The Rangers get a fair bit of training along the way, through formal training courses and short sessions in-house. Recently we have all been through an in-house customer care course, for example. This did the job in a generic "one size fits all" sort of way.
In contrast; this month the Paxton Rangers were all trained in the basics of livestock management and handling, from an owner's point of view. Carol, the livestock person from the National Trust at Wicken, gave us a brilliant tailor-made course and followed through with advice and printed info. It couldn't have been done better. Consequently, on our most recent cattle drive we used psychology rather than trying to herd the beasts into the truck. Success first time! The cattle have now gone to the Great Fen for a few weeks.
Kirsty and I have just been through a three day course on Managing Safely, which serves as a timely reminder about risk management on the site. Please, if you see a hazard, let us know straight away.
At the same time, the two Matts have been on a tractor course at Shuttleworth, so we shouldn't expect to find a tractor on its side any time soon! The same two Rangers will also be getting extra training in livestock issues such as Vet-Med and transportation.
Our next training session is on December 11th when we will be learning about the teaching techniques used in the Forest Schools programme.
All of the Rangers are First Aiders and we have to get our training updated every three years, then there's chainsaw operation and million other things we are expected to excel at. When do we get the work done?