Craig Borland of Angus Country Park Ranger Service, based at Lochside in Forfar, presented a delightful illustrated talk to 48 members of Forfar Probus Club in the Legion Hall last Tuesday.
Craig, originally a biochemist from Kilmarnock, had planned to take a six-month Forfar secondment in 1995 before continuing studies overseas, but liked the job so much that he’s now in his 16th year as a respected naturalist and instructor in the flora and fauna of the area.
Besides Lochside Country Park in Forfar, he is involved with the other sites managed by the ranger service in Angus- Crombie, Monikie, Glen Doll and Montrose Basin in conjunction with the Wildlife Trust.
Recent projects include guided walks studying adders in the hills, glacial erosion, the herbal garden at Lochside, young salmon and water pollution, conservation of bats and the rare Little Blue butterfly, red squirrel survey in Glen Doll, habitat management, tree planting and thinning round Forfar Loch.
Craig highlighted clubs such as the ‘Little Acorns’ and Junior Rangers, involved in willow sculptures and bird-box making, encouraging the young naturalists of the future.
He maintains path networks, visiting sheltered housing and care homes – planting raised beds and setting up bird tables with binoculars and recognition charts.
His team also acts as mediator between different interest groups in the area- farmers, householders, developers, road builders, conservationists, bird-watchers, walkers and sportsmen, etc.
Derek Rose proposed the vote of thanks for a lavishly illustrated talk informing members just how much work the ranger service put into educating the public and preserve our beautiful environment.