New Fix the Fells Ranger with the Lake District National Park
A new ranger has been appointed in the Lake District National Park (LDNP) to coordinate upland path repairs and maintenance by Fix the Fells.
This role is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund during the years 2019 to 2023. It involves working closely with 15 National Trust (NT) upland rangers and 130 Fix the Fells volunteers.
The NT rangers and LDNP volunteers all work hard to repair erosion damage on popular upland paths and to maintain the path network in good condition. Without the work of Fix the Fells large erosion scars would quickly develop in the beautiful Lake District landscape, and tonnes of soil and stone would be washed off the mountains into the lakes and rivers below where it harms wildlife.
The new appointment comes after the existing LDNP Fix the Fells Ranger, Richard Fox is stepping down after 20 years in the role. Richard Fox was instrumental in forming Fix the Fells 20 years ago with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and has led the practical work of this partnership project ever since. He has ensured upland path repair and maintenance has continued in the Lake District for the benefit of the landscape, biodiversity and all its users. He will be greatly missed as a source of information and advice, and as a much-valued colleague.
Richard is being replaced by Annie Duckworth who has been associated with Fix the Fells since it began and currently works in the LDNP Volunteer Service. Annie says, “I am utterly delighted to be able to continue Richard’s great work, coordinating the upland path repairs across the LDNP, and it will be a great privilege to work alongside the highly skilled NT rangers and volunteers who form the backbone of Fix the Fells . For me personally the job combines four of my great passions – mountains, upland conservation, geography and people. Ask me again in a year, but at the moment it feels pretty close to my perfect job. Big boots to fill no doubt but what a great journey I have ahead of me to wear them in!”
Annie has a background in countryside management and is a qualified Mountain Leader. She has a thorough knowledge of the area’s history, geology, geomorphology and ecology and the Fix the Fells team is greatly looking forward to working with her in her new role.
Fix the Fells is a partnership programme between the National Trust, the Lake District National Park, Natural England, Lake District Foundation and Friends of the Lake District to look after and repair upland paths to help protect the landscape and wildlife.
The partnership needs £500,000 each year to go towards fixing and maintaining 350 paths covering mor than 400 miles of paths across the UNESCO world heritage site.
In 2000, scarring caused by countryside users plagued the landscape, in some instances measured 30 metres wide and four metres deep.