Outdoor Learning Ranger

    As the Trust’s environmental education programme has expanded so too has the need for volunteer support and volunteers are asked to help out our Outdoor Learning staff with certain education sessions, and if and when comfortable, to lead aspects of them.

    Most of our education sessions take place in term time, usually between 9.15am and 3pm during the week but there are also community groups (e.g. Cubs and Brownies) which take place in the evening. In addition we also have our monthly adult education courses which take place in both weekend and weekday slots (see below). Evening sessions usually last between one and two hours and never exceed two and a half hours. Some adult education sessions can last for a whole or half day. You will be asked to arrive before the start of the session in order to help set up.

    All sessions have detailed plans and part of the volunteer training is to initially come along and observe sessions and gradually take a more active role until you feel comfortable to lead part of a session. However, if you wish only to help set up and assist the education sessions, that is still a great help to our Outdoor Learning Team.

    Adult Education

    The Trust have also developed a popular adult education programme, which are sessions generally run in evenings and at weekends. Often these sessions are run by an external leader and volunteers may be asked to go along and facilitate such sessions (e.g. registration of attendees, equipment and room set up). We are also looking for volunteers who would be willing to give community talks on behalf of The Parks Trust, for which full training would be provided.  With all our environmental education work, we don’t expect you to have any specialist knowledge but you will need to have interest and enthusiasm for the natural world.

     

    Tree Tots

    We run a weekly toddler group at Howe Park Wood every Thursday.  There are two sessions; 10am - 11.30am and 12.30pm - 2.30pm.  Volunteers help with the set up and take down of the equipment in the woods, reading a story, making hot chocolate and engaging with the children and their families who attend.

    Youth Explorers

    Youth Explorers is a group for young people aged 11-14 years old to help them gain experience and valuable practical skills in various outdoor topics including Wildlife Identification, Bushcraft and Conservation. These topics are taught partially outdoors and partially in our outdoor learning centre through our eight-week courses. The majority of courses run on a Tuesday evening from 5.30pm - 7.30pm at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve. As a Youth Explorer, you can book onto any or all of the following eight-week courses. As a volunteer, this is a great way to learn about our parks and improve your natural history skills with the potential to help deliver future Outdoor Learning sessions.

    Youth Rangers

    Youth Rangers is a volunteer group for young people aged 15-17 interested in gaining hands-on skills and experience in environmental work. The programme provides outdoor learning opportunities and challenges that will help prepare participants, both professionally and personally, for future studies and careers within the environmental sector. Monthly weekend meetings, led by a member of The Parks Trust staff, cover a variety of interesting and engaging topics which include practical conservation work, wildlife monitoring and surveying, bush craft skills, traditional crafts, working with the community, adventure activities, and much more.  We would require a volunteer to help with each of the sessions, as two groups meet each month. One is the morning from 10:30-12:30 and the second from 14:00-16:00.  The role would be to support the ranger in the delivery of the session.

    Howe Park Wood Education Centre and Ambassadors

    We would like to be able to have the centre open for people to come and find out more about the work of The Parks Trust and the wood during weekends and holiday periods. A team of volunteers would be required to help man the building, hand out activity sheets and talk to the public about our work. Full training would be given. The times of opening would be in line with that of the on-site café:

    • Winter months: 9am - 3pm
    • Summer months: 9am - 5pm

    To register your interest, please complete our online registration form by clicking here.


    Discover our parks

    • Howe Park Wood

      Facilities:

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      Howe Park Wood - park.jpg

      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 serving cakes, drinks and cold foods.

    • Linford Lakes Nature Reserve

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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

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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.

    • Ouzel Valley Park

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      Ouzel Valley Park - park.jpg

      The Ouzel Valley Park meanders from Caldecotte Lake in the south to Willen Lake in the north. The park has a spacious, open atmosphere with long views. Much of the land is farmed by The Parks Trust rearing our own cattle and sheep, between the livestock you can still see the remnants of an old field system with the ridge and furrow still visible. Incorporating the historic villages of Woolstone and Woughton, the park is bordered on its western side by the Grand Union Canal.

      Refreshments
      There is the Ye Olde Swan pub at Woughton on the Green and a further two pubs - the Barge and the Cross Keys – that are located on Newport Road in Woolstone village.