Apprentices have been learning how to implement small-scale natural flood management techniques with local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT).
The apprentices learned how to help mitigate flood damage across the Aire valley, with the charity which provides opportunities for young people to stay and work in the area that they grew up in, whilst gaining skills and experience in landscape management, horticulture and conservation.
The apprentices recently came together in Malhamdale to discover the merits of a variety of natural flood management techniques that can reduce peak flood levels by 5-10%, helping to minimise damage downstream.
They were under the guidance of Don Vine, conservation officer, from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
Together with similar natural flood management initiatives taking place on other small becks and streams that feed into the upper River Aire, the apprentices’ efforts near Otterburn will protect the Aire valley catchment from flooding.
Seven of the current placements are offered through the Green Futures programme, which is part of Our Bright Future, a social movement of 31 projects funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Two placements are part of Stories in Stone Landscape Partnership scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Prince’s Countryside Fund. Both programmes are led by YDMT.
The David Brooke Charity also gave a donation of £4,000 to help to fund a range of specialist certified training courses for the apprentices, from emergency first aid to chainsaw qualifications.
Jo Boulter, Dales and Fells trainee scheme co-ordinator at YDMT, said: “It’s great to see the apprentices gaining so many new skills and qualifications, as well as practical experiences.
“This combination of college studies, certified training courses and hands-on work based training with a range of organisations is a tried and tested formula.”
She added: “This time next year, the apprentices should be well placed to follow successful careers in conservation or landscape management, and we’ll be hoping to attract another group of enthusiastic young local people to the scheme.”