Sarah Anderson describes life as an Upland Ranger
Latest update 12.06.2014 14:22
Hello! My name's Sarah and I'm an Upland Ranger. I'm the only female Upland Ranger in the Lakes and quite probably one of the very few that exist around the UK, and so I want to give you a little insight into my world.
As of April 2012, according to the Lake District National Park Authority there are 1913 miles of rights of way in the Lakes. If that was laid out end to end it would get you from Land’s End to John O'Groats AND back again with a bit to spare!
As a Ranger, there are no privileges for being female. I do exactly the same as the guys do, yes including hauling around some pretty beefy rocks (no gym membership needed for me). I’ve earned myself the nickname 'rock whisperer'. I guess this comes from my manual handling technique. As I don't quite have the strength or bulk to move some stone I really rely on technique, so it may look like I'm telling the rock to be light/move itself, but in reality I'm just trying to find the best balance point and easiest way to move stone without doing myself in. After all, footpath work is a marathon, not a sprint.
As offices go it can be as inspiring as it is exhausting, somehow stunning in the sunshine or pouring rain and forever challenging and changing. And although I may be the only full time female worker, we have many female Fix the Fells volunteers who regularly go out on drain runs and work parties. Together us guys and gals, staff and volunteers work together to protect these mountains that so many of us enjoy. So when you're next out on the fell and you see a collection of workers digging away come and say hello, and if you see a wee lass on site, make her day by saying 'good job boys AND girls'. Trust me, it's a small gesture that goes a long way!