After a lot of hard work, many application forms, perseverance and some very fulfilling volunteering within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and The Woodland Trust Scotland, I can finally wash out my decorating brushes and begin an exciting new life chapter.
Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) is an innovative environmental charity working to promote sustainable public access. They work to develop and implement an access management strategy that integrates the needs of the land managers, access users and local communities, whilst conserving and protecting the natural heritage.COAT’s Heritage Lottery Funded project, The Mountains And The People is a unique five year project lead by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust, in partnership with Scotland’s two National park Authorities, Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish National Heritage. The project aims to engage those who live in and visit our national parks in the protection of the fragile upland mountain environments through a programme of upland path maintenance and conservation activities.
I am one of eight to have been selcted for the six month level 2 SVQ traineeship in Environmental Conservation, and will also be working towards a recognised path skills certificate with the Upland Path Advisory Group (UPAG). Based in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the project will focus on the repair, refurbishment and construction of upland paths as well as focusing on lowland path maintenance, fencing, dyking, surveying and habitat management. I will also have the opportunity to work with existing path building contractors during the course on two work experience weeks and our course schedule includes guest speakers from a range of environmental organisations.
Week one begins on Monday April 11th where we will be focusing on health and safety, first aid and manual handling training in preparation for our new office out on the hillside.