#HabitatHeroes Pioneers

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Meet the Dartmoor National Park Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers of Dartmoor National Park are a curious, hardworking group and their Protected Area offers many kinds of habitats for rare plants and animal species to discover.

©Orlando Rutter, (Senior Learning & Outreach Officer Dartmoor National Park Authority)

Tell us all about your “natural treasure”: Which are the species or habitats Dartmoor NP Junior Rangers learn and work with in their park? What is special about them?

©Orlando Rutter, (Senior Learning & Outreach Officer
Dartmoor National Park Authority)

From blanket bogs on the highest part of the moor to woodlands in the more sheltered valleys. In between, you can find heath and grassland. But there is even more: you can find cave systems, hay meadows, granite tors, rivers and Dartmoor’s moorland core is considered the biggest in the south of England.

What are Junior Rangers doing to learn more and protect their natural treasures?

Together with park rangers they learn what makes the Dartmoor NP special as a habitat and cultural landscape and help to look after it: Getting their hands dirty to maintain footpaths and repairing spillways or reaching out to help educate visitors and inspire peers are just a few examples of all the hard work the young rangers have done during the last months.

©Orlando Rutter, (Senior Learning & Outreach Officer Dartmoor National Park Authority)

Their activities went from leaf clearing to coppicing to maintaining historical sites and to participating in local events. In such events, Junior Rangers act as ambassadors of the Junior Ranger programme and the importance to look after nature – sharing the joy being active in the outdoors brings! The young rangers even managed to get friends and other young people involved in the programme – and some former Junior Rangers returned to mentor the next generations.

©Orlando Rutter, (Senior Learning & Outreach Officer Dartmoor National Park Authority)

The perks of being a Junior Ranger…

The Dartmoor Junior Ranger group of 2018 has officially “graduated” from the programme in the end of this year. On top of that, the Habitat Heroes of Dartmoor NP received an exceptional honour: In November they won the Group Award at the National Parks UK Volunteer Awards 2018 for their outstanding work in supporting the conservation of Dartmoor’s nature and inspiring peers to do the same! Well done! In this short video the Junior Rangers explain their activities and you can get a glimpse of them in action:

Learn more about Dartmoor Junior Rangers on their website.


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