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Follow in the footsteps of success – new path trainees wanted

26th March 2012

Six new trainees are wanted for the next Access skills training course run by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT).

200 people applied for the course last year when it was offered for the first time. The successful eight trainees completed their training in December 2011, three have set up their own contract company to carry out access work and four are working in path maintenance having been offered jobs.

The eight month course starts in May 2012 and as well as gaining an industry recognised certificate in path skills, Trainees will work towards the attainment of a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Environmental Conservation at Level 2 and above. Training will be based in Aviemore, with work sites located around the Cairngorms National Park area with both upland and lowland characteristics.

The course will consist of training on: Upland path work, Lowland path work, Fencing, Dyking, Interpretation/Promotion, Vegetation management, Surveying, Business skills, Health and safety, First aid, Environmental good practice, Communication skills.

The training course is part of the £2.1 million Cairngorms Mountain Heritage Project, managed by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Scottish Mountain Trust and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).

The project is aimed at conserving the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park for future generations to enjoy, protecting the fragile mountain environment by improving upland paths in order to sustain increasing numbers of visitors.  It is set to complete 17 footpaths, totalling 94.26kms or 58 miles over the life of the project.

COAT Mountain Heritage Training Officer, Gordon MacDonald, said: “The initiative is all about training people in the skills to gain employment in sustaining the special qualities of the Cairngorms National Park.

“There is a huge amount of information for the trainees to take on board during the course, they’ll learn many new skills and it’s physical work but those who’ve been through it have loved every minute of it.”

Anyone interested in applying to be a trainee path worker should contact Gordon MacDonald at the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust on tel: 01479 810766 or email: [email protected]  or visit the COAT website The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Thursday 12 April 2012.