My name is Jonathan Skinn and I am the Academy Ranger in the North York Moors and have been since September 2014. I have decided that from now on I will update (every other month) you on what I have been up to in the role.
As part of the job, I have to go Reaseheath College in Chesire, for 2 weeks, every so often to learn about relevant subjects such as wildlife, sustainability, health and safety and so on. I have recently been at College and we have been learning about ecology and how food webs, introduced species (such as sycamore trees, himalayan balsam)and soil profiles can change the way you interact with your properties and make decisions as a Ranger.
For a simple example if you have a property that has limestones soils which are alkaline soils and you wanted to fill in potholes on a footpath on that site you wouldn’t you an acidic substance such as gravel as it would change the soil pH and you would lose the wildflowers and wildlife that are special to limestone soils.
Furthermore, over the weekend of 24th and 25th, me and 4 other academy rangers went over to the Yorkshire Dales, Buckden to be precise to help 3rd year Academy Ranger Liz Wade along with her Lead Ranger Peter Katic with some fencing. It was a cold but wonderful weekend as we went to see Aysgarth Falls and also Ribblehead Viaduct on the Sunday after a hard days work on Saturday.
The week after we continued on with ecology but we also got to do other stuff such as rifle shooting with Geoff Guy. It turned into blizzard conditions whilst attempting to shoot white paper targets, which made it twice as difficult for all the Academy Rangers. Geoff Guy also shared his knowledge of outdoor activities with kids such as fire making, raft building and other activities which were really helpful to learn.
So far being the Academy Ranger in the North Yorkshire Moors has been fantastic and it has been fun to meet the other Academy Rangers who have the same passion for nature and conservation that I do