Land and Nature Skills Service (LANSS)

A Land and Nature Skills Service for Cumbria?

24th February 2022

Recommendation for a Land and Nature Skills Service for Cumbria

A proposal for a Land and Nature Skills Service (LANSS) for Cumbria was developed through an initial 12-month collaboration from October 2020. This involved dozens of organisations and individuals to consider how we address the needs for a highly skilled, localised workforce.

There are organisations poised to deliver and already delivering on these needs, but there are also gaps in skills, knowledge and training to be filled. Locally, the loss of Newton Rigg College – the only land-based college in Cumbria - exacerbated the gaps and led to the ‘Cumbria strategy for post-16 land-based education, skills and knowledge transfer’ at the end of 2020.

A scoping study for a Land and Nature Skills Service (LANSS) for Cumbria was completed in December 2022, following an extensive co-design process co-ordinated by FFCC.

The study took a detailed look into whether and how a LANSS could best support a skilled Cumbrian workforce fit for the future. It was an iterative and collaborative process shaped by a Working Group and hosted opportunities to feed into the process, and provides a basis for any further development. The LANSS Blueprint provides a practical reference guide for implementation of the service.

This work goes some way to support a skilled, inclusive workforce fit for the future of land-and nature-based work in Cumbria which is needed to meet the needs of communities and our natural environment. Sustaining collaborative work locally to implement the service is now key.

We are now in the transition phase of the LANSS (as outlined in the blueprint), moving towards implementation of the Service.

Our feasibility report and annexes present the findings of the scoping study.

Further annexes:

The needs for a LANSS were identified as:

  • Supporting communities to work together for change, moving away from siloed approaches.
  • Ensuring the needs of the local communities and landscapes are met whilst delivering on national, and even global, priorities including ecological restoration, net zero carbon, green jobs creation and more.
  • Delivering and amplifying the skills and work opportunities needed in our landscapes now and for the future, supporting thriving landscapes and resilient local businesses and communities.
  • Providing shared-learning opportunities through our networks, delivering a place-centred approach to issues faced nationally and in the UK in terms of skills gaps and worker shortages.

The LANSS could aim to:

  • Provide oversight and linking of the opportunities already available (an information hub).
  • Provide access to lifelong learning, including opportunities for young people, existing businesses, career changers, and retirees.
  • Support people who are already working in the sector.
  • Support those new to the land- and nature-based sector. This includes those from non-farming and non-rural backgrounds and underrepresented groups who find it challenging to access the sector.
  • Create opportunities for in-person training delivery with immediate relevance to practice.

LANSS Enquiries: please contact Tania Lemmey [].