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Access Ranger Finger-posts on rights of way paths

Ranger service

You will find rangers working in National Parks and protected landscapes all around the world. Here in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where the majority of the land is privately owned, they play a key role in linking the local community, visitors and the National Park Authority. The Ranger Service offers technical advice and support through three area based teams.

Within these teams the rangers offer hands-on support and advice to farmers, land managers, parish councils, local groups, visitors and individuals.  If the Rangers can’t help directly, they will usually know someone who can.

The Ranger Service plays a major part in providing opportunities for both local people and visitors to enjoy the special qualities of the National Park.   We maintain 1600 miles of public footpaths, bridleways and byways, which provide a superb way of getting out and about.  Although the local topography can be challenging, we carry out additional works in certain areas to enable access for those with limited mobility.  There are also iconic National Trails to maintain, such as the Pennine Way as well as other classic routes like the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Dales Way and the Coast to Coast walk.

A large area of the 841 square miles of the National Park is also designated as Open Access land. The ranger teams work with landowners to improve access, provide advice on managing the public and with practicalities such as closures during times of high fire risk.  This Open Access land typically allows walkers to gain access to the wilder, more tranquil and remote areas of the National Park.  

Rangers are typically involved in;

  • Managing the public rights of way network – maintaining waymarking signs, bridges, stiles, gates and erosion repair projects
  • Working with local communities to develop projects that help to fulfil the Authority’s purposes
  • Working with local or visiting schools by providing an experience of the park or contributing to an environmental education programme
  • Carrying out practical conservation work
  • Passing on community contacts to appropriate staff within the Park authority or to partners.
  • Providing advice to organisers of recreational events such as mountain marathons, fundraising / sponsored walks, trail runs and cycling events.
  • Working with our volunteers on a variety of tasks, who help us look after the special qualities of the National Park.

Contact the ranger teams

You can contact area managers if you have any questions regarding rights of way, open access or work within communities. Find out more about the teams and the areas they cover here.

Alternatively, you can contact us via email and you will be directed to the correct team: