Peak District rangers cover all 555 square miles of the National Park © Mike Cummins

Peak District National Park Ranger Service

...safeguarding our countryside

The affection in which cartoon hero Yogi Bear is held means his rival, Ranger Smith, is often derided as an overly-officious killjoy...

The reality for real-life Rangers, however, is very different – for the Park Ranger is responsible for safeguarding and preserving our glorious National Parks.

The Peak District National Park Ranger Service (then Warden Service) was established in 1954, and the role of the embryonic National Park Ranger was a far cry from the first Rangers to serve England, who were charged largely with providing a visible force of law and order in the countryside, mainly against poachers.

A bit like a bunch of 13th century Ranger Smiths!

Today the team of Rangers – that’s right, there’s more than one – cover every inch of the 555 square miles in the Peak District. The team comprises a number of Rangers and is supplemented somewhat heroically by over 300 volunteers.

Their roles have evolved greatly over the 56 years since its inception, although the crux of the job remains the same – to provide a key point of contact for the millions of visitors to the National Park.

Looking after open land, walks, routes and signposting, providing advice, caring for wildlife...even leading guided walks - these are all important facets of the modern Rangers' role.

Our Rangers are jack-of-all-trades, and masters of the lot, for the duties of the modern Ranger are as multifaceted as the Peak District itself.

The mere thought of a Ranger-less park is enough to make one shudder. They allow us, and more importantly future generations, to enjoy the area in all of its raw, unspoiled beauty and tranquility.

For friendly and expert advice on any subject relating to the Park, please contact the Field Services head office on 01629 816290, or email

Sean Cummins
February 2010

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015