Case will be made for Scottish Government to fund ranger role at Loch Ken

South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper met members of the Loch Ken Trust to discuss how they’re managing now lockdown restrictions have eased and people can once again enjoy the beauty spot.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:01 pm
Emma Harper MSP with members of the Loch Ken Trust
Emma Harper MSP with members of the Loch Ken Trust

The Trust has been busy working to ensure the loch is a safe place for all, as well as on how to improve it.

It has produced a draft consultation document which is going out to the wider public to set out new plans it hopes will receive community support.

Ms Harper invited the Trust to the Scottish Parliament to present these ambitious plans to the Marine Tourism and Recreational Boating Cross Party Group.

She also had the opportunity to hear directly from the loch’s new ranger Ken Scott on the impact he’s had since being appointed just over two months ago.

During this time, Ken has engaged directly with most of the farmers and residents who border the loch and prevented at least 32 police call outs through positive engagement.

He has also organised plans for a community BBQ and been building positive relationships with surrounding businesses, including the Galloway Activity Centre.

Ken’s post was only funded until October and while a recent award from NatureScot’s Better Places 2 Fund should take it until the end of the year Ms Harper is keen to ensure its long-term future.

She is taking the case to the Scottish Government where she will be requesting £10,000 each year over a three-year period.

Trust chairman Alan Smith said: “We are delighted with Ms Harper’s continued interested in the work of Loch Ken Trust.

"We are one year old this month and whilst we feel we have achieved a lot in a short time we have so much more to do.

"The appointment of a ranger has made a huge difference and we are delighted Ms Harper is seeking to source appropriate funding to allow this post to be secured for a longer period.”

Ms Harper added: “The Loch Ken Trust is doing absolutely fantastic work and I am 100 per cent behind it.

"The Scottish Government is committed to protecting our natural environments and I hope will support securing the ranger’s post and enable the Trust to take its impressive plans forward.”