As you may know, I am a region coordinator for the Countryside Management Association. The CMA run a number of events in the East of England and across the UK – including study days, training events and conferences. If you aren’t a CMA member but would like to find out about our events, you can sign up for our non-member updates. We’ll only email you about our events (no spam!) and you can unsubscribe at any time.
We are hoping to start a free yearly conference in the East of England region to bring together rangers, wardens, project officers, ecologists, contractors and other professionals working in parks and greenspace management – as well as students and volunteers! The East of England committee would like to find contacts in different organisations through the region who would be interested in attending or getting involved in the conference. If you would be happy to go on our contacts list please get in touch.
Formed in 1966 the CMA is the largest organisation supporting the work of conservation, access and recreation professionals in the natural greenspace and countryside sector throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So two weeks ago, the European Ranger Congress brought together staff and volunteers from across Europe (and beyond) to talk about the future of nature conservation. If you think that would be an inspirational event to attend, you’re not wrong!
The 4th European Ranger Congress took place 9-13th May in Litomerice, near the Bohemian Central Uplands of the Czech Republic. People from 26 countries attended, people who are working or volunteering as Rangers (and allied professions) in their own countries.
As 2016 ended, I couldn’t help looking back. Did you know that 2016 was the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service? It was also the 50th anniversary of the UK’s Countryside Management Association, so I thought it would be worth looking back at the history of National Parks and the CMA, and considering how parks and the Ranger role have developed. In this post i’ll be looking at the rise of National Parks.
The world’s first National Park as we know it was Yellowstone National Park in the United States, created in 1872. When Yellowstone National Park was created, the federal government had to assume responsibility as Wyoming, Montana and Idaho were territories, not states! Yosemite became the first US state park in 1864 under President Abraham Lincoln, and this essentially paved the way for the first national park (especially with the campaigning of John Muir and others).
The Countryside Management Association (CMA) are holding a study day on Monday 12th December at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, near the O2 in London! The study day is titled “Wildlife sites in urban areas – challenges and benefits for people and wildlife” and it looks to be an interesting one.
Not only is this a great site, but the day will coversome big topics like: the impact of nature sites on health & wellbeing, community involvement (and successful volunteering schemes), and the effects and pressures of development. Phew!
Have you heard of the Countryside Management Association (CMA)? The CMA supports countryside management professionals throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I currently have the role of East of England Region Coordinator, and I’ve organised a social and networking event for anyone involved in countryside management or interested in joining the CMA. So why not come along? More information about the event below!
2nd April 2016 at Belhus Woods Country Park, South Ockendon, Essex
4pm-6pm: Walk and talk
6pm: Meal (optional)
Join us for a walk around Belhus Woods Country Park, with the option of a meal afterwards at a local restaurant. This free CMA event is open to members and non-members alike, and will be a great chance to meet others working in the industry, to discuss your own site and find out about others, and to find out more about the Countryside Management Association.
Belhus Woods Country Park is over 300 acres on the borders of Essex and London, managed by Essex County Council. The site is part of a large extent of open land, with neighbouring sites managed by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. For more information about the Country Park, including a location map, see Belhus Woods Country Park’s webpage. For those coming by car, there is ample parking at the Country Park although be aware that parking charges apply.
Please let us know if you are coming to the meal by 19th March, so that we can confirm the restaurant booking.
For more details and to book a place, please email Tom Heenan (CMA East of England region co-ordinator) on: eastofengland(at)countrysidemanagement.org.uk.
Formed in 1966 the CMA is the largest organisation supporting the work of conservation, access and recreation professionals in the natural greenspace and countryside sector throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To find out more about the CMA visit http://countrysidemanagement.org.uk
Some of the CMA members from the East of England region met on Saturday 27th June at the Lee Valley Velopark, near Stratford station. We were treated to a fascinating tour of the Velopark (including the Velodrome, mountain bike and BMX tracks), followed by a walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We saw the wildlife areas, and learnt about their creation and maintenance from Lee Valley staff. We then retired to a local pub for dinner.
It was interesting to walk around the site of the 2012 Olympics and see the London Olympic legacy. As well as being informative, the social was a great chance to touch base with some of the other members in the region and discuss the CMA. Many thanks to Derek and Ges, for organising the social and showing us around!
The Countryside Management Association represents professionals in the greenspace and countryside sector, and supports development of staff, students and volunteers. Benefits include training and study days, CMA “Ranger” magazine, networking opportunities, international links, and professional accreditation. Membership is heavily discounted for unwaged members – including students.
For more information visit countrysidemanagement.org.uk.
02/11/14 07:10 Finished the mud run, phew!!! Lots of mud, some very cold water, some tricky obstacles… but lots of fun. Thanks to everyone that’s supported, we’re up to 65% of our target and some donations still coming in! 😀
05/11/14 06:02 I still can’t believe the race is over, but I’ve got a shiny medal to prove it hehe. Thanks to everyone that’s sponsored, we’ve reached our target of £200. All thanks to you guys!
As promised, pictures from the event:
8km of muddy running, with plenty of obstacles…
Before the race: clean and smiling!
Tough going on London Clay
A mountain of haybales. Flashbacks of summer!
The Deathslide! Definitely one of the more exciting obstacles.
I’m taking part in Nuclear Fallout with a fellow Country Park Ranger, Nicola – this is an 8km muddy race with obstacles, in Essex. The race takes place on Sunday 2nd November (not long now!!!), and we are raising money for the Thin Green Line Foundation.
The Born Free Foundation are very kindly helping us to raise money for the Thin Green Line Foundation, the world’s only charity solely dedicated to protecting endangered species and threatened ecosystems by supporting park rangers. The Thin Green Line provides park rangers with equipment and training to assist them in patrolling on the front-line of conservation, and provide financial support to the widows and orphans of park rangers killed in the line of duty. Read more about the Thin Green Line at http://thingreenline.org.au/. We hope you will help to support them with whatever you can spare.
Nuclear Fallout is a wet, cold, muddy race around the Secret Nuclear Bunker Estate. “We’ve 60+ natural & man-made obstacles all on hilly, undulating farmland & heavy Essex Clay,” says nuclear-races.co.uk. Obstacles include lakes, cargo nets, and 120 metre monkey bars. Read more at http://www.nuclear-races.co.uk/index.php/events/nuclear-fallout/.
Please help us to support this worthy cause with whatever you can spare. Muddy pictures will go up after the race!