The Parks Trust Announces 2019 Outstanding Junior Park Rangers
Six school children from Long Meadow School, Milton Keynes have been recognised as Outstanding by The Parks Trust’s Junior Park Rangers programme.
The Junior Park Rangers programme is a school outdoor learning club that is designed to engage young people with the natural world. The Outstanding award is given to students who excel in engaging their entire school as well as their local community in environmental education.
The students at Long Meadow School won the Outstanding award by organising monthly activities including: quizzes and competitions on themes such as bees and hedgehogs; completing nature trails to explore Shenley Wood; creating new habitats by planting new hedgerows in the school’s grounds; organising regular litter picks (both within their school and around Shenley Wood) that involved the local community; completing citizen science projects - including the MKHogwatch survey for hedgehogs, and the students also organised a stall for the school fete where they shared both environmental and wildlife information.
By winning the Outstanding award Long Meadow School will receive outdoor environmental equipment to the value of £200. This will help them continue to explore both their school grounds and the beautiful parkland of Milton Keynes.
There were three runner-up schools for 2019: Wavendon Gate School, Great Linford School and Bradwell Village School, who will also receive Parks Trust outdoor learning session for 30 children to explore their local parkland.
Amanda Bailey, Outdoor Learning Practitioner at The Parks Trust, commented: “We would like to congratulate Long Meadow School on their award, which is very well deserved. They have worked very hard to not only explore their local environment, but also impart their new knowledge to their fellow students, actively involving as many as possible.
If we want to ensure the green space of Milton Keynes continues to be beautiful and inspiring for years to come, it is vital that we engage children from a young age in caring for the wildlife and parkland found in their local area. Our Junior Park Rangers scheme is an important part of this mission, and we welcome opportunities to work with more schools and education groups.”
The Junior Park Rangers scheme, which is based on peer education, is designed to engage children in their natural world, their local greenspaces and how they can help to keep their parks clean, healthy and full of wildlife.
In 2019, 22 groups took part, totalling over 100 Primary aged schoolchildren across Milton Keynes. The scheme is free to join, inclusive, simple to run and fully supported by the Outdoor Learning team at The Parks Trust. Up to six children per school from years 4-6 are recruited as Junior Park Rangers. They then take on a series of responsibilities including reading a monthly nature-themed bulletin at their school’s assembly, creating and maintaining a noticeboard showcasing their work, and running competitions and quizzes.
The Junior Park Rangers can also attend free, exclusive workshops with The Parks Trust each term. Activities include bush craft skills, wildlife walks, and citizen science projects. Participants can also attend an annual Junior Park Rangers Outdoor Learning and Sharing event in May, joining other Junior Park Rangers from across Milton Keynes.
The Parks Trust is always looking for new schools to join its Junior Park Rangers Scheme. To find out more visit: www.theparkstrust.com/get-involved/outdoor-learning call 01908 233600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org