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Cairngorms National Park

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Junior Rangers

The Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger Project is an exciting, fun and adventurous outdoor learning programme for young people aged 11–18 years.

If you are interested in…

  • Finding out about the Cairngorms National Park
  • Learning about the work of Countryside Rangers
  • Nature conservation
  • Outdoor activities
  • Meeting new people

…then the Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger Project is for you!

Who is involved?

The project involves pupils from secondary schools in the five local authority areas of the National Park, working alongside ranger services and other partners in the Park. It is based on a European model of engaging young people in fun, practical activities in Protected Areas that provides them with new skills and the opportunity to act as ambassadors for the National Park.

The Junior Ranger programme operates across Europe and our groups are affiliated to the EUROPARC Federation.

How does it work?

An initial 5 day programme involves:

  • Visits and talks
  • Conservation tasks
  • Outdoor activities
  • Sharing experiences with friends and family
  • Achieving the John Muir Discovery Award
  • Graduating as a Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger


Graduates then take part in a follow-on programme which operates one day a month, where they:

  • develop skills, knowledge and understanding from the initial programme
  • use new skills in meaningful and real situations
  • act as Youth ambassadors for the Cairngorms National Park
  • can participate in International Camps and exchanges
  • achieve John Muir Explorer Award

How will this help me for the future?

Junior rangers have the chance to explore the Cairngorms, working alongside adult rangers on practical tasks, whilst having fun and learning new skills with people of their own age. These skills will benefit young people in any future employment including roles within tourism and education. The activities will particularly suit those with an interest in outdoor or practical jobs such as public services, outdoor instructors and any roles within conservation and land management.

Guiding principles and values of the Junior Ranger Project

The project aims to promote international exchange, to develop positive, cooperative social skills, and to encourage the active citizenship of young people.

The project is based on experiential, practical, fun and inspirational activities in Protected Areas. It is managed by rangers, according to the idea of ‘learning by doing’. The programme is non-discriminatory and requires a professional approach and high standards of quality. The Junior Ranger project aspires to high environmental standards and forms connections between EUROPARC Protected Areas and local young people.

Do you have any other questions?

For more information or to get involved in Junior Rangers contact Alan Smith, Outdoor Learning Officer Tel: 01479 870518

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