Quantock Hills Blog

Volunteer Ranger Dave

- Our fantastic and hard working Dave Pusill's been braving the cold , working on Cothelstone Hill

Tim Russell

Posted by Tim Russell on 07 February 2012

Volunteer Ranger Dave It’s cold, very cold, and the ground is covered with a blanket of snow. I’ve just returned to the Fyne Court AONB Office with Andy Harris and Tim Russell, who are the full time Quantock Rangers, after working on Cothelstone Hill all morning.

 We have been working in what we call the Old Corral, which was once used to check the ponies and is now obsolete. The task was to erect some wood stands, feed the ponies, break the ice in the water trough and have chat with some walkers who were out to enjoy the snow before it thawed out. We are back in the office to thaw out ourselves before returning to the next task which is checking all the way posts on one of the Quantock circular walks.  

 Volunteer Rangering is fun and rewarding work. Scrub bashing, patrolling, picking up litter and generally doing anything that is asked to try and maintain the well being of the Quantock Hills. I’ve been a Volunteer Ranger for nearly ten years and have enjoyed every minute. People tend to think that Rangering is policing but it isn’t. It is communication. Talking, advising, helping members of the public with information from where to get a good pub lunch to trying to help someone remember where they parked their car!

 I find that every day spent working as a volunteer is different. It’s not only a day well spent, but a privilege as well. I never sense that I'm under pressure as to the time I can give. In my case I spend every Tuesday on the Hill. Even if I'm out with my dogs on a non Tuesday, I'm still a volunteer Ranger though, acting as a spare pair of ears and eyes. We are part of a team, all on the same side!

Although most of us are in other fields of work or retired we never feel that we are not ‘real’ Rangers! We all work to a task schedule, which is arranged quarterly. Sometimes the schedule changes at short notice and we wind up doing a task which is totally different, but that’s part of the job, flexibility.

 To sum up. When I get home after spending a day on the Hill I feel ‘Chilled out’! Its like a tonic of fresh air and good company. Everyone should do it. And it’s free!    

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