This is an archived press release
Friday 21 June 2019
A volunteer ranger has received recognition for 50 years of service to the Peak District National Park.
Chair of the National Park Authority Andrew McCloy said: “There are not many causes that can inspire a person to dedicate their spare time to over such a long period of their life, but I’m delighted to say that the Peak District National Park has, and it is a pleasure to be able to congratulate Margaret Anderson on her commitment to the UK’s first national park. Her fifty years of dedication are an inspiration to us all.”
Andrew McCloy presented volunteer ranger Margaret Anderson with a certificate in recognition of 50 years’ service.
Margaret Anderson (72), from Sheffield, completed her training for the role of warden, as rangers were known then, in the summer of 1969. Her first patrol was on Sunday 3rd August at Langsett and, despite having to catch three buses to get there, was where she regularly undertook conservation patrols to help protect ground-nesting birds’ eggs from poachers.
Asked what attracted her to the role, Margaret said: “After leaving university, my mother was not happy about me going out walking by myself, so when I saw an advert in the Sheffield Star for a training course to become a warden I said to Mum, 'if I pass that would you accept I can go walking by myself?'
“I did pass and was offered the role, which I was happy to take as it got me out into the fresh air and gave me exercise. It helped me deal with work pressures as I could forget about clients and their problems.”
In her working life, Margaret became a solicitor in private practice doing mainly court work until 1995, and then moved on to doing employment tribunals throughout the UK, but managed to fit in her fortnightly shifts as a ranger. Over the years, she has volunteered in Crowden, Glossop, Edale, Hartington, Eastern Edges, and Millers Dale, before joining the Derwent area team in 1981.
Volunteer rangers carry out a variety of work across the Peak District National Park including leading guided walks, advising the public, as well as conservation tasks such as repairing footpaths and drystone walls.
Margaret said: “I like helping people whether it’s explaining where they are and how to get to places using their maps, or talking about their memories of places in the National Park from their childhoods. It’s great still to get out in the fresh air, watch the birds and help people enjoy the landscape.”
Although she has other interests, including watching theatre and opera productions, there is no sign of Margaret hanging up her walking boots just yet, she said: “I help out on guided health walks and attend other events, I can’t see me giving up whilst there are interesting things to do.”
To find out more about volunteering in the Peak District National Park, visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/volunteering.