Free environmental training marks a new beginning for people who love the environment

For release 20th October 2011
Protective clothing and assistance with transport will be supplied provided that volunteers are:
• Employed or studying less than 16 hours a week AND
• Not getting Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance AND
• Able to commit to all 3 days of the training AND
• 16 years or older

Taking place at Craig-y-nos Country Park, near Ystradgynlais, volunteers will receive environment training from National Park Wardens in practical countryside skills (like hedging, cutting docks and brambles) exploration and outdoor activities, high tech GPS technology, traditional skills (vegetation management) and Health and Safety Awareness.
Funded by the European Social Fund, through the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the recruitment drive starts this week and the aim is to promote five courses of three day training sessions from November through to December.  Places are limited but if there is a large take up, courses may run through until January 2012.

Clare Parsons, Sustainable Communities Manager for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority is just one of many areas to receive a share from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action to help provide training in practical countryside and environmental skills. 

“From learning how to cut hedges to helping read maps to build confidence to seeking full time employment, we are looking at providing this vital free training to those who have been economically inactive or volunteers. Some of our most experienced Area Managers and Wardens at the National Park started their careers on similar training programmes. People taking this opportunity will receive expert guidance and better knowledge of further training and employment opportunities in their chosen career fields.”

Sam Harpur, Estate Worker for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said that as a former National Park volunteer himself he understands how rewarding schemes like this can be. 

“I first started volunteering for the National Park about four years ago doing general Rights of Way repair work and environmental management. I took part in various training schemes offered and then successfully applied for the Estate Worker position in 2010. All those practical skills I gained in the training courses and volunteering helped me work towards getting employed within the National Park.  Hopefully this story proves that getting involved can pay off.”

Course dates are set for:  8-10 November; 15-17 November; 29-1 December; 6-8 December; 13-15 December. 
For more information on how to take part in the free training or for more information on volunteer programmes and voluntary activities please contact Huw Price, the Community Development Officer on 01874 624 437 or email