On World Ranger Day (31 July) we’re looking for young rangers to conserve and protect our stunning Lake District landscape.
The National Park and National Trust are keen to find the next generation of rangers and have recently opened up applications to become a young ranger volunteer. The Fix the Fells Young Ranger programme is open to young people aged between 14 and 18 who are able to commit to one Saturday each month, in all weathers, doing a range of practical conservation work. For more information on how to apply visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/youngrangers
It’s ideal for those who want to pursue a career in conservation as it will give invaluable, on the ground, experience. Equally for those young people who just love being outside and want to help to keep the Lake District special it’s a great chance for them to give something back.
Young Ranger Tom Blackburn, age 17 said: “I’ve been volunteering as a young ranger for over three years now and have enjoyed every minute of it. It’s an excellent way to meet new friends, learn new skills, make new paths and create lasting memories.”
The role of a ranger is one which is varied and perhaps isn’t exactly like it’s perceived. They are lucky enough to be out in the glorious landscape a lot of the time and working hard to protect it, so they need to be resilient and have the necessary practical skills.
But equally, a good ranger requires fantastic team working and people skills to be able to communicate effectively with local communities, visitors, partner organisations and volunteers. The ability to project manage and juggle many jobs at one time is also key to success in the role.
Richard Fox is the Fix the Fells Ranger for the Lake District National Park. He says: “Some of the most important attributes you need to be a good ranger are a positive outlook, a sense of humour and a sunny disposition as a lot of the time in the Lake District, let’s face it, you are working in cold and wet conditions. But there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you are doing a great job to conserve the natural landscape.”
Fix the Fells is a team made up of Lake District National Park Authority and National Trust rangers, including many invaluable volunteers. They repair paths from erosion on the high fells which helps protect the ecology and archaeological heritage of the beautiful Lake District landscape.
Our photo shows Young Ranger Tom Blackburn with other volunteers clearing drains on the paths up to Blencathra.