Could you be a young ranger in Northumberland?

14 January 2019

Northumberland National Park ranger Jane Riddell tells us about exciting opportunities for young people to work on managing habitats and even the Hadrian’s Path!

Northumberland National Park is providing exciting short term placements for individuals aged 16-25 with an interest in pursuing a career in the environmental/countryside sector. There are two Placement opportunties on offer, one with our Ranger team and the other with the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail Ranger.  Both placements will involve the individual attending ten days over a three month period (April to June) and both offer a great opportunity for valuable experience.

Anna getting valuable experience in the National Park

Anna Robe getting valuable experience in the National Park. Photo credit: Northumberland National Park Authority.

Many of the participants who take part in the placements are students.  This allows them to gain hands on practical experience while continuing with their studies. Much of the work they do with the Ranger team compliments what they are learning on their course.

Anna Robe a countryside management student at Newcastle University got anRangers hard at work in the beautiful National Park awful lot from her time here. She said: “I particularly enjoyed learning about Public Rights of Way and Promoted Routes within the park. I have been learning about Public Rights of Way and Promoted routes at university and my practical experience has helped enhance my learning and understanding of this subject. The practical part of the placement allowed me to gain outdoor practical experience and improved my hands-on skills.”

The Ranger Placement will develop on the job skills through a range of practical tasks, working with groups of volunteers of all abilities, and engaging and dealing with the public.

Working as part of the Ranger Team placements will become actively involved in the care and management of the National Park, including its sites, woodlands and nature reserves. The purpose of the placement is to help young people understand, value and contribute to conserving, enhancing and enjoying the National Park’s distinctive natural and cultural qualities.

The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail Ranger Placement will develop on the job skills in managing and maintaining Public Rights of Way (PRoW) with the added dimension that the HWP is set within a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The purpose of this placement is to help young people gain an understanding and practical experience of what goes into managing a National Trail within a sensitive environmental setting, balancing the needs to conserve the special environmental and cultural qualities of the area whilst promoting public access and enjoyment of those qualities.

The placement allows people to see first-hand what a Ranger does and the diversity of the role. As well as this it provides an opportunity to work with other National Park staff including the Archaeologist, Farming Team and Access Officer.

Ed Harrison and  Frances Russell get stuck in on their placements. Photo credit: Northumberland National Park Authority. 

Ed Harrison, countryside management student at Kirkley Hall found the placement helped him think about his career in a competitive industry: "I was able to learn a great deal during my time with the Ranger team, and obtained fantastic first-hand experience of what it is that a Ranger does. This was an important part of the Placement for me, as being a Ranger is my intended career path and it is therefore essential that I know what I may be getting myself into, and that it is the right role for me."

"The team also introduced me to alternative career paths, as Ranger jobs are currently few and far between, and there is a lot of competition for those the jobs that there are – this encouraged me to continue studying my Countryside Management course, as even if I cannot be a Ranger there are a wealth of other jobs out there that are similar.

On completing their placement with the Rangers we encourage them to continue volunteering with us.  On several occasions this has led to them gaining paid seasonal positions in the Park.

"All my time spent with the rangers from the National Park gave me hands on learning experience which has helped me with understanding what the National Park accomplishes as well aiding with my studies.  Overall my time with the Northumberland National Park has been very enjoyable and interesting, doing something new every day. I am very grateful for the opportunity and would highly recommend it to someone who is interested in land management and encouraging public engagement with the natural environment."

- Frances Russell, BSc Environmental Science at Newcastle University.

This is an exciting opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful and special places in England. We want young people who are enthusiastic about learning new skills and with a passion for the countryside.

By Jane Riddell,

Northumberland National Park Ranger

How to Apply

Further details and an application form are available on the website https://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/about-us/jobs-volunteering/placements-apprenticeships/  or contact Jane Riddell on 07795 834936 or email jane.riddell@nnpa,org.uk