Another 25 Volunteer Rangers are to be recruited by The Royal Parks in the scheme’s second year of operation. Last year, Rangers clocked up 1,300 hours walking the vast expanse of these semi-rural parks and interacting with visitors.
Since the service began in April 2019, Rangers have engaged with over 7,000 visitors sharing their local knowledge and educating people on everything from walking routes and deer birthing season, to skylarks and ancient trees.
Jo Haywood, Volunteer Ranger Co-ordinator said: “We are looking for people with bags of enthusiasm, who enjoy being outdoors and most importantly love talking to people.
“Through engagement with our visitors, volunteer rangers make a real contribution to protecting these precious habitats. Our first year was a huge success and, for that reason, we want to recruit even more rangers for 2020.”
Volunteer Rangers are asked to provide a minimum of one three-hour shift per month and operate in pairs to engage with some of the eight million visitors the two parks attract.
Bea Cornu-Hewitt, who is a Volunteer Ranger for Richmond Park said: “I applied to be Ranger because I was feeling more and more ‘nature deficient.’ I needed to see more greenery and less concrete.
“It’s a perfect opportunity to spend more time in Richmond Park, a National Nature Reserve, but also to give back and help other people enjoy it as much as you do. Since becoming a ranger I’ve learnt so much about the wildlife of the park and have become a mini expert on the deer!”
Lara Haswell, a Volunteer Ranger at Bushy Park said: “The volunteer shifts work on a buddy basis, so you will never go out in the park alone, and it means that every time you are on shift you are likely to be with a different person, sharing knowledge of the park and learning different approaches to engagement. Bushy Park is my local go-to happy place, so I am delighted to be part of this initiative.”
Applications close 9 February and you can apply via www.royalparks.org.uk/rangers. Full training is given