Young People & Rural Skills

A group of people by a dry stone wall in the Cotswolds

Engagement, education and outreach for young people

Following the success of the Kingfisher Trail in 2021, and additional funding from Thames Water, the Wates Foundation, and the Summerfield Charitable Trust, we are working hard to create opportunities for young people to engage with rural skills and the countryside. We aim to work with youth groups, community groups, and other organisations working with young people to help introduce them to the many benefits of being outside and surrounded by nature.

Thames Water logo

Wates Foundation logoSummerfield Charitable Trust logo

Rural skills

We refer to rural skills a lot – but what are they? When we talk about rural skills, we are mostly talking about traditional crafts and skills that are integral to our landscape – think about how a dry stone wall helps keep sheep in a field, or how a well laid hedge keeps boundaries neat and tidy. Many rural skills also have positive benefits for nature and wildlife too.

We want to share these skills with young people, and inspire them to reconsider the landscape of the Cotswolds. Not just as a pretty place to visit, but also as the source of a new interest or hobby, or perhaps the place to build a career.

In introducing people to these wonderful skills and crafts, many of which are centuries old (or more!), we hope to encourage people to think about how landscape-based rural skills can not only offer opportunities for work and recreation, but also are a vital part of how we work to look after the Cotswolds landscape.

Above all, we want to encourage people to get outside, and really take part in these skills. To get stuck in, try their hand at something new, to breathe the fresh air, and take a look around.

If this sounds of interest to you, or a group you work with, get in touch with us to find out more:
Ed Bonn, Rural Skills Officer