#HabitatHeroes Pioneers

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Meet the Coast Care Young Rangers, Northumberland AONB

The Northumberland coast in the Northeast of England offers very diverse and important habitats for thousands of plants and animals. One of the reasons it has been designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB). A lot of the habitats only exist due to continued human activity – others haven’t changed much since the end of the ice age.

Tell us all about your “natural treasure”: Which are the species or habitats Coast Care Young Rangers learn and work with? What is special about it?

On the Northumberland Coast whinstone is a strong feature in the landscape. It is a dolerite, igneous rock and in the AONB this formation is called the “Whin Sill”. This rock and the shallow, lime rich and drought prone soil that surrounds it, forms an extraordinary habitat for specialised vegetation and floral communities. Every spring you get to watch seabirds arriving to the offshore islands, whinstone cliffs and some of the beaches. In summer time you will find more than 140,000 breeding pairs of seabirds – with around 40,000 pairs of puffin on the so called Farne Islands. On the beach at the “Long Nanny” you can observe the very rare little tern and arctic terns – the National Trust Rangers make sure they are safe there.

What are Coast Care Young Rangers doing to learn more and protect their natural treasures?

November was a pretty active month for the Coast Care Young Rangers of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They took some hands-on conservation action around Whin Sill – one of the UK’s, most significant geological features! They cleared parts of the area from gorse, which is vital to help wild flowers grow. 

Besides working hard, they learned about small animals in the region of the Hauxley Nature Reserve. Together with experts from the reserve, they went to do some bird watching and spotted big rats besides different species of birds. They even went to collect and examine bones of voles and mice and owls that day! 

Learn more about the Coast Care Young Rangers from Northumberland AONB on their website and make sure you also check their Facebook page from time to time!


How to learn more and keep track of #HabitatHeroes campaign activities?

Over the rest of 2018 and throughout 2019 we will “map the field” and raise awareness for the great work Junior Ranger groups are currently doing for threatened flora, fauna and habitats in Protected Areas and Natura 2000 sites in particular.

  • Visit the “Habitat Heroes” campaign website: For now, we are thrilled to introduce you to our Habitat Hero campaign pioneers – groups already taking action in 2018. You will find a growing map and overview of all Junior Ranger groups joining the campaign  over 2019.
  • Besides, you will meet our “Habitat Heroes” over the upcoming months in dedicated articles – make sure you follow our news!
  • Keep an eye on social media – the #HabitatHeroes will provide you with exciting updates from our Junior Ranger groups that take part in the campaign. Don’t forget to share their actions!
  • European Day of Parks – 24th May 2019 – will  be all about “Our Natural Treasures” and our Junior Rangers are all invited to run a “Habitat Heroes” conservation activity dedicated to the natural treasure of their Protected Areas.

Want to join the campaign? We are happy to learn about your conservation action – just drop us a mail: f.minozzi_at_europarc.org