North York Moors National Park in call for voluntary rangers

Gazette & Herald: Rosedale - one of the areas the new volunteer wardens could be covering Rosedale - one of the areas the new volunteer wardens could be covering

NORTH York Moors National Park is appealing for more people to help look after hundreds of miles of footpaths and bridleways.

The park wants more voluntary rangers to join their team of 166 people who perform a vital service checking on the state of signs, gates and bridges and acting as the eyes and ears of the park.

Rangers walk the routes and report back on access problems, such as fallen trees or overgrown vegetation.

They also give help and advice to others out and about on the moors, and get involved in guided walks and access improvements.

John Cleary, from Earswick, a volunteer ranger for 14 years, said: “I have known the North York Moors for a long long time and it has given me so much pleasure over the years. When I retired it was an opportunity to give something back.”

John and the other rangers carry out 12 patrols each every summer season, usually spending from around 10am to 4pm in the park.

“I love it. I see the park in all the changing seasons with the different skies and the different scenes, all the way over to the coastal parts of the park. And there’s also the camaraderie of being with other like-minded people.”

As well as the patrols, John spends time volunteering in information centres through the summer helping visitors find their way around, and joins work parties repairing footpaths and fences through the winter.

After a career in industry in the Midlands, John said spending time in the park is “the most wonderful antidote to sitting in a car or an office”.

The park wants to find 20 more volunteers to join the team covering Rosedale, the Esk Valley and the coastal parishes between Loftus and Scarborough.

Candidates need to be over 18 and physically fit and will receive training including first aid.

Once trained, voluntary rangers usually patrol on their own, but joint patrols with friends or family who are also voluntary rangers can be arranged within reason.

More information and an application form is available at northyorkmoors.org.uk/caring/volunteers or by phoning 01439 772700.

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