Apprentice carrying out practical tasks Copyright Stephen Garnett


With partners, we aim to provide a range of apprenticeships with organisations throughout the National Park, including at least 40 in farming, countryside management and heritage skills by 2019.

Twenty two apprenticeship opportunities have been taken up so far: 10 through the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) Dales Rural Trainee scheme and 12 through the Farmer Network for the Dales and Cumbria.

The National Park Authority currently has four 16 to 24-year-olds on a two-year rural placement, thanks to two YDMT projects – Green Futures and Stories in Stone – and we hope there will be more opportunities coming up in 2018. 

In 2017, we also advertised for apprentices in other areas of our work – specifically, communications, environmental conservation, planning and historic environment. Keep checking back on our jobs page to find out what kind of placements are on offer.

We welcome any enquiry about apprenticeships, even if there is not an opportunity currently advertised with the organisation that fits your area of interest. Please contact to find out more.

Former apprentices secure dream jobs

Two former National Park Authority countryside apprentices have fought off stiff competition to be appointed as Access Rangers with the organisation.

Suzannah Barningham, 28, from Low Row in Swaledale, who has now progressed into a Tourism Support Officer and Wildlife Conservation Support Officer role within the Authority, was previously based in the Authority’s new office in Orton, working in the Westmorland Dales area that became part of the National Park on 1 August 2016.

James Firth, 27, from Leyburn, is operating out of a ranger workshop in Hawes and working in Upper Wensleydale,.  

In their new roles, they will help to maintain the public rights of way network, other access routes and open access areas.

Suzannah and James have an impressive range of skills and experience, having completed two-year Dales Rural Apprenticeships run by the charity, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT). The aim is to enable 16-24 year olds to live and work in the area they grew up in, while learning how to enhance and conserve the landscape.

The apprenticeships combine work-based learning with a local employer with part-time college study towards a Level 2 Diploma in Environmental Conservation or Horticulture. While most of the apprentices go on to full time employment, permanent positions at the Authority are highly prized.

James said: “Completion of my apprenticeship with the National Park Authority in 2012 helped me go on to secure fixed term work with the Ranger Services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and more recently at North York Moors National Park.  

“To be successful in gaining a full time permanent ranger post in the Yorkshire Dales has been a fantastic result. I am looking forward to working with landowners to improve public access and bring environmental benefits to the area.”

Following her placement, Suzannah took up a maternity cover position with the Woodland Wildlife teams as Conservation Support Officer which gave her the chance to see another aspect of the Authority’s work.

She added: “I’m delighted to have now secured a job as an Access Ranger – it’s an exciting opportunity to work in the beautiful Westmorland Dales following the extension of the National Park.

“Having grown up in Swaledale, I have always wanted to help conserve and look after this special landscape, and completing the YDMT apprenticeship scheme has provided me with the skills needed to do my dream job.”

Jo Boulter has overseen rural apprenticeship schemes at YDMT for the last six years.

She said: “I was very proud to hear that James and Suzannah had fought off stiff competition to secure their ideal jobs. It just goes to show that these apprenticeship opportunities can be truly life-changing and often lead to rewarding careers in countryside management.”

James and Suzannah will be joining Josh Hull, who completed his apprenticeship in 2012 and went on to be appointed the Authority’s Three Peaks Ranger.