The Loch Ken Trust has launched its first ever program of education and community events.
The series has been made possible with money from the Scottish Government’s Rural Communities Ideas in Action Fund, which is provided by Inspiring Scotland to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development across Scotland.
The Loch Ken Ranger Service will run four events around the loch and will also provide workshops for local schools. The money will also help fund a canoe and associated equipment to help the ranger service.
Ranger Ken Scott said: “This fantastic award has given us an exciting opportunity to engage with our local communities and schools, introducing the principles of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and encouraging children to explore their own thoughts and experiences of Loch Ken, planting the seeds for the next generation of loch users and keepers.
There will be two community events – Saturday March 19 and Tuesday March 22 – encouraging people to “leave no trace”.
Ken will be joined by independent ranger Elizabeth Tindal for a free and fun way to learn the good and bad things to do around the loch and how to leave no trace of fires, tents and even going to the toilet at the outside.
And on the evenings of March 24 and 25, entertainment will allow you to enjoy the darkness and the stars. Ken and Elizabeth – who is a Dark Skies Biosphere Ranger – will show you some of the best spots around the loch for stargazing.
This will include a night walk to where the views are best and a chance to discover
about the myths and science behind the stars and constellations.
Weather permitting, there will also be a campfire and roasting marshmallows.
Elizabeth said: “I love going out when it’s dark and sharing stories and the special atmosphere you get in the dark.
“There are wonderful dark spaces around Lock Ken and we should make the most of them.”
Events are free but seats must be reserved for Dark and Stars events.
This can be done by searching www.eventbrite.co.uk for darkness and stars or more information can be found at www.lochken.org.uk.
The trust is also developing educational resources for school children so that the Ranger Service can work with younger generations to help them learn to enjoy their local environment in a safe and responsible way.