We have recently appointed a Seasonal Ranger to assist Senior Ranger Leanne Pumpr with patrolling Loch Ken over the peak season,
Annabelle Gurney took up her Seasonal Ranger role at the beginning of July and is already enjoying patrols around Loch Ken.
“ I grew up living close to Loch Lomond with a water-sports mad family and spent a great deal of my summer on the waters of Loch Ken whilst visiting my Grandparents who come from the area. Needless to say my affinity with water runs deep and I love the outdoors. If I’m out for a walk, bike ride or in the garden I like to make a conscious effort to slow down and appreciate nature. I am always taking photographs, asking questions and making notes. The goal of my outdoor explorations is to come back home with more questions than when I left with.
My background is in knitwear design. I studied textile design at the University of Dundee and then worked as a technical designer for a high-end knitwear factory in the Scottish Borders for 4 years. I was responsible for the maintenance and operation of 5 industrial knitting machines. I made sure production ran smoothly, cleaned the machines regularly and replaced parts when needed. I learned the art of multitasking very well during that time!
However, after a bit of reflection and soul searching during lockdown, I decided to take the plunge and go back to education in order to pursue a career in conservation. With that decision, my partner, Dan and I moved to Dumfries and Galloway just under a year ago. I began working towards a BSc in Wildlife and Conservation Management at the SRUC, Barony Campus last September. I have just completed my first year and loved every moment of it, fully embracing the nature nerd within me.
I also regularly volunteer at the WWT Nature Reserve at Caerlaverock, where I assist with practical conservation tasks and an added bonus I get to build on my basic bird knowledge.”
We are very pleased to welcome Annabelle to the Team, Leanne and Annabelle will be out and about making sure that Loch Ken is well looked after. We are grateful to the funders; Blackcraig Windfarm Community Fund and Drax, owners of the Galloway Hydro Scheme, for supporting our Ranger Service.