We have an update from Arran Geopark on some of their activities over the summer. Ranger Jamie Barrow has been busy both with clearing up after campers, as well as holding regular (usually weekly) volunteer meets. Arran Geopark are always keen to welcome new volunteers, so check their website for more details of these sessions over the autumn if you are interested. Volunteers meet for half a day at different points around the island to help maintain the areas, for example clearing paths and ditches, and keeping access to walking routes open.
Arran Geopark’s ranger Jamie Barrow has been busy this season working across the island to manage the pressures on the island’s natural environment, to improve the path network, and to communicate with visitors, landowners and local people.
Jamie’s role has been funded by NatureScot’s Better Places Green Recovery Fund which is focussed on “boots on the ground” work to make a big difference for to the community. The scheme provides support for the employment of seasonal rangers and visitor operations posts to engage with the public and help manage visitor numbers, pressures and behaviours during the busy summer season. This is the second year we’ve received NatureScot funding for this necessary role.
This season, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of waste being left behind by campers in particular. While most users are responsible and adhere to “leave no trace” principles, a small minority are sadly leaving behind a big mess. Much of the impact has been seen along Brodick beach but we have also cleaned up sites around Sannox and Catacol.
Abandoned tents, airbeds, pots, pans, bottle, cans, food and, on several occasions, human waste have been cleared up this year.
We are keen to encourage everyone to play their part. If you see rubbish, consider clearing it up yourself – every little helps. If you encounter antisocial behaviour, and feel you can’t approach the culprits directly, then the police can be contacted on the non-emergency 101 number.
We would also like to highlight the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which allows responsible access to most land in Scotland. In particular:
* There is no right to light fires – use a stove instead
* Take away all your belongings and litter – leave no trace
* Use public toilets where available. If not, go at least 30 metres from open water; carry a trowel and bury your poo
If you would like to get involved and help in the work going on all around the island, Arran Geopark run regular volunteer work meets – see www.arrangeopark.co.uk/events.
If you would like to report any issues, Jamie can be contacted directly at email@example.com and via text on 07419 828 653.