Junior Park Ranger Workshop Highlights

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17 November 2020


Our popular school based Junior Park Ranger Programme started again in September for Primary Schools in Milton Keynes.

Junior Park Rangers are enthusiastic ‘ambassadors’ for the Parks Trust who enroll on the programme with the support of school coordinators based within Primary Schools. The Rangers work hard to share seasonal and environmental messages within their school communities. They can be instantly recognised by their purple caps and big smiles – whatever the weather!

Part of the scheme is the opportunity for Rangers to attend exclusive VIP Saturday workshops covering a variety of conservation, wildlife and bushcraft topics. The workshops are organised to say, ‘Thank you’ to the Rangers for all their hard work during the school year - organising quizzes and competitions to encourage students and adults, to ‘get outside’ and explore their local parks and greenspaces.

Unfortunately, the latest Autumn workshop had to be cancelled but we wanted to share some highlights from our previous sessions over the last year or so. Our next workshop is planned for January - we’ve got our fingers crossed it will be able to go ahead!

Please note all activities shown were before Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

Bluebells & Bushcraft workshops at Hazeley Wood

The Junior Park Rangers teamed up with the Trust’s Biodiversity team to help sow UK bluebell seeds in Hazeley Wood. This conservation activity will assist in creating a colourful and natural forest floor. Rangers also built their own dens in the wood, using Hazel and Ash branches, and finished off the session with tasty marshmallows toasted on the campfire!

Bug Hotels & Wild Scavenger Hunt at Elfield Park and Howe Park Wood

These sessions involved building new winter B&B’s for insects at Elfield Park and the ‘Starbugs’ hotel at Howe Park Wood which are now open for insects and small mammal visitors. Rangers also made their own 'mini bug pots' to take home.

British Wildlife and Birds, Habitats & Adaptations Workshops

The Junior Park Rangers joined mammal and bird experts exploring Linford Lakes Nature and Floodplain Forest Reserves. They searched for signs of animal tracks and trails, and took part in birdwatching, dissecting owl pellets and making Hedgehog footprint survey tunnels for the local Citizen Science project, MKHogwatch.



More information about the programme...

The Junior Park Ranger programme is based on peer education and is designed to engage young people in the natural world, their local parks and greenspaces and the wildlife they can find there. The programme is free, inclusive and non-competitive, simple to run and is fully supported by the Outdoor Learning team at the Parks Trust. All Primary Schools in Milton Keynes are invited to join.

If you work at a Primary School and would like your school to join the programme or require more information, please contact the Outdoor Learning team at jpr@theparkstrust.com or 01908 233600.



Discover our parks

  • Hazeley Wood

    Facilities:

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    Hazeley Wood was planted by Milton Keynes Development Corporation in 1991. The long-term aim was to create a mature oak woodland for the new city. After many years of being a field of trees Hazeley is finally beginning to look and feel like a woodland. But there is still a long way to go: the wood will not finally reach maturity until 2141.

    Refreshments
    There are no facilities in the wood. The nearest shops are at Grange Farm, about ten minutes’ walk away, or Shenley Church End local centre or the Westcroft Centre, both of which are a few minutes' drive away.

  • Howe Park Wood

    Facilities:

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    Howe Park is probably the woodland mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Parts of it may be rare surviving fragments of the 'wildwood' that covered the whole of lowland Britain after the last Ice Age, 6-11,000 years ago.

    Refreshments
    There is a Café at Howe Park Wood ran by Grounds. The café is operating a takeaway only service until further notice.

  • Linford Lakes Nature Reserve

    Facilities:

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    Linford Lakes Nature Reserve park.jpg

    The 37 hectare site consists of a large lake, reedbeds, wet woodland and several small meadows interlaced with a number of smaller lakes and ponds. Four bird watching hides are located giving fine views of the wildlife and beautiful scenery.

    Refreshments
    There are no refreshment facilities at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve other than during special events.

  • Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve

    Facilities:

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    Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve park.jpg

    Set within Ouse Valley Park, the Floodplain Forest is the newest nature reserve in Milton Keynes and the most impressive wildlife habitat creation scheme in the city’s history.

    Refreshments
    There are no refreshment facilities at this location.

  • Nature inspired activities which you can do at home or in your local parks.
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