Cheshire East Council’s countryside ranger service is supporting World Ranger Day on 31 July to celebrate the work they carry out around the globe and commemorate rangers killed or injured while doing their job.
This particularly relates to rangers operating in dangerous or high-risk zones.
The borough’s countryside rangers belong to a worldwide community working in an estimated 100,000 reserves, parks and protected areas on the planet, protecting wildlife and the natural environment.
In Britain, the event is organised by the Countryside Management Association and International Ranger Federation in conjunction with the charity The Thin Green Line.
Richard Doran, Cheshire East Council’s countryside manager, said: “We are here to help the public enjoy our countryside and in Cheshire East we have some splendid open spaces, parks, trails and nature reserves for people to enjoy.
“World Ranger Day offers the opportunity to recognise the outstanding work carried out by rangers, every day, throughout the world.
“Here in Cheshire East, we may not face the same challenges as rangers in some of the world’s more dangerous and remote spots but only recently – on what was the hottest day of the year so far – we had to rescue an elderly woman and a young child after their vehicle became stuck in a forest. They were so grateful that a ranger was on hand.
“We are supported by volunteers, who deliver the equivalent of 1,200 days per year and we get around 1.8 million visitors to our sites, including Tatton Park.”
The borough’s countryside ranger service looks after country parks, sites of special scientific interest and many of the borough’s popular nature reserves. They plant trees, look after rare breeds, such as the Bollin Valley longhorn cattle, prepare management plans, carry out ecological assessments and bid for the funding needed to carry out their work.
At Tatton Park, rangers are responsible for the deer park, with its red and fallow deer and the flocks of rare breed sheep that help maintain the conservation status of the park. The enjoyment and safety of visitors, conservation of wildlife and management of an important environmental and heritage asset, are among the roles for rangers and their volunteers.
Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “Many of us will have watched wildlife programmes on television and seen for ourselves the poaching of endangered and protected species.
“Fortunately, our own rangers do not face that kind of danger but the work that they do in Cheshire East is as important to us, as residents and councillors, as it is to those governments and ranger services trying to tackle the issue of poaching.”
Rangers manage and care for the thousands of acres of parkland, woodland, country parks and protected green spaces across the borough, along with many miles of trails.
They include the Gritstone Trail, Tegg’s Nose Country Park above Macclesfield, the Middlewood Way and the heritage visitor centres, such as Nelson Pit in Higher Poynton. The rangers also run a comprehensive programme of special events, country walks and even climbing experiences.
To find out more about the Countryside Ranger Service visit: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/rangers
To find out more about Tatton Park visit: www.tattonpark.org.uk