Midlothian Ranger Service
The Ranger Service has 3 enthusiastic and dedicated staff, based at Vogrie House, managing Midlothian's wonderful countryside sites:
- Vogrie Country Park
- Roslin Glen Country Park
- Springfield Mill
- Gore Glen Woodland Park
- The Penicuik to Dalkeith Walkway
- Straiton Pond Local Nature Reserve
What we do
Our aim is to manage our countryside for the benefit of people and wildlife in such as way as to ensure we provide one of Midlothian's best places to experience the natural environment.
How we do it
Our objectives cover three areas, which over the years have remained consistent:
- Recreation (Access): To encourage participation in Midlothian's countryside and to work in partnership with communities
- Education: To provide a service where all people can learn about Midlothian's countryside and heritage
- Conservation (Biodiversity): To conserve and enhance Midlothian natural environment and cultural heritage, in partnership with others
On an annual basis we work with over:
- 2,400 children and adults on curricular based environmental education activities
- 2,900 people who attend our groups and events programmes
- 11,000 hours of volunteer time on projects and events
Guided walks and events
Volunteering with the Ranger Service
We work with individual volunteers on paths throughout Midlothian and with groups on site based practical conservation activities. Paths Clearance days can be viewed in the Lothian's and Borders Outdoor Diary or by contacting the Ranger Service. To arrange activities for a group please contact the Ranger Service.
The Ranger Service organises and leads FREE curricular based education activities for schools and groups. We aim to teach and inspire pupils about nature, their local environment and the world around them.
Our curricular studies are based on the Curriculum for Excellence. The knowledge, skills and attributes learners will develop will allow them to demonstrate four capacities to be:
- Successful learners
- Effective contributors
- Confident individuals
- Responsible citizens
The Ranger Service's educational activities are designed to fulfil a wide variety of the outcomes across the curriculum from the Early through to the Senior phase, particularly targeting sectors covering: Science (Body and Systems; Planet Earth); Social Science (People, Past Events and Society; People, Place and Environment); Health and Wellbeing. We aim to incorporate numeracy and literacy learning outcomes into all our activities wherever possible, along with Topical Science issues.
Are you studying a particular topic or project? Let us know and we can tailor our activities to your needs. All activities are free, can be site based or in your local environment.
Ranger Service education activities
Nursery and Early Years
Nature and history walks
Exploring the seasons
Identifying and using senses
Naming basic plants and animals
Pond and river system studies
Woodland and invertebrate studies
Habitat and biodiversity of your school grounds and local area
Landscape studies (basic human and physical geography)
Local history guided walks incorporating industrial and cultural heritage.
Geography and biology field studies including techniques for covering:
Land use and conservation management
River systems and woodland ecology
We can also advise and assist with Advanced Higher projects.
We have three fully equipped resource boxes available which are free to borrow and allow teachers to lead environmental activities themselves. The resources cover pond and river dipping, woodlands and mini-beasts, environmental games and include bug boxes, nets, trays, ID keys books etc.
We can arrange training days to teachers interested in developing topics and activities based in the countryside.
To make an education booking, arrange a school or site visit, borrow equipment or to discuss topic options, please contact the Ranger Service.
Sessions normally require 1 ½ - 2 hours
Each Ranger will work with a maximum of 15 pupils
Pupils must also be supervised by a responsible adult
There is limited wet weather shelter at all sites
Toilet facilities are only available at Vogrie Country Park
Priority will be given to Midlothian schools providing you call us within the first 3 weeks of term. After this date we open our bookings diary to all schools. Please book early, to avoid disappointment, as we get fully booked quickly.
Once we have arranged the location and study topic you will receive a booking form to complete, which should be returned at least one week before your visit.