Meet the countryside rangers

Alyson Hunter

Background

BSc Zoology (University of Aberdeen), BTechnol Countryside Management (Scottish Agricultural College), Volunteer with STPS (Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece) and most recently spent the last 14 years wearing many different hats with TCV (The Conservation Volunteers).

Interest

Travelling and filling my passport with stamps from all over the world. Taking photos of places I visit, taking my bike to islands with my tent on the back, exploring and adventure, fresh air, the seaside, having a right good giggle, lots of outsidey things, but who doesn't love a goo 'ol boxset binge when it starts getting a bit cold and dark at night? 

Favourite animal

The cheeky wee red squirrel. They are just so cute and complement Scotland's countryside way more than those big brutish greys. Would love to say otter but having never been lucky enough to see one, they will remain a mythical creature until I get to spot one in real life.

Favourite plant

This is tricky trying to name just one. The oak tree and the Scots pine are my favourite trees. I have a new favourite wildflower, the town hall clock, an indicator of ancient woodland which we havin in the country park. Plus any other useful plants that we can eat and make things from like hazel and elder. Too hard to pick just one...

Joe Connelly

Background

BSC Geology (University of Glasgow), HNC Countryside Management (Scottish Agricultural College), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Stratchclyde Police Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator.

Interest

Walking, travel, wildlife and reading.

Favourite animal

White-tailed (or sea) eagle. Britain's largest bird with a wing span that can reach two and a half metres. I was lucky enough to work for several years every springtime protecting their nests from egg thieves and disturbance. Once seen, never forgotten. These birds are huge!

Favourite plant

Not a plant but a tree - the Scots pine. This is our native pine, and although found throughout Scotland (and the world) it is the tree of Scotland's oldest woods - the Caledonian Pine Forest of the Highlands. In these woods you will also find wildcat, pine martin, capercaillie and crossbill. What could be more Scottish!