Youth Conservation Call

Rookie conservationists are being called to join a band of eager recruits doing their bit for a world-renowned landscape.

Lake District National Park is looking for teenagers aged between 14 and 18 interested in getting stuck into some seriously useful tasks.

Young Rangers was set up three years ago to encourage school students to play a part in protecting their special surroundings.

Project lead, Anne Blackburn, explained that not only did the young people get invaluable training and skills; it was possible to use the involvement for nationally recognised award schemes.

She explained: “The team tackles a wide range of tasks, from repairing footpaths to clearing gorse, helping in the grounds at Brockhole, our Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Windermere, to carrying out visitor surveys.

“They gain a great deal of practical hands-on experience which is recognised by John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Awards, along with National Navigation qualifications.

“It’s also invaluable when applying for university or further education. Young Rangers work with our and United Utilities’ staff, and alongside experienced volunteers.”

Rosie Gardner, 18, from Preston Patrick, near Kendal, is heading off to do a geography degree and says being a Young Ranger brought many benefits.

A pupil of Lancaster Girls Grammar School, Rosie said she had been intrigued by the idea of conservation and a unique voluntary experience.

She explained: I especially enjoyed sessions with the Fix the Fells project. We were learning skills from highly knowledgeable people and making an immediately noticeable difference to the footpaths.”

She encouraged peers to follow her lead and join the United Utilities sponsored initiative. Further information from Ruth Kirk on ruth.kirk1@virginmedia.com 07851 721711

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