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The closing date for the Forestry Commission’s exciting competition to give young people in the South of England the opportunity to be a Forestry Commission Ranger for the day is fast approaching – the deadline is midnight on Friday 14 March.
The competition, launched in February, has attracted interest from young people across the South of England keen to try their hand at forestry. Each winner will also receive a £100 voucher for Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and a two night stay on one of 15 Camping in the Forest Sites.
The competition, which will be judged by TV presenter Helen Skelton and representatives from the Forestry Commission, is open to primary and secondary school children from Year 5 upwards. Helen Wallace, Learning Manager, Forestry Commission England explains;
“Every year more than 420,000 people visit Alice Holt forest but very few of them get to see what goes on behind the scenes to keep our local woodlands flourishing. There are so many different types of ranger – from Recreation Rangers to Wildlife Rangers, and nationwide they play a critical role in protecting and improving more than 250,000 hectares of land and woodland. They really are the hidden face of England’s forests, and we want to change that.
“Whether you’re a primary school pupil that loves animals and wildlife, or a secondary school pupil that wants to understand the careers on offer in the great outdoors, this competition offers a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced people in the sector and, most importantly, to have fun whilst you do it! Winners will get to shadow an experienced team of woodland, wildlife and recreation rangers for the day at Alice Holt forest, learning about everything from conservation projects to site maintenance, recreation and wildlife habitats.”
To enter the competition, all you have to do is tell Forestry Commission England what you love about trees and woodlands. Entries can be submitted in a range of formats – via video, a poster, or a short piece of writing. Deadline for entries is Friday 14 March 2014. All competitors will be entered into a prize draw to win a free Alice Holt family Discovery Pass for the season, and shortlisted entries will be showcased on the Forestry Commission website. More information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/aliceholtcompetition or can be requested by contacting email@example.com.
Glen Boxall, Wildlife Ranger at Alice Holt Forest, explains;
“Being a Forest Ranger is exciting and challenging, and with global climate change and the consequent threat and emergence of new tree diseases and pests, our work has never been more important than it is today.
“At Alice Holt forest we have 10 park staff entrusted with protecting and preserving 2000 acres of public forest. But we need more, and recruiting young people is critical. The future of our ecosystem and our heritage depends upon rangers and the work of the Forestry Commission.”
Helen Skelton, TV presenter added;
“This is a really exciting opportunity for young people locally. The role of a Forestry Commission ranger is extremely diverse; they may find themselves working with wild animals such as reptiles and deer or testing their knowledge alongside scientists! The role is constantly varied, from managing photo shoots, to enforcing by-laws, maintaining trails to looking after precious wildlife habitats, so there will be plenty to get stuck into. It will be a fantastic experience, offering a genuine insight into the range of volunteering and careers opportunities on offer. I can’t wait to see the entries!”
Notes to editors:
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For more information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest.
2. The Forestry Commission works with hundreds of schools in the district every year. For more information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/aliceholt-learning
Simon Gill at Camargue PR, tel 01242 577277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Libby Burke at the Forestry Commission on 02380 286832