The Royal Parks (TRP) is to recruit its first wildlife apprentice, thanks to a generous donation from the Berkeley Foundation.
As a wildlife apprentice, the successful applicant will be paid a salary whilst working and gaining hands on experience in The Regent's Park, and at the same time study for a Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Environmental Conservation. They will be employed by one of TRP's landscape maintenance contractors, The Landscape Group.
The Regent's Park, home to award-winning gardens, elegant fountains and London's biggest public outdoor sports facility, is an important haven for wildlife in the capital. The park has a wide range of waterfowl, a large urban heronry, and is one of the few places in central London where you can still find hedgehogs.
The post holder's prime focus will be on habitat management practices that benefit wildlife, including the creation and maintenance of native hedgerows, meadows, copses and reed beds. They will also assist TRP's Wildlife Officers in monitoring and identifying wildlife, and helping care for waterfowl.
The post holder will primarily be based in The Regent's Park but will periodically work across other Royal Parks including St James's Park where they will feed and look after its pelicans.
Dennis Clarke, TRP's Head of Park Services, said: "We are very pleased to partner with the Berkeley Foundation to provide one lucky apprentice the opportunity to work alongside experts in conservation, wildlife and horticulture, in some of the most visited and well known parks in the country.
"Despite its central location, The Regent's Park is an important haven for wildlife with 102 hectares designated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, and we hope the apprentice can help us build on our ongoing conservation plans."
The Royal Parks has been recruiting apprentices since 1962 and has opened doors across the world for many of them. Of the eight who completed their horticultural apprenticeship last year, some remained working for TRP while others have moved on to other prestigious roles. Longwood Gardens - one of America's most famous botanical gardens - and Buckingham Palace are just some of the workplaces that now have TRP apprentices on their staff lists.
Charmaine Young CBE, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation, said: "It is vital that young people in London are given the opportunity to develop their skills, and this is central to our work at the Berkeley Foundation. It is wonderful that the The Royal Parks has made this exciting apprenticeship available and we're delighted to be supporting its efforts."
Alistair Bayford, Assistant Director of Strategic Parks Management for The Landscape Group comments: "As one of the UK's Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers we are absolutely delighted to be supporting this initiative through the creation of an apprentice post in wildlife conservation which is central to our operations at The Regents Park and Primrose Hill. This creates a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to work in London's most iconic parks all of which are vital in supporting London's wildlife.'
More information and to apply for the TRP wildlife apprenticeship visit the National Apprenticeship website (https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/585232). There is no upper age limit, and the deadline for applications is 24 July, 2015.