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Teenagers volunteer to rebuild Orton footpath

Orton, 15 May, 2017

A group of Yorkshire Dales National Park Young Rangers spent a day restoring a footpath by All Saints Church in Orton – and were rewarded with tea and cake.

Four members of the fledgling ‘West Young Rangers’ group were supported by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) staff to carry out work on the 65-foot long path, which connects Orton to Crosby Ravensworth.

The group, which is actively recruiting more members, dug and cleared turf before laying four tonnes of aggregate.

A worshipper at All Saints, Mary Jenkins, said it was a great day:  “The young people worked very hard and even did a few other jobs such as collecting logs at the end of their session.  The work will help our Churchyard Conservation project, with which the Park Authority has given so much support. We also enjoyed good conversation and cake too! We are very grateful to all those who helped on the day including one or two of our own volunteers." 

The West Young Rangers, made up of 11 to 16 year olds, meets once a month on a weekend, usually in Sedbergh, to do a practical task in the west of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The YDNPA’s Young Rangers officer Rachael Alderson said: “Dales Young Rangers is an exciting opportunity for young people to work alongside National Park Authority Rangers, other fantastic organisations and farmers.  They get to find out what they do and how they do it. 

“It brings opportunities to meet new people and do practical work for the good of the community. The group also gives young people the chance to clock up volunteer hours or to work towards a John Muir Award, which is an environmental award scheme for people of all backgrounds.”

“For older members, it’s an opportunity to think about possible career options in environment and conservation.”

Activities the Young Rangers get involved in include survey work, dry stone walling, woodland maintenance, bush craft skills and much more.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the joining young rangers or to book a place should contact Rachael on 01969 652366 or email rachael.alderson@yorkshiredales.org.uk.

More information is also available on the Dales Young Rangers Facebook page @dalesyoungrangers and on the National Park Authority website at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk .

The North and West Young Ranger groups are being funded through the Green Futures programme, which aims to develop environmental opportunities for young people across the region and is led by the local charity, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

Green Futures is part of ‘Our Bright Future’, a programme of 31projects across the UK funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Each project has received around £1million of funding to help young people step up and create what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a better future.

The Orton Churchyard Conservation project has won a grant of £4,815 from the YDNPA’s Sustainable Development Fund. More details about the fund can be found at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/sdf .

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