Craftspeople learning their trade at Dumfries House are now playing their part in the £20m restoration of a UK heritage landmark.

Seven trainees – selected as part of this year’s intake on The Prince’s Foundation’s Traditional Building Skills programme – are working on site at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland as part of a partnership with Historic Royal Palaces and the government Historic Environment Division.

As part of the programme, the trainees will complete live build projects at Hillsborough, Dumfries House and The Royal Gardens at Highgrove.

Michael Goodger, built environment education manager for The Prince’s Foundation, is accompanying the group. He said: “This programme gives participants an opportunity to learn from each other and gain a clear sense of all the processes involved in a live build. Hillsborough and Dumfries House both offer new-build projects, while Highgrove involves the restoration and conservation of an existing building in much need of repair to ensure its longevity in the future.”

At Dumfries House, the trainees will be hard at work on a new outdoor classroom featuring oak framing, a thatched roof, and earthen walls.

During their time on the programme, the trainees will construct buildings using traditional skills such as stonemasonry, woodwork, plastering, blacksmithing, bricklaying, thatching, and painting and decorating.

The Traditional Building Skills Programme – a year-long course delivered by The Prince’s Foundation and The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust – offers successful participants an NVQ Level 3 qualification.