Meet the rangers

Our Countryside Rangers manage the Country Parks and countryside sites for everyone to enjoy.

The Rangers perform a wide variety of management duties in the parks including helping visitors with enquiries, carrying out practical estate work, conservation work, environmental education and organising events and activities.

We aim to have a Ranger attending a country park every day during normal working hours (except Christmas Day).  The Rangers regularly patrol all of our Country Parks.  These patrols help them to monitor any maintenance problems and provide an efficient response to any issues.

The presence of Rangers in their familiar and distinctive uniform can be a very reassuring sight for visitors to the countryside.  We hope that knowing a Ranger is about every day will encourage everyone to visit the parks with confidence.​

  • Matt Harrel - Senior Ranger

    ​Matt studied Countryside Management at Moulton College for 3 years then did a year’s arboriculture apprenticeship at Althorp Estates.

    In 2008 he took on the Assistant Rangers position at Brixworth Country Park and Brampton Valley Way - he stayed here for a few years honing his skills on the varied work we do at the country parks.

    Matt then moved to Fermyn Woods Country Park as a ranger, took part in butterfly habitat creation for one of our rarest butterflies the Black Hairstreak, created a grass maze and is now putting all his skills and knowledge to use as senior ranger at Barnwell Country Park.

  • Vikki Austin - Ranger

    ​Vikki has been a conservation volunteer for many years.  While working with the rangers and volunteer team at Stanwick Lakes she realised that it was possible to escape the office and pursue a career as a countryside ranger. This revelation came halfway through a six-year journey studying part-time with the Open University for a degree in Literature and Creative Writing! After completing her degree, Vikki ran away to New Zealand for a year, and returned with an even greater love of the great outdoors, and the determination to affect a career change.

    Volunteering led to a position as a part-time Assistant Ranger at Stanwick Lakes, and then a one-year placement with the Wildlife Trust BCN as a Voluntary Reserves Officer, learning about many of the varied habitats around Northamptonshire.  From here, Vikki took on a casual post as a Ranger for Northamptonshire County Council, working primarily at Fermyn Woods Country Park, before finally securing her current role as a full-time ranger at Barnwell Country Park.