HWDT Backs Petition in Defence of Scotland’s Countryside Rangers

A joint headland watch on Tiree led by HWDT and the Ranger Service.

A joint headland watch on Tiree led by HWDT and the Ranger Service.

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust strongly supports the need to implement the national strategic framework for the network of Countryside Rangers in Scotland and we encourage everyone to get involved and help by signing the petition.

The Countryside Rangers have an important role in enhancing and protecting Scotland’s natural environment and cultural heritage.  HWDT works closely with Countryside Rangers across the west coast of Scotland, who provide vital local support to our organisation, by supporting us with our education, engagement and research programmes.

The Rangers directly deliver hundreds of events and school projects, working with people of all ages, encouraging outdoor learning and engagement with the natural environment. In addition, Countryside Rangers are renowned for their local knowledge and connections within the community.

The Ranger Service support us at each stage of our work, from planning and advertising, to delivery and reinforcement of conservation messages. This collaboration is key to the success of our programmes! By working together as a team we inspire people to value and protect our natural environment. The Ranger Service also contribute whale and dolphin sighting data to HWDT and encourage people to take part in our community sightings scheme.
— Pippa Garrard, HWDT Community Engagement Officer

By encouraging the public to engage in conservation and biological recording programmes at their sites, the Countryside Rangers generate valuable data, for monitoring internationally protected species, by reporting their wildlife sightings.

HWDT joins the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association (SCRA) in their concerns that the cutbacks in public sector expenditure, loss of knowledgeable and experienced managers, and the pressures on the remaining Rangers is putting at risk this national network built over 50 years.

For this reason, we are encouraging our supporters to add their names to the petition to help the Scottish Government recognise the value of our Countryside Rangers and take action to protect and strengthen this important service.