Young rangers helping wildlife in Houghton Park

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A group of youth rangers are celebrating completion of a six month volunteer conservation programme they took part in at Houghton Hall Park in Houghton Regis.

The 2017-18 sessions, which began last September, have inspired and encouraged young people to learn new skills, gain valuable work experience and a recognised environmental award, while having fun and making a difference to the park.

The scheme was made possible through the Renaissance and Renewal Project for the park – jointly managed by Central Bedfordshire Council and Houghton Regis Town Council, with grant funding through Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery under the ‘Parks for People’ programme.

The Youth Rangers, who were supported by local environmental charity The Greensand Trust, worked together with site managers taking part in planning and skills building sessions, learning about and helping wildlife while working alongside the Friends of Houghton Hall Park carrying out habitat management.

Together they contributed over 160 hours’ coppicing, surveying, building and erecting bird boxes, clearing vegetation and promoting the park and its new facilities which are managed by Central Bedfordshire’s Leisure, Libraries and Countryside Team.

In addition, each young volunteer attained a discovery level John Muir Award in recognition of the work they have achieved in adopting Central Bedfordshire Council’s Houghton Hall Park as their special wild place. The youth rangers met four of the John Muir Award challenges – Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share. They received their awards from the John Muir Trust at a presentation event held last weekend.