As the leaves are turning golden and the nights are drawing in, the summer season is drawing to a close, marking the end of our time here as Assistant Rangers. It is time for us to say our goodbyes and leave the Loch of the Lowes after a fantastic three months. The time has flown by!
As individuals, we have each gained so much from being part of the Ranger team and will take away a wealth of memorable experiences and new skills. From bracken bashing to beaver-watching, butterfly spotting to building fences, our work here has been extremely varied and each day has brought exciting new challenges. For all of us, however, the highlight of the last three months has been monitoring our beaver family here at Lowes and learning about their behaviour and ecology. We’ve become rather attached!
Last weekend we were also lucky enough to visit Knapdale forest in Argyll, where we were given a fantastic opportunity to be involved with vital survey work on the beaver population there. Knapdale was the site of the Scottish Beaver Trial, which ran from 2009 to 2014, and data from these surveys will inform the next phase of the reintroduction project to reinforce the population. It was hard work but great fun – a perfect way to round off our placement!
Overall, the ranger internship has been an absolutely brilliant opportunity and one that each of us would highly recommend to anyone looking for more experience in the conservation sector. All that’s left is to say a heartfelt thank you to all the lovely people that we have had the privilege to work with over the last three months! You have made us feel so welcome and taught us so much that we are reluctant to leave! We shall certainly miss being at Loch of the Lowes and our bothy lifestyle – but I’m sure we’ll be back!
Farewell and good luck for the winter season!
Jo, Kate and Rosie – Assistant Rangers 2017