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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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:
- Natural England – NNR dedication project
- Peak District NP – Peeling Back the Layers
- Pontrhydfendigaid Community Woodland (+ additional report)
- Sticklepath & Okehampton Conservation Group
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.
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’
Many thanks to our new Honorary Fellow, Colin Dilcock, for taking most of the photos used above.