Last Sunday, eleven young rangers met on a cold, windy and drizzly day in Garsdale to do some woodland maintenance. ‘Why did you go?’, you might be wondering. It’s a question I always ask myself: Why would I spend several hours on a cold, wet day in the mud when I could be having a hot chocolate at home in front of a warm fire?
This morning the answer came unexpectedly early as we drove towards Sedbergh. The vista opened before us with glimpses of the magical valley and russet-coloured Winder Fell to the left, the top veiled in mist. It was a scene that was simply breath-taking.
There were eleven of us intrepid Young Rangers who had chosen to take part. It was proof to me that young people really do care about the environment. After receiving our instructions and tools we went through a gate onto a small hillock dotted with small trees that had been planted about five years ago. There was prickly holly, sweet-smelling pine, willow, birch and larch that was shedding golden needles; which somehow managed to get into my boots and make my life very uncomfortable!
On some trees the guards were starting to split where the trunk and branches had grown through. We brandished our scissors and got to work. The slope was very steep in places and it was quite precarious. On a couple of occasions, I was on the verge of trundling down the hillside.
During the day I got a chance to speak to the others most of whom I was meeting for the first time. It was good to learn about them, where they had come from and their interests. I also learned a lot speaking to Paul and Catherine who had organised everything for us.
As we left Garsdale, I caught glimpses of the river that ran adjacent to the road. It was bordered by trees covered in moss and lichen and despite being tired I wished we could stop and take a walk. Earlier in the day we had learned that big-bad-London in fact had more tree coverage than the Yorkshire Dales! Apparently, the Young Rangers have a lot of work to do…
Muhammed Amin is 13 years old and is currently doing a John Muir Award focussed on describing the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. When he isn’t out on an adventure with the Young Rangers he enjoys playing table tennis and reading.
Want to find out more?
If you would like to come along to any of the meetings, please get in touch with Catherine Kemp, Education & Events Manager, on email@example.com or 01756 75164. You can 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 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.