Back to rangering for me: joining Gift to Nature

I’m being outsourced. The Isle of Wight Council can’t pay for a full countryside service any more, so some time early in 2016, I’m taking a load of the council’s countryside sites, one of my colleagues, and a lot of optimism off to work for a small Island charity called Gift to Nature. Yes, it’s finally happening, I’m going back to countryside management.

During my time at the Isle of Wight Council I’ve always been countryside manager, but I’ve also variously managed (as well as countryside) parks, beaches, allotments, rights of way, estuaries, AONB, protected trees, ecology, village greens and more. All of these have taught me a lot and – on the whole –  been great to do. But actually, I started as a ranger and that’s what I like best. So I’m very pleased to be going back to it.

Rangers and volunteer working on Brading Down LNR, Isle of Wight
Ranger and volunteer working on Brading Down LNR, Isle of Wight

Continue reading Back to rangering for me: joining Gift to Nature

How you got here… and why.

After getting a link from the BBC website The Ranger delved into his website statistics to gloat over the millions of people referred from it. Sadly, he couldn’t find more than a handful. Maybe gribbles just don’t do it for people any more… or at any rate, they certainly don’t as much as Britney Spears appears to. Whilst deep in the engine-room The Ranger took a look at the things that people type into search engines before they arrive at Naturenet:

Naturenet stats October 2007

Statistics for the month of October 2007 to date.

And you thought this website was all about wildlife and conservation, eh? Or, if (as seems to be statistically likely) you actually came here looking for pictures of Britney naked, you perhaps meant to end up here… although some say it looks more like Paris Hilton nude, or Lindsey Lohan going topless… or… well, you get the idea. There are no such pictures on Naturenet really but let’s see how those little phrases affect the statistics. Check out the latest arrivals in ‘Popular search terms‘ at the bottom of the sidebar.

Naturenet is shortlisted for Hantsweb awards 2007

Hantsweb awards 2007

Hooray for us! Naturenet has been shortlisted for the 2007 Hantsweb Awards. The Hantsweb Awards are run by Hampshire County Council and celebrate excellence in website design, accessibility and service. The awards are open to any website based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It’s a double celebration as also shortlisted is the Isle of Wight Hedgerow Group website, which was also designed and is maintained by Pinkeye Graphics, Naturenet’s design company. We’ll find out who wins in September.

Minimoto bikes and go-peds – what’s the solution?

I have updated the Naturenet page on illegal use of cars and vehicles in the countryside. Some of the legal references were a bit elderly so they’ve been updated. It also now includes a link to a really good report produced by Red Rose Forest last November, which gives some very helpful tips as well as a comprehensive overview of the present illegal motorcycling problem in Manchester. If you’ve got problems with bikes on your land then this is essential reading.

Schedule 5: protected animals

It might not be the most popular page on Naturenet but this is a perennial favourite which has been there right since day one in 1995, and today the Ranger has updated it. Yes, it has been updated other times since 1995, what do you think we are?

The ladybird spider Eresus niger (now Eresus cinnaberinus) - protected by Schedule 5

So if you ever wondered just which animals (apart from birds) are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 then this one’s just for you. The Ranger uses this page himself very regularly, as do many others. Many thanks to keen-eyed Samuel Watson for pointing out a mistake on there which prompted a thorough overhaul.

Northern Ireland Environment & Heritage Service

I’ve just updated this page. It was so old it had got fur on it – even saying ‘we expect things to change in 1998’. This is the web equivalent of finding a tin of pilchards in the back of the cupboard marked 2/6. However, I’ve updated it as best I can. I’ve tried before but the problem, as you might see from the ranger’s feeble protestations on the page, is that it’s far from clear exactly what this body actually does, and from what I hear it’s not much clearer if you work there. They seem to be a combination of the functions of English Nature, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, and quite a few other English institutions. What’s better still, the websites always seem to be a bit behind the latest reorganisation. So if you live in NI and know the answers, we’re just waiting to be told. Go on. Please!