Education ranger for Milton Keynes parks wins national accreditation

James Walsh
James Walsh

A member of The Parks Trust’s Outdoor Learning Team is celebrating being recognised as an Accredited Practitioner by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

James Walsh, who has worked for The Parks Trust for three years, has been awarded the accreditation after completing a portfolio of work and passing an interview panel with two independent assessors.

The content of his portfolio included published articles in industry magazines, personal reflections on practice and the issues facing the outdoor learning industry, detail around his experience and an ongoing professional development plan.

Outdoor Learning is an important part of the work carried out by The Parks Trust, which works with around 6,000 adults and school children across Milton Keynes each year to promote responsible behaviour and a sense of community ownership of the parks.

James’ portfolio had to demonstrate expertise across eight areas. These included the promotion of responsible and sensitive use of the outdoor situation; understanding the characteristics and benefits of outdoor learning; values and personal integrity; and competent outdoor practice and risk assessment.

Phil Bowsher, Head of Environment, Education & Volunteering at The Parks Trust, said: “We are very proud of James and the hard work he has put into achieving this prestigious accreditation. This is a difficult course to complete and reflects his dedication to providing the adults and children of Milton Keynes with informative, interesting and exciting opportunities to explore and learn about our local environment.

“As well as demonstrating the high calibre of those leading our Outdoor Learning programme, this accreditation will also mean James can become a dedicated coach for people looking to achieve the level below this, Registered Practitioner.

“This gives The Parks Trust a real opportunity to help other people who have an interest in Outdoor Learning. Well done James!”