Cumbria Connect Launches Ground-breaking Nature Recovery Apprenticeship Scheme Bringing Together Agriculture and Conservation

Livestock handling will be just one of the skills that apprentices will develop. Image taken by Bea Normington

Cumbria Connect, the landscape scale nature-recovery programme based at Lowther, is paving the way for the future of land management careers by launching a pioneering Nature Recovery Apprenticeship Scheme.   

The innovative scheme will initially offer six highly-coveted apprenticeships and will bring together farmers, landowners and conservationists to give aspiring individuals who are motivated to learn about nature-friendly farming and land management unparalleled experience, and shaping them into Nature Recovery experts. 

Cumbria Connect is an ambitious partnership, funded by the Endangered Landscapes Programme, that aims to create one of the  largest nature-focused landscape programmes in England.  The partnership includes us here at Haweswater, Lowther Estate, the Orton Fells Farm Cluster, North-West water company United Utilities and Natural England.

During their apprenticeship, participants will be employed by the RSPB whilst also working towards an industry-recognised qualification. They will gain hands-on experience at sites across the area including with us here at Haweswater, the Lowther Estate and Low Beckside Farm alongside the Ernest Cook Trust to acquire practical knowledge and skills in sustainable land management practices including nature-friendly farming, the creation of new habitats and the restoration of existing ones. 

Apprentices will also become qualified and proficient in using farm machinery such as all-terrain vehicles, tractors and brush cutting as well as gain practical skills such as livestock handling and first aid.

“This apprenticeship scheme propels nature recovery into a promising career path.  By working collectively, we empower the next generation to become champions of conservation and lead the way to a sustainable future.”

– Bill Kenmir, Conservation Manager at Cumbria Connect

“By embracing both agriculture and conservation, apprentices will be at the forefront of nature restoration careers.  This fusion of skills creates a pathway to a fulfilling and impactful future in the field of conservation and sustainable land management.”

Annabelle Kennedy, Senior Nature-Friendly Farming Adviser at Cumbria Connect

The Nature Recovery Apprenticeship Scheme is now accepting applications for Nature Friendly Farming Apprentices leading to  Level 4 Countryside Ranger apprenticeships. 

Apply through the RSPB website HERE to be part of the future of nature recovery in Cumbria.   

Haweswater’s Belted Galloways grazing on Mardale Common. Image taken by Matthew Scott

Blog by Bailey Lamburn, Communications Manager for Cumbria Connect

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