Tag Archives: Rangers

ERC 2017: Rangers without borders

Continuing on from my last post about the European Ranger Congress, I’d like to focus on international cooperation.

The spirit of international cooperation was strong at the European Ranger Congress last month. The theme of this congress was “Exploring new approaches to conserving nature”. Carol Ritchie, Executive Director of EUROPARC  pointed out that the future is full of challenges, but also opportunities too. “We are not alone – we are one big family”. She said that “we need to look beyond our own patch, and elevate our role… Look to the future for Rangers in Europe.”

The Congress had a number of examples of people already working together across borders for nature conservation. Many of the National Parks in Czech Republic are near the country’s borders, so there are examples of parks linking up across borders such as Šumava National Park (Czech border with Germany and Austria) and Bohemian Switzerland (Czech and German border) to show us what can be achieved by working together.

The Congress also looked at ideas and projects to stimulate and develop more international cooperation. Different forms of cooperation were discussed, such as twinning, sharing knowledge, ranger exchanges and clustering. A number of IRF twinning agreements were actually signed at the Congress too. The IRF sees the twinning document as a sign of intent from ranger in different countries to work together. It can be the framework within which ranger exchanges, cross-border projects and other forms of cooperation can develop.

Continue reading ERC 2017: Rangers without borders

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

Looking back at Parks, part 1: 100 years of National Parks

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.
nps_centennial-uspp_2016
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).

Continue reading Looking back at Parks, part 1: 100 years of National Parks

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

Countryside Management Association: Olympic Park social

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.

CMA-EoE Olympic Park Social
At the Olympic VeloPark! Thanks to Roger Cole for the photo.

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!

CMA logo

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.

Nuclear Fallout: 8km Mud Run with obstacles

Fundraising target achieved!

 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!

justgiving donations - target reached

As promised, pictures from the event:

Raising for Rangers

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!

TO DONATE:

Visit www.justgiving.com/Tom-Heenan/ or

text RNGR99 £x(the amount you want to donate) to 70070

The race has been completed and donations are now closed! Many thanks to everyone who supported this worthy cause!

World Ranger Day 2014

July 31st was World Ranger Day.

World Ranger 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.” – International Ranger Federation.

World Ranger Day has taken place each year since 2007, and many around the world take part by organising events to help commemorate, increase awareness, and raise money for The Thin Green Line (a charity “dedicated to protecting endangered species and threatened ecosystems by supporting park rangers”).

Lee Valley Regional Park held a Disc Golf Challenge to celebrate World Ranger Day and raise money for The Thin Green Line. As a member of the Countryside Management Association, I attended the event with some of my Thurrock Ranger colleagues. We competed in teams of two around the new frisbee golf course in Lee Valley Country Park, Hertfordshire – all nine holes (or baskets) of frisbee fun. At the event, Thurrock Rangers presented a cheque for The Thin Green Line, having raised £400 through a “Glowing in the Dark” glow-worm night and other activities.

I found the Disc Golf Challenge challenging, but enjoyable – although finishing with a respectable score, I managed to spend much of my time hunting for the frisbee in the long grass and scrub. This was also a great chance to see more of the Lea Valley, and meet some counterparts from Lee Valley and other parts of the country. Although the Disc Golf venue (near the White Water Centre used in the 2012 Olympics) wasn’t too far from where I grew up, I hadn’t seen this part of the valley before. This isn’t so surprising when one considers that Lee Valley Regional Park is 10,000 acres in size, and 26 mile long!

Although the day was good fun, there was a serious message. There are over 100,000 protected areas across the globe, and many of the Rangers working to protect these areas risk their lives daily. It’s estimated that over 1,000 Rangers have been lost over the past decade (IRF). Prince William, HRH Duke of Cambridge, acknowledged the important work of Rangers in a youtube video message for World Ranger Day 2014. Dr Jane Goodall also created a World Ranger Day video message this year to show her respect for the world’s Rangers.

To learn more or find our how you can become involved and support park rangers on the front-line please visit:

 

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