Cheshire East Ranger Services
in Astbury Mere Country Park

Winter in the Park - the Visitor Centre can just be seen in the top quarter, just left of centre

Cheshire East Countryside Rangers at Astbury Mere Country Park

Astbury Mere Country Park is owned by Astbury Mere Trust and managed on their behalf by Cheshire East Ranger Service. The Trust is deeply grateful to Matt Axford and his team for their unstinting dedication to making the Park a safe and enjoyable place for local users, visitors and not least of all the magnificent wildlife that frequent the Park.

So what does a Ranger do?

The job covers a wide variety of work and Ranger's are well trained and appropriately qualified. Practical outdoor tasks include managing wildlife habitats, maintaining fences or dealing with dangerous trees. Ranger's also manage larger projects and oversee the work of contractors to ensure the job is done correctly.

Administrative tasks include writing management plans for country parks and completing grant applications to secure additional funding. Some administrative tasks are essential for the safe running of the countryside facilities. Working with the local community is a really important part of the Ranger's job. Many countryside facilities have local volunteers or “friends” groups helping with practical tasks, guided walks and other events. Ranger's work with schools, youth groups, libraries, charities and outdoor activity groups, enabling everyone to enjoy and understand the importance of the local countryside.

The Ranger Service:
  • Manages country parks, linear trails, picnic areas and other areas of open space in Cheshire East for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
  • Provides opportunities for walking, cycling, horse riding and other outdoor recreation activities.
  • Protects, maintains and develops wildlife habitats.
  • Provides countryside and wildlife information for Cheshire East residents and visitors.
  • Seeks grant aid to deliver services effectively and efficiently.
  • Works with the community to provide the countryside events programme, deliver conservation tasks and manage the country parks and linear trails.

Matthew Axford

Cheshire East Countryside Ranger

Matthew Axford is our Site Ranger responsible for Astbury Mere Country Park.

Matt works for the Ranger Service of Cheshire East Council, and splits his time working at the Country Park and at sites in Rode Heath and Middlewich. Matt has worked with the Trust at Astbury Mere since the park was officially opened in 1991. Prior to working in Cheshire Matt worked for the Duke of Wellington at a Country Park in Hampshire.

Matt is also involved in Ranger activities Nationally with the Countryside Management Association and as a member of the Country Parks Network Steering Group. He is a also a judge for the Green Flag Award scheme.