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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

National park provides a great place to learn for its apprentices

With National Apprenticeship Week under way, the North York Moors national park authority has been showing off the work of its own apprentices on the beautiful landscape. The group has been developing a range of new skills, working in a variety of roles.

Ian Nicholls, the national park's assistant director of corporate services, said: “We offer a brilliant range of opportunities for apprentices.

"We feel it’s really important to provide training for young people to help them to live and work locally.”

As well as the more traditional skills such as dry stone walling, building fences and maintaining rights of way, the outdoor apprentices are also being taught a new set of skills to help with the challenges facing the environment such as flood defence work around Pickering and Sinnington.

The project used the natural environment to slow the flow of water run-off and reduce flood risk. It included planting trees, constructing ‘woody debris dams’ in becks and streams and tackling erosion of moor and footpaths.

One of the apprentices Jordan Horsfall met the Prince of Wales when he was in the area to explain how the dams had been built.

He said: “Although it never stopped raining throughout the visit, it gave us the opportunity to show the dams and timber bunds that the apprentices had helped to construct in action.”

Apprentice surveyor Eddy Staples looks after six apprentices undertaking a diploma in environmental conservation, who work on a number of projects. The team has been carrying out a number of seasonal habitat management activities, such as tree and hedge planting, and have been working closely with our tourism partners at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway by buidlng access stairs for volunteers at Goathland station.

He said: "The apprentices I work with at the national park are always keen to work on these projects and thus play an important role in the services the park provides, and in the future we look forward to continuing the good work together with our partners in and around the national park”.

On Friday (18 March), the apprentices from the North York Moors National Park, along with apprentices from Redcar Borough Council, start work on a drystone walling task in Danby Dale. The 18-strong group will help repair the boundary wall and replace a stone stile with tuition from a local stone wall expert.

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