Fringe Box



Letter: I Won’t Volunteer If Wildlife Rangers Are Cut

Published on: 18 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 18 Jan, 2017

From Jon Lucas

I fully concur with the other readers’ comments on the subject of the  wonderful wildlife rangers. They have dedicated their lives to nature, conservation and educating the public. Redundancy is wrong, shortsighted, and naive. In my view, it is a cowardly act.

The rangers have inspired me and many thousands of volunteers to take an interest in nature and wildlife. Their jobs should be the last to be cut; their expertise, knowledge and rapport with the volunteers takes years to develop.

Their skills and passion are needed on the ground and they inspire the volunteers to work hard and achieve a lot.

I will not be prepared to volunteer in a group without a paid ranger.  If the cuts go ahead I will stop volunteering. I fear for the future off the Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Surrey countryside.

Before any decision is made, let there be more discussion please. What about a Surrey Nature School?

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Responses to Letter: I Won’t Volunteer If Wildlife Rangers Are Cut

  1. Mike Gibson Reply

    January 19, 2017 at 10:23 am

    The consequences of losing this experienced team of rangers will be that fewer of our footpaths and bridleways will be properly maintained for recreation and access by families, walkers and riders; woodlands, downlands and heaths will increasingly be taken over by scrub and invasive plants, and sensitive habitats, for example, our heaths, chalk downland and coppiced woodlands – all homes to nationally rare and threatened species such as the dormouse – will be lost.

    The county council is unilaterally breaking the terms of the contract it has with Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT), exploiting the fact that the trust is not in a strong bargaining position and does not, as a charity, have the resources to mount a legal challenge.

    The sums involved are small in the scheme of things, given what will be lost: savings of around £150,000 per annum, less than fifteen pence per head of population. The county council’s lack of compunction about exerting undue pressure, implicitly threatening the future of SWT, has forced it into this short-term and harmful course of action.

    If we care about the places that make Surrey so special, we must tell our county councillors, on all sides, that they must reverse these unnecessary and damaging funding cuts.

  2. Harry Clarke Reply

    January 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I fail to see what stop volunteering for Surrey Wildlife Trust hopes to achieve.

    It is not going to make Surrey County Council change their minds? And Surrey Wildlife Trust are between a rock and a hard place. The losers will be the wildlife and habitats.

    Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Surrey countryside desperately needs the support of volunteers during these difficult times.

    If you are passionate about nature, get out there and volunteer.

  3. Alan Thornhil Reply

    January 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I totally agree with the comments of Mike Gibson.

    SWT run an excellent river Search programme (Jim Jones, Glen Skelton and Emma Berry) to keep a watch, report oribkems and complete surveys on the River Mole.

    There is a large team of dedicated volunteers helping to improve the water quality, improve wildlife habitats for birds, wildflowers and fish, and to help to alleviate cold risks.

    This is essential work which must be continued. This is only a part of SWT activities to maintain and improve a very wide range of wildlife reserves in Surrey.

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