08:00 Tuesday 04 February 2014

SLIDESHOW - Air cadets dig deep for new project

Written byROB SMYTH

AIR cadets have been digging deep to help create a new part of the National Forest in South Derbyshire.

The 1211 Swadlincote Squadron, in partnership with Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, have been installing yellow-topped way-marking posters along part of a new long distance footpath, the National Forest Way, where it passes through Rosliston Forestry Centre in South Derbyshire.

Sergeant Rob Charlesworth, the squadron’s Duke of Edinburgh’s award officer, said: “As part of the volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, we often look for projects for our cadets to get involved with and this one is right up our street.

“Swadlincote is in the heart of the National Forest and it is great to be involved with another project that helps develop our cadets, as well as supporting our community.”

The new National Forest Way long distance trail opens in May and takes walkers on a fascinating journey through a transforming landscape at the heart of the Midlands.

The route takes in 75 miles of public and permissive footpaths, crossing the length and breadth of the National Forest from the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas to Beacon Hill Country Park, in Leicestershire.

The way-marking posts are 5ft in length and, when installed, stand approximately 3ft out of the ground.

Despite the cold and windy conditions, the cadets have been digging hard and fast to install the posts to ensure they are ready for the launch event.

Air cadet Chloe Collins, 14, from Swadlincote, said: “After the safety briefing, we split into groups and worked on installing the posts at different points on the route. My team had to dig through concrete, brick and mud layers before we could set the post. It was really hard work but we had fun doing it.”

Marion Far­rell, from the Groundwork group, said: “Groundwork has worked with 1211 squadron before and once again, I’ve been really impressed with how the cadets have got involved in this new project and they are installing posts a lot quicker than I was expecting.”

More information on the squadron is available by heading online to www.1211@aircadets.org

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