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Follow in the footsteps of the original Peak District National Park rangers

This is an archived press release

Thursday 3 April 2014

Ranger uniforms past and present

The 60th anniversary of the Ranger Service will be celebrated over the Easter weekend where it all started – in Edale – with walks, veteran rangers in 1950s gear and a display of memorabilia.

A family walk starting at Edale Visitor Centre on Good Friday (April 18) at 11am will be guided by retired Edale ranger Gordon Miller, volunteer ranger for more than 50 years Ian Milne, and area ranger Sheila McHale.

They will follow the original path of the first rangers (then called wardens) up to Grindsbrook Meadows. People can also follow their own self-guided walks using leaflets from the visitor centre delineating the wardens' original patrols.

Area ranger Sheila McHale, who has worked at Edale for 22 years and has co-ordinated the celebrations, said: "We're proud of what we've achieved since April 1954, but we also want to look forward – we hope some of the youngsters may be inspired to become rangers of the future."

A display at the visitor centre will include badges, photographs and awards won by the rangers over the years, and the display will be taken round to other visitor centres in coming months. Some of the rangers will be kitted out in uniforms of the past.

Tom Tomlinson first warden in 1954Sheila explained: "The first rangers wore tweed suits, stout boots and thick woolly socks, which looked very different from the modern red fleeces and light grey trousers we wear today."

The Peak District's was the first ranger service in the UK and it has grown from a few wardens to some 300 rangers today, mainly fully-trained volunteers, with a worldwide reputation.

As well as patrolling moorland, rangers lead guided walks, carry out footpath repairs and conservation work and help increase people's understanding of the national park.

Sheila is a true national park diamond as she celebrates her 60th birthday this year too.

Picture captions:

First (top): Ian Milne volunteer ranger in the modern uniform, Sheila McHale area ranger in the outfit she wore in the 1980s, and retired Edale ranger Gordon Miller in 1950s style, showing how ranger uniforms have changed since 1954.

Second (bottom): Tom Tomlinson, first head warden for the Peak District National Park, with his team in 1954.

This is an archived press release

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