The first National Trust Water Environment Worker apprentice in the Lake District started at the Keswick office this week, in time for National Apprenticeship Week 2020.
Jade Allen, who started her new role on the 3rd February, is one of 4 apprentices joining the Riverlands programme nationally. The Riverlands project is a partnership between The National Trust and the Environment Agency.
This new apprenticeship has been developed by a group of conservation organisations, with the broad purpose of creating a safe environment where the public can enjoy our rivers and the land and buildings beside them, whilst protecting the natural world, creating habitats for wildlife to thrive.
Jade, who is 21 and from Endmoor near Kendal, will spend the majority of her 18-month apprenticeship working with National Trust rangers across the land that feeds the river Derwent, including Borrowdale, Buttermere and Dunthwaite. She will also work towards qualifications through the link with a college, covering first aid, using earthmoving equipment and off-road vehicle driving.
Jade beat off a lot of competition for the apprenticeship. Speaking about the role she said: “I applied for the Riverlands apprenticeship because I want to learn more about our rivers and countryside and what I can do to help protect and restore the precious habitats and wildlife we have here in the Lake District”. Jade will spend her time working on tasks such as natural flood management schemes, footpath maintenance and small river restoration schemes.
Jade added: “I can’t wait to get out and explore the Derwent catchment, put into action some practical skills I’m going to learn and meet new people to work alongside and learn from. I’m also hoping to spot lots of wildlife.”
Becky Powell, Riverlands Project Manager said: “Jade’s keenness and positive attitude shone through and we are thrilled to welcome her into the Riverlands team. This apprenticeship offers a focused and exciting career path into a water based, practical occupation. With increasing threats to our natural world, I am so pleased we have the opportunity to train a new generation of environmental workers.”
The apprenticeship is just one part of the Riverlands project which aims to give local communities the opportunity to get involved with the task of caring for the river Derwent and the becks and streams which feed it. Over the coming 4 years the project team will be running a programme of activity days, volunteer work parties and offering opportunities for community led projects across the Derwent catchment.