Community Ranger’s role in carbon sequestration
An introduction from Julie Wilson on her new role as Community Ranger on the University’s programme to sequester carbon through forest and peatland restoration in Scotland.
Engaging people with nature
My passion is to engage people with nature and the benefits of spending time outdoors. It is fantastic to see the varied ways that people connect with our environment; whether as a place for adventure, a spot to discover wildlife, a haven for quiet and calm or a space to explore our shared history and culture.
Over the years I worked in a variety of community roles across central Scotland, with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland and The Conservation Volunteers.
I love working with people to find that spark that links them to our landscape. Whether it be understanding what lichens can tell us about air quality, finding peace listening to bird song, exploring our Gaelic placenames or giving back through volunteering.
Addressing climate, biodiversity and benefits for the local community
It’s an exciting time to be working as the Community Ranger for the University of Edinburgh.
We are all acutely aware of the challenges we are facing with the twin climate and nature crises. Our sites will provide benefits for climate in terms of carbon sequestration and also increase our native flora and fauna.
It will be fascinating to monitor how the sites change over time, as the trees are planted and the woodland ecosystem develops. What species will we see moving in?
As you might expect there will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved, this could include:
- conservation volunteering
- educational visits
- biodiversity monitoring
- community archaeology
- seasonal events
- creating community woodland areas.
Getting to know Drumbrae
I started with the Forest and Peatland team at the beginning of October and have been getting to know the landscape and community around our first site at Drumbrae.
As a hill walker, I have explored parts of the Ochils and made it to the top of Dumyat on many occasions. While it feels familiar, it has been interesting to look at the area through a different lens.
Now I am noticing ancient woodland indicator species, exploring the many archaeological sites, venturing north away from the main routes, and of course chatting with anyone I come across!
Over time, I will be working across other sites in addition to Drumbrae. I am looking forward to getting to know local communities across Scotland and seeing how we can work together to benefit people, nature and climate.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to get involved.
If you see me out and about, please do say hello!
You can contact me at JWilso2@ed.ac.uk.
Keep an eye on our website for opportunities to get involved in community consultations.