Area Manager Kate Hilditch is the Ranger team leader for the Southern Dales which covers Malham, Grassington and... - it also include the Three Peaks area. She is based at Stonedykes barn.
Kate is responsible for developing and setting rights of way targets, area management and overall responsibility for health and safety and also oversees the Three Peaks Project. Kate manages the Area and Access Rangers in the Southern Dales.
Area Rangers Phil Richards (Wharfedale and Littondale) and Rob Ashford (Malhamdale, Ribblesdale and Lancashire) are the main point of contact for local communities. Phil and Rob work with Parish Councils and other community groups to find funding and deliver projects that conserve or enhance the area. They also take the lead on larger access projects.
Access Rangers Richard Mainman (Wharfedale and Littondale), Giovanni Mezzanote (Malhamdale), Nathan Allen (Ribblesdale) and Rob Wilson (Lancashire) are responsible for maintenance of the rights of way network, including replacing signage, repairing bridges, clearing vegetation and helping landowners with stiles and gates. Our Three Peaks Ranger Josh Hull is responsible for maintaining the routes on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge route.
Kate says: 'We also have the assistance of a team of 85 trained Dales Volunteers, who help with a wide range of activities including carrying out practical work and path surveying.'
We thought we would take advantage of Kate's knowledge of the area and asked her a few questions:
How long have you worked for the Authority?
That’s tricky! Started in 1997 – left in 2006 – came back in 2013.
Please give brief details of any particularly interesting projects that are currently being undertaken in your area:
The Rangers and volunteers in south of the National Park carry out lots of interesting projects looking after the public rights of way network. A major project this year has been to repair a section of the of the footpath on the summit of Pen Y Ghent. An estimated 80,000 people walk Pen Y Ghent every year and such high footfall was causing a serious erosion problem. The project involved laying 200 stone flags and landscaping the surrounding erosion to create a route that balanced the long-term conservation needs of the area with the demands placed on it by walkers.
What do you enjoy most about working for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority?
The people - both those who I work with and those I get to meet through the job.
What is your favourite place to visit in the your area?
Not going to give you a specific answer to that one – no point having a special place if everyone knows about it!! …. Generally my favourite place is around Grassington – it’s full of hidden gems and is right on the doorstep of where I live – it has the appeal of the river, woodland and fells.
Do you have a favourite walk/activity you enjoy in the Dales?
Walking is what I enjoy most – either strolling with my family or getting away from it all with my dog.
Phone: 01756 751631
Mobile: 07584 593309
Post: Stonedykes Barn, Stainforth, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PB