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Young Rangers stand on the footpath they are repairing in Hudswell Woods. Photo: Rachael Addison

Young Rangers repair footpaths in Hudswell Woods

Sunday 26 September, 2021, by Lucy Herbert

Today we were working at Hudswell Woods with the National Trust to help repair some paths. This was great for me as it is local and I could walk straight down there. Our main objective was to repair a footpath that usually gets very muddy in winter. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the public trampling over rare flowers like the Star of Bethlehem. This has resulted in a 50% reduction of the population in the area.

Young Rangers stand before a very uneven footpath
The condition of the footpath before Young Rangers started the task

So we chose a section of path and firstly dug around 5cm deep. The earth was hard so we used a mixture of shovels, spades and mattocks. It was hard work, but by working as a team and rotating the different tools we made sure no-one got too tired or bored. We then stopped for a lunch break where we could catch up and chat with both familiar faces and those who we hadn’t met before.

Young Rangers digging with mattocks to flatten the footpath.
Using mattocks to prepare the ground before laying the membrane

After this, we started the final part of the job. We laid down a membrane to stop the gravel mixing with the mud before lifting bags of gravel and tipping it on to the path, ensuring it was even and stable. At this point, tired after all the work with the mattock, I decided to do the less physically demanding job of opening and spreading the bags on the path, making sure it was even. It was hard work, but really rewarding to see the path at the end!

Lucy uses a spade to open the bags of aggregate
Lucy opens up the aggregate bags

I hope this work will improve accessibility and protect the vegetation, and it’s extra satisfying for me as this path is one of my local dog walks! That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the Young Rangers: I can benefit my local area and see the results myself!

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the Dales Young Rangers sessions, please get in touch via or 07815 970346. You can also follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

The North and West Young Rangers groups are funded by BIG Lottery Fund through the Green Futures partnership programme led by charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Green Futures aims to empower and support young people in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The Young Rangers group based in the South of the National Park is being part-funded through Stories in Stone, an ambitious four-year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership. The scheme is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Lucy Herbert

Lucy is 15 years old and has volunteered as a Dales Young Ranger for over 3 years.

One Reply to “Young Rangers repair footpaths in Hudswell Woods”

  1. Well done Lucy.great job on path. Keep up the good work.

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