‘I have the best job in the world’

Rick haigh countryside ranger
Rick haigh countryside ranger

‘Can I ring you later? There’s just me and a shovel trying to keep the roads open.”

Digging out snowdrifts a week or so ago was all in a day’s work for Beacon Fell’s new full time Countryside Ranger Nick Haigh.

Nick, who used to split his time between Beacon Fell and North Bowland is now on the fell full.

And the 36-year-old, who grew up in the area, is passionate about his job, which never sees two days the same.

A typical day – if there is such a thing – involves patrolling to ensure people who use the park are enjoying the natural countryside safely, fixing any vandalism or damage and then checking to make sure car parks are safe.

Then it’s on to various activities, which could involve working with school groups, volunteers and conservation volunteers.

“I can honestly say being a countryside ranger is the best job in the world,” said Nick.

“Beacon Fell is a place that I have known and loved since childhood and plays an important part in the lives of a diverse range of people across Lancashire and beyond. A large part of my role involves working with volunteers and I want to take this opportunity to thank them.

“Volunteer opportunities on the fell include patrolling, practical tasks, events, countryside crafts and supporting visitors on the information desk at the visitor centre.

“It’s great working with young people, too. We have junior rangers aged six to 14 who enjoy wildlife watching, and then they can go on to the next age group - 14 to 18, who do a lot of practical work with us, especially footpaths.”

The fell already had around 100 volunteers, but there’s room for plenty more. To get involved, email nick at nicholas.haig@lancashire.gov.co.uk.