The Life of a Country Park Ranger

Hill walking, natural history and the love of wildlife were the attractions that enticed the speaker, John McLean, from giving up his job as a bus driver to becoming a Country Park Ranger. Obtaining a Degree in Environmental Biology led to a seasonal Countryside Ranger’s post at Culzean Castle and then a Countryside Ranger’s post at Clyde Muirshield Regional Park

John advised that Clyde Muirshiel’s Ranger Service operates from Castle Semple, Muirshiel, Greenock Cut Visitor Centre and Lunderston, delivering conservation, recreation and education for all ages. Although North Ayrshire is within the park, they are no longer party to the Service which is disappointing. The Ranger Service is involved in the day to day running of each site – giving advice on the countryside, providing blogs, running and hosting public events and three weekly volunteer sessions. The Service upholds the Regional Park’s aims through the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats, wildlife recording and school groups doing outdoor learning, such as pond dipping, as well as arranging Bat Walks and other guided walks.

Countryside Rangers in Clyde Muirshiel uphold and advise visitors about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This is done through Environmental Education not just in schools but through interaction with visitors in the Visitor Centres and at various information points across the Regional Park. 

John showed photographs of the wildlife present within the Regional Park and stressed the work the Rangers do towards environmental conservation efforts to protect wildlife, plants and other aspects of nature as well as the more mundane but important work undertaken to maintain the quality of both indoor and outdoor spaces by removing litter, clearing and repairing trails and protecting artifacts.

Ray Young thanked John for his excellent and informative talk, particularly with regard to the education of children in protecting the countryside and natural habitats.

Largs Probus Club will next meet in the Willowbank Hotel on Wednesday 8th May at 10am when Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain will speak on the Scottish Police Service.

Men over the age of 50 who are retired, or nearing retirement, can attend three meetings as a guest before deciding whether to become a Club member. Please use our Contact Form if you wish to attend as a guest, or to enquire about joining.