Ilfracombe school children qualify as Junior Park Rangers

Posted on: 4 July 2019

The latest group of Year 4 school children from Ilfracombe Junior School have made the grade as ‘Junior Park Rangers’.

On Tuesday 2 July, 120 children were presented with their certificates after successfully completing the 4 week junior park rangers course, which covered topics such as orienteering, tree identification, mini beasts and pond dipping.

The course, organised by North Devon Council’s Parks team, is so successful that it has been running for the past 14 years. The course aims to raise awareness about the importance of parks and how we can help look after them. As well as learning practical skills, the children were taught about wildlife, biodiversity and the natural environment.

North Devon Council Leader, Councillor David Worden, says: “It’s great to see so many new park rangers.  The idea behind this scheme is to raise young people’s awareness of the importance of parks and why we need to protect them for future generations. So it’s reassuring to know that we have another group of youngsters who will be looking after them. It is also very important to the Parks team that the children enjoy themselves and have lots of fun while they are learning. The children were very enthusiastic in all the activities they took part in and I would like to commend them all for being a credit to both their school and their community.”

Local ward member, Councillor Geoffrey Fowler, says: “Giving out certificates to our Park Ranges is always a pleasure and this year’s event was no exception. Anticipation at receiving their awards always puts a smile on their faces and the same goes for the mums, dads, aunties etc. that come along to support the children. What is learnt from these annual short courses will hold the youngsters in good stead for many years to come.”

Local ward member, Councillor Netti Person, says: “This scheme is a great way of getting the children engaged in outdoor learning activities from pond-dipping to orienteering and in understanding what the park has to offer. It is an excellent resource on their doorstep thanks to the efforts of the Parks team: they have helped many children over the last 14 years achieve the Park Rangers award, sparking interest in the natural world as well as a new, respectful, way of looking at the park.”

Joe Alcock from Ilfracombe Junior School, says: “The children at our school really enjoy the Park Rangers activities they get to participate in and the course is a real highlight within the school year. The opportunity to learn more about the park and explore the beauty it offers is a real joy for all involved.”

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer at Bicclescombe Park, there is a very active group on Facebook – contact the council’s Parks team on 01271 388308 for more information.

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Posted in: Leisure