The purpose of the Conservation and Agriculture Apprenticeship is to offer experiences to local conservationists by working for the National Park and among the Carneddau Project Partners. The Apprenticeship lasts for a year and during this time my time was divided between the National Park and the National Trust and I am undertaking a Conservation college course with Coleg Cambria at the same time. I already have a BSc degree in Zoology and Animal Behaviour from Bangor University, and I volunteered with the Partnership for a year after I graduated. I also have a personal connection to the Carneddau as I grew up in Bethesda, therefore my knowledge of the National Park and the Carneddau was of a satisfactory standard.

Since I started the Conservation and Agriculture Apprenticeship in July, I have experienced varied and unforgettable experiences. I started off with sufficient knowledge about the conservation of the Carneddau and I was relatively familiar with the landscape and agriculture. Now, I feel that I am much more informed about the important work that goes on and I have especially learned more about the tree species and wildlife within the National Park. One of my favourite parts of the work that I’ve completed since starting has been learning how to process and grow trees. I’ve had a lot of fun with volunteers and school groups collecting seeds for us to process and it has been a pleasure to work in our tree nurseries to grow all the seeds that were collected.

I have especially enjoyed learning about my home and habitat. The opportunities to learn about the history and archaeology of the Carneddau has been endless and I look forward to transfer my knowledge to my friends and family. The apprenticeship’s benefits have been fantastic, such as speaking on Radio Cymru, filming with the RSPB and meeting popular authors, but I am sure that the experiences of teaching myself and others about the importance of the Carneddau will be the ultimate reward from this year.

By following the guidance of the Carneddau Partnership staff as well as the advice of previous Apprentices, I’ve had the benefits of brilliant training and insights. I feel that the Apprenticeship provides fun and varied work days if you have a passion for conservation and habitat protection in the National Park. I’ve had so much fun and learned so much since I started and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the apprenticeship has to offer.