The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog

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The now entirely virtual ranger

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

Back in 1989 I discovered that people would actually pay me to work in the countryside. I could hardly believe my luck – and still can’t.  It’s been a great ride, but now, 28 years later I’m going to try something else. Yes, the ‘Virtual Ranger’, my online tag since about 1995, will finally apply.

I’m leaving the Gift to Nature charity after almost exactly two years, to join the Isle of Wight Council, not as a countryside worker or manager this time, but as Communications and Engagement Officer. I’ll be working on press, social media and events, and putting all that writing practice I’ve been getting to good use. A big change? Well, perhaps not as big as you’d think. I do plenty of writing, for Matt and Cat and for the Isle of Wight County Press, alongside promotion and media stuff for Gift to Nature, and also for my clients at Pinkeye Graphics – and apart from a continued enthusiasm for litter picking I don’t do much real live rangering these days.

Of course, I’m very sorry to leave my old career behind, but I’m excited for the new one: it will be exciting – and almost unprecedented – for me to start something entirely new. And I’m not leaving everything – I’ll be able to visit all those wonderful countryside sites and not worry about them. I’ll be donating my old stuff to the G2N shop (like you do, don’t you?). And I will still be volunteering a bit of time now and again, leading some guided walks for the Walking Festival, and maybe even donning the glorious unicorn horn again!

Matthew Chatfield

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

4 thoughts on “The now entirely virtual ranger

  • rowaniw


    Well I wouldn’t have predicted that!

    All the best!

    • The Virtual Ranger

      I kinda surprised myself, but I love telling people how great the Isle of Wight is, and now I am going to be paid to do so!

  • David Larkin

    Good luck with your new career. Now I may get to outlast you. I only started in 1993 and while now managing a ranger team rather than rangering have no plans to leave anytime soon (unless offered early retirement)

    • The Virtual Ranger

      1993 Dave? A novice, sir. 😉

      Keep the faith over there!


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