Eco-friendly Therese Alampo has always been in love with nature and wanted to work in the great outdoors for as long as she can remember, and now she is living that dream working as a ranger in St Cyrus.
Her career began at a bird sanctuary when she was just 13, and she has now worked professionally on nature reserves for 15 years, with the aim of preserving Scotland’s incredible countryside for future generations.
Before moving to St Cyrus, she was stationed on the Isle of May for seven years as a ranger. She said: “On the Isle of May it was noisy and exciting and a real wildlife spectacle. St Cyrus is subtler, but equally engaging and fascinating, there is incredible wildlife and wonderful plants everywhere.
“St Cyrus is also very accessible compared to some other reserves. You don’t need to jump in a boat to get there, so it can be visited by the general public.”
There is no such thing as a typical day for a ranger according to Ms Alampo. She is often called away to deal with a number of situations at any moment, from helping an injured seal pup stranded on the beach, to providing first aid to a member of the public stung by a jellyfish. She’s seen and done it all.
She said: “The best part of the job is being able to go out onto the reserve in autumn and winter, when it’s nice and quiet, and just enjoy the beauty of the landscape.”
She is also involved in an arts, music and nature project Atomic Doric, which has been supported by Royal Deeside and Cairngorms and Visit Scotland, as part of the Year of Natural Scotland, to increase awareness of everything that Scotland’s wonderful scenery has to offer.
The Atomic Doric project looks at the people and natural spaces which make the north east of Scotland special, taking in a diverse range of locations, community groups and art forms along the way and ending with in a festival in late November.
Events for the project examining Scotland’s picturesque landscape and the art, music and people it has inspired have included music, a walk and talk with fiddler Aidan O’Rourke, a walk along the dunes and beach at St Cyrus with Mr O’Rourke and Ms Alampo.
Ms Alampo concluded: “For me, experiencing the great outdoors is one of the most important things in life. Visiting our beautiful countryside helps ground people, it takes them away from work and enables them to relax.
“Looking at Scotland’s stunning landscape through mediums like music and art allows you to perceive things differently. It gives you an innocent or childlike perspective on life, and helps you realise that everything is inspired by nature.”
For more information and to book tickets for all Atomic Doric events, please visit www.woodendbarn.com/atomic-doric/