Summer Newsletter 2016
We were up against stiff competition from Thames Valley Air Ambulance & Chiltern Music Therapy. Countess Howe, chairman of Heart of Bucks, presented us with the award which was made by a student from Bucks New University in the shape of a swan!
Click on Awards video for more information!
We look forward to using this prestigious award to help raise our profile with the Bucks business community over the coming months – we are on the look out for lots of helpers as well as teams for corporate Be a Ranger days – please let us know if your company would be interested in joining us in making a difference to your local environment.
We have had a number of changes in our staffing area since the last newsletter. Harry has decided he would like to work closer with animals (some might think he is already in that role working with his co-workers at Chiltern Rangers!) and sadly he has moved on. He is hoping to help at some of our volunteer sessions so we will still be in contact.
Steph has been volunteering with Chiltern Rangers for a long time and will be working as a paid member of staff as an Assistant Ranger from the end of June. We are delighted to have her on board and hope she continues to enjoy her work with us.
Nicolle has been working with us from time to time whilst studying for her degree at Bucks New University. She has just completed her final year and since the beginning of June she has been working at Chiltern Rangers part time in the office helping Alex and the team to run the heart of the organisation. We are very pleased she has decided to join us on a more permanent basis.
Huge welcome to both!
FungesMeadow and the Young Roots Project with Wycombe Youth Action
Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery fund, Thames Valley Housing, Red Kite Housing and High Wycombe Bidco, we have been able to start our unique 18 month Young Roots project in partnership with Wycombe Youth Action.
We are aiming to create a seven point Wye trail from the Wycombe Swan area to Kingsmead with the involvement of 500 young people from High Wycombe. This will include conservation work to improve the river habitat, art installations to sign post the river, interviews with the public and older residents to draw out oral history, river investigations and photography to show off the plants and animals that live there. Part of the project will involve cooking, music and re-greening of the town centre. The trail will include QR links to film, photography and information to inspire the public to make the most of and look after their river.
On the 31st May and 1st June local young people from 11-25 years old, and many from Young Carers Bucks, had a great time joining in with the activities in the photos plus others such as:
- Conservation-River survey. Mining bees habitat works, planting and spit protection.
- Birdbox making and painting
Have a look at our youtube video to watch the activities in action.
As well as the main funders, we are also thankful to Wycombe District Council, Marsh and Micklefield Big Local and Rivers and Wetlands Community Days who also supported these Trail Site days.
Come along to the Young Roots Arts and Conservation village week – 11yrs to under 25 yrs from the 1st to the 5th August. Older volunteers are also welcome to come and join in too! One of the aims of the project is to get younger and older people working and having fun together. Keep an eye out on our website for further events
John Taylor’s Blog
This year I had a fantastic start to the Spring as, after a long period of volunteering, in March I joined the staff at Chiltern Rangers. The support given by the Rangers in following the volunteer pathway into working in conservation allowed me to acquire and develop both the skills and knowledge required for the job through a combination of hands-on learning and training courses. I’ve been brushcutting, hedge-laying and scything as well as learning surveying techniques and woodland management methods and I’m now transferring this in making the transition from volunteer to Trainee Ranger.
It has been really interesting to learn on such a diversity of sites in the mid-Chilterns around High Wycombe and also in the town itself: the urban environment is often neglected in conservation but is one I’m particularly interested in and it offers real opportunity for bringing together people and place – something that is at the heart of what Chiltern Rangers tries to achieve. I have been involved with some great projects associated with the River Wye and been fortunate to work with a variety of community, family and youth groups that are all keen to get involved and learn about and enhance our local environment. The Young Roots project is a wonderful way of engaging with local communities and the sessions so far have been great fun and I’m looking forward to further activities throughout the summer.
A large part of my job has been assisting with Forest Ranger School lessons. It has been a pretty steep learning curve but thoroughly enjoyable and it is a genuinely rewarding experience to see children learning in an outdoor space in their own way – whether it be picking up craft skills or identifying flowers and bugs or just absorbing the natural world around them and starting to see things in a different way.
There are times where the shoulders and back ache, I may be covered in mud and have wet feet or can’t see for the rain but none of that matters – there’s always another cup of tea! I’m lucky in having one of the best jobs you could hope for and I’m working with a small group of people who are committed to making a difference. I go to work and leave for home with a smile… and you can’t ask for much more than that.
Don’t forget we have a 17 seat community minibus for rental. Get in touch with us if your organisation would like to use it. See the community minibus page on our website for further details and how to hire it.
Snippet for Summer
Many people are unaware that we are breaking the law if we disturb birds while they’re nesting, building a nest, in or near a nest that contains their young or if we disturb their dependent young. Please avoid hedge cutting and disturbance of shrubs from April to August and spend some time appreciating the wildlife around you instead.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our summer events! See the Events page on our website for details.
From the Chiltern Rangers Team