Marine and Coastal Heritage Progamme

Trainees from Cohort 3 - 2016/17 with Mari-Ann ParkTrainees from Cohort 3 - 2016/17 with Mari-Ann Park

The Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme is running from 2014 until 2017 and is aimed at providing work-based training for highly motivated individuals with an interest in marine conservation and community engagement, and an enthusiasm to gain the skills required for employment within the conservation sector.

This three year project is led by Cumbria Wildlife Trust in conjunction with the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, is financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Skills for the Future scheme. This project aims to provide people with the skills to pursue a career in marine and coastal heritage – a specialised area of the environmental sector.

During the three years, Trainee Marine and Coastal Conservation Officers will be chosen to embark on a range of taught courses and gain on-the-job experience. During their placements on the project, the trainees will receive in-house and external training in marine conservation and community engagement. This will enable them to develop the specialist marine knowledge and inter-disciplinary skills necessary to gain employment in the sector. The trainees will have the opportunity to work with staff from all partner organisations and those that we share close links with such as the NWIFCA, National Trust, Natural England and the RSPB.

As a Wildlife Trust we specialise in community engagement and therefore there is a strong focus on this area within the placement. The trainees also have the chance to take a personal approach to their training through the development of Individual Training Plans.



Some of the aspects that the training programme covers are:
• Community engagement and education
• Heritage interpretation and education
• Volunteer management skills
• AQA unit awards
• Species identification
• Habitat surveys
• Practical conservation
• Personal projects


While on the programme, trainees have the opportunity to experience working within the Head Office of the lead project organisation Cumbria Wildlife Trust, based in Kendal, as well as living and working at the Trust’s coastal nature reserve on Walney Island, Cumbria.



You can view a short video made about the Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme 2014-2017 below. 



Marine Training Programme Beyond 2017

Cumbria Wildlife Trust, with the support of many partner organisations has supported 24 trainees to become ‘work ready’ for roles in UK marine conservation – an area lacking certain skills and expertise. Over the next year, whilst we won’t be running another training programme specifically related to marine conservation we are continuing to develop skills in the conservation sector by hosting a number of budding conservationists through Apprenticeships schemes and short term placements available through working closely with the University of Cumbria. Cumbria Wildlife Trust is also committed to developing the next generation of marine conservationist and bringing those much needed skills and expertise to the sector. To do this, over the next year, we will be reviewing how we can achieve this. In the meantime if you are interested in volunteering with Cumbria Wildlife Trust please take a look here: 

Building on Past Success

The Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme was built upon the hugely successful Marine Graduate Training Programme that hosted twelve graduate trainees between May 2011 and May 2014. After completing placements on the previous programme, our trainees (formerly Marine and Coastal Conservation and Community Engagement Officers) have gone on to secure paid employment with some of the most prominent and influential organisations within the UK marine conservation sector, including Natural England, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). Most trainees have done so within six months of completing their placement. To learn a little more about our past trainees, their time spent with the Trust and what they have gone on to do take a look at our Trainee Case Studies page. You can also hear from some of our recent trainees in our Marine Graduate Training Programme video