to take this route we will take a significant step towards the creation of a natural heritage workforce drawn from all parts of society. Training placements will be promoted to people from disadvantaged and excluded backgrounds many of whom have volunteered to support natural heritage conservation.
Director of Operations for Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brian Bleese said: “The Heritage Lottery funded Wild Futures project will make a huge contribution to the skills and knowledge available in the nature conservation workforce in Dorset. It will also provide opportunities for dedicated individuals to take their first steps towards an interesting and rewarding career.”
A successful programme
Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “Nurturing skills of all types continues to be a hugely important part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s portfolio of work. Skills for the Future is one of our most successful and over-subscribed programmes with fierce competition to secure funding. The 39 projects that have won through reflect the wide range of training and opportunities on offer in the heritage industry. We’re delighted that through this significant investment 876 new placements will be created right across the UK and hope that this additional funding will help encourage growth and build resilience within the sector.”
Notes to Editor
- ¹ Initial support plus development funding means the project meets our criteria for funding and we believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so this is an endorsement of outline proposals. The project will submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award at a later date.
- ² Launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF programme supporting organisations across the UK to create new training places. HLF has awarded grants totalling £26.8m under this programme enabling high-quality work-based training, the development of new qualifications and capacity building in the sector.
For more information about this press release please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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For further information, and interviews, please contact:
Andrew Davis at Somerset Wildlife Trust on 01823 652406 and
- About Dorset Wildlife Trust. Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
- About Somerset Wildlife Trust. Somerset Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading environmental voluntary body, with around 21,000 members. The charity owns and/or manages 71 nature reserves all over the county. Money raised is spent to restore, recreate and reconnect our damaged countryside by creating living landscapes for wildlife and people. We help wildlife adapt to climate change, encourage sustainable living, fight to save sites where wildlife is threatened by monitoring development and inspire people to create more green space bringing environmental, social and economic benefits. The trust is one of 47 in the UK. Together, they make up the Wildlife Trusts Partnership. www.somersetwildlife.org
- About the Heritage Lottery Fund. Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with £5.4bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. For more information please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.