Introducing Attingham's Rangers

National Trust Land Rover in front of the Mansion at Attingham

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the life of a ranger, then look no further. The ranger team work across the estate helping to conserve and care for the landscape and wildlife at Attingham. Ranger Gareth introduces the team and the work they do.

Our usual work day

If you ever get the chance to ask a ranger what it is they do in their job, you’ll probably get the following response: we'll probably um and ah as though we’re a rabbit in the headlights and say ‘it’s quite varied really’ and ‘no two days are the same’. It sounds a rather cliché answer, but being a ranger involves some of the most varied work you can imagine.

Even when we plan our work week out, often tackling different job each day depending on priority or season, inevitably something will crop up which can require our immediate attention – and it’s a careful job to ensure we balance everything on the plate!

The fallow deer herd at Attingham Park
Attingham's deer herd are descended from the orginal herd brought to Attingham by the second Lord Berwick in the 1700s
The fallow deer herd at Attingham Park

Our jobs can involve:

  • Access and signage: having legible and correct signposts and waymarkers showing you were to go, along with a suitable footpath and gates for you to use.
  • Woodland management: making sure the trees are safe and beautiful to walk through while also being useful to us on site.
  • Managing the deer herd: arguably Attingham’s best attraction, we keep an eye on them throughout the year making sure they’re healthy and happy.
  • Looking after the campsite and fishing sites: we’re lucky to have the River Severn running through part of our wider estate.
  • Helping the wider Attingham team: there are many different facets to Attingham and we’re often called upon to give our colleagues a hand in whatever way we can -whether it's the Visitor Reception team, gardeners, or even lending a helping hand inside the Mansion from time to time.
Chipping the felled trees for future use
Two men in Attingham Park car park, loading trees into a chipper
Chipping the felled trees for future use

That may not sound like too much on our plate but there are a few caveats to that. For starters I’m more than likely forgetting some of the other jobs we get up to! Secondly, although the work fits under nice concise headings, the range of work within each can be both varied and intricate, expanding the work that we need to do. And finally, the size of the estate plays a big role – it’s 4,000 acres, though as visitors, you will only see around 350 of them. Once you get up to those sizes the list of tasks gets quite big!

Reflections on the River Tern at Attingham
A view of the river Tern with water reflections of the Park
Reflections on the River Tern at Attingham

Who we are

So we've got the list of jobs, but who is it that will be doing them? Well there’s myself but being new to Attingham, having joined just a couple of months ago, there's still plenty for me to learn. We have the Area Ranger Colin whose many years of experience are invaluable in looking after the estate. We’re also lucky to have a large, committed volunteer group comprised of placement students looking to develop their skills, and people either wanting to help look after the place they love, or just wanting to get outdoors trying new things and meeting new people. It’s safe to say that without their help we wouldn’t be able to accomplish even half the jobs we have.

The work of Attingham's ranger team is varied and takes them across the estate.
Attingham's ranger team at work on the estate installing new gates
The work of Attingham's ranger team is varied and takes them across the estate.

What’s next?

You now have a flavour of what we get up to behind the scenes here at Attingham. Each month we’ll update you with some of the work we’ve been getting up to, giving a bit more detail to some of the jobs listed above. We’ll also put up anything of interest and hopefully have some of our volunteers write a piece as to who they are and why they’re here. Otherwise I hope you enjoyed this first blog post and hopefully you’ll be here for the next one in October!