Field Identification Guide
C ountryside staff come in many different shapes and sizes. They are not easily distinguished in the field, but for your own safety it is important that you learn to differentiate between them quickly without having to take them back to the laboratory. To assist you, Naturenet is now able to publish an online extract from the unique 'Countryside Worker Field Guide', which is to be published as an AIDGAP guide. This project is still developing and needs further field testing.
Your help is needed to field-test the guide. Please follow the key below and send us your comments and suggestions for improvements.
Countryside Staff: 'Easy Key'
Instructions: Click the link next to the description that best matches the countryside worker you need to identify. When you 'key out' your specimen, follow the link to the details and images to check your result.
|Clothing of a substandard quality. A green, ripped (a little stuffing protruding), quilted bodywarmer worn at all seasons. Boots as large as possible, unpolished, covered in cow sh*t and mud with a nauseating odour.
Go to 5
|Nice coloured fleece, maybe with embroidered logo. Rohan or similar trousers, boots appear to be less than 2 years old and/or have multicoloured laces. Beard reduced or absent.
Go to 2
|Check shirt, possibly with a 'knotted string' tie (rare), or sporting jacket with patches on elbows. Cord trousers. Stainless steel flask in all weathers. Rarely if ever exits Land-Rover so footwear unknown. Beard grizzled or even grey.
Go to 3
|Not like any of these.
Go to 4
|Your specimen is a Rights of Way Officer or possibly an AONB Officer, or you are in Swansea.
|Your specimen is a Senior Ranger.
|Specimen wears clean and tidy jacket, clean and ironed shirt and silk tie (m) or possibly headscarf or Alice band (f). Green wellies, possibly with corduroy trousers/jodhpurs/pleated skirt. Your specimen is a Senior Manager.
|Specimen is heavily tanned, smokes a pipe or cigar, and wears shorts in all weathers. May have curious accent, bizarre and intimidating driving habits, and yell unintelligibly at random intervals. Your specimen is an Exotic Ranger.
|None of the above. Your specimen is not a recognised countryside worker. You may not be in the countryside at all - have you checked?
End of Key.
|Specimen is dressed in an assemblage of old clothes and other items which may be held together with orange string, or nothing. If a vehicle is present, it will be older than you are. Specimen moves huge distances in a day and rarely found in the same place twice. Your specimen is a Wildlife Trust Ranger.
|Specimen has logos sewn into every garment possible. Specimen asks you repeatedly if you have ever considered 'joining'. Some older specimens may be almost sedentary, and all show a remarkable reluctance to leave their territory which can be embarrassingly small. Your specimen is a National Trust Warden.
|Specimen frequently found filling in 'timesheets' and 'vehicle logs'. It is often possible to attract several specimens quickly by shouting 'Can I see your Risk Assessments?' If outside, specimen is usually associated with a 'flock' or 'gang' of contractors or trainees. If inside, specimen will be in 'a meeting'. If vehicle is present, it will be brand new, and may be oddly inappropriate for the task, eg steam-roller or fire engine. Your specimen is a Local Council Ranger.
|Specimen is confined to an observation hide, or, rarely, carries a small portable hide around with them. Can best be located by bleeping sound from pager or mobile phone. Your specimen is a RSPB Warden.
|Specimen has never seen a human being before. Your specimen is a National Park Ranger.
|None of the above. An unknown class of Ranger or Warden. Approach with caution, record your observations and send details to us for inclusion in the next edition of this guide.
End of Key
Credits: this page, and much of its contents, was originally conceived and researched by a group known only as the 'concerned naturalists'. They are believed to be associated with a large conservation-oriented landowner but refuse to make any further details public.