This is an archived press release
Wednesday 31 July 2013
HRH Prince William highlighted the sacrifice of more than 1,000 park rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty worldwide over the last 10 years.
He paid tribute in a message of support for World Ranger Day (July 31) read out by National Parks UK chair Tony Favell at the unveiling of a plaque at Losehill Hall, Castleton.
The plaque commemorates the 21st anniversary of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) which was founded at Losehill Hall (now a Youth Hostel) on July 31 1992. A similar plaque was unveiled at the same time at Loch Lomond Youth Hostel where the original idea was born.
The Prince said: "I am aware from personal experience just how important the work of park rangers is: to protect landscapes and species from poaching and illegal logging and forest clearing, to spot bushfires and early signs of disease, and to encourage visitors to explore some of the world's most stunning areas. Without you, the world would be a very different place."
He went on: "The staggering sacrifice that you have paid underlines just how dangerous – and how critical – your work is." And he concluded: "On this World Ranger Day, please know that my thoughts are with you and that I, along with so many others, are in awe of your selfless, brave work."
Tony Favell added: "I can only echo the sincere appreciation of the Prince for the work of the rangers, whether helping people enjoy the most beautiful landscapes of the UK or putting their lives on the line to defend threatened species in the world's trouble-spots.
"The work of the International Rangers' Federation has grown into a powerful support network for rangers worldwide, and I'm proud that it was founded here in the Peak District National Park 21 years ago."
Former Peak District area ranger Gordon Miller, founder chairman of the IRF in 1992, helped organise the commemoration. Gordon has toured the world's trouble-spots to support the work of rangers in war-torn areas and helped set up ranger training schemes.
Environment Secretary of State Owen Paterson has launched a year-long 'If They're Gone…' campaign to highlight the threats to four particularly endangered species – rhinos, tiger, orangutans and elephants – whose survival often depends on the work of rangers.
To see the full message from Prince William, go to: http://internationalrangers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Prince-William-Duke-Of-Cambridge-Message-to-Rangers.pdf