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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Project will create jobs in Cumbria

Jobs will be created through a multi-million pound environmental project on the Solway coast.

Alex Sijpesteijn: ’Hurdles’

Long-awaited work has started on what is being viewed as a vitally important conservation and restoration scheme.

It is aimed at restoring wetland that will provide habitats for wildlife, potentially adding an attraction for visitors to the area.

A new heritage centre will also be crated as a part of a programme that will run for three-and-a-half years.

The Solway Wetland project, led by the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), was awarded £1,893,200 by the Heritage Lottery Fund in May but work is now only just underway.

The scheme requires three new employees as well as four apprentices to take on the work towards restoring and conserving different parts of the area’s natural and built heritage.

Project manager Alex Kaars Sijpesteijn is looking forward to getting started.

She said: “It has been a bit frustrating but there are always hurdles to jump over.

“The project itself has been in the pipeline for a number of years and I spent a whole year developing it and building it up.

“I’m excited to get started and to finally see it come to fruition can only be a boost.”

The staff needed are a wetland officer, education officer and an administration assistant, as well as two pairs of apprentices to shadow senior staff.

The education officer will be liaising with secondary schools in the Solway plain area and aiming to get children involved by taking them to explore and showing them wildlife.

The wetland officer will provide expertise and encourage others to work with the project.

Ms Sijpesteijn says the jobs and apprenticeships are good opportunities for people in the area.

The aim is for the benefits project to be felt for more than 10 years.

It will involve creating a new Solway Plains Cultural Heritage Centre at Holme Cultram Abbey, Abbeytown as well as a Solway Wetland Centre at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds North Plain near Bowness-on-Solway



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