Catherine, the Our Bright Future Youth Forum member from the National Trust Green Academies Project, updates on the Urban Rangers activities.
Urban Rangers is a group for 14-20 year olds that meet twice a week at the National Trust’s Morden Hall Park. They learn practical conservation skills and gain accredited courses. It is part of the National Trust’s Our Bright Future project, known as the Green Academies Project.
The Urban Rangers were invited to the first ever London National Park City Fair which kicked off National Parks Week on Saturday 21st July. Organised by the National Park City Foundation, it was a free event with buskers, art displays, walks, picnics and more.
We were part of the Volunteering and Experiences Fair which brought together groups and campaigners who were all aiming to make a difference across London. The Urban Rangers were invited to do a presentation about how we have taken ownership of our local green spaces and become advocates for the environment. We spoke about why we volunteer and encouraged others to volunteer too.
London National Park City is a movement to improve life in London. It is working with residents, visitors and partners to help people enjoy London’s great outdoors, make the city greener, healthier and wilder, and of course promote London’s identity as the first National Park City.
Urban Rangers have already made the city a little wilder by turning a derelict car park into a community garden. We encouraged local residents to get involved and over 1,700 people attended our Fun Palace event!
Our aim is to continue to reach the local community by holding more presentations and events about how people can look after their parks and green spaces. Urban Rangers is based at Morden Hall Park and there are so many volunteer roles available, so we promote these to residents too.
At Morden Hall park we are currently doing a project about heavy horses. We have been learning about traditional ploughing methods using shire horses as it is better for re-growth and increases the population of plant species. We have also been working in Willow Wood, making it lighter for visitors by thinning the canopy. I enjoy the activities and am excited to be planning the next Fun Palace event which is happening in October. Local residents have already started decorating the bunting ahead of the event!
Find out more about the Urban Rangers at Morden Hall Park. Other Green Academies Projects take place in Birmingham, Greater Manchester, the North East and Wrexham.