Trust backs petition in defence of Scotland’s countryside rangers

Help ensure the countryside rangers service is protected and strengthened by signing the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association petition

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The John Muir Trust has urged its members and supporters to add their names to a petition calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the value of countryside rangers and protect jobs and services threatened by budget cuts.

The petition, from the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association, calls on the Scottish Government to implement the strategic framework for the network of Countryside Rangers set out in the document Rangers in Scotland (SNH 2008).

This would mean improved recognition and support for the vital work done by rangers to look after Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.

As a result of the recent squeeze on council budgets,  ranger services have come under increasing pressure at local level. Earlier this year, in the face of widespread public opposition, Highland Council withdrew plans to axe its countryside ranger service. But with local authorities already starting to look at a new round of budget savings for 2018, there are fears that the countryside rangers could be in the firing line for cuts.

Mel Nicoll, Campaigns Co-ordinator for the John Muir Trust, said: “Ranger services play a vital role in connecting people with nature, educating young people and supporting local  environmental projects.

“The dedication, passion and expert knowledge of our countryside rangers enriches rural communities, and helps support local economies in some of our more peripheral and fragile areas by making them more attractive places to visit.

“We are urging our members and supporters to back this petition which is asking the Scottish Government to recognise the value of our countryside rangers and make sure the service is protected and strengthened rather than slashed and weakened.”

Read the text of the full petition on the Scottish Parliament’s website and add your support. The petition is open for signature until Monday 18 December.

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