Rangers of the Lake Districts: repairing pathways

Published : Fri 5th Dec Author : Uplands Ranger Adrian

What’s it like to be a Ranger across some of the nation’s most outstanding and beautiful places? See for yourself…

Say hello to the Upland Rangers

Across the Lake District, teams of three or four rangers work together to form the Upland Rangers. We spend much of our year repairing high level paths in the Uplands area. Local rock is collected by hand to repair the paths and loaded into large bags on the fell-side. These are then lifted by helicopter to paths that require maintenance. Sourcing rock locally has its advantages, it means that flight distances remain short and it ensures that our paths blend in with the local geology. Once the rock is on-site, our repair work can begin.

What we do

Do you like walking? You’ll need to as a Ranger as it’s a huge part of the role, especially here in the Lake District. We’ve been known to walk for 90 minutes at a good pace to get to a path in need of our help! When we arrive at the site we begin to build the stone path, complete with stone drains to shed water away and stepping stones across any large river crossings. We aim to build between 1m and 1.5m of path per person per day but, as you can imagine, this depends on how easy the ground is to dig. Working on some of the Lake District's busiest paths gives us plenty of opportunity to talk to members of the public about our work, as well as informing them about what the Trust is up to elsewhere. We also regularly share news of our work on Twitter to followers around the world.

Why we love our jobs

Work as a ranger is physically demanding. This year, we calculated that we walked 185 miles in 90 hours, just to get to and from the work site of just one path. In addition, we’ve climbed and descended over 102,500 ft which is the same as walking from sea-level to the top of Mount Everest, three and a half times! But beyond the physical demands, working as a National Trust ranger in the Lake District is incredibly rewarding: we produce sustainable paths that should last hundreds of years. Rangers, like me, build paths that will become part of the landscape in the same way as drystone walls, and that’s a great achievement. Together with the careful landscaping and re-vegetation work we carry out, our paths can transform the landscape and heal the scars of erosion in just a few years. How many people can say that about their day job?

Thank you for finding the time to speak with us, Adrian. Fancy becoming a Ranger like Adrian? Browse our latest vacancies