The world of a ranger

A ranger cutting up a tree

Across the National Trust, rangers are critical to looking after the outdoors we care for, including here at Kedleston.

For wildlife and people

The rangers work to manage the countryside to maintain a natural environment that’s healthy and beautiful with functioning and resilient ecosystems, at the same time enabling people to access and enjoy it. 

Clearing fallen trees at Kedleston - just one of the many tasks taken on by the rangers
Two rangers moving tree cuttings with a tractor
Clearing fallen trees at Kedleston - just one of the many tasks taken on by the rangers

You might be surprised to learn that the most natural parts of this country are the result of centuries of management. Green spaces are diminishing and wildlife is under enormous pressures from things like intensive farming. To ensure these wildlife-rich habitats are able to remain and continue to support a diverse a range of species as possible, it is essential they are managed effectively.

Multi-talented

Rangers need to be able to turn their hand to a wide variety of multi-disciplinary tasks. Our ranger team have pulled together a list of the top five skills essential for the job:

  1. Technical practical skills such as building fencing and installing a bench. 
  2. Being able to manager volunteers, without whom we wouldn’t have the capacity to look after places effectively.
  3. Background knowledge about wildlife and habitat management. It’s really important to understand how ecosystems function and why elements are important to inform how practical work is carried out;
  4. Be able to use tools and machinery, from chainsaws to tractors. Rangers need to hold a host of technical certificates and have the experience to use a wide range of equipment safely.
  5. Passionate advocates for environmental conservation. As well as the practical side to looking after the countryside, a ranger acts as an ambassador for the work of the National Trust. Looking after the environment is everyone’s responsibility, but rangers must be able to share their passion and to explain to people why it is so important to look after places.
Being able to share your passion and talk to people about why it's important to look after natural habitats is an important part of the job
A ranger talks to a child about their work
Being able to share your passion and talk to people about why it's important to look after natural habitats is an important part of the job

Making a difference

We’re incredibly proud of our rangers. The difference they make is both visible and tangible; their work has a lasting impact, helping to look after places well beyond our lifetimes. And for the rangers themselves, they tell us that the job satisfaction that comes with that is ‘immense’.

Thinking about a career as a ranger?

A good start is to build up your skills and experience and volunteering is a key way of doing this. Try and get involved in as much as you can which will develop your practical skills but also your knowledge and understanding – helping out with things like ecological surveying and education are a good way to do this. 

Volunteering with things like monitoring is a great way to build your knowledge and skills essential to be a ranger
Ecologist surveying a wildflower meadow
Volunteering with things like monitoring is a great way to build your knowledge and skills essential to be a ranger

Find out more about working as a ranger with the National Trust and what roles there are. 

Be a ranger for the day

If you're visiting Kedleston you may spot some of our ranger team working in the parkland - they're the ones in the red uniforms. And if you fancy seeing behind the scenes, in October we have some special Be a Ranger for the Day events - one for adults, one for children (over 8)