Steve Hastie is the Area Manager for the West of the Park and is officially based at Orton. This region, in the North West of the National Park, is where you will find the Westmorland Dales, most of which was added to the National Park in 2016. This includes the Northern Howgills and Orton Scar.
Steve Hastie is responsible for developing and setting rights of way targets, area management and overall responsibility for health and safety. Steve also manages the Area and Access Rangers in the West of the Dales.
Area Ranger Paul Wilkinson is the main point of contact for local communities. Paul will be able to work with Parish Councils and other community groups to find funding and deliver projects that conserve or enhance the area. He will also take the lead on larger access projects.
Access Rangers Suzannah Barningham (north of Sedbergh parish) and Graham Pye (Sedbergh parish to Casterton and Dent) are responsible for maintenance of the rights of way network, including replacing signage, repairing bridges, clearing vegetation and helping landowners with stiles and gates.
Steve says: 'We also have the assistance of a team of 22 trained Dales Volunteers, alongside 16 volunteers who have come forward since August’s boundary extension'.
We thought we would take advantage of Steve's knowledge of the area and asked him a few questions:
How long have you worked for the Authority?
I started working for the NPA’s ‘Area Management Service’ in 1997, in Malhamdale. Became the Area Ranger for Ribblesdale in 1999, then was seconded to the temporary post of Foot & Mouth Access Co-ordinator in 2001. Back to Ribblesdale in 2002. Managed the Three Peaks Project from 2009 until October 2016, when I was appointed Area Manager (Western Dales).
Please give brief details of any particularly interesting projects that are currently being undertaken in your area:
Lots of practical access projects being undertaken by the ranger service including Fisherman’s Bridge across the River Lune, but for me, developing the relationship between the rangers and the residents in the extension area is the most interesting challenge.
What do you enjoy most about working for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority?
Variety, interesting people, public service. A nationally significant landscape, great communities, endless sunshine; what’s not to like?
What is your favourite place to visit in the your area?
I’m still getting to know the Cumbrian part of the National Park and love the familiar-but-different feel to the Westmorland Dales and the Northern Howgills. Currently I’d say Mallerstang, Barbondale and the limestone uplands north of the A685 are some of my favourite places.
Do you have a favourite walk/activity you enjoy in the Dales?
Lots of walks to discover, but so far, the walk up Winder out of Sedbergh gives magnificent views within minutes of crossing the fell wall.
Phone: 01729 825242
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Post: Stonedykes Barn, Stainforth, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PB