A group of youngsters keen to become the first intake of Wye Valley AONB Youth Rangers attended a taster day on October 15 to learn more about the innovative two-year conservation and wildlife project.

The Youth Rangers project has been funded with a £23,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will enable 15 youngsters aged between 14 and 16 years of age to be recruited as rangers.

They will be involved in a range of tasks at several local sites including the River Wye, Iron Age hill forts at Yat Rock and Little Doward, a former iron and wireworks at the Angidy Valley, and award-winning farms.

Working with the Wye Valley AONB partnership and voluntary groups, the youngsters will learn about biodiversity, conservation, heritage and recreation.

They will undertake surveys of the area's rich wildlife and habitats, explore land management techniques, the navigation of the Wye and the development of tourism, and will acquire skills including stonewalling, hedge laying and woodcraft.

During the taster day, the youngsters watched a presentation and met with AONB patron, Kate Humble.

Later in the day they took part in a range of woodland activities including bush crafts and filming work as part of an initiative run by Hereford Rural Media, which aims to promote wildlife filming and photography.

Sarah Sawyer, who helped organise the event said: "It was a very successful day, with about 27 young people coming along to find out more about the project. They were very enthusiastic and keen to be selected as rangers. We are currently in the final selection process and the final team will be up and running by late November."