Two new summer rangers have been taken on by Calderdale Council’s Countryside Service to help keep people safe and manage Yorkshire Water’s facilities such as reservoirs and moorland during the peak tourist season.
Working over weekends and busy periods, the two new rangers, Jeff Platts and Helen Mariott, will have a wide-reaching remit.
They will act as a point of contact for visitors, address any anti-social behavior, illegal camping or littering issues, and enforce reservoir water safety. They will also carry out day-to-day repairs and work to keep access routes clear, safe and well-signed.
The rangers will be on hand to advise on the dangers of swimming in reservoirs and to discourage unauthorised access to reservoirs. They will also support the farming community and wildlife by talking to dog owners of the impact of dogs not under proper control.
Part of their role also includes educating people on the devastating impact that moorland fires can have on the landscape and its wildlife. They’ll be talking to campers and people using barbecues to alert them to the dangers of their actions.
People can also help the rangers by reporting any instances of unsafe behaviour on the moors at moorwatch.co.uk(external link).
Funding for the roles has come from ourselves and Calderdale Council and they will be working in Calderdale until September.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:
“Our rangers have the important job of caring for our stunning countryside and protecting our wildlife during the busy summer months. Calderdale reservoirs are popular places to visit, especially when the weather is fine, so it’s great that the rangers are there to provide extra support and help people enjoy their visits safely.”
The rangers will be patrolling a number of sites across Calderdale including Mixenden reservoir, Baitings and Ryburn, Gorple, Widdop and Ogden Water.
Geoff Lomas, Recreation Manager at Yorkshire Water, said:
“We work closely with Calderdale Council who help manage some of our sites to ensure they are clean, tidy, safe and enjoyable places to visit. The new summer rangers will be a friendly face, able to assist visitors as well as maintaining these popular recreational spots. We know people tend to have really good experiences at our free sites. Our most recent survey revealed that nearly all visitors to Baitings reservoir have a good experience, with 96% stating they leave totally satisfied from their day trip to the beauty spot.”
It is estimated by Calderdale Council that the tourism economy in Calderdale supports over 5,000 jobs across a range of sectors including hospitality, catering and retail.