Training and Skills

Countryside management skills training

This project aims to preserve skills which are needed to maintain the unique landscape of the Solway. Training is being provided in several areas:

  • The North Cumberland style of hedgelaying, in conjunction with the Solway Coast AONB hedgelaying competition in February each year;
  • Pond restoration to conserve the declining village, garden and farmland ponds
  • Cobble walling traditionally found on hedge “kests” (banks) using local stone from the beach
  • Orchard management training with an apple celebration day to provide the skills needed to maintain existing orchards and inspire others to develop.

Wetland Management training

This will provide landowners, contractors and other interested people with the skills to manage wet grassland and peat bog areas well into the future. Training events will last a day and incorporate training covering most wetland Higher Level Stewardship options such as sluices, scrapes, grazing and rush-cutting.

Heritage skills training

Heritage skills training was provided for builders and contractors using the construction of the Solway Wetlands Centre as a live heritage skills project learning new skills in hemp lime plastering, cement removal and pointing. Other courses in traditional building techniques will include ‘weathering’ sandstone gate stoops and a project constructing a clay dabbin playhouse with a local school, enabling the school community have a hands on experience learning about the heritage of traditional buildings


Four young people over the lifetime of the project will be able to earn a work-based Level 2 Diploma in Environmental Conservation hosted by Cumbia Wildlife Trust and Natural England taking approximately 18 months. The students will learn by working on the sites managed by these two partners, supported by Askham Bryan College through Newton Rigg in Penrith.

Research programme

A number of topics are available for research students undertaking higher education study, ensuring that university work meets real research needs and research supports wetland and heritage management in the area. Researchers would be invited to talk at public events to share their findings with a wider audience and to publish a synopsis of their findings in the project’s newsletter and on the website.