Expansion of North York Moors Young Ranger groups gets go ahead

Dry stone walling on the North York Moors
Dry stone walling on the North York Moors

A thriving ranger scheme aimed at youngsters has proved to be a great success, so much so that organisers are now looking to set up another group in only its second year.

The initiative, run by the North York Moors National Park Authority, has already proved popular among young people aged between 11 and 17, inspiring individuals to engage in the stunning surroundings of the National Park in a meaningful and practical way.

The programme enables teenagers to learn new skills such as those relating to navigation and bushcraft. It also allows them to learn more through conservation tasks including habitat and wildlife surveys.

Mary-Jane Alexander, Youth Engagement Officer, said: “I am so proud of all our members – they just continue to surprise us with their enthusiasm and drive for outdoor learning.

As young rangers, some may well grow up to be the future champions of the environment, working at the forefront of land management, and we feel privileged to support them.

“Others join to gain experiences for The Duke of Edinburgh’s award or the John Muir Award and others come simply to have fun. In any case, it is just wonderful that we can help instil a passion for nature as well as developing new skills in an enjoyable and engaging way.”

Members of the current programme celebrated their second anniversary on 14 October with a campfire, hot chocolate and campfire-cooked orange cake after a bushcraft session. Mary-Jane added that it was a ‘wonderful occasion, full of laughter and fun’.

Both the new and existing group can attend 12 once-a-month sessions each year. These take place on alternate Saturdays and Sundays at various locations within the National Park between 10am and 3pm.

All attendees are required to bring their own drinks, snacks and lunch and need to wear suitable clothing and footwear for the forecast weather.

Confirmation of attendance is required five days prior to each activity session by either email or through the Young Ranger’s Facebook page.

Any young people aged between 11 and 17 from Teesside, Catterick, Whitby and Scarborough areas are encouraged to join the new group and parents are welcome to get in touch to find out more about joining on behalf of their children.

There is also a call for more volunteers to support and help run it.

If you would like to learn more about joining or volunteering please contact Mary-Jane by sending an email to: youngranger@northyorkmoors.org.uk or by calling 01439 772700.