Emily Cannon, Kats Koster-Shadbolt and Natalie Gibb have joined the national park as community engagement rangers and will be there to welcome people and help them make the most of this special landscape.
Community-focused roles work on land managed by the Dartmoor National Park Authority, the National Trust, South West Lakes and the Woodland Trust. The positions are funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
Their job will be to reach out to new groups to experience and learn about the natural beauty of Dartmoor; see the range of roles and activities that take place across the moor; and inspire people to love and care for this wild and rugged place and to become ambassadors for the national park.
Emily is already a familiar face to many who worked at Dartmoor National Park as a Youth Engagement Ranger before being appointed to this new role.
Emily said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on the youth environmental work I started through the recently completed Generation Green project, to continue the junior and youth ranger program and to ‘Exploring ways to allow the wider community to simply enjoy the outdoors.’
A graduate in zoology, Kats has a background in environmental education, engagement and outreach opportunities in paid and volunteer roles. His main areas of interest are science, food, outdoor activities and alternative education. Throughout her internships, Kats has worked with young people who thrive outside of a traditional educational environment and she wants to continue this work on Dartmoor.
“I’m very excited to use this role to connect people to this vibrant living landscape in new and empowering ways,” Kats said. “I want to raise the aspirations of young people in and around Dartmoor and inspire confidence and independence in people who may currently feel disconnected from the park. It’s going to be a busy year, but I’m working alongside two exceptional people in this role, and I’m sure we’ll make Dartmoor proud.
Natalie’s experience involves engaging communities in the outdoors and helping them feel part of their natural environment. Most recently, Natalie spent two years in Canada where she worked as a youth worker and had the opportunity to take young people to national parks in British Columbia, seeing firsthand the impact that the experiences have had on people’s lives.
She said: “I look forward to bringing the beauty of Dartmoor National Park to as many people as possible over the next year – without having to worry about bears this time! – and I love wild swimming, running and wildlife so I can’t wait to explore all that Dartmoor has to offer.