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9 Sep 2022

Fàilte to the new Nevis Junior Rangers!

Twelve students from Lochaber High School have become the latest John Muir Trust Nevis Junior Rangers.

Nevis JRS 22.23

Building on a successful launch in 2021, the Junior Ranger Programme offers young people the opportunity to actively contribute to conservation projects in their area, and gain experience in the outdoors and conservation sector. The programme started at the beginning of the autumn academic term, with the rangers getting stuck in straight away - surveying the River Nevis for river invertebrates and water quality.

The Junior Rangers will meet fortnightly on Wednesday mornings, in line with the school’s existing 'Developing the Young Workforce' initiative. Led by John Muir Trust staff, and with support from partners, Junior Rangers will learn about the value of biodiversity, and get an insight into what it takes to manage a wild place for people and nature. They are being encouraged to speak up for the benefits of wildness, and find out how they can play a part in preventing the loss of wild places.

“Growing up with wild places nearby doesn’t always automatically create a chance for young people to pursue a career in conservation,” says the Trust’s Nevis Conservation Officer Nathan Berrie, who was born and raised in Fort William.

"Often it requires opportunities and encouragement, and the Nevis Junior Ranger Programme has been designed to do this. This partnership between Lochaber High School and the John Muir Trust will enable pupils who are enthusiastic about nature in Lochaber to get out of class and discover, explore and conserve it. As a former pupil of Lochaber High I am extremely proud to be part of the programme and looking forward to getting to know the new junior rangers and learning from them.”

One of the new ranger recruits, Sandy Halewood, said: “I have spent my whole life outside, doing stuff like walking the Ben every second summer, having a swim in the glen/beach/or Steall Falls. When I am older I would like to work somewhere outdoors because I really enjoy being outside.

"I am extremely keen to take part in the Junior Ranger Programme because I love being outdoors and it's something I could really see myself doing as a job when I grow up. This seems like a great opportunity to gain qualifications and knowledge that would help me.”

In line with Scottish Countryside Rangers Association (SCRA) and  EUROPARC guiding principles, the programme is composed of a combination of practical experiences and training, including: 

  • Nature Conservation: Actively contribute to the management of habitats and species in their local area through practical conservation tasks, habitat surveys & monitoring, visitor management and sustainable tourism including Scottish Outdoor Access Code and land use conflicts. 
  • Advocacy: Act as ambassadors for their local wild area, and the John Muir Trust, at a public event or display and contribute to the Trust’s policy and advocacy work through consultation workshops.  
  • Working with others:Develop skills in leadership, communication and problem solving whilst working with others as part of a team. 
  • Awards & Qualifications: Work towardsJohn Muir Explorer AwardScottish Countryside Ranger Association (SCRA) Junior Ranger Award, First Aid certificate, navigation and bushcraft skills.
Nevis JRs - in Glen Nevis

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