Northern Ireland Ranger Conference 2018

Kevin, Heather and Emma at Ranger Conferance 2018

This week saw over 50 NI rangers and guest speakers gather at the beautiful Glenmona House in the idyllic village of Cushendun, to focus on the theme of 'our part in the Land, Outdoors and Nature programme and nature engagement in Northern Ireland.

Led by NI Ranger Champion Kevin Duncan in partnership with the NI Land Outdoors and Nature Programme (LON) leads Diane Ruddock and Phil Davidson, the two day conference (with an overnight camp under the stars) was developed with the aims of: 

•Bringing the ranger community together to celebrate achievements, share ideas and inspire one another
•Encouraging and inspiring the team in the critical role they play in developing and delivering our ambitions for nature
•Giving the team space to reflect on personal development and raise awareness of available development opportunities 
•Delivering an inspirational and fun two days that brought Rangers together for knowledge sharing and networking 
•Demonstrating practical examples of delivering for LON

The engaging two day session featured a jam-packed agenda with speakers including Hilary McGrady, Director General; Heather McLachlan, Regional Director; David Bullock, Head of Nature Conservation; Rob Rhodes, Head of Countryside Management and Rangers; Carl Greenman, 50 Things Product Development Manager; Brian Gaynor from the Heart of Glens Landscape Partnership; Gregor Fulton, Estate and Outreach Manager at the Woodland Trust; and Glenn White from the Drumnaph Community Nature Reserve. 

Hands-on learning

There were also a host of practical activities including an introduction to scything and foraging plus a session on habitat grassland condition monitoring and a farmland butterfly survey.

The two day event served to highlight the leading role our Rangers play in delivering the Land Outdoors and Nature programme, to celebrate the vital role we play on the front line of nature conservation, delivering for the people who live in the places we are privileged to look after and those who come to visit our special places. 

Huge thanks go to everyone involved in delivering the many workshops which provoked debate, insight and ideas.