Welcome Our New Community Engagement Ranger!

The “Pebblebeds for All” project aims to create a place where people and nature thrive. This exciting three-year project is led by the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust (PHCT) and is supported with more than £190,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The project has also been supported with over £150,000 from the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust.

Thanks to this funding, a new Community Engagement Ranger has been recruited to help provide new opportunities for anyone to take positive actions for nature on this internationally important conservation area.

Savannah Brownlow has been appointed as Community Engagement Ranger for the Pebblebeds for All project and will engage with under-represented groups, extend volunteering opportunities and establishing a Youth Ranger Scheme.

Savannah and other members of the PHCT team will be working with partner organisations to make it easier for people to find the information they need to be able to take part in activities which are happening across the reserve. Savannah has already made progress in this work through re-designing the events page of the PHCT website to make it more accessible for visitors to find events relevant to them and created events for National Nature Reserve (NNR) Week in May 2024 and Heath Week in July/August 2024.

As the project develops further in the coming months, the reserve will be supporting the health, social, and economic wellbeing of people across East Devon and more opportunities to engage with this project will arise.

Savannah is vital to helping deliver this project and comes to the roles after two years working for Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA), where she started as a Conservation and Access Trainee and progressed to Community Engagement Ranger under the ‘Recharge in Nature’ project. Her role as Community Engagement Ranger involved working with deprived communities in the urban areas surrounding the moors – Exeter, Torbay and Plymouth.

Savannah comes to the role with a BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation and experience in practical habitat management at DNPA and Surrey Wildlife Trust, and education and health care experience gaining a pre-teaching qualification at secondary school and starting training as a Speech and Language Therapist.

Savannah said she enjoyed her work at DNPA but as her project concluded she said “I came across the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and the Pebblebeds for All project, and it made me excited! It was a project that aimed to achieve more than just engaging with the public, it wants to break down barriers and be more reflective of the community, so I wanted to be involved!”

“I have been in Devon for three years now and I love the South West! I grew up in Lincolnshire on my family farm, where I was privileged enough to experience the outdoors every day, so naturally I gravitated towards a career in the environmental sector. Starting in practical conservation I soon realised how important public understanding of conservation was to protect our wildlife and landscapes. Working previously as a Community Engagement Ranger I was able to share my passion for the environment and give others who are not always afforded these opportunities to access nature, the opportunity to do so.”

The parallels between Savannah’s previous role in Dartmoor and the Pebblebeds for All project will strengthen the delivery of the project.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this project where the love for the local landscape shines through and I’m excited to develop new opportunities for regular and new visitors to the reserve to strengthen local pride and accessibility to the reserve,” she said.

To keep up to date with the latest project news keep an eye out on our projects page on the PHCT website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We look forward to sharing more information about how people can get involved with this project in the coming months.