Margaret, aged 72, celebrates fifty years as a Peak District park ranger
A volunteer ranger has received recognition for her 50 years of service to the Peak District National Park.
Margaret Anderson, aged 72, completed her training for the role of warden, or as rangers were known then, in the summer of 1969, after previously seeing the role advertised in our sister title the Sheffield Star.
Her first patrol was on Sunday, August 3 at Langsett and, despite having to catch three buses to get there, this was where she regularly completed conservation patrols to help protect ground-nesting birds’ eggs from poachers.
She 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.”
Alongside her career as a solicitor, she managed to fit in fortnightly shifts as a ranger. Over the years, she 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 added : “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.”
Margaret was presented with a certificate by Peak District National Park Authority chair Andrew McCloy in recognition of her five decades of service. He said she was an ‘inspiration’.