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Rangers mark 60 years service to the Peaks

Rangers outfits past and present

Rangers outfits past and present

Rangers are celebrating 60 years of service to the national park this weekend where it all started.

The Ranger Service will be celebrating its 60th anniversary over the Easter weekend with walks, veteran rangers in 1950s gear and a display of memorabilia.

A family walk will take place on Good Friday in Edale, where the service was born in 1954.

The walk will start at Edale Visitor Centre at 11am, guided by retired Edale ranger Gordon Miller, volunteer ranger for more than 50 years Ian Milne, and area ranger Sheila McHale.

They will follow the original path of the first rangers, who were then called wardens, up to Grindsbrook Meadows.

Area ranger Sheila McHale, who has worked at Edale for 22 years and has co-ordinated the celebrations, said: “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved since April 1954, but we also want to look forward – we hope some of the youngsters may be inspired to become rangers of the future.”

People can also follow their own self–guided walks using leaflets from the visitor centre delineating the wardens’ original patrols.

A display at the visitor centre will include badges, photographs and awards won by the rangers over the years.

It will be taken round to other visitor centres in coming months.

Some of the rangers will be kitted out in uniforms of the past.

Sheila added: “The first rangers wore tweed suits, stout boots and thick woolly socks, which looked very different from the modern red fleeces and light grey trousers we wear today.”

The Peak District’s was the first ranger service in the UK and it has grown from a few wardens to the team of 300 rangers who man the countryside today, most of whom are fully–trained and work on a volunteer basis.

As well as patrolling moorland, rangers lead guided walks, carry out footpath repairs and conservation work and help increase people’s understanding of the national park.

Pictured above are Ian Milne, Sheila McHale and Gordon Miller showing off some of the rangers’ uniforms from over the last 60 years.

Also pictured above is Tom Tomlinson, the first head warden for the Peak District National Park, with his team in 1954.

The creation of the Ranger Service came three years after the Peak District became the country’s first ever national park in 1951.

For further information on the Ranger Service, including how to get involved, visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/looking-after/rangers

To comment on this story online, visit www.matlockmercury.co.uk

 

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