New Ranger Qualification launched with the Nevis Landscape Partnership

New Ranger Qualification developed by West Highland College UHI and the Nevis Landscape Partnership

see full size image
Volunteer Ranger students on Ben Nevis

From February 2020 West Highland College UHI is joining with Fort William based Nevis Landscape Partnership to offer a new qualification which should prove attractive to students of all ages and backgrounds, who have  an interest in our countryside, and a desire to contribute to conservation and provision for visitors.

The Nevis Landscape Partnership welcomes the NQ: Countryside Skills with Ranger Training, saying:

We are excited to embark on this new structure for our Trainee Volunteer Ranger Scheme, working in partnership with West Highland College UHI.

Building on the positive legacy of our previous Ranger Training programme, working with our partners John Muir Trust, Woodland Trust Scotland, and Jahama Estates, we are now adding valuable work experience. Underpinning the programme will be regular input from an experienced College lecturer, and upon successful completion, in addition to practical and theoretical knowledge, students will gain recognised Industry Awards, plus a formal National Qualification.”

The course includes practical skills training, conservation and visitor management tasks led by the NLP Volunteer Co-ordinator and landowning partners, giving opportunity to contribute to positive action in the local area, and through engaging with potential employers, enhance their future prospects. Theoretical work covers habitat studies, an understanding of visitor provision, recreation and access issues, and consideration of land use, management objectives and possible conflicts of interest. Industry Awards offer certification in specialist skills such as Dry-stone Walling, Chainsaw operation, Quad Bike use, Navigation, Outdoor First Aid and Tree Surveying.

Course Leader, Heather McNeill, said:

“Following on from the success of our Skye based Rural Skills course, this new course has been developed in response to feedback from organisations and employers working in Scotland’s rural sector. Employer’s tell us they are looking for staff with an understanding of countryside issues, a wide range of practical skills, and the knowledge and confidence to work safely and effectively. This fast-paced and exciting course aims to deliver just that.”

The course is based in Fort William, 4 days per week for 18 weeks, and starts in early February 2020. Interviews will take place in January, and applications are open online now, or telephone Admissions on 01397 874000 during term time.