Prior to the recent cessation of work, the WDLP’s countryside worker apprentice team were getting involved with a number of projects. The apprenticeship has been providing skills to enable them to conserve special features of their local area and deliver substantial heritage and conservation gains during the lifetime of this scheme.

They have been involved in both season one and two of the archaeology survey on Great Asby Scar. This gave them the opportunity to ‘read the landscape’ so they can identify evidence of past human activity. Read below about how they found the experience.

We have been fortunate to spend a few days helping with the Great Asby Archaeology Survey. Learning about all the different features in the landscape – from quarries to settlements – has made me begin to look at the landscape in a whole new light. I am now aware of features I would never have previously noticed, and the possible lives that these features are a remnant of. Great Asby is also a beautiful place to survey, the views are incredible and it is full of wildlife – we were often serenaded by skylarks and meadow pipits.

Sarah Clarke

My favourite thing about the archaeology survey was identifying different features. I particularly enjoyed learning about how the GPS works, and taking a GPS point for each location. It was incredible looking at features, like a wall, which are still standing after years and years.

Billy Capstick

I really enjoyed learning about the different sites. Both Lydia and Oscar know there stuff and were keen to pass the information on and teach us new things. And we got to look at a lovely murmuration of starlings that kept making an appearance.

Abbi Woof

I really enjoyed being part of this cultural heritage project as you discover so much heritage that was previously unknown about and overlooked. The survey makes you look at the landscape in a completely different way. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.

Rebekah Allison

Belinda Lloyd, the apprentice supervisor, ‘The archaeology surveys were led very well by archaeologists from Northern Archaeological Associates, Oscar and Lydia, who had a good rapport with the group and were happy to share their knowledge and increase ours. We learnt a huge amount about how the landscape has been used in the past.’

‘When undertaking the archaeology survey, the apprentice team had a standing start so many skills were learnt.  We were taught how to identify features from a distance, how outlines of shapes were significant, how rocks that move (when you kick them) suggest they were put there by humans not nature. We learnt how to take GPS points, how to record sites, and how to convince the archaeologists that our find was worthy of more exploration. Thanks for giving us the opportunity!’  

‘This knowledge is an added bonus to the apprenticeship; providing young people with a unique opportunity to understand and interpret the landscape as well as involving them in the partnership scheme at the start of their careers.  In years to come, when the apprentices are rangers or conservation officers, they will be able to make better archaeological decisions about where to dig that hole or how to impart that knowledge to volunteers, school groups or the public.  True skills for the future.’

You can find out more about Skills for the Future here - https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/32-securing-the-future-apprentices