CMA Conference

CMA Conference 2018 – Engaging communities, enhancing lives

Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st November

Lee Valley Regional Park, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.


This year’s conference will be based in the 26 mile long, 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park near London. The park was created by a unique Act of Parliament as a “green lung” for London, Essex and Hertfordshire. The park authority runs an array of award winning open spaces and sports venues and their approach is to be community focused and commercially driven.

The main focus for the conference will be community engagement. The programme for the two days is still being finalised but several high profile speakers have already been confirmed, including Ian Leete, chairman of the Parks Action Group, who will be providing an update on the group’s work to date.  Click here to see the conference programme (updated 3rd Oct 2018).

Bookings are being taken via Eventbrite and include the option to pay by invoice (making it more convenient for employers to pay for staff to attend).


Report on CMA Conference 2017 –

New opportunities in the outdoors – Creative approaches to funding, partnerships and publicity


21st-23rd November, Conwy YHA, North Wales


Delegates enjoyed three excellent days in North Wales with informative presentations, great workshop sessions and unforgettable field trips. Provided below are some presentations and photos from the event.

Tuesday 21st November


 Wednesday 22nd November


Choice of one of three site visits:

Cwm Idwal NNR – partnership work with National Trust, Natural Resource Wales and Snowdonia NPA (and others) to manage access and grazing in the National Nature Reserve.




Parc Farm on the Great Orme – the famous “£1 farm”, trialling active shepherding to manage grazing. Partnership work with National Trust, Plantlife, Conwy County Council and others.


Magnificent Snowdon – a 2-3 hr walk on Snowdon with warden (travel & weather dependent) followed by presentation on the Snowdon Partnership. Snowdonia National Park Partnership Manager Helen Pye will discuss recreation management within the Partnership’s work.



Thursday 23rd November


Workshop session on Ranger magazine

  •  ‘Hints and tips for working with the media: Learn to shout about what you do’ – Sean Kirby, Press and PR professional, former journalist
  • ‘The Ranger magazine: what do you want?’ – Janice Burley. Discussion & feedback on future content / structure


Choice of two of the following four workshops.

  • Maximising your income – or “How much is that butterfly in the window?”- Ted Talbot
  • How to write effective press releases – Sean Kirby
  • Learning to use Social Media – Bárbara Pais
  • Kickstart your project through Crowdfunding – Amanda Peters

A big thank you to everyone who organised, presented, led field trips and attended the conference and to YHA Conwy for providing an excellent venue.


Report on 50th Anniversary Conference:


Countryside Management Association 50th Anniversary Conference

“Twenty First Century Rangers – looking forward to the next 50 years.”

1st to 3rd November 2016, Losehill Hall YHA, Castleton, Derbyshire.


These fabulous three days at Losehill Hall in the Peak District were an inspiring combination of reflection and passionate anticipation for the future.


Ted Talbot of the National Trust

Tuesday’s presentations were a mix of innovative projects being undertaken locally within the National Park, past and present initiatives around Sheffield and enthusiastic encouragement to forge closer links with European ranger colleagues.

Speakers included: Peak District National Park Ranger Service; Derbyshire Wildlife Trust; The National Trust; Frank Grutz – IRF Europe representative; Roger Cole, CMA/IRF and Professor Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University.

Click here to see Ted Talbot’s presentation featuring the work of the National Trust in the Peak District.

Click here to see Roger Cole’s presentation about a recent European meeting jointly hosted by the Slovak Rangers Association and the Association of Rangers of the Czech Republic.


Someone ordered amazingly sunny, dry weather for Wednesday’s field trips:


Wonderful views on Mam Tor

  • Castleton Visitor Centre and Mam Tor
  • A cycle ride along the Monsal Trail
  • The Dark Peak and Stannage Edge
  • Edale Visitor Centre and ‘Moors for the Future’ Partnership


Sean Willmore, President of the International Ranger Federation (IRF), had arrived from Australia by the time delegates returned and they were treated to a summary of the ongoing vital work of the IRF and the Thin Green Line Foundation.



CMA acting Chair, Linda Nunn and Gordon Miller

One of the founders of CMA and a driving force in setting up the IRF, Gordon Miller, was introduced as the new Honorary President of CMA to great applause from delegates.

Ian Brooker accepting the Gordon Miller Award

Ian Brooker accepting the Gordon Miller Award

Four nominees for the new ‘Gordon Miller Award’ had to wait until after dinner to hear who had won and the Sticklepath and Okehampton Conservation Group from Dartmoor National Park scooped the barn owl trophy.  Click on the following links for details of the excellent four entries that were received this year:

Wednesday evening was the time for CMA 50th Anniversary celebrations. Looking back at the pioneering work of the first rangers in the land and the subsequent emergence and growth of the CMA, went hand in hand with our next generation of rangers reporting on their time at the World Ranger Congress in Colorado, USA which took place in May of this year.  Click here to view their presentation.



A celebratory cake, toast from our new President and surprise video message from Chris Packham ensured a good night was had by all.


Thursday saw Jon Dallow of Sheffield Outdoor Programme explain how the ‘great outdoors’ is contributing in a big way to the local economy. The CMA AGM then focussed on four workshop sessions to produce new ideas and opportunities for CMA to pursue during 2017…all good food for thought.


Linda Nunn and new Honorary Patron, Chris Baines



Sarah Fowler, CEO Peak District National Park, gave a penultimate speech to delegates followed by a rousing final address from our new Honorary Patron, Chris Baines.

National Committee believes this was an uplifting and inspiring step forward for the Association and several new offers were received to take on roles within CMA.

There were multiple outcomes from Conference 2016, with one taking centre stage: we are all, quite rightly, deeply passionate about our work and the multiple benefits we bring to the environment, economy and people – we must learn to sell our story bigger, better and more joined up to gain greater recognition, support and financial backing for our vital work.

‘Shout more loudly’