A brand new Peak District junior ranger group is set to give local young people the opportunity to learn vital conservation skills in the heart of the UK’s first National Park.

Group of junior rangers checking carbon content

With a special focus on moorland habitats and their vital benefits, this free group for 11 to 18 year olds will meet once a month on a Sunday afternoon, at the Moorland Centre in Edale; the home of the Moors for the Future Partnership.

The new group is a welcome addition to the five current Peak District junior ranger programmes across the National Park in Millersdale, Tittesworth Reservoir, Barbrook and Froggatt, Longdendale and Dove Stone reservoir.

Experience, skills and awards

Moorland junior rangers will get unique opportunities to develop outdoor working skills such as navigation, species identification and surveying, by exploring the surrounding moorlands and recording what they find.

The yearly programme of activities will reflect the changing seasons, the demands of the wildlife, and the work of the Moors for the Future Partnership team. Group participants will have the opportunity to gather scientific data contributing to the Partnership’s vital work, and get the chance to meet the National Park rangers in the area and help their important role.

Early meetings for the group, which is set to begin in January 2019, will involve a variety of different activities including outdoor navigation and safety, and teambuilding tasks for the rangers to develop important group working skills. Much of the programme will be designed with the aim of the rangers achieving the John Muir Award along their journey.

Contribute to National Park conservation

Jackie Wragg, Moors for the Future Partnership youth engagement officer, will head up the new group. She said: “Junior rangers groups in the Peak District National Park create a valuable opportunity for young people from different areas and age groups to meet other young people with similar interests.

“The skills these young people develop in this setting are wide ranging from teamwork and important social skills to practical abilities involved in gathering data in the natural world; identifying species and working safely. Not to mention a chance to immerse themselves in the outdoors and explore the moorlands whilst making a real difference by contributing to their conservation.”

Anyone who’s interested in getting involved can have their say and influence activities by attending a free junior ranger taster day on Sunday 14th October at the Moorland Centre in Edale.

Jackie added: “We would like to encourage people to overcome any barriers to getting out and enjoying the moorlands if they have a genuine interest in being a junior ranger. If there are any barriers to this that we can help to remove we would be happy to try so please make contact if you are interested in joining.”

There are also volunteering opportunities available for adults aged 18 and over to get involved in supporting the group at its monthly meetings.

The Moorland Centre in Edale is well positioned within five minutes walking distance of the village train station, with hourly services to many towns along the Manchester to Sheffield line.

The inception of the new group is one of 15 special occasions commemorating the Moors for the Future Partnership’s15th anniversary throughout 2018/19.

Get involved

For more information, visit the Peak District National Park junior rangers website.