In December, Countryside Classroom Partner, The Prince's Countryside Fund, announced more than £300,000 worth of grants, awarded to 14 projects across the UK. Among these are two projects providing training for young people interested in a rural career, provided by the Kilfinan Community Forest and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
The Kilfinan Community Forest Youth Skills Development Programme, is providing training and work experience to 14-18 year-olds in rural Argyll. The grant will give young people the chance to learn about forestry, environmental work and agriculture during a four-week course that also provides them with accredited training. Activities include management of invasive species, fencing and access, organic growing, fish-farming operations, woodworking and upland sheep farming. The course runs for four weeks during the summer, offers up to six participants a modest bursary, and provides them with certificates from the John Muir Trust and in Emergency First Aid.
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust Rural Trainees is providing six 18-month work-based traineeships in environmental conservation and traditional rural management skills for young people aged 16-24, enabling them to become the future custodians of the area’s upland environment. Trainees work alongside experts, gain accredited training, attend a range of courses and receive individually tailored support. The project is helping to address the lack of training opportunities for rural young people, enabling them to remain living and working in the area to sustain the countryside. Other grants have gone to support digital skills, improve the resilience of farming and prepare for natural disasters, among others. There is a full list of grants here.
The Fund is open for grant applications of up to £50,000 twice a year, and aims to support innovative projects that will provide a lasting legacy to the individuals and communities they aim to benefit. The Fund seeks applications to support activity that results in a long-term positive impact on rural communities by helping the people that live and work in the countryside. Applications for the next round of grants are now open. Read more.