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The scene before the Young Rangers started work The Young Rangers prepare to clear an area of Himalayan Balsam.

Young Rangers Back with a Bash

Tuesday 4 August, 2020, by Paul Brady

Last week saw the long awaited return of the Yorkshire Dales Young Rangers to action, and they wasted no time getting stuck into an essential conservation task. 

Near Sedbergh, the banks of streams that feed into the River Rawthey have invasive Himalayan Balsam growing unchecked but the Young Rangers were on hand to help Nick Cotton – our Member Champion for Recreation Management and Cumbria County Councillor for Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale – who has been working hard in his spare time to eradicate the plant.

The Young Rangers clearing an area of Himalayan Balsam, an invasive non-native species, from the banks of the River Rawthey near Sedbergh
Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native species.

As we can see in the video below, Himalayan Balsam not only out-competes our native plants for light and bees but it can leave river banks vulnerable to erosion.  Fortunately, the plant is quite simple to remove and no match for the expert Young Rangers.


By the end of the morning several large areas were cleared of Himalayan Balsam with Nick Cotton saying “The Young Rangers did a fantastic amount of work, saving me loads of time.  The very thorough job they did should ensure that native wildflowers benefit next year.”

After the work by the Young Rangers was completed.

Over the Summer Holidays the Young Rangers will be getting out on a weekly basis in a variety of locations across the park carrying out tasks to enhance facilities for visitors and making the place better for nature.

The next task will be fixing a path and steps at Cleatop Park Wood and removing some of the sycamore and beech.

Young Rangers is for anyone aged 11 to 16 who loves the outdoors and is keen to find out more about our amazing National Park. We now have not one but three Young Ranger groups! The groups are based in the South, West and North of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Each group meets once a month to take part in some practical work in and around the local area. The groups are run by experienced, qualified staff and volunteers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.  If you want to know more please email

Paul Brady – Young Rangers Officer.

Picture of Paul Brady

Paul Brady

Paul is the Authority's Young Rangers Project Officer

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