Over 5000 North Highland pupils have undertaken a project with the Highland Council’s Rangers this year
It has been a really busy year in the North Highlands for The Highland Council’s Countryside Ranger team. A recent school visit by the Rangers to Bonar Bridge Primary brought the total since the start of January to 234 Ranger school projects in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire involving over 5000 school pupils so far this year.
From Durness to Rosehall, and from Castletown to Lochinver, the Highland Rangers have been involved in wildlife projects this year, including everything from exploring the seashore to woodland, from birds to minibeasts, from environmental art to creating wildlife gardens, bush craft activities to making shelters in the woods.
Andy Summers, Senior Ranger for North Highlands, said: “It is all about getting children outdoors and giving them the chance to explore their surrounding natural environment and the opportunity to have a closer contact with nature. With our busier lives nowadays children do not get outdoors as much as they should. We know outdoor learning has a huge impact on a child’s development, reducing stress and increasing their level of motivation The Rangers want to assist the teachers to help our children develop as good environmental citizens.”
The Highland Council Rangers in the North have been involved this year in school projects in partnership with the Caithness Science Festival, the Flow to the Future peatland project, the North West Highlands Geopark and many others.
Marina Swanson, one of the Caithness Rangers, said: "We were tremendously encouraged by the number of schools that continue to use the Rangers to deliver environmental education through the curriculum for excellence. We enjoy working with the teachers from high schools, primary schools, pre-schools and special schools to cover a wide range of subjects and interdisciplinary areas and outcomes.”
The Highland Council Rangers have now re-organised into a North Highland and South Highland Ranger team. There are six Rangers in each team including a Senior Ranger. Whereas in the past each Ranger worked within a tight geographical boundary they now work more cooperatively as a team. The boundaries maybe more fluid but it allows the Rangers to work smarter and more efficiently.
If your school or community group would like a visit from your local Countryside Ranger, please get in touch with Andy Summers on Andy.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01571844654