Access All Areas Trainee joins the team

This year, over 60 new work placements in nature and landscape organisations across the UK are being offered to young people aged 18-25 as part of the New to Nature programme – an initiative which aims to increase diversity and new skills within the environmental sector by supporting young people into nature-focused roles.

As active participants in the scheme, we are delighted to welcome Hugh Hedgecock for a 12-month placement as Earth Trust’s Access All Areas Trainee.

In this role, Hugh will have the opportunity to work across Earth Trust and experience a broad range of specialist areas. For the first two months, he is working with our Central Operations teams to foster an overview of Earth Trust’s work and attending volunteer sessions to get a hands-on flavour of what we do. After this, Hugh will be able to choose up to four 2-3 month projects within specific departments, to gain more in-depth knowledge in the areas which particularly interest him.

Hugh is 22 years old and has a Chemistry degree from University of Reading. The Covid pandemic affected his studies and he found the lack of practical lab work took the fun factor out of the subject. Perhaps due to the lockdowns, where we all spent a lot of time stuck indoors, Hugh has realised that he would prefer to work outdoors, not inside a lab. Ideally, combining science with an outdoor role would be his perfect match.

Like many young people today, Hugh has grown up with constant reminders in the media of the climate crisis we’re facing and, rather than feel overwhelmed and helpless, he has decided that he wants to do work which helps the local area to make a positive impact for the future of the planet.

Although interested in joining the environmental sector, he has found it hard to get experience due to not having experience! He was thrilled when he came across the Access all Areas scheme and the opportunity it presented.

Access all areas trainee Earth Trust

“I’m enjoying the office atmosphere and the friendly staff have made me feel really welcome. I’m most excited about getting out with the Land Management team and learning about the work they do to manage woodlands. It’s really interesting to me to understand more about why cutting down trees isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do!”

Hugh lives in the Reading area and, conscious of his carbon footprint, plans to take the train and cycle to work.

Dave Lewis, Earth Trust Director of Operations says: “”We are delighted to be taking part in this pioneering project. Participating in the scheme is an opportunity for us to work with national and regional organisations across the UK to create innovative opportunities for people to work in environmental, nature, conservation roles who wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance.”

“Creating new paths into the environmental sector for those who may not have had the privilege or opportunities of others is an exciting moment as the green jobs of the future emerge. We look forward to kickstarting Hugh’s environmental career!”

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, New to Nature is delivered through a partnership of Groundwork, The Prince’s Trust, Disability Rights UK, and Mission Diverse. Working closely with the Youth Environmental Service, the programme acts as a stepping stone for a longer-term journey of change in the sector.

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