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Wildlife ranger aims to spark interest in Britain's most southerly headland

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 16, 2013

The dramatic headland at The Lizard, most southerly point in mainland Britain   PICTURE:  EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS

The dramatic headland at The Lizard, most southerly point in mainland Britain PICTURE: EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS

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A new Wild Lizard Ranger post has been created on the Lizard, funded through a unique partnership between the National Trust, Natural England, the Helford Marine Conservation Group and Goonhilly Community Fund.

Claire Scott has been recruited to deliver environmental learning, with the aim to promote a joined up approach to nature conservation education on the Lizard. Through a series of public events and school visits held on the Lizard National Nature Reserve, National Trust land and the Helford VMCA Claire hopes to increase awareness and understanding of the unique local natural environment.

The Wild Lizard project is an outcome of the 'Linking the Lizard' Countryside Partnership, where key conservation stakeholders including the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England have teamed up. Working closely with the RSPB, National Farmers Union, the Cornwall AONB Partnership and the University of Exeter in Cornwall, the partnership hopes to deliver a more joined up landscape scale approach to land management and joint activities.

Claire has been working with schools locally for the past three years as the Community Outreach Adviser for Natural England. With a Degree in Conservation, Biology and Ecology, as well as being Forest School Leader trained, she hopes to pioneer a new approach to education in the area in this new role.

Claire said: "By combining partners' resources I am hoping to offer some fantastic curriculum-linked opportunities to encourage schools to visit, explore and discover a real variety of sites and habitats."

Promoting the sustainability of the project and outdoor education in the local area, teacher taster days will also be held to discuss and develop ideas, and provide the skills and confidence to take the curriculum outdoors.

Claire's role involves families as well as schools. She is planning a number of special outdoor events, for both adults and children. Full details of the events, as they are planned will be on the National Trust's blog at www.lizardandpenrose.blogspot.co.uk/ or follow Claire on twitter @LizardRangers.

For those interested in a career in environmental education or even just wanting to get out and share their enthusiasm for the natural environment, Claire is offering some volunteering opportunities.

There will be a chance to get involved in every aspect of outdoor learning, from bushcraft to rock pool safaris. Claire said: "All you need to bring is your enthusiasm."

After a week of Bushcraft events held at Poltesco Claire commented: "The large numbers of families attending and the amazing feedback we received just shows there is a real enthusiasm to get outdoors and learn new skills. Sites like the Helford, Kennack Sands, Poltesco, Lizard Point and Goonhilly Downs all offer unique experiences and I hope to enable locals and visitors to discover more about the natural environment of the Lizard.

"By developing understanding of the outdoors it nurtures the guardianship of our unique natural environment."

If you are interested in any of these opportunities or just want to find out more about school visits, then please contact Claire at claire.scott@nationaltrust.org.uk

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