Protecting the natural habitat at Brimham Rocks

Countryside and Community Manager

Lisa Rigby - Countryside and Community Manager

Lisa’s arrival in breezy Brimham Rocks must have been something of a shock to the system – she used to work in Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt.

Lisa Rigby, Countryside and Community Manager at Brimham Rocks, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire
'Yorkshire is definitely wetter than Egypt! In Yorkshire you can get four seasons in one day – which can make planning difficult.'
An average week as Countryside and Community Manager can be incredibly varied, from the everyday responsibility of habitat management across Brimham’s 500 acres of rocks and moorland, to engaging people within the environment through events, groups and liaising with publications. She is also responsible for two members of staff.
Rock formations aside, the moorland at Brimham Rocks has been identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with three native species of heather and very specific local breeds of wild flowers and small creatures making it a precious natural habitat which needs protecting. While Lisa clearly loves the rocks themselves, 'of course, my favourite is the Dancing Bear' – she talks most animatedly about the moorland.
'People just don’t go there. You’ve got a contrast in the habitat – there’s the rock-dominated habitat but then there’s the moorland. The moor is under-appreciated, and underused – the rocks are weird, but the moor is something apart – wild and remote.'
Lisa loves the unexpectedness of the site, and the fact that it looks completely different in each season. The flowering of the heather in August is a highlight for all the staff.
'If I didn’t care about the work, then I couldn’t work in conservation. It’s always a labour of love. It's important to be able to look after the moorland and preserve it how it should be. That’s the whole meaning of the job for me.'