Selkirk ranger has plans for community

Bowhill ranger Rory Powell in the grounds

Bowhill ranger Rory Powell in the grounds

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A new countryside ranger based near Selkirk hopes to inspire a love of nature among the region’s children.

For Bowhill Estate’s countryside learning and engagement ranger, Rory Powell, will work closely with community groups and schools in the Selkirk area and encourage people to take advantage of the area’s wildlife and woodlands.

Rory said: “I’m very excited to have taken up the role at Bowhill and can’t wait to lead a range of outdoor activities. I plan to put together a new education booklet for 2014 so youngsters can have fun and have a valuable learning experience at the same time.

“I am also exploring the possibility of starting up wildlife and outdoors clubs for school children. I think it’s great for kids to have their own little piece of garden to look after as it sends out an important message about looking after the environment around you.”

The 28-year-old will be responsible for developing and leading a programme of outdoor activities as well as an external education programme.

The nature enthusiast told The Southern this week: “We’re starting to do the events planning for this summer and we’ve got some pretty interesting things lined up.”

One will be the holiday club for children, when they will be offered senses walks in the woods, bushcraft, den building and the chance to take part in the Creepy Crawly Commonwealth Games.

Rory is from Forres in the north east of Scotland, but moved to Edinburgh in 2003 to study marketing when he was 18.

After qualifying, he worked in customer service and the hospitality industry for four years before travelling around British Columbia and Vancouver Island in Canada for a year.

Returning in 2010, Rory moved to the Peak District National Park to study for his first-class honours degree in Adventure Tourism and Countryside Management.

Concerning his role, he said: “It’s fantastic, I’ve wanted to work in this field for a long time and it’s a dream opportunity to work at Bowhill.

“It’s a beautiful estate and fantastic company to work for.

“My dad was a field officer for a woodland charity, so I’ve grown up around it. I was very much a country boy – it’s back to doing what I should have been doing all along.

“I just like to be outdoors.”

A keen rock climber and mountain biker, Rory hopes to share his passion for energetic hobbies as well as participating in several community engagement initiatives, some of which are already under way.

Rory said: “I’m especially enjoying working with community groups and I’m hoping to get a volunteer programme up and running next year.

“At the moment, we have a group set up working with vulnerable adults and we’re planning to build up a relationship working with a local occupational therapist, too.

“We have opportunities for people to come along and work with wildlife on the grounds or carry out practical conservation work such as clearing woodland so I would urge anyone who is interested to get in touch.”

For more information about volunteering, contact Rory at rpowell@buccleuch.com or call 01750 22204.

And for more information on what’s on at Bowhill contact the office on 01750 22204, or visit www.bowhillhouse.co.uk