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Inverness
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Seasonal Access Rangers Begin Patrols in Sutherland 

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The Sutherland Area Committee has allocated funding from Community Regeneration Fund (CRF) underspend at a recent committee meeting (14 May 2024) to enable a team of four Seasonal Access Rangers to begin patrolling the NC500 and coastal areas until the end of October, and possibly some continuation over winter.

Rangers will patrol sites and engage with visitors to ensure awareness of the Outdoor Access Code, and other legislation, such as parking and environmental health.

They will monitor use and report incidents to the relevant Council teams or emergency services.

The Rangers will also carry out duties to keep tidy, maintain and manage Council owned sites, core paths and work with communities and land managers on other sites to protect the habitats and respect for the landscape.

Where possible, the rangers will work with local volunteers to engage with visitors.

The Ranger for the North coast is returning for a third season whilst the others are new to post, however all have a strong personal interest or experience working in the Scottish countryside and awareness of the Outdoor Access Code.

Responsible camping will be a key priority, and, in many locations, this will mean a ‘no fires’ message.

There is a significant fire risk throughout the Highlands in the summer months and lighting campfires on peaty ground, woodland, grassland, or moors is irresponsible and contrary to the Code.

It is also irresponsible to light fires close to buildings, historic monuments and within 30m of a public road.

Even small fires cause significant damage to our natural environment from the scorch marks, the trees cut down or the dead wood housing insects.

Much of this damage takes years to recover and leaves behind a disruptive mark on the beautiful landscape.

People can contact the Ranger team, but we do ask that people are realistic in their expectations, that the team are not an emergency service and are there to advise & engage rather than enforce.

The team can be contacted by email at accessrangers@highland.gov.uk or by phoning the Senior Ranger on 07909 051223.

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