Funding available for land-based qualifications

6th June 2018

Applications are being encouraged from students studying for qualifications in the farming, forestry and horticulture industry.

The Swales Trust, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, offers grants of up to £1,000 towards the cost of land-based qualifications and the funding can be used to purchase study materials, specialist equipment or towards travel costs.

Priority will be given to students studying in Cumbria but is also available to people who live in Cumbria but are studying outside the county.

Carol Douglas,  48, from Sedbergh in South Lakeland, received £250 towards the cost of a Woodland Ecology Course at the Green Wood Centre near Telford.

Working part-time at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and a parent of two teenage children, Carol was unable to afford all the costs involved in attending courses to further her professional development within the forestry industry. Ineligible for funding for a Foundation Degree in Forestry, she decided short courses were another way to get the skills and experience she needed.

Carol said, “I have gained a breadth of knowledge that will be useful in my workplace. This has given me greater confidence in my role as Woodland Officer at the Millennium Trust. The grant gave me the motivation to look into available woodland courses and encouraged my employer to support me in this process. It has also spurred me very much into wanting to learn more.”

Ellen Clements, Grants & Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation said: “As Cumbria is such a rural county it is so important that we invest in the future of its farmers, foresters and horticulturalists. The Swales Trust aims to level the educational playing field and support people of all ages who are looking to pursue land-based qualifications but need a bit of money to help them along the way.”

The closing date for applications is 27th July 2018 to be reviewed by the panel on 28th August 2018. To apply visit or for more information contact Ellen Clements on 01900 825760 or email