New Nature Rangers to inspire wonder in nature among local children

Two new faces have joined NHSN as part of our How to be a Young North East Naturalist project

Thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this week, NHSN welcomes two new Nature Rangers. By visiting schools and leading educational activities, they will provide 150 children with the opportunity to develop skills and help nurture an understanding of North East nature.

Working with five local schools, How to be a Young North East Naturalist will develop new resources to inspire a wider range of young people in the North East to learn about and protect their local wildlife. The five schools involved are St Wilfrid’s, Blyth, Eastlea Primary School, Cramlington, Ivy Road Primary, Mountfield Primary at Kenton and Grange First School at Parklands.

Nature Ranger, Jack Butlin, has volunteered with NHSN for eighteen months and has previously worked in several educational roles with a focus on inspiring young people. Introducing himself, he writes:

Hi, I’m Jack. I’m passionate about the beauty of our natural world and helping to engage others with it.  I have always dreamed of working in an alternative, environmental education role, working towards making nature accessible and enjoyable for all. This dream is finally coming true and I’m super excited to get going. 

Jack Butlin, Nature Ranger

We’re delighted to also welcome Julie Ross, a former primary school teacher who has worked for many years teaching children from nursery to Year 6, including overseas in Bermuda. Julie writes:

I completed my Forest School training in 2019 and since then have taught Forest School in a variety of settings. I am very excited about starting a new chapter of my career with NHSN, linking my love of the outdoors back to my passion in teaching and working with primary school children. I love and pride myself on making learning enjoyable and having as much fun as possible!

Julie Ross, Nature Ranger

The project will be supported and evaluated by Newcastle University Centre for Learning and Teaching.  Ulrike Thomas and David Leat from the centre, with, undergraduate student, Liz Przyborski, will use participative methods of evaluation to seek feedback from school children, teachers, and parents.  This valuable work will help ensure that the project activities are shaped by the children and teachers and meet the children’s ideas. Introducing herself, Liz writes:

I am currently doing a placement year at the Centre for Learning and Teaching within the university, where my role is a research assistant to multiple projects. Looking ahead, I am very interested in teaching within the area of psychology, therefore I am very keen to be a part of helping children and young people and their education.

 I am delighted to be involved in the NHSN, and look forward to working alongside Ulrike, Clare and David, and the nature rangers.

Liz Przyborski, Newcastle University