Nearly £1m in funding for extra rangers at nature hot spots this summer

Scotland’s nature hot spots will benefit from extra rangers this summer after receiving nearly £1million in funding.

The NatureScot Better Places funding will go directly to 24 countryside, coast and island projects enabling an additional 62 staff to be employed.

The extra ‘boots on the ground’ help manage visitor pressure in hotspots like Shetland, Glencoe, the Pentlands, Loch Lomond, Arran, and NC500.

Funding of £900,000 has been awarded to 18 organisations – seven countryside trusts, five local authorities, four charities, one community group, one not-for-profit organisation and one private company.

Bridget Jones, NatureScot’s recreation and paths manager, said: ‘The Better Places Fund supports rangers to promote responsible enjoyment and manage some of the busiest and most popular areas.

‘We want to help people have positive and memorable experiences as they visit and enjoy Scotland’s dramatic landscapes of beaches, mountains, lochs and woodlands.

‘But as we tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, we have to ensure that the country’s most spectacular locations are valued and cared for, so that they are there for future generations.’

A similar scheme funded 109 seasonal staff last year, and made a significant difference to tackling irresponsible parking, camping, fires, toileting and litter issues in many rural and coastal areas popular with staycationing tourists.

Its success in improving visitor experiences and reducing visitor impacts on local communities and the environment, led to the further funding allocated for seasonal staffing in 2023.

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