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Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Park Ranger? It’s an incredible experience and can help you on your way to a promising career in nature conservation. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look below to find out what some of our previous Park Rangers thought about their own experiences…
“My role as Park Ranger involved leading groups, primarily in practical habitat management tasks: tree felling, laying hedges and path maintenance for example, which we’d plan for earlier in the week. I really enjoyed working with such a varied group of people, from all backgrounds and walks of life. It made for a very inclusive and friendly atmosphere; it was a great dynamic! One of the main skills needed for the jobs I’m looking for (ranger & warden roles) is leading and managing groups of volunteers. Through species identification and survey training, I was also able to improve my identification skills and contribute to monitoring the wildlife around the nature reserve. Being a Park Ranger gave me the opportunity to learn those skills which I am continuing to hone in my current volunteer role.”
Eithne moved on to work on our Meadow Keepers project as our Grassland Management volunteer, using the skills she had learned in leading groups and using identification and surveying knowledge to help various green space groups around York to manage their grasslands and monitor the wildlife that is there.
Sean is our one of our current Park Rangers and has led our volunteers in a variety of tasks including hedgelaying, coppicing, tree felling, scrub management and many more.
“Being a Park Ranger at St Nicks is great. There are new tasks to do every week, so I’ve learned lots of new skills and enjoy passing some of these on to others. It has also made me a more confident person. It’s a privilege to be a part of the friendly and supportive St Nicks team. It’s good to help improve the habitat for wildlife at this wonderful urban nature reserve. But for me the most rewarding aspect of the Park Ranger role is the wide range of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, I get to work with.”
Harriet’s term as Ranger took place over the spring and summer months and so she supported our volunteers in work such as scything, wildflower planting and invasive species control.
“I learnt a lot about the management and development of a nature reserve and its habitats. Wildwatch really helped me to improve my species identification skills too. My favourite thing about being Park Ranger was being outside and the people. I think both combined to make it a really positive experience. The volunteers make every day different and the staff were always interested and supportive.”
Harriet went on to complete her degree, then worked on St Nicks recycling team for a while and then moved on to a job with Natural England.
“I spent most of my time leading on the regular practical conservation days with a group of very friendly and hard working volunteers on St Nicks Nature Reserve. We would spend the majority of time performing practical management tasks to improve the quality of the nature reserve for both wildlife and people. During my time there I learned a lot about working closely with people from a variety of backgrounds, as well as plenty about the natural world and how to effectively manage a nature reserve.”
Nick went on to work for Natural England as an estate worker on a National Nature Reserve to preserve and improve areas of lowland raised bog near to Doncaster.
This is just the experience of some of our Park Rangers but each term brings something a little different. The role has proven to be really helpful for our Rangers in terms of finding other opportunities within the conservation sector, with some going on to become ecological surveyors, take on internships with the Wildlife Trust or move into other roles within St Nicks.
We recruit for our Park Ranger twice a year, in spring and autumn. If you are interested or would like more information, please get in touch with our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org.