The Young Rangers have also been working towards completing their John Muir Award for conservation. They have to complete tasks which demonstrate they have discovered, explored, conserved places on the Mendip Hills AONB and then share them with others.
The Mendip Hills AONB Young Rangers are coming towards the end of their first year of the programme, which started in September 2019. The Young Rangers meet every month and take part in a variety of activities, which takes them through a real life Mendip Hills Ranger experience. It’s been a fantastic year of adventure with so many highlights, including a brand new uniform sponsored by the Mendip Society.
They began the year with some exhilarating adventure activities; canoeing and bush-craft, followed by caving and climbing. This gave them the chance to really experience what Mendip has to offer, and get to know one another better.
The Young Rangers had a hands on learning experience with an outdoor activity First Aid course and learnt how to deal with emergency scenarios. This training equips the Young Rangers with skills that will enable them to explore safely, and have the confidence to look after each other on the hills.
The Young Rangers began to learn the value of conservation in the AONB this year. They explored ancient woodland habitats, took part in drystone walling and visited local farms to compare and contrast both modern and traditional methods of agriculture. In March, due to Covid 19, the programme was put on hold. We have been delivering the programme remotely and providing online sessions through which they have learned navigation and wildflower identification skills.
Lauren Holt, Ranger Volunteer Coordinator with the Mendip Hills AONB Unit said, “We aim to deliver sessions that incorporate all aspects of the Mendip Hills AONB. These young people are our future ambassadors of the Mendip Hills. Investing in young people allows us to secure the future legacy of conserving and enhancing the Mendip Hills AONB, offering something totally different to other youth groups. Technology has allowed us to maintain the connection with our Young Rangers and we look forward to when we can all share an adventure together again in the future! Well done to the Young Rangers for a great first year with Mendip Hills AONB. An additional thank you to the volunteers who support the programme and to the Mendip Society for the money towards their new kit.”