The Ventilator

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Ranger ahoy!

Matthew Chatfield
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It has come to our attention that a ranger from the Antipodes has landed on our shores, and we suspect he has an agenda. While claiming to be ‘on holiday’ we believe he will target current and former park staff in his quest to assemble the definitive collection of park / wildlife / conservation management uniform insignia.

Volunteers and a ranger, Tasmania
Volunteers and a ranger, Tasmania

So our advice to rangers in the UK is to guard your sleeves closely, and beware of alluring offers to exchange agency insignia for similar items featuring exotic-looking species from southern lands (eg: Tasmanian devil). If interested in supporting this project by having your park / agency represented in the spirit of international cooperation, please contact Barry Batchelor, a ranger with Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service by email at:

About Barry Batchelor

Barry Batchelor on location
Barry Batchelor

Barry Batchelor has had over 20 years experience in park management, and many more years as a visitor to reserved land on seven continents. During his ‘gap’ 10 years he spent two years in Europe, including living and working in the Chilterns, as well as in France, Greece & Munich.

All of Barry’s Parks & Wildlife career has been in World Heritage Areas, the majority stationed at Lake St Clair, which is at the southern end of the world famous Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The only access from the northern end of the park is along the Overland walking track which takes an average of five days. It traverses the mountains which give rise to the island’s greatest rivers flowing to North, West & SE coasts, and passes the highest mountain, Mount Ossa (1617m).

Carved out by ice during several glaciations over the last two million years, Lake St Clair is the deepest lake in Australia and the headwaters of the Derwent River, upon which the capital city of Tasmania is located. Work here comprises the usual visitor management, especially remote area track, hut and toilet systems, and infrastructure maintenance around the park centre which attracts a higher volume of visitors. Barry’s career has focused on threats to natural values such as exotic species control, erosion rehabilitation, fire prevention, detection and suppression, volunteer & work experience programs, and law enforcement, including inappropriate recreational vehicle use in sensitive remote alpine environments. He has also worked on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island for two six-month seasons, mainly as part of the long-term (now successful) Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Plan.

Outside of, but aligned to his employment, Barry and his partner are the official weather observers, daily operators of the waste water treatment plant, and the resident wildlife rescuers and carers. Current animals in care include wombats, possums, Bennetts wallabies and Tasmanian pademelons, all raised as orphans. Injured animals treated in the past year include echidna, quoll, raptors and a cormorant.

Barry's patch collection - can you contribute?
Barry's patch collection - can you contribute?

Barry is currently Secretary of the Tasmanian Rangers Association, and national coordinator of the Council of Australian Ranger Associations, and has attended the past three World Ranger Congresses, being currently en route to the 7th World Ranger Congress in Tanzania, November 2012. A passion is collecting items relating to conservation professions, including books, metal & cloth badges, shirts, hats / caps, stickers, etc; so he enjoys meeting park staff everywhere to swap ideas, experience, and good humour.

With possums

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

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