New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne is encouraging young people to follow an environmental path.
He met young people starting out their careers in the environment and outdoor sector in the National Park.
The New Forest National Park Authority has employed two apprentice rangers as part of a national £2.5 million ‘Generation Green’ project. The project will connect young people to nature, create and save jobs, and build a workforce for a green recovery.
It is a collaboration between YHA (England & Wales), the Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.
Jordan Jones and Ben Attwell are following on from six other apprentice rangers before them, gaining college qualifications and working with a range of Forest organisations during their Countryside Worker Apprenticeship.
Sir Desmond also met Ellie Banks, one of two assistant trainee rangers who have joined the National Park as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme.
Ellie, 24, who studied chemistry at university said: “I told Sir Desmond what a great opportunity this is for me to get loads of varied experience, with amazing networking opportunities including the National Park Authority, RSPB and Forestry England.
“I wanted a change of direction after uni. I have always cared about the environment and I thought I would do that through a laboratory but then I dramatically changed the way I wanted to go. We have been out patrolling with our mobile information unit and have learnt about the rights to common, the wildlife and the delicate freshwater habitats supported by the National Park so we have accurate and up to date information to give to visitors.”
Sir Desmond met the young people and NPA staff at YHA Burley, hosted by YHA Regional Operations Director Andy Reynolds with Burley Parish Council Chairman Philip Daubeney, and he then joined NPA staff litter picking in Burley village.
He said: “It was a privilege to speak with young apprentices, volunteers and other National Park employees: their enthusiasm and commitment was tremendous. It bodes well for the future of the National Park which is in good hands.”
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