Environmental Conservation Training Course – A Resounding Success

CELEBRATIONS are being held at The Mountains and The People, the unique 5-year landscape scale project which promises to Respect the natural heritage of our mountain landscapes, Reskill the conservation workforce of tomorrow and Repair the damage to our nations fragile upland landscapes.

The high spirits and merriment of the team are not actually down to the time of year but are as a result of the resounding success of the latest cohort of trainees, with around 80% of them already in gainful employment.

The 2017 Lomond Trainees receiving their certificates

With environmental conservation at the heart of The Mountains and The People project, a significant part of the activity to date has been to offer a range of paid, six-month training opportunities at both the Balloch and Aboyne training centres. Delivered by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, candidates have been offered the opportunity to complete an SVQ level 2 in Environmental Conservation, working on a variety of sites in both of Scotland’s National Parks.

A first of its kind in Scotland – and with project partners, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scotland Natural Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund – this high profile £5.2m project is just over half way through its five-year duration and has already made a huge impact, not just on our mountain landscapes but on people’s lives helping them to enjoy our great outdoors.

Ross McGowan, Managing Director of McGowan Ltd who is now employing 5 of the project trainees commented; “The quality of training OATS has delivered to its trainees in upland path construction techniques, mountain awareness, habitat management and environmental good practices is second to none. Each of the former trainees are now a valued member of the McGowan’s team.”

The recruitment process for the next intake of trainees will be starting in January 2018 so if you fancy working in the great Scottish outdoors, log onto: www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk