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Kickstarting Careers In River Conservation

A young Lancaster woman has begun a career in conservation after successfully completing her Kickstart training with Ribble Rivers Trust.

Bethany Ryan, 22, aspired to a career in conservation but found opportunities few and far between.

However, she’s one of three young people recruited by RRT under the government’s Kickstart scheme, launched in response to an expected surge in youth unemployment resulting from the pandemic, and hasn’t looked back.

The Trust is a local environmental charity established in 1997 to protect and restore the Ribble, Hodder, Calder, Darwen and Douglas rivers, and to raise public awareness of their value.

Bethany joined RRT’s Health & Environmental Action Lancashire (HEAL) project, funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, and bosses were so impressed by her work during the six-month placement that she’s been offered a role at the charity.

Bethany first heard about RRT’s work while studying for her natural sciences degree at Lancaster University.

“I thought their projects were really interesting and that it would be amazing to work for them but never thought I’d have the opportunity,” said Bethany.

During her placement, Bethany planted a lot of trees to create new woodlands and also at schools where she was involved with educational sessions too. She has now joined RRT’s woodland team helping to plan their next projects.

“The Kickstart scheme has been an important part of our Green Recovery Challenge funded programme, helping us to create jobs for young people keen to get into conservation,” said RRT’s deputy chief executive, Harvey Hamilton-Thorpe.

“Ribble Rivers Trust is growing and developing, and it’s been great to offer opportunities for people to develop new skills and gain work experience, and to showcase ourselves as a good place to work and make a difference for our environment and the communities.”


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