Westmorland apprentices work through lockdown - Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

One of the apprentices, Rebekah Allison, digs out prior to re-walling at the bottom of the family garden in Penrith (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)

Four young people apprenticed in countryside management in the Westmorland Dales are finding ways to practise their new skills in their gardens or family farms – and are continuing to be tutored via video conferencing.

Rebekah Allison from Penrith, Billy Capstick from Kendal, Sarah Clarke – who moved to the Dales from Cheshire to take up the apprenticeship – and Abbi Woof, from Sedbergh, spent the first eight months of their work-based courses learning skills such as drystone walling, willow spilling and tool maintenance. 
With the onset of the Coronavirus ‘lockdown’ last month, the apprentices have had to turn to more book learning – but have kept their saws, spades and string lines in use. Recent home work has included walling (see main picture), making garden gates, clearing out field drains and surveying flowers and birds.

Next week’s tutorials – to be delivered online – will be about insects. An officer from Cumbria Wildlife Trust will speak about bee monitoring; an Eden Rivers Trust worker will teach about aquatic invertebrates; and an officer from the National Park Authority will demonstrate how moth traps are used during survey work.

Posted on: 27 April 2020

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