Ranger profile - Rachel Holder

Lizard Ranger Rachel with children at a beach event

Lizard Ranger Rachel with children at a beach event

Rachel Holder
The Lizard

This season we profile Lizard Ranger Rachel Holder to find out more about being a ranger and why the Lizard is so special.

1. What's your full name?

Rachel Holder

2. How many years have you been in this role?

13 or so full time, I was a volunteer with the Trust and did short term contract work before that.

3. Can you sum up in less than 100 words what your job involves?

Organising everything and anything to do with the care of Cornwall's best coastal bits. Examples include managing the installation of a new footbridge and securing grants towards getting it, helping our farm tenants tailor coastal grazing to best suit the choughs and leading botanical and archaeological guided walks. I also support the team of dedicated volunteers who open the Wireless Station to the public.

4. Which area do you cover and why do you think it's special?

I am lucky enough to have some of Cornwall's most iconic places in ‘my patch’ including the most southerly point, complete with choughs and the beautiful cove at Kynance. These places don't just offer a great view, they are also brilliant for wildlife and for someone particularly interested in rare plants, there aren't many better places to work.

5. Why did you want to become a ranger?

It fitted with my interests from a young age; wildlife and being outdoors in great natural scenery. I knew the Lizard from family holidays as a kid, so I didn't hesitate at the opportunity to come down here to volunteer.

6. How did you get into the role and what did you do before?

I did a degree in ecology, partly in the UK but with a year at UBC in Vancouver too. After that I volunteered for a few months with the RSPB in East Anglia, before arriving on the Lizard as a full time NT volunteer at the tender age of 21. I've not moved very far since.

7. What’s the best thing about being a ranger?

Doing lots of different things. No two days are ever the same and you never know what the next phone call or email will bring.

8. What’s the worst thing about being a ranger?

Doing lots of different things! Sometimes it can be hard to prioritise when so much is expected by so many different people. I guess the Trust has quite a broad remit compared to many charities so it can feel like we are being pulled in many different directions at once, and it's true that you can’t please everyone.

9. What about the future? What are you plans?

I can’t really see myself moving far, the Lizard is hard to beat. The job has changed quite rapidly and I now do much more organising than ‘doing’. This can be really satisfying when a project comes to fruition, as you know you have made something worthwhile happen that will bring benefits for decades to come. However, it would be nice to be able to get out and about a little more again and enjoy that view.