28th July 2008
Countryside rangers from across Europe are enjoying thrills, spills and splashes in Cairngorms National Park during their first ever UK gathering.
Scottish youngsters are joining forces with international counterparts to share ideas on protecting the world’s natural treasures during a week long camp at scenic Glen Tanar on Deeside.
Canoeing, hillwalking, ceilidhs and campfires are among the activities taking place at the EUROPARC Junior Ranger Camp, hosted by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and Scottish Countryside Rangers Association.
Junior rangers were welcomed by Moray MP Angus Robertson and CNPA convener David Green, who joined them on a canoeing adventure on the River Dee at Aboyne.
Mr Robertson, the Scottish National Party’s leader in Westminster, said he was keen to meet the park rangers of the future to find out first hand about the camp and work they were involved in.
He added: “Scotland boasts some of the world’s most stunning landscapes. Protecting special places, promoting understanding of them and enabling people to live and prosper in such areas is crucial.
“It’s great that young people from a broad range of social backgrounds from all over Scotland and Europe are getting together to learn from each other, forge friendships and, above, all have fun.
“In Scotland rangers care for our environment, help people get out to make the most of the outdoors and encourage people to learn about their natural and cultural heritage. They play a key role in supporting local businesses and boosting tourism in rural communities.”
David Green, convener of Cairngorms National Park Authority added: “More than 40 rangers and junior rangers are taking part in the week-long celebration. We are delighted Cairngorms National Park is able to play a part in the development of this up and coming talent.
“Helping people understand and enjoy landscapes lies at the heart of rangers’ work; these youngsters and many more like them will have a direct impact on future links between people and place.”
EUROPARC is the umbrella organisation of Europe’s protected areas, uniting national parks, regional parks, nature parks and reserves in 38 countries, with the common aim of protecting Europe’s unique variety of wildlife, habitats and landscapes.
The camp coincides with National Parks Week, a celebration of the UK’s 14 National parks. Thursday 31 July is also International Ranger Day.
The ranger camp will be based at Glen Tanar from Saturday 26 August to Sunday 3 August with activities taking place across the Park.