Written by: Greensand Country Team
The study programme project led by Shuttleworth College was one of the two main formal educational projects. The aim of the project was to facilitate and provide a 19-week course. This would include classroom-based topics such as conservation, interview and communication skills, as well as practical activities on partner sites.
These activities included: basic tool use, habitat surveys, coppicing, hedge planting and laying, lake and habitat improvement, project work, business skills, employment preparation, interview skills, plant care and management, habitat creation, maintenance of machinery, livestock management, woodland management (clearing and preparation for felling), visitor attraction and specialist site improvement.
15 learners have successfully completed the Diploma in Countryside and Environment (Level 2) equivalent to 5 GCSEs at C grade. All learners progressed from the initial 3 unit Certificate to complete a Diploma. 2 learners have been offered full time positions in the land based industry (1 local and 1 working for a large Estate in Gloucestershire as assistant game keeper). 2 learners are progressed on apprenticeships with GCLP Partners, and 12 progressed to complete further study at Shuttleworth.
Benefits to People
This was the primary benefit of the project. It helped to upskill and give confidence to young people who are looking to pursue careers in the landscape or land management sector. By helping with interview and communication skills, along with learning practical tasks, the learners finished the course with the confidence and skills to pursue further study or employment.
Benefits to Heritage & Landscape
Heritage is better understood by those learners on the course, as it has given them an appreciation of conservation and land-based management practices.
The landscape will be benefited by this project as more young people will be trained in conservation and land management practices. This will help to promote sustainable land management in the future, and embed conservation principles in other areas of land management, such as farming and game keeping.
Challenges & Lessons Learnt
The major challenge for this project was ensuring that the learners’ confidence was kept up even if they were not offered employment as a result of the study programme.
If we were to repeat the project, it would have been good to keep in contact with a few more of the learners. That way we could monitor their progress and the GCLP could be a useful networking tool for employability.