Council members give support to Countryside Ranger Service
The work of Highland Council’s Countryside Rangers was welcomed today at the Council’s Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee as Members gave their support for the wide range of work done by the Rangers in the area and also gave their approval for the 2015/16 Ranger programme of events across the area.
Highland Council’s Countryside Manager George Duff informed members of the achievements made by the Rangers in the last financial year for 2013/14 and highlighted some events:
Of the 8,524 people taking part in 156 Highland-wide Ranger events, 98% participants thought that the events had met their expectations and nearly 60% thought the events had exceeded their expectation;
Highland Rangers visited 492 schools providing 9,840 children with high quality outdoor learning in their local environment;
A seashore event at Nairn Central Links focussing on biodiversity attracted over 300 people; and
At the Council’s Feshie Woodland, the Countryside Rangers each year for the past 4 years worked with 80 students from Sparsholt College who were studying conservation and management studies.
Mr Duff explained that the role of the Countryside Rangers has changed over the years from a traditional role of delivering environmental education and events to one of promoting and sustaining biodiversity; working with Access Officers in local areas; and managing and maintaining the large number of council properties that the Council has within its countryside service.
Members approved the proposed 2015/16 Countryside Ranger Programme of Events for their area which will include 21 events being delivered by 1 Ranger for Nairn and Inverness East; and 2 Rangers for Badenoch and Strathspey.
The programme includes a range of walks, and activities aimed at different age groups and abilities. One popular activity that has seen a recent resurgence in popularity in recent years is kite flying! Participants will have the chance to make and fly kites at Carrbridge and Nairn – weather permitting. Also specific to the Cairngorm National Park Area (with whom the Rangers work closely with) Black Grouse Lek watching will be on the programme of events in Spring.
Leader of the Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee Councillor Liz MacDonald thanked the Rangers for their work in the area, she said: “I’d particularly like to thank our Rangers for all the good work that they do with local access panels and works on the local path networks. Continued access to the countryside is extremely importance to local people and their work is greatly appreciated.”