Wildlife Trusts in Sheffield and Rotherham have received grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, under its Skills for the Future programme, for the Working with Nature project.
The project aims to develop knowledge and skills in both traditional and new nature conservation techniques with a new audience using ecosystem services to ensure that natural heritage is protected for the future.
Working with Nature is a partnership between Wildlife Trusts in the East Midlands and Yorkshire, and aims to train members of the community who wouldn’t typically engage with the Wildlife Trusts to become skilled in nature conservation techniques. Working with partners such as the YMCA, employment organisations and youth offending community organisations, we will be working with groups who may not have had exposure to nature conservation before.
The trainees will spend a year in a placement having real hands on experience of working in a conservation organisation, as well as getting more formal qualifications and leave with the skills that may lead to a career. The skills will focus on ‘how nature can provide for us,’ including minimising flood risk, supporting fitness and wellbeing, and looking after bees, butterflies and other wildlife.
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, because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive change.”