Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Teenagers become Junior Rangers in the Cairngorms National Park

31st May 2010

Teenagers from Webster’s High School in Kirriemuir become junior rangers in the Cairngorms National Park this week.

The five-day long programme which takes place from 31 May-4 June is being co-ordinated and funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority with support from local Ranger services. It takes place in the Angus Glens where participants will be introduced to the flora, fauna and special qualities of the Cairngorms National Park.

After an introductory day at the Glen Doll Ranger base where the young people will receive a slideshow followed by a walk into Corrie Fee, they will take part in a number of other activities from understanding more about biodiversity in the Park, to interpretation and access issues.

All participants will be taking part in the John Muir Discovery Award which encourages groups or individuals to discover, explore, conserve and share their experiences of wild places.

Alan Smith, the John Muir Award Manager for the Cairngorms National Park said: “The young people taking part will gain a much better understanding of the National Park during their five days from undertaking conservation work and hearing about the role of Ranger Services in the Park, to gaining an insight into career opportunities in the land based sector.”

The activities will also focus on the impact of climate change on habitats and their associated flora and fauna in the Park. Opportunities for the junior rangers to take part in Europe-wide camps and exchanges may also be possible at a later date, further expanding their knowledge and understanding of wild places.

Eric Baird, Deputy Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Head Ranger at Glen Tanar said: “These junior ranger events have gone from strength to strength each year and provide our young people with a valuable insight into the qualities that make the Cairngorms National Park such a special place.

“Opening up young people’s minds to the challenges and opportunities that living in or near a National Park brings, can help make a valuable contribution to retaining young people in rural areas and ensure future generations understand the significance of the National Park. It is encouraging that as National Parks become more embedded in the National Curriculum, outdoor learning opportunities like these are taking place to help connect young people to their local surroundings.”

The Cairngorms Junior Rangers Project is supported by Angus Council Ranger Service, Angus Council Outdoor Education and Community Learning and Development, Angus Arts and the Cairngorms National Park Authority