Residents on the Hebridean Isle of Eigg will welcome their first new ranger in 30 years, Dean Jones, this Easter weekend.
As the island’s newest resident, Dean will be kept busy from March to August developing a programme of wildlife events and guided walks, and organising wildlife monitoring on the island.
Eigg boasts a diverse range of wildlife, with wildflowers and arctic-alpines flourishing, otters hunting along the coastline and birds of prey soaring high above. Seals, dolphins and minke whales are often spotted from the ferry.
The new appointment follows the retirement of John Chester who attained legendary status on the island after being the ranger for over 30 years. Residents of the island and the Scottish Wildlife Trust say a fond farewell to John knowing that his work leaves a lasting legacy.
It is almost 20 years since the Scottish Wildlife Trust assisted with the purchase of the Isle of Eigg, a partnership between the charity, residents of Eigg and Highland Council. The community buy-out was made possible thanks to a public appeal which raised over £1 million.
This ground-breaking buy-out ushered in land reform in Scotland, giving some communities control of their future for the first time and making the interests of wildlife integral to management decisions.
Parts of the island have been replanted as native woodland and there have been major changes to the way the land is managed. The island also now has an innovative electricity system fuelled entirely by renewables (a combination of solar, wind and hydro-electricity).
As a result, there has been a wildlife revival and the population has grown by 40%.
Dean Jones, Isle of Eigg Ranger for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said:
“I’m thrilled to be starting as the Eigg Ranger and following in the footsteps of John ‘The Bird’ Chester who was ranger here since 1985. I’m really looking forward to spending the next six months on this beautiful island sharing the amazing wildlife with visitors and getting to know the residents.”
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at from People’s Postcode Lottery, said:
“Eigg is an inspirational island with incredible wildlife and a community that has taken real action towards living a greener lifestyle. Players will be delighted that by supporting this ranger post they are helping to protect the island’s nature, and I’m sure they will join us in wishing Dean the very best of luck in his new role this Easter weekend.“
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Scottish Wildlife Trust is Scotland’s leading nature conservation charity, representing nearly 40,000 members who care for wildlife and the environment.
- The Scottish Wildlife Trust seeks to raise public awareness of threatened habitats and species and manages 120 reserves Scotland-wide.
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