Countryside ranger service, two years on

30 July 2010

Summer marks the second anniversary of the creation of the country park countryside ranger service. The fledgling service has become a vital resource for the country park and surrounding communities. The last two years have seen many achievements:

• Over 800 people have enjoyed more than 50 guided walks and activities, run as part of a regular programme;
• An environmental education programme for schools has begun. Over 1800 school pupils have participated in activities within the country park or at their school;
• The countryside ranger service has taken part in over 70 community events, engaging with more than 2600 people;
• Good progress has been made in reducing anti-social behaviour within the country park, new ideas and initiatives are being progressed;
• The country park's wildlife has been enhanced and protected through habitat improvements and surveys.

The last two years have been a challenging and rewarding time for the countryside rangers, Richard Bolton and Eilidh Milne, and both have their own highlights.

For Richard trying Tai Chi at Balgray Reservoir, as part of ‘peace in the park', was a particular highlight, a very surreal experience on a grey morning in September. Other highlights included creating temporary woodland art with local school pupils and fishing for the first time on one of Eilidh's angling events. One of the big highlights for Eilidh has been discovering wonderful wetlands around Darnley Mill. With her enthusiasm for amphibians she is delighted to see frogs, toads and newts thriving. It has also been a pleasure for her to help create new ponds and wintering holes for them to call home.

Tai Chi at Balgray Reservoir

Tiny frog around wetlands