The rangers are there to help everyone enjoy their holiday, while safeguarding the area’s special wildlife, landscapes and communities. The team are a regular sight across the area but more so in busier areas such as Glenmore, Loch Muick and Lin o’ Dee.
The CNPA has recruited 10 seasonal rangers for 2022 with the return of two of last year’s Kickstart rangers. Danny O’Brien and Scott Hastings were part of the UK Government’s Kickstart programme in 2021, with funding available for employers to create job placements and training opportunities for young adults aged 18-24.
Speaking about his return, Scott said: “Being part of the Kickstart programme last summer has been life changing for me. I’ve gone from working as a kitchen porter to working in the outdoors, doing what I love. Being one of the trainee rangers really helped me find my vocation and gave me lots of useful experience, resulting in me being recruited as a seasonal Cairngorms National Park ranger for 2022.”
The team will be stationed across Deeside, Badenoch and Strathspey, with ranger Tony Sievwright covering the Angus Glens.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority also employs three full-time rangers and grant aids several other ranger services in the employment of partner agencies and landowners. This mixed model is proving to be valuable as well as economical.
Lucy Ford, CNPA Ranger Manager, said: “There were several ranger services operating in the park when it was established in 2003 so rather than create our own, the decision was taken to grant aid those existing services.
"Nearly 20 years later and with 40 per cent more visitors coming here, we really need those extra boots on the ground. We have an excellent and very experienced team of Seasonal Rangers here. Their key roles and responsibilities are to offer a warm welcome to visitors, ensuring people have the necessary information to have an enjoyable and safe time. This helps to provide some reassurance to land managers and communities that the CNPA is extremely committed to ensuring that everyone stays safe.”