22nd Jun 2023
Hello From the New Nevis Seasonal Ranger Team!
It’s that time of year again; the sun is shining, the midges are menacing, and the campers are camping. By that very nature, it can only mean one thing for NLP – time for a new ranger team!
We are very grateful to have received Better Places 4 Funding from NatureScot this year which has allowed us to employ two brilliant seasonal rangers. Robbie Mackay and Ellie Harper How joined us at the beginning of June and have done a fantastic job so far of keeping the Ben and the Glen clean and tidy for everyone.
Our team have been working closely alongside the John Muir Trust and their new seasonal ranger Jenny Eyre, as well as their new Conservation Officer, Rob Cochrane. Together, they have tackled hot spots up at Steall gorge and meadows, all the way along the Ben Nevis mountain path and the summit, the all-ability path, Roaring Mill, the Curling Ponds, Paddy’s Bridge, and Lower Falls Car Park. They have also been posted at Conservation Corner and the Red Burn on Ben Nevis, chatting to and informing visitors about the importance of staying on the path and avoiding walking across the Site of Special Scientific Interest that the new signs have gone in to protect.
Over the last two and a half weeks, the team have collected 24 bags of litter from 26 patrols, dealt with 26 new fire pits and cleared 4 abandoned campsites. They’ve encountered over 1000 people, and had positive conversations with 31 individuals exploring the area. They’re also working with the John Muir Trust to complete important visitor surveys, and done all of this in some pretty draining heat!
Between patrols and engaging with visitors, the team have also been out and about completing training and learning about the conservation efforts in the area. We have regular morning moth trap sessions which are proving to be rather successful in the warm weather, they have completed a butterfly survey up the Glen, spotting the elusive Checkered Skipper, and also taken part in barn owl monitoring. We’ve had training sessions on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, Conflict Avoidance, and Mountain Safety Awareness. They’ve visited the John Muir Trust peatland restoration site and worked with their Junior Rangers, and taken part in some path maintenance up at Steall after the heavy rain flushed debris onto the path infrastructure. Last, but certainly not least, they have also been keeping the Lower Falls Car Park toilets in great condition for all of the visitors.