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10 Jun 2024

Field Notes: Nevis Junior Rangers end on a high

Nevis manager Alison Austin reports on a fun and fulfilling time spent with our third cohort of Junior Rangers.

Junior Rangers - Nevis summit 2024

Our latest Junior Rangers recently completed their time with us with an ascent of Ben Nevis. Despite it being June, it was still very wintery on the summit with temperatures close to zero, low cloud and sleety rain. The group did brilliantly to keep each other going and summit as a team and still found a little extra energy to play on the remaining snow patch on the summit plateau.

The S3 group of Junior Rangers from Lochaber High School joined our Nevis team every second Wednesday. As part of the Developing the Young Workforce programme, they swapped classroom-based learning for discovering, exploring and conserving wild places in the following ways.

  • They carried out tree surveys, river and pond health surveys, habitat monitoring, visitor surveys, path maintenance and litter picks in Glen Nevis.
  • They learned to navigate with a map and compass, discovered how geology shapes the landscape around them and practised key Leave no Trace and bushcraft skills.
  • They enjoyed spending a morning with our deer stalking team before going ‘Hill to Grill’ at NatureScot’s deer Larder at Creag Meagaidh, where they learned how to turn a deer carcass into tasty burgers and then cooking and eating them.
  • They worked alongside UHI students on the National Qualification (NQ) course in Countryside Skills, finding out about future learning pathways and sharing their own experiences.
  • And they completed and gained the following qualifications: First Aid at Work; Leave no Trace; Scottish Countryside Rangers Association Junior Ranger Award; and our John Muir Explorer Award.

Rob (pictured below) and I enjoyed exploring the Glen with the Junior Rangers and hearing about what is important to them; why they chose this course; and how we can collectively take action for wild places - leaving us reenergised for the rest of our work.

Juinor Rangers - woodland surveying^ Junior Rangers learn about tree surveying with our Nevis Conservation Officer Rob Cochrane.

Red moss - David Lintern

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