Viewers of yesterday’s episode of Inside the National Trust were introduced to Upland Ranger, Ian Griffiths. Ian told us about his role in the Lake District and his experience working with the film crew.
“I came to the National Trust ten years ago having worked as a landscape gardener for four years. Previous to that, I studied forestry at college.
“As an Upland Ranger, my main job is to cure man-made erosion on the Lakeland fells. I do this for most of the year, working as part of the “Fix the Fells” project. In the winter months the team help out with the upkeep of the South Lakes property. This can involve any number of tasks, including dry stone walling, hedge laying or path building.
“Of everything I do, my favourite part about my job is simply the fact that I am lucky enough to work on the High Fells in one of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom. Of course, being so beautiful it does mean that the area is fairly remote. Visitors often ask me if we get dropped in by helicopter every day; they’re genuinely surprised when I tell them that we have to walk to the site on a daily basis!
“As you see in the first episode of Inside the National Trust, the film crew joined us to get footage of the team working with helicopters. We use helicopters to fly path-repairing materials to our work sites; usually bags of large stones, which are collected on the fellside and then flown to exactly where we want them on the path. It’s expensive work, but absolutely essential in order to keep the paths accessible for all the walkers.
“It was really quite exciting working with the film crew. A highlight of the experience was when we finally managed to get the helicopter into the air. We had two very frustrating days of not being able to fly because of adverse weather conditions, so I was elated when it finally did take off!
“Unfortunately it wasn’t all smooth running. On one occasion, while doing a piece to camera, I had inadvertently given myself a moustache with a piece of mud that had found its way from my finger onto my face. Not a great look!
“Despite that hiccup, it was a great experience and I just hope people enjoy seeing what we do to keep the Lake District open for everyone.”
Inside the National Trust is back on Sunday at 12:25pm on ITV 1.