See all stories

The not-so-lone ranger

Newhailes ranger with children
To celebrate World Ranger Day, here is the story of one of our specialists – Stuart Whittaker, Ranger for the Lothians and Fife.

For every National Trust for Scotland ranger, protecting habitats and wildlife is an important part of the role, but people skills are also essential. Being a ranger is not just about being out in nature in blissful solitude!

Based at the historic Newhailes estate in East Lothian and working across the Lothians and Fife, Stuart Whittaker is one of the many expert conservationists working for the Trust.

Caring for nature is a big part of his day-to-day duties, but so is engaging with the public. Stuart says:

"A ranger’s job is to tell a story with nature. Yes, we look after the properties and we do survey work for wildlife and plants, which is really important, but our job is really to tell people about it. We are the interpreters – and that’s what I’m proud of."

Leading walks, giving talks and running workshops for visitors, Stuart offers a wide range of ways to discover the spectacular scenery and amazing natural history. These make unforgettable experiences that really enhance a visit to Trust properties.

Stuart works with groups of all ages and abilities, opening the door to the outdoors and helping visitors to make a connection that makes them want to explore even more:

"I hope that these people will come back to the site again and again. It’s theirs to enjoy, after all."