Formed in 2007, Nottingham City Council’s Park Rangers work with nurseries, schools and universities, local business and corporate volunteers, ‘friends’ groups and many other citywide organisations that are keen to get out and about in, work on, or help develop any of the city’s parks and natural spaces.
We hold events and activities, provide interpretation and education, engage with local communities and carry out conservation work and manage volunteers as front-line guardians of our green spaces. Providing a reassuring uniformed presence, we are on hand to instil a sense of security and to provide information.
We work closely with other organisations including Business in the Community, Framework (Nature in Mind), Inspire, Nottingham Green Spaces, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, ParkLives, RSPB, Space Inclusive, Sustrans and U3A as well as our own teams on Allotments, Biodiversity, Grounds Maintenance and Nottingham in Bloom.
The Park Ranger Service delivers a varied programme of events across the City’s green spaces including activities such as Bushcraft and Forest Schools, Natural art, Nest box making, Orienteering, Pond dipping and Scavenger hunts. To find out more, click on our What's On page.
We also work closely with our Neighbourhood management teams, other partner organisations and indeed any other group in assisting delivery of their own events and projects and will help in any way possible to support those ventures.
We value any educational opportunity that will enable children to experience life outside the classroom. More importantly, we encourage activities that help to develop children as individuals and further enhance key character traits. In developing the whole child, we feel that resilience, self-esteem and courage are just a few of the key areas to target when giving a child every opportunity to be prepared for the world around them. These key values are always at the forefront of our planning and delivery of educational sessions.
Our service is able to offer a programme of outdoor-themed practical and educational activities and workshops to suit different ages and abilities. Workshops can take place in the classroom, or on site at one of the City’s parks and natural spaces accessing woodland, ponds, lakes or historic sites.
Our education programme is linked to the National Curriculum at all key stages and can also be adapted to accommodate pre-school learning, further education and Scout or Guide groups education programme.
We can also offer Forest Schools sessions as some of our team have attained the Open College Network (OCN) Level 3 Forest Schools Practitioner Award.
One of our key aims is to promote and interpret the green spaces that people enjoy using and we endeavour to produce useful literature such as tree trails that pinpoint key trees of interest. We also run walks and tours focusing on heritage listed parks, nature and wildlife rambles that identify flora and fauna and specialist areas such as wild food walks that educate and inform park users about what they are able to find and potentially use in the wild.
Conservation and Volunteering
Park Ranger conservation projects are undertaken to raise awareness about biodiversity and the importance of preserving and protecting the environment. Our projects focus on creating and maintaining havens for wildlife within the urban environment and also centre on themes such as access, improving woodland paths for example, and on safety, improving sightlines and removing signs of anti-social behaviour. Wherever possible we collect species and habitat data and feed into national databases.
Volunteers are key to many of our conservation endeavours and we encourage people from all walks of life to get involved. We regularly set up volunteering opportunities for any group of people who want to get involved in their local park or green space no matter how big or small the group.
We also support our apprentice scheme and encourage people seeking work experience or work placements to come and join us. The benefits of this include gaining experience of working in the great outdoors, making a difference in the community and to the environment and generally improving a personal sense of well-being.
A major focus of the Park Rangers is to forge links between local residents groups, park user groups, and existing ‘Friends of’ parks groups to encourage ownership and involvement in all of our parks and natural spaces. Below are just some of the groups with whom we presently engage.
- Friends of Nottingham Arboretum
- Colwick Country Park User Group
- Friends of the Forest
- Highfields User Group
- Friends of Woodthorpe Grange Park
- Friends of Wollaton Park
- Green’s Mill Community Garden
- WIND (Windmill Improvement for Neighbourhood Development)
- Friends of Colwick Woods
- City Local Group (part of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s ‘Wildlife in the City’ project)