Welcome

The Scottish Countryside Rangers Association (SCRA) is the professional membership association for Countryside Rangers and associated countryside professionals in Scotland

Formed in 1974, SCRA has an enviable reputation for supporting the development and enhancement of the Ranger profession in Scotland; organising networking events, training events and conferences, supporting the development of a national logo and brand for Scotland's Ranger Services and working with Government and Government agencies to promote the profession.

Rangers promote the enjoyment, understanding and care of Scotland's outdoors through;

  • The first hand provision of information, advice and activities
  • Interpretation
  • The management of sites and facilities
  • Seeking to secure responsible behaviour

SCRA Members: please log in to hide this message and gain access to the membership benefits - including more news stories than you can see on the public home page!

Some 'snippets' relating to Outdoor Learning from Creative Star Learning...

IT'S OUR WORLD

Lots of children, of all ages, have been busy creating works of art which are being up-loaded to the gallery page on the It's Our World website. Each piece celebrates the area each child lives in and goes towards creating the UK's largest on-line creation of artwork, mapping out the British Isles. Schools and colleges with children aged 4 - 19 years old can still register to take part, with the closing date for submissions being 30th May. Follow this link for details on how to get started.

BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE - SCHOOLS DIGITAL WILDLIFE AWARD

BBC wildlife is on the hunt for schools with the most innovative teachers and the most enthusiastic classrooms around the country. The award is open to all UK primary and secondary schools with classes being asked to submit digital presentations from their classrooms, which are related to wildlife (such as in a three-minute video or a concise Prezi-style presentation combining words, pictures and video). Any theme or topic within wildlife can be use with some suggestions being: Your school wildlife zone- focusing on your school’s wildlife zone, reporting on the different species that live there, the behaviour you've seen and any seasonal changes, or Local wildlife -  reporting on a wildlife reserve nearby, local conservation efforts or specific species found in your area. All presentations must be up-loaded to the website by 5pm on 3rd June.

 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

"Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." is the theme of this years UN World Environment Day on 5th June. Living within our means sustainably has never been more important with many of the earth's ecosystems nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. This day focuses on celebrating our world and our environment by taking positive action in creating/ attending events themed around caring for the planet.  Why not involve your school/ college in holding an event such as: a clean up campaign, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, or social media campaigns etc. Follow this link for a listing of events held around the world for last years World Environment Day for more ideas. 

EMPTY CLASSROOM DAY

Empty Classroom Day celebrates and promotes learning outside the classroom by taking at least one lesson outdoors on 19th June. Every school can participate by just signing up and pledging to take their pupils outside to enable them to have direct contact with nature and their environment. Some of last years activities included pond dipping, planting, tree climbing and picnicking, a report with more details from 2014 can be found here

ARC - AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE CONSERVATION

With seven native species of amphibians and six native species of reptiles in the UK as well as several non-natives, ARC are keen for you to help by recording any species you have seen via their website. These details aid ARC in safeguarding threatened habitats and to track the conservation status and explore the ecology of amphibians and reptiles. There are also free leaflets available to download for more information on what you have spotted as well as information on how to encourage amphibians and reptiles into your own garden or outdoor space.

WHO EUROPE - PARMA DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Recently governments from northern, western, central, southern and eastern Europe adopted a declaration pledging to reduce the adverse health impact of environmental threats in the next decade. Through the Declaration and Commitment to Act, participating governments agreed to implement national programmes to provide equal opportunities to each child by 2020 by ensuring access to safe water and sanitation, opportunities for physical activity and a healthy diet, improved air quality and an environment free of toxic chemicals.The full publication, available in 4 languages, can be downloaded here

LtL -  11 - 18 SECONDARY SCHOOL PLAY RESEARCH PROJECT - SCOTLAND

You can now view, via the Learning Through Landscapes website, three reports from this project which was funded by the Scottish Government via the Go2Play fund at Inspiring Scotland. The aims of the project were to understand the value of play in secondary schools and how pupils benefit from good play and relaxation at break times. The reports are entitled: The value of play in secondary schools, Views and voices from Scottish Schools, and Inspiration and ideas for play in secondary schools.

WATER EXPLORER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

This fun and inspiring educational programme aims to empower students aged 8 - 14 years old around the world to lead joint action on water issues for their schools and communities. All Water Explorers will be supported in: Completing water-based challenges on key water issues, Collaborating with other students across the world, Holding community water festivals and winning points and prizes, and in Developing a range of transferable knowledge and skills. Everything you need to know about how to register, get started and take part can be found on the Water Explorer website

LtL - THE GOOD SCHOOL PLAYGROUND GUIDE

This free downloadable guide explores the links between school grounds and children’s health, wellbeing and learning, and offers practical advice on how to develop school grounds in which children can thrive. It is aimed at anyone who has an interest in how schools can provide the very best learning and health-promoting environment for children and young people; whether you’re an architect designing a new school, a teacher tasked with improving your existing outdoor space or a parent looking for ways to provide practical help to your child’s school.

TRACK A TREE

Volunteers are needed by Track a Tree to collect observations of woodland trees and flowering plants during successive springs in woodlands across the UK. These records will provide information on the seasonal timing of UK woodlands, and how changes in climate could affect them. Links and resources are provided to aid you in your findings as well as a downloadable information guide, workbook and recording forms. Register your place here

JOHN MUIR - EARTH - PLANET, UNIVERSE

The John Muir graphic novel Earth - Planet, Universe, written by Julie Bertagna, is now available to download in PDF format from the Scottish Book Trust. The website also provides links to teacher support notes relating to a variety of subjects such as Literacy, Science and Social Studies, as well as a John Muir quiz, and further details on both the books author and illustrator. 

GfL NEW PREMISES

Grounds for Learning have new premises of 5 Alpha Centre, Stirling University Innovation Park, Stirling, FK9 4NF, from 27th April with a new contact number of 01786 465 934. 

NATURAL CONNECTIONS BLOG

This trial blog, launched in March 2015, is for all researchers or practitioners in learning in natural environments (LINE). It enables everyone to share with a wide audience their best practice, evidence findings and enthusiasm for outdoor learning in schools. It will also provide newsletters from the current Natural Connections demonstration project as well as links to other related blog's of interest. The blogs will be based on the following topics: Using school grounds for teaching; Using local green spaces for teaching; Building teacher confidence in learning in natural environments; Using the outdoors for teaching across the curriculum; Using the outdoors to teach core curriculum subjects; What LINE providers need to know about working with schools; Challenges to LINE in schools; Looking at the evidence around benefits of LINE; LINE and health (physical and mental); and Creating an effective LINE teaching resource (e.g essential elements of).

BLUE PLANET EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

This article featured on Sci Dev Net, by Nir Orion of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, tells of the UNESCO recognised Blue Planet Educational Programme which his research group developed. It is a model for scientific environment-based learning about water cycles, under a curriculum titled Thinking Science — Understanding Environment that aims to awaken students’ natural learning instinct by making the subject relevant to their personal lives. In this article he states the need for educational change and stresses the importance of teaching outdoors and how it taps into children’s natural learning instincts.