Conservationists are on the path to success with new training project
Monday 13th March 2017
Five Wildlife Trusts working in partnership in the South West have been awarded funding by the National Lottery to develop the ‘Wild Paths’ project which is designed to train and recruit new people into the conservation sector.
This funding has been made available through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the Future programme which helps organisations deliver paid training placements to meet skills shortages in the heritage sector and help diversify the workforce.
A simple yet highly effective project
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its work force and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve. We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47m to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10m. Why? Because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”
If successful, 30 trainees will start their journey on the wild paths project
The development funding of £7,000 will allow Dorset Wildlife Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Avon Wildlife Trust to apply for a further £500,000 to recruit 30 trainees to start their journey on the Wild Paths project. Previous partnership working between these regional Wildlife Trusts has seen the successful delivery of a similar project, and we’re pleased to welcome Avon Wildlife Trust into the partnership for Wild Paths.
Chainsaw training, cattle handling and inspiring communities
Trainees will gain practical skills such as chainsaw qualifications and cattle handling, and will also be trained to inspire and enable communities to value and protect their natural heritage into the future.
Project lead, Brian Bleese, from Dorset Wildlife Trust said, “The awarding of development funding for ‘Wild Paths’ is a real vote of confidence in the partnerships’ ability to deliver high quality training opportunities for a new generation of conservation professionals. ‘Wild Paths’ will enable us to bring new talent and diversity to the natural heritage sector in the South West.”
The next steps...
The Wildlife Trusts Director of Regional Programmes, Simon Brenman said, “We’re really pleased to be awarded this first stage of funding for Wild Paths. The project will enable 30 more people to start a professional career in conservation over the next three years. The next step is to create a full project plan, focusing on developing our recruitment strategy to ensure more people from all backgrounds can apply.”
To find out more information about the Wild Paths project, please contact Steve Davis on 01305 264620 or .
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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 26,500 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 the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
About Skills for the Future
First launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF grants programme supporting organisations across the UK to develop vocational learning programmes. HLF has awarded grants totalling £47m under this programme, enabling high-quality work-based training, the development of new heritage career pathways and qualifications, and capacity building work.
About Wiltshire Wildlife Trust – www.wiltshirewildlife.org.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s vision is to create a sustainable future for wildlife and people. We are unique in the county in combining the management of 38 nature reserves and working with local communities to promote sustainable living. The Trust is supported by 18,000 members and over 1,000 volunteers. For more information about the Trust please visit www.wiltshirewildlife.org
About Somerset Wildlife Trust – www.somersetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years. With over 18,000 members we are the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside our members and volunteers we work year round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
Our reserves holding of over 1700 hectares incorporates a diverse range of habitats from wetlands to woodlands, grasslands and meadows, and provide secure environments for a diverse range of wildlife such as Dormice, Otters, Hedgehogs, Barn Owls and many other species - as well as providing safe havens for some of Somerset’s most iconic species such as Bittern and Large Blue butterfly. These habitats also connect green spaces across the county so wildlife can travel, and are the bedrock upon which we are able to deliver key conservation programmes across the year.
The majority of our work is made possible through the support of our members and people who live and work in the county who choose to make donations, fundraise for us or leave generous legacies. By working together with our members and supporters we really can make a difference.
About Devon Wildlife Trust - www.devonwildlifetrust.org
Devon Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading environmental charity, with 31,000 members. The charity manages 50 nature reserves across Devon, including a range of beautiful landscapes such as woodlands, meadows, wetlands and heaths. Devon Wildlife Trust relies on charitable donations, grants and the generous support of its members and the general public to raise more than £3.5million every year. Money raised is spent maintaining our work for wildlife conservation and education in Devon, for present and future generations. Follow us on Twitter @DevonWildlife and like us on Facebook @Devonwildlife
About Avon Wildlife Trust - www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk
Avon Wildlife Trust is the largest local charity working to protect wildlife and inspire people in the West of England area – with the support of 17,500 members, 1,500 volunteers and corporate support. We care for 36 nature reserves - from ancient bluebell woods to Iron Age forts, nationally important wetlands, and wildflower meadows. We run award-winning educational and community programmes. And we work with landowners in the wider countryside, to reduce the decline in wildlife by creating a Living Landscape. Follow us on Twitter @avonwt, facebook.com/avonwt or Instagram.com/avonwt.
Dorset Wildlife Trust 13, Mar 2017 @ 18:39
Congratulations! Fantastic project.
Anonymous 14, Mar 2017 @ 14:30
Well done on securing this funding! What a great opportunity for these young trainees.
Dorset Wildlife Trust 14, Mar 2017 @ 14:32
Great to see the funding going to four different counties! Congratulations.
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