Close up of boots on walk in Borrowdale copyright Charlie Hedley

Focus on a ranger

Tony Hill, Lake District National Park Ranger

Area covered:

Claife, Satterthwaite, Colton, Hawkshead, Coniston and Skelwith.

Tony Hill copyright John Eveson

How did you get into this role?

I answered an advert in the local paper for a seasonal lake ranger on Windermere and recklessly they gave me the job. Subsequently I did a job swap with a colleague to work in my present area, amongst the low lying Furness Fells.

What has been your best day ever in the job?

Today I enjoy it as much now as I ever did. I suppose giving evidence at the Windermere 10mph Inquiry must rate as a highlight because it was the culmination of much hard work by a team that included planners, conservationists and volunteers, amongst many other staff.

What’s special about the Lake District National Park?

I first came to the Lakes in 1962, from the South East. I knew then that this is where I belong. When I return to my boyhood home in the South East the old community and their link with the past have disappeared. In my ranger area, there is still a connection with the past and particularly with the landscape, but it is a tenuous grip and it will probably also disappear before too long. Therefore it is a privilege to be here now before it is lost forever.

What are the best - and worst - parts of the job?

People! They can inspire and exasperate in equal measure.

What is the most magical time of day?

At dusk in the spring, on Rusland Moss National Nature Reserve, one of our properties that I help manage, watching as both red and roe deer wander through the Scots pine.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a ranger?

Like people, travel the world and see other National Parks. Have a sense of humour, plenty of common sense and patience. Be prepared to be a ‘ jack of all trades’ and master of quite a few.


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