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Cairngorms National Park

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Return of Seasonal Rangers for 2021

22nd January 2021

 

Seasonal rangers will once again be ‘on patrol’ in the Cairngorms National Park this year ensuring everyone has an enjoyable time while staying safe and respecting the Park’s environment and communities.

The Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority agreed at an online meeting this morning (Friday 22 January) to finance a seasonal ranger service for 2021, supporting existing services during what is expected to be another busy visitor management season.

The move creates nine new jobs with a further five ‘Kickstart’ Youth Placement opportunities for young people seeking a start in this type of career for which funding has been secured through a collective UK National Parks bid.

A seasonal ranger service was established for the first time in 2020 in response to the high numbers of visitors coming to the National Park after the first lockdown was lifted and people were able to travel again. While most visitors did the right thing, there were issues in relation to fires, litter, human waste and traffic problems.

Grant Moir, Chief Executive of the CNPA explained: “Given that people are highly likely to opt for a staycation again this year, we aim to establish a seasonal ranger service again in 2021. We need budget approval to do this now so that the recruitment process can get underway with staff trained and ready to go in time for Easter.

“Rangers are often the first point of contact for many visitors to the National Park providing useful information to help them have an enjoyable visit. This type of face to face communication can also help to reduce incidences of antisocial behaviour.

 “Land managers, estate workers and ranger services were stretched to the limit in 2020 so it was with much gratitude that our team of seasonal rangers were able to hit the ground running and help out in particular hotspot areas. We want to be able to do this again for 2021.”

CNPA Board Convener Xander McDade said: “Visitors are essential to our economic recovery and while we love to welcome visitors to the Park, we want to ensure that everyone has a great time, respects the Park, its communities, landscapes and wildlife.

“The seasonal ranger service is vital to ensure we have capacity to support our local communities. The extra ‘boots on the ground’ proved invaluable in 2020, engaging with visitors and helping people to act responsibly.

“I am particularly delighted about the recruitment of five young people through the ‘Kickstart’ scheme providing valuable employment and training opportunities. This reinforces the CNPA commitment to supporting youth employment opportunities to ensure we have a park for all.”

The CNPA Board approved £236,000 of funding for a seasonal ranger service from March to October 2021 with a further commitment of £3,000 to augment the seasonal ranger service with five ‘Kickstart’ Youth Placement opportunities.

You can read the CNPA Board paper in full here.