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Park Talk: More than 100 rangers and volunteer rangers on the ground this summer

9th July 2024

By Sandy Bremner, Convener, Cairngorms National Park Authority

Here in Badenoch and Strathspey it feels like summer has finally arrived, and across the Cairngorms our towns and villages are playing host to visitors from all over the world. These guests are an important part of our local economy and contribute much to the character of the National Park; however, we are also mindful of some of the challenges increased numbers can bring.  

This summer, the Park Authority has 21 countryside rangers on the ground including four trainee rangers, working closely with a further 28 rangers from partner services. We also support a team of over 60 volunteer rangers. In total, that’s over 100 people welcoming, guiding and supporting people to do the right thing from the moment they arrive.  

I particularly wanted to shine a light on our amazing volunteer rangers. These 60 people give their time to support the Cairngorms National Park, getting involved in everything from engaging with local people and visitors across popular routes to picking up litter and reporting issues like broken fences and gates, live fire sites, fallen trees or washed away paths.  


As well as taking part in conservation opportunities, many of our volunteer rangers support local communities with activity such as delivering the John Muir Award at the Outdoor Dementia Resource Centre at Badaguish. Some volunteer rangers also help us support charities like Home Start East Highland or Aberdeen Asylum and Refugee Care to ensure everyone can enjoy time in nature. From January last year until now, our volunteer rangers have dedicated an incredible 5,566 hours of their time to protecting the National Park.  

The next edition of our quarterly magazine, Cairn, will hit your doorstep imminently, if it hasn’t arrived already. Within it are interviews with Pete Short, from the Park Authority’s ranger service and George Patterson, a countryside ranger for Angus Alive, one of 14 partner ranger services that work closely with the Park Authority’s own ranger team. They are worth a read to learn what is involved in the day-to-day life of a ranger in the National Park, how they got into their roles and what they love most about it. 

We’re lucky to have such a passionate, knowledgeable and experienced network of permanent, partner, seasonal and volunteer rangers in the National Park throughout the year, and particularly through the busy summer months. So, as we whilst there will always be some challenges, it’s comforting to know that there’s an expert team in place to prevent issues from arising, and to act on the occasions that they do.  

Look out for the rangers on your travels and give them a wave next time you see them!