Young rangers help prepare Coquet Island for summer residents

A group of young people from Northumberland have been helping the RSPB prepare for the expected arrival of migratory birds to Coquet Island.

By Paul Larkin
Thursday, 9th May 2019, 2:27 pm
Coast Care Young Rangers at work on Coquet Island. Picture by Jane Smith.
Coast Care Young Rangers at work on Coquet Island. Picture by Jane Smith.

The Coast Care Young Rangers, who are part of a volunteer educational project for people aged 13 to 19, sailed with Puffin Cruises from Amble to the island and met head warden Paul Morrison and his team of volunteers.

The Coast Care initiative works to conserve the coastal landscape from Amble in the south, to Berwick in the north, stretching inland as far as Lowick, Belford and Alnwick. One of its elements is the Young Rangers programme, which offers young people opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while learning new practical skills in conservation.

A Coast Care Young Ranger at work on Coquet Island. Picture by Jane Smith.

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During the course of a day, the young people were guided through their tasks, which included using a technique of applying sand around the nesting areas to act as a weed suppressant, collecting stones from the shore to weigh down nesting boxes and creating perching areas.

The Young Rangers were especially excited as this trip was their third attempt to land on Coquet Island. This time, the sea was calm and the sun was shining - perfect sailing conditions.

Jane Smith, Young Rangers Youth Worker at Seahouses Development Trust, said: “Everybody was so excited to have a look around Coquet Island, to see what was there. We all felt very lucky to get this opportunity to help with the setting up of Coquet Island, usually closed to members of the public, ready for the nesting birds. It was hard manual work but well worth the effort.”

The Young Rangers group meets every other Saturday during term-time and its members are offered a unique learning experience opportunity to work towards achieving the prestigious John Muir Award. It is also great to add onto a CV.

The next intake for new Young Rangers will be September 2019. If you would like to apply, contact [email protected] for further information.

The Coast Care initiative team is based at Seahouses. It is supported thanks to money raised by National Lottery players through a grant of £522,600 from The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund and is run by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership and Seahouses Development Trust.

You can also follow the Coast Care initiative and the work of the Young Rangers on Facebook