Twenty volunteers gathered at the Visitor Centre last Friday to hear Ben N give a briefing on the new instructions and information being rolled out from the Estate Office. The Trust are pleased to now be able to implement certain updated core documents covering role responsibilities, Estate zonal maps, incident guidelines, through the workings of the Volunteer Rangers.
This engaged group of volunteers has brought about considerable progress with the on-site workings over the last year. They are now purveyors of information with the issue of three specific hand-out leaflets for the public, which are to be given out person-to-person when appropriate – when the visitor asks for information or is clearly not abiding by the rules of Ashridge.
The Trust has grasped the nettle and published some hard-hitting instructions for bikers, dog-walkers, and horse riders. This supports the more outward facing role of the Rangers when engaging with the visitors – a form of outreach. Up until now there has not been an easy way to disseminate detailed information to the visitors bearing in mind that over seventy five percent of them never enter the Visitor Centre. Now with the involvement of the Rangers the information will reach the public. Thirty years ago the Trust relied on fixed outside dispensers on Monument Green which became damaged with the literature ending up on the ground., so when the V C was erected in the late 1980’s the dispensers moved indoors.
After the briefing the group led by Emily, took a walk in the woods hoping to catch a glimpse of the holy grail of butterflies – all hail the Purple Emperor, the jewel of the wild-woods and the embodiment of summer. It is the second largest butterfly in the U K, and it’s devilish difficult to spot. Ashridge has the necessary habitat with it’s oak and sallow trees to attract this declining specie, so with some help from the Trust it may become a firm resident.