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Recognition for volunteer ranger’s 30 years of service

Friday 25 October 2019

Ranger Martin Winder and retired ranger Hazel Winder presented volunteer ranger George McDonald with a certificate in recognition of 30 years’ service.A volunteer ranger has received recognition for 30 years of service to the Peak District National Park.

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 the Peak District National Park is one that does.

George McDonald (73), from Sale, completed his ranger training in 1989, and has volunteered his free time on a Saturday every fortnight since then.

Engagement ranger Martin Winder presented George with a certificate in recognition of his 30 years of service as a volunteer ranger.

Martin said: “George McDonald is a valued member of the team at Trentabank. His knowledge of the area is a great benefit to visitors, and he turns out in all weathers to complete his shifts.”

George was attracted to the role to be able to spend time outdoors. He said: “I started volunteering because I worked inside all week and have always been a keen walker. I wanted to continue with something I enjoyed and felt I could give something back.”

In his working life, George was a time-served engineer and worked for several engineering companies in workshops and offices. He describes himself now as a ‘fully committed pensioner’.

For the past 30 years, George has managed to fit in his fortnightly shifts as a ranger and dedicated his time to helping look after Trentabank and the Macclesfield Forest area, and also helping others to appreciate the National Park landscape.

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.

George said: “I enjoy the variety of ranger work whether it’s explaining to people where they are and how to get to places, or leading a walk, or doing repairs. But it’s seeing the splendour of the countryside in all four seasons that has kept me returning for each shift.

“It has been an added bonus to meet interesting people over the years including National Park employees, other volunteers and members of the public. I love volunteering, plus my wife loves her free Saturdays without me under her feet!”

In addition to being a volunteer ranger in Britain’s first National Park, George is also a National Trust park guide at Dunham Massey. His other interests include going to the gym four times a week and taking holidays at home and abroad.

To find out more about volunteering in the Peak District National Park, visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/volunteering.

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