Loch Ken Ranger Service Launches First Ever Education & Events Programme

In April 2020, Loch Ken Trust established the Loch Ken Ranger Service as one of the first ever community-led ranger services in Scotland.  Thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, we are now pleased to launch our first education and community events programme.

Loch Ken Trust received funding from the Rural Communities Ideas into Action fund, supported by the Scottish Government and delivered by Inspiring Scotland to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development across Scotland.

The funding will enable the Loch Ken Ranger Service to hold 4 community events around Loch Ken, as well as to work with our local schools to deliver workshops and sessions at the Loch.  It will also fund a canoe and associated gear to help equip the Ranger Service to deliver its duties over the longer term.

Our community events cover two themes.  We have two daytime events on Sat 19th and Tue 22nd March about how to ‘leave no trace’.  As the popularity of wild camping and outdoor activities grows, it is important that we all learn the basic skills to reduce our impact on the natural environment.

Join Loch Ken Ranger, Ken Scott and Freelance Ranger, Elizabeth Tindal for a free and fun event to learn what are the good and bad things to do when you are out and about round the Loch.  They will be looking at things like leaving no trace of lighting fires, putting up tents and going to the toilet outdoors.

Ken told us, “This fantastic award has given us an exciting opportunity to engage with our local communities and schools, introducing the principles of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and encouraging children to explore their own thoughts and experiences of Loch Ken, planting the seeds for the next generation of loch users and guardians.

They will be followed by two evening ‘darkness and stars’ events on Thu 24th and Fri 25th March.  Loch Ken has some great places to view stars and Ken and Elizabeth, who is also a Biosphere Dark Skies Ranger, will show you some of them.  They will take you on a night-time walk to where the views are best and share myths and the science behind the stars and constellations.

Elizabeth said, I love getting out when it is dark and sharing stories and the special atmosphere that you get being out in the dark. There are some wonderful dark spaces round Lock Ken and we should make the most of them.

All the events will have a safe campfire and marshmallows to roast as part of the experience (weather permitting).

The events are totally free, but places must be booked to attend the Darkness and Stars events.  You can book online at Eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘Darkness and Stars’, or you can find more information on the Loch Ken Trust website (www.lochken.org.uk) and Facebook page.

We are also developing educational resources and activities for the pupils at our local schools.  It is really important for the Ranger Service that we work with the younger generations, to help them learn the skills to enjoy the local environment in a safe, responsible way.

If anyone is interested in helping us with our educational work, we’d love to hear from you.  Loch Ken Ranger Service has been set up by the community, for the community, so the more people that get involved, the more we can do.

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