Tag Archives: Event

East of England Ranger Rendezvous: Fri 1st March

Calling all rangers, wardens, conservation volunteers, countryside students…. and any other countryside and greenspace people! The Countryside Management Association are holding an East of England “Ranger Rendezvous” in Basildon, Essex. Friday 01 March 2019, 4pm til 7pm. Come for a walk and meet other people in the sector. CMA members can just book themselves on, non-members please ask to be added to the event. Visit the event at Eventbrite for more info and tickets!

Ranger Rendezvous - Countryside Management Association event

This will be a chance for staff, volunteers and students in the greenspace and countryside sector to get together, meet others in the field and share ideas. We’ll start with a walk (4pm) at Langdon Hills Country Park, a beautiful park managed by Thurrock Council. We’ll follow up with some networking and discussion indoors (5pm-7pm). Please feel free to join is for any or all parts of the Ranger Rendezvous!


Langdon Hills Country Park sits on a hilly ridge that extends from Dunton to Vange. Its 400 acres have panoramic views over the Thames Estuary and across to London” – Thurrock Council. The park has a wide variety of habitats and links up with neighbouring Langdon Nature Reserve (managed by Essex Wildlife Trust) to form a brilliant belt of greenspace on the edge of Basildon and Thurrock. It’s an interesting site, with veteran trees (I filmed by Biodiversity Ambassador video here), ethical beehives, annual World Ranger Day events and an active Friends group. The Country Park is also hosting a Tree ID day run by the Countryside Management Association, taking place earlier in the day on Friday 1st March.

Tree ID course - Countryside Management Association

If you haven’t been to Langdon Hills Country Park before, why not join us for the Tree ID course or the Ranger Rendezvous? Or both!

The Countryside Management Association supports the development of staff, students and volunteers involved in the management, interpretation, and public enjoyment of natural greenspace and the countryside through networking, training and continuing professional development. 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.


Murder Mystery Meal at Thurrock Hotel

Yesterday I was treated to a birthday treat – some “Whodun’it Crime & Dine Entertainment” in the form of a muder mystery meal. This was a nice surpise, thanks Natasha! The murder mystery was enacted by Moneypenny Productions and took place at the Thurrock Hotel in Essex.

Thurrock Hotel, Aveley, Essex. Scene of last night’s murder!
We arrived at the hotel and grabbed a drink in the bar while waiting for the mysterious meal to begin… ‎We were called into the Belmont Suite where we had assigned tables. Natasha and I joined some friendly folks on Table 6. We were given some background info through flyers on the table, and we were introduced to the evening with spooky music and a delightfully over-the-top actor – “Victor Frunkelfurter”, the victim-to-be.
Moneypenny Productions present: The Case of the Invisible Corpse

murder mystery dinner - facebook event pic

The evening unfolded with food and fun as the victim and three suspects interacted, drip-fed us clues and gave us the chance to cross-examine them with our own questions. The mystery took place in 1835 in Edinburgh with a cast of eccentric individuals: Victor Frunkelfurter, fleeing debt; Gr’igor, a lady of many parts (work in progress); Berk, supplier of bodies to Edinburgh University‎’s medical students: Rabbit, cousin to Berk and owner of the Firkin Firkers inn.


I laughed over my tomato soup at the actors’ antics, deliberated through dinner over the clues and motives, and by dessert thought I’d detected the dastardly culprit. We scored well on points for questioning the suspects; enthusiastic Table 6 cheered themselves loudly at this point. All tables submitted their answers / best stab in the dark as to who, how and why the murder was committed. Sadly Table 6 was mistaken – and our table was ridiculed mercilessly for our earlier smugness! It was all extremely good fun though: good food, good entertainment and good company. I would definitely do something similar in the future!
Moneypenny Productions produce live interactive murder mystery dinner theatre with hilarious consequences. We have been trading in the United Kingdom since 1996 and run on average 250 interactive murder mystery events each year.
– moneypennyproductions.co.uk

How will you celebrate World Ranger Day 2018?


Did you know 31st July is World Ranger Day? This day commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures.

World Ranger Day at Langdon Hills Country ParkThe Rangers and Friends of Langdon Hills Country Park in Essex are holding a public event to celebrate World Ranger Day – making log faces, bird, bat and bug boxes with families, plus raising awareness about Rangers around the world.

As the 31st July approaches, please consider celebrating World Ranger Day in some way to raise awareness or raise money for the Thin Green Line Foundation – a charity that supports Rangers and their families in low-income countries and conflict zones. I once did an 8km mud run with obstacles  to raise money for the Thin Green Line!

Crossing the finish line!

How will you celebrate World Ranger Day? Ideas and resources can be found on the IRF website.

Happy Volunteers’ Week!

Yes it’s Volunteers’ Week! Taking place from 1-7 June each year, this week is a chance to recognise the contribution of volunteers across the UK.

“Volunteers’ Week is a chance to be part of the UK’s biggest celebration of volunteering, recognising the contribution of 23 million people who volunteer in their communities across the UK.” – NCVO, the lead for Volunteers’ Week.


The event has been running since 1984 and many different organisations get involved. You might want to share your volunteering story if you volunteer already, or look at trying some volunteering if you don’t do any yet. Many organisations also organise events for Volunteers’ Week, and you can check to see what is running near you on the Volunteers’ Week website.

Volunteers’ Week 2018 is focussed on Volunteering for All, “celebrating the huge range of people who give their time in so many ways” (volunteersweek.org). Check out the Volunteers’ Week website for some free guidance on how to open up your volunteering to all, including Guidance on equality and diversity and a Case study on diversifying your volunteer base.

Did you know? 37% of the UK population volunteer at least once a year, with 22% volunteering at least once a month! You can find more stats on volunteering here.

17-11-24-volunteering-infographic (sport england)
The benefits of volunteering – sportengland.org


Do you volunteer? Or work with volunteers? If so, why not share what volunteering means to you! You can read a great account from an RSPB residential volunteer for inspiration. Please leave a comment, or for those that tweet you could try the official hashtag #volunteersweek on twitter.

Countryside Management Association: get event updates


Find out about events like the Study Day at Coalhouse Fort Country Park!

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.

European Ranger Congress 2017: an overview

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.

RangingFar - European-Ranger-Congress-Opening-Ceremony
Flying the flags at the Opening Ceremony

Continue reading European Ranger Congress 2017: an overview

European Ranger Congress 2017: First photos

Hi all! Here are the first photos from the European Ranger Congress 2017, which took place last week in Litoměřice, Czech Republic. More info and photos to follow, so watch this space!

[I have published more about ERC 2017! There is ERC 2017: an overview, and a piece about international cooperation – ERC 2017: Rangers without borders]

Countryside Management Social Event – East of England/London

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)

Belhus Woods Country Park

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.

You can find the event on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1706743476270827/.  

 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

Continue reading Countryside Management Social Event – East of England/London

A Ranger blogging about nature conservation, wildlife, and travel.