Countryside Rangers launch their 2014 walks and events guide

The Highland Council’s Countryside Rangers have launched their 2014 brochure featuring over 400 guided walks and events to encourage everyone to get out and explore the great outdoors and find out more about the animals that share it with us.

Packed with new walks, new Rangers and new activities for individuals and families to enjoy during the Homecoming Scotland Year, this free booklet features a wide range of activities for all levels of fitness. From hill walks and historical sites , to getting up close and personal with nature and working with others on paths and voluntary projects across the Highlands of Scotland.

The Highlands of Scotland has one of the most diverse range of environments, where you will be able to many species of flora and fauna in the space of a few hours. What better way to explore than with the Countryside Rangers who know the area and are passionate about it for everyone to enjoy.

In the booklet you will find the ‘Top 5’ places to seek out that are recommended from the local Rangers in each area, where you will find some treasures, or you might learn something that you always wondered about.

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair of the Highland Council’s Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: “You can get so much more out of the countryside if you come to one of the Rangers events and with the new Loyalty Card where you get your 6th event free it’s even better in 2014. Discover new places and explore hidden gems, giant forests and hear some great stories that will give you insights into the Homecoming Year. I'm planning to book myself to take part in 3 events which I’m looking forward to.

He added: “Our Countryside Rangers have a huge amount of knowledge and are experts at knowing just where to go to spot wildlife.  They can offer advice and support and, as all the walks in the brochure are graded, anyone interested can get an idea of the level of fitness required before deciding what events are for them. Having such a comprehensive list of events in a handy booklet makes it very easy to find out what is happening.  This is an excellent opportunity not just for people who live here but also for visitors to get involved and take part in our wonderful great outdoors.  With so many events on offer there really is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Copies of the booklet, listing all the opportunities that are running from April until the end of autumn, are now available free of charge from libraries, service points or from your local Ranger.  You can also visit www.highland.gov.uk/countrysiderangers for more details or get in touch by emailing ranger@highland.gov.uk

Examples of events from across the areas include:

Caithness:
• Guided walks along the western coastal edge of Dunnet Head
• Puffin spotting along the north coast
• Bushcraft sessions
• Easter outdoor family treasure hunt

Sutherland:
• Guided coastal walk to spot seabirds and sea caves
• Walk to a great wildflower site full of orchids
• Coastal walk to an Iron Age Broch
• Gold panning at the site of Sutherland’s gold rush

Ross and Cromarty:
• A guided bike ride along the shores of Loch Torridon
• Sand sculptures and Seashore safaris on Gairloch beach
• Dragonflies, Damselfies and Rock pooling sessions
• A Geological journey on a west coast costal walk

Skye & Lochalsh
• Mountain path volunteer day
• Fossil foray on the sandstones and mudstones at Ardnish
• Guided walks up 3 Grahams offering spectacular views
• Visit to Prince Charlie’s Cave

Inverness & Nairn
• Den building and bushcraft sessions in local woods
• Indiana Bones at the Bronze Age site of Clava Cairns
• Mini beast hunts and animal tracking workshops
• Forest arts and crafts day

Badenoch & Strathspey
• Watch the spectacle of a Black Grouse lek
• Orchid and other wildflower spotting
• Explore Invereshie Nature Reserve
• Walk to seek out birds of prey in the Cairngorm National Park

Lochaber:
• Stories of the Fort on a walk from Fort William to Inverlochy
• Circular hill walk with view over to the Small Isles
• Geocaching in Glen Nevis
• Walk the Great Glen Way in bite-sized day long guided sessions

ENDS

27 Feb 2014
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