Article - The River Blog

Hello from Kayleigh Szostak – Assistant River Ranger

Author: Jane Skilling
Categories: Uncategorised


Hello! I’m Kayleigh, the newly appointed Assistant River Ranger at River Holme Connections. I have moved across from Kirklees Council where I recently completed my apprenticeship as a Countryside worker with Kirklees and Askham Bryan College, and I’m excited to be continuing my career journey with the River Holme team!

Working for the council has taken me all across Kirklees, including some spots in the Holme Valley such as Honley Woods, Thurnstonland, and Meltham Moor, in the best and worst of weather! During my apprenticeship, I got to work alongside the Parks and Greenspaces team as well as the Public Rights of Way team and on occasion Marsden Moor National Trust. This allowed me to build on a variety of countryside skills; I have tickets in chainsawing, spraying, and brushcutting, and experience in a whole range of areas from habitat management and creation, surveying, waymarking, boundaries, pathwork, and more, which are all things I will be able to put to good use as an Assistant River Ranger.

My role within River Holme Connections is to help out as much as possible to deliver some of the great projects the charity is currently working on, including Landscape Recovery, INNS out, White Rose Forest tree planting schemes, and Yorkshire Water partnership projects, as well as smaller partnerships with local businesses. The variety of work is definitely keeping me on my toes with no two days the same, and so far I have been getting stuck into school education days, tree management, river surveys, and general habitat management!

Whilst I’m with River Holme Connections I want to make sure I help to make as many positive changes to the area as I can so that we can improve the river health, increase the biodiversity, create accessibility, and boost public knowledge on the are to help people get out and about in these beautiful natural spaces. You can’t put a price on the value of nature, which is why I think it’s so important to help enhance and protect it for future generations! I’m really looking forward to working with everyone within the team to achieve this, including the wonderful volunteers we have, and am excited to explore more of the Holme Valley as I go! 

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