This is an archived press release
Monday 27 September 2004
27 September 2004
Globetrotter Gordon boosts rangers worldwide
A former Peak District National Park ranger is travelling the world to help hard-pressed rangers in some of the most perilous trouble-spots.
This summer, founder-president of the International Ranger Federation Gordon Miller has been to Uganda and the war-torn Congo, supporting rangers who protect the rare northern rhino and mountain gorilla.
"Twenty-three rangers were killed in one area alone," he said. "We're trying to help their widows financially, to raise morale and provide equipment. The Congo is very unstable - while we were there we had to have 12 to 15 armed rangers with us 24 hours a day.
"Since we came back we heard that one has been killed and another critically injured in an ambush. You commonly see even 12-year-olds armed with mortars, you're constantly on edge.
"We're organising a consignment of body armour and computer equipment for the rangers, and I hope to bring one of them over to raise awareness about what's happening to mountain gorillas later this year."
Since January, Gordon, now an executive director of the federation, has also travelled to the Azores, Botswana, Belfast, Berlin, Geneva, Finland and is off to Spain and Italy.
Gordon, 63, spent 34 years as a ranger in the Peak District National Park before he retired in 2001, based mainly in Edale where he still lives.
"The federation was inaugurated here at Losehill Hall in 1992," he said. "We wanted to raise professional standards of rangers around the world, and in order to do that we have an expanding network of experts.
"We produce training manuals and a bulletin to network information, and now around 40-50 countries are represented at our world congress meetings held every three years."
Now Gordon is coming to the end of his latest two-year tenure, he will carry on in a voluntary capacity, hoping to set up a new funding system, not only to cover administration but to make grants to rangers who need help in developing countries.