The Carneddau Landscape Partnership Scheme has given me an excellent opportunity to start a career in nature conservation. I started my apprenticeship in July 2021, where I worked with Eryri National Park and the National Trust ranger team, carrying out direct conservation action, alongside completing a Level 2 Environmental Conservation Qualification with Coleg Cambria.

I grew up in Bethesda, where my family have lived for generations, so it is especially significant for me to learn more about the heritage of the Carneddau and to be able to make a difference to the future of the Carneddau, both in terms of nature and the local community.

By working with the Eryri National Park Authority, I received an array of forestry training, including scything, strimming, brush cutting, chipping wood and chainsaw, and much more including a Lowland Leader Qualification. I worked on projects such as developing two tree nurseries, clearing vegetation from scheduled ancient monuments, felling diseased trees, and planting trees and hedges. I had the opportunity to dig for neolithic axes above Llanfairfechan and helped on volunteer days where local school groups took part. I was able to use my Forest School training (which I attained in a previous role) to run sessions in local woodlands to teach children about nature, wildlife, and trees native to the Carneddau. I also gained media experience through speaking on Radio Cymru and made appearances on S4C and Countryfile.

Through working with the National Trust, I had the opportunity to work with volunteers clearing vegetation around archaeological monuments, planting trees, and collecting tree seeds. Working with the National Trust ranger team, I learned many useful skills for example how to build a dry stone wall and training in using a variety of hand tools and machines in maintaining countryside furniture and infrastructure. I also helped set up a new tree nursery for the National Trust.

The had the opportunity to attend many site visits, including looking for locations that need peat restoration work, mapping areas to plant trees, joined the annual Carneddau pony gathering, and took part in bird count surveys.

At the end of my apprenticeship this July, I received an offer to join the Eryri National Park forestry team, in addition to completing a further qualification with Coleg Cambria. However, the National Trust had also advertised a ranger role, in which I was successful in applying for. Whilst I am currently working for the National Trust, I am still a part of the Carneddau Landscape Partnership work, but in a slightly different capacity!