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Ilkley green volunteer branches out to new tree job

An Ilkley woman who took part in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's youth volunteering programme has secured a new 'green' job with Leeds City Council.

22 year old Alice Rich has been volunteering through the Generation Green 'Up Skill, Down Dale' programme, which aims to provide skills to help people into employment in the 'green economy'.

Alice joined the programme last summer after completing a Geography degree at Durham and is particularly interested in conservation projects at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. She attended monthly ‘Up Skill, Down Dale’ sessions which involved a range of activities, including e-DNA river surveying with the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, bee and flower identification and surveys, an employment application workshop, and QGIS training (Geographic Information System).

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority facilitated a 4-month volunteer placement for Alice with the Trees & Woodlands Team, volunteering one day a week from September 2021. This work has proved valuable for both the National Park Authority and Alice.

She has now secured a position with the trees team at Leeds City Council.

Nick Cotton, Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “We’re thrilled that Alice has secured such a great opportunity, which is testament to her hard work and focus, and I’d like to thank officers in the Trees & Woodlands team who mentored her.

“When we presented our volunteering strategy last month we said that young people should be the inspiration and catalyst for growing our green economy, and our approach will hopefully support their journey through education and volunteering into employment".

Alison Stevens, Head of Education & Youth at YHA (England & Wales), which is hosting the Generation Green project on behalf of the 15 partners, said: “I am delighted that Generation Green has been able to act as the steppingstone to Alice’s new career in the outdoors. At the end of the 16-month project, Generation Green will have provided over 100,000 opportunities throughout England to support young people, like Alice, to gain access to routes to employment. This is part of a longer term aim to diversify the workforce of the wider outdoor sector, so that we can build towards a more inclusive and representative future.”

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority currently has 12 youth volunteers as part of the Generation Green ‘Up Skill, Down Dale’ youth volunteering programme, and recently announced ambitious new education, engagement and volunteering plans aimed at young people and under-represented groups.


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