Clandeboye is most famous for the legacy of the 1st Marquess (1826-1902), who laid out the historic parklands under the guidance of James Frazer. The project was so extensive that the estate still boasts the largest area of broadleaved woodland in Northern Ireland. To honour the inspiration of the 1st Marquess, the Dufferin Foundation now acts as a focus for environmental projects throughout Northern Ireland and works closely with TCV formerly Conservation Volunteers NI. Lady Dufferin resides in Clandeboye House and is a keen painter with a passion for conservation. In 1975 Lady Dufferin was responsible for encouraging Conservation Volunteers to set up their Northern Ireland base within the estate. The Conservation Volunteers continue to be associated with Clandeboye Estate and are making a difference in local communities throughout the province. Clandeboye Nature Rangers was set up in 2018 by Northern Ireland Forest School Association (NIFSA) supported by the Dufferin Foundation. NIFSA was set up 2008 as an independent charity in Northern Ireland and its aim is to promote the Forest School ethos to educational establishments and like-minded organisations throughout the country.
The ethos of Forest School is based on a fundamental respect for children and young people and for their capacity to instigate, test and maintain curiosity in the world around them. It believes in children's right to play; the right to access the outdoors (and in particular a woodland environment); the right to access risk and the vibrant reality of the natural world; and the right to experience a healthy range of emotions, through all the challenges of social interaction, to build a resilience that will enable continued and creative engagement with their peers and their potential.