Ask A Question
Have you been digging for gold?
As you can imagine walking around the fells with a shovel, brush and mattock can led to some interested looks and numerous questions, the above being the most common! Unfortunately we aren't digging for gold, we would normally be on route to our work site for the day, or more commonly out undertaking what we call a drain run.
A drain run is what we use to maintain the upland path network as it allows us to clear drains of stones and other obstacles, and sweep stones off pitching. By clearing the drains we are ensuring that water can drain freely from the path, limiting the opportunity for water erosion. Sweeping the stones off meanwhile makes the path more appealing to walk on as often people step off the path due to small stones acting like marbles. Both of these aim to reduce the erosion of and around the path.
These drain runs will be done on some paths only once a year, but on other more popular paths could be needed once every month! So the next time you spot one of the upland rangers in red, carrying some tools, stop them for a chat. They'll be more than happy to talk to you, beware though they may try to convince you that they've just buried their line manager!
Have you had a lift up in a helicopter?
Unfortunately not! As a team we are all keen walkers and as such the walk to the job site first thing in the morning can often be the most enjoyable part of the job. It also saves us money on gym memberships!
The only time we may get a ride in a helicopter is when we are moving stone to our work sites before the summer begins. Over the period of a week we will fly stone from collection sites onto the work sites. As all the stone for a whole summers work is flown in the one week time is very precious, so to save time team members are sometimes flown up onto site to offer advice to members of the public, as well as indicating to the pilots where stone needs to be left. For the rest of the year, these boots really are made for walking!