I have lived on Dartmoor since I was two.
We had tremendous freedom as children and spent the whole time running about outside and helping on a couple of local farms. I became quite useful with sheep but had no talent with horses whatsoever.
I became a Ranger in 1988. When I started rangering I had no idea that Dartmoor Rangers were so involved with people - I had fondly imagined that it was a job involving animals and habitat - how naïve. In fact it is a very much people orientated career choice. The job has changed in many ways over the years but still essentially requires a ‘hands on’, ‘feet on the ground’ common sense approach.
I feel very lucky to work in such a lovely environment, although long wet winters can be something of a trial, as can the unsightly and unwanted deposits of litter and rubbish left behind by various abusers of the moor. The good invariably outweighs the bad however and I love the place. Dartmoor is timeless and that quality alone can be incredibly inspiring. One of the aspects that I really enjoy about my job is the close working relationships I have with the local farming communities.