Volunteer rangers is an idea that has been around for a good few years as the number of police in the Park has steadily decreased whilst visitor numbers have substantially increased.
Some of you will be aware that last year the Friends put a proposal to The Royal Parks (TRP) for a pilot volunteer rangers’ scheme, having researched comparable schemes in National Parks across the UK. We are delighted that TRP have adopted the proposal and are going ahead with a trial of Volunteer Community Rangers from next Easter in Richmond and Bushy Parks.
The exact role of the Rangers is still to be decided, but it is envisaged that they would interact with visitors, providing them with information and advice on the Park and how to ‘Tread Lightly’. They would not have formal enforcement powers, such as giving out fines, but would liaise closely with the police and call on them to deal with incidents. They would be thoroughly trained and easily identified by wearing a ‘uniform’ of shirts and jackets, with TRP and FRP logos, and work mainly at week- ends and bank holidays when the Park is particularly busy.
While the Royal Parks will operate the scheme, the Friends of Richmond and Bushy Parks will be closely involved and will help to recruit volunteers. Recruiting will begin this autumn, followed by training over the winter. We expect many Volunteer Rangers will come from the Friends’ existing volunteers.
If you might be interested in volunteering to be a ranger, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe that Volunteer Community Rangers will make an enormous difference to tackling many problems in the Park and offer our full support.