Raby Estates have welcomed a new full time Ranger to join our team over at High Force Hotel and Waterfall. Andy Gibson started with us two months ago and you might catch him on the Upper Teesdale Estate at places like Cow Green reservoir and Low Force Waterfall. We caught up with Andy to find out more about his role and why he wanted to join the team at Raby.
Tell us about yourself and your background
I did a degree in Zoology at Aberystwyth University. I’ve always had an interest in animals and wildlife which led me to study Zoology. Coming out of University I then moved into the practical side of work and took a job down in South Devon in the Torbay area where I worked for 2 years, learning about how to be a Ranger, the practical maintenance and about the wildlife, and all of the other aspects of the job. After that I chose to go travelling for a few years, so I headed out to Australia, Asia and saw as much as I could. After my adventure, I then came back to the UK and worked in a few different positions before getting back into the conservation side of things at Raby.
What is the role of a Ranger?
The role of a Ranger can be very varied. For me it means dealing with the public and making sure people are behaving in a responsible manner and being safe. It also involves educating people in the area. We get lots of visitors to Upper Teesdale, especially between High and Low Force. People come and we want to try and give them as much information about the area as possible, and make sure they can enjoy it in the best way possible. Other aspects of the job that I’m involved with include the fishing and river access permits. We’re also starting to run some guided talks up at High Force, to provide an educational aspect.
At Raby we have a lot of tenant farmers who I’m hoping to work with, as well as the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and other groups or land owners nearby. From engaging with the public and local organisations, to looking after wildlife, my role can be anything in between, I just go where I’m needed.
What attracted you to working at Raby?
My initial impression about Raby, after undertaking some research and speaking to the team, was that it sounded like a really interesting place to work. Looking at their vision for the future and the speed at which they are progressing is really exciting. Raby are expanding at quite a rate and are looking to head in a new direction in terms of the large-scale Rising Developments at Raby Castle and the recent renovations at High Force Hotel & Waterfall. Their core values include a big focus on sustainability, supporting the community and preserving the natural environment which really appealed to me. Everyone that I spoke to at Raby were very passionate about what they do and had that drive to achieve great things.
What have you enjoyed most since starting the role?
The best part of my job is getting to open and close up the waterfall route every morning and night. Having five minutes alone down at the bottom of the waterfall with the peace and quiet and watching the water is excellent. It’s a really nice part of the job. Apart from that I love the variety, there are so many different things I get to do. Each day is different to the next and it takes me all the way up and down the Teesdale Estate, so I get to see a lot of different places and wildlife. At the moment I’m enjoying being involved in as much as possible and seeing where it leads to. I’m really excited about all of the different prospects and the future that I might have here at Raby.
To find out more about our team at Raby, view our other blogs below, or visit our vacancies page to see our latest opportunities.