Ranger service gets nod to continue

TWO RANGERS will continue to roam the hills and plains of Shetland for at least another two years after a new funding arrangement was agreed this week.

The planning board unanimously agreed to pass on a grant of £38,000 from the Scottish government to Shetland Amenity Trust to part fund the service. The funding previously came via Scottish Natural Heritage but is now being administered in a different way under the government’s Single Outcome Agreement with local authorities, though the change will have no cost impact on the council’s coffers.

The service is also set to receive a £43,000 grant for 2010/11, while the amenity trust has to source additional external funding to meet the full cost, but after that the money the council receives will no longer be ring-fenced, meaning the SIC can spend the cash however it wants.

Backing the recommendations in a report from the council’s heritage manager Austin Taylor, vice-chairman Gary Robinson said he was well aware of the important work performed by the two employees. He said: “Despite being a Celtic fan I will support the rangers.”

The ranger posts were established in 2002, with one serving the North Isles and one the South Mainland, and their tasks include assisting outdoors access, natural heritage and Geopark-related work.


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