Hare Hill Academy Ranger
What's it like being on the National Trust's prestigious training scheme for budding Rangers? We asked Hallam Sullivan, Academy Ranger at Hare Hill.
How did you get on the Academy Ranger scheme?
My degree’s in Environmental Conservation, and I soon realised that if you want to make a change in conservation, you have to be on the ground doing it. Growing up in this area, I knew all about the National Trust – Tatton, Dunham Massey, Quarry Bank Mill, Alderley Edge and Hare Hill were all on my doorstep. And I like the ethos - that if we want to conserve things, we must make sure people can access and support them. After volunteering full-time at Quarry Bank Mill for two years, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but Ranger work! When I found out about the Academy Ranger scheme, I couldn’t wait to apply, and I was thrilled to get the post at Hare Hill – one of only ten in the UK. I'm sure my volunteering experience helped me to get selected.
" You're not only working to conserve things for your lifetime, but also for future generations"
How does it work?
The Academy Ranger programme is one of two run every year by the National Trust, and leads to a Level 2 Diploma in Countryside Management. It’s all about getting you the training and qualifications you need to be a National Trust Ranger - you’re full-time hands on at your property, interspersed with intensive two week college blocks. I go to Reaseheath College, near Nantwich in Cheshire. It’s great because you’re working with people who are doing the same thing as you, at different properties, and you can share ideas and good practice. Then you can consolidate what you’ve learned back at the property.
What sort of work are you doing at Hare Hill?
The work varies from day-to day routines, such as tree work and fencing, to big projects like restoring the historic features in Hare Hill park – no two days are the same. I’m lucky to be working with a very experienced National Trust Ranger, John Mann, who offers daily guidance and the benefit of his knowledge. At the heart of it all is working with volunteers, and I like to think that my previous role as a volunteer helps in my my relationship with them. The more fun you can have the better, especially when it’s freezing cold and pouring with rain! Our volunteers at Hare Hill are fantastic – they motivate us as much as we motivate them.
What happens when the training finishes?
I’ll be applying for a full-time post as a Ranger with the National Trust when the programme finishes next year – I can’t wait to get stuck in, use what I’ve learned and do a really worthwhile job. You're not only working to conserve things for your lifetime, but also for future for future generations.
Follow Hallam on Twitter: @HareHillRangers
The National Trust Academy recruits every Spring – find out more at