The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that manages and maintains over 5,000 acres of Milton Keynes’ green space, welcomed 33 students from nine schools across the city for its fourth annual Junior Rangers Conference.
The Junior Rangers enjoyed an action-packed day of activities at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, including owl pellet dissection, a team challenge which involved discovering and identifying mammal tracks and trails and birdwatching.
The Junior Rangers also took part in a quiz about The Parks Trust and the role of the Community Rangers. An important and exciting part of the day was the opportunity for each school to give a verbal presentation, briefly sharing ideas (and visuals), on what they have achieved so far this academic year and how they are engaging with the other children in their school.
Middleton School were the overall winners of the challenges and quiz, taking home a birdfeeder and some bird food as their prize.
The Junior Rangers were joined by seven members of The Parks Trust team, including Biodiversity Officer Martin Kincaid, who gave a talk on the mammals found at the reserve, and Community Rangers Susi Jensen and Lewis Dickinson, who led the birdwatching session in the afternoon.
Amanda Bailey, Education Ranger and co-ordinator of the JPR programme at The Parks Trust, commented: “Our Junior Park Rangers Conference was a fantastic day which was truly enjoyed by all. The Rangers are great ambassadors for The Parks Trust as they are so enthusiastic about the natural environment and what they can do to protect and support it, which was very inspiring to see.
“It’s hugely important that our children and young people grow up to care for and learn about their local environment, so we are dedicated to involving them in our activities wherever possible.”
The Junior Rangers scheme is free to join, simple to run and is fully supported by the Education Team at The Parks Trust. As part of the scheme up to four children per school, from years 4-6, are recruited as Junior Park Rangers.
The role of a Junior Ranger is to tell other children in their school all about their local parks and how they can keep their parks clean and full of wildlife. Rangers have three main jobs: they read out a monthly parks’ bulletin in assembly; run competitions, quizzes and campaigns to raise awareness about events and issues in the parks; and set up and maintain a noticeboard with posters, pictures and maps.
For more information about Junior Rangers, please get in touch with The Parks Trust Education team, at 01908 233600 or firstname.lastname@example.org