Ranger Ian Brooker retires after dedicating 32 years to Dartmoor - Dartmoor National Park Authority

Ian standing on stones with dark clouds in the sky
(Dartmoor NPA)

Well-known Ranger Ian Brooker is retiring from Dartmoor National Park Authority after a long career in protecting landscapes.

Ian joined DNPA on 21 May 1990 and has spent the last 32 years serving communities in the north of the moor as well as raising the profile of being a Ranger on the worldwide stage.

Before that, he worked as a Warden for Horsham District Council at Southwater Country Park and Warnham Nature Reserve. He already knew Dartmoor from his interests in climbing and walking.

At that time, the Authority hadn’t yet been created as a stand-alone organisation; it was still a Devon County Council National Park Committee.

Shortly after he joined, the National Park boundaries were amended to include Sticklepath – a village he has proudly served as part of his patch for his entire time as a Ranger.

“When I started, communication was very different,” Ian recalls. “There was no laptops or mobile phones; letters were handwritten and given to typists and my vehicle had a radio which could pick up the highways department in South Wales, but not staff on Dartmoor! Communication is so much better now – people can message you instantly – but that does mean expectations have changed too. It’s the biggest difference since I first started.”

“Being a Ranger is a wonderful job,” he said. “You meet so many different people and organisations all the time. You can’t ignore people and if you do, it’s not the job for you! That involvement with the communities is probably what I will miss most when I retire from the ‘thin green line’."

Ian is a long-serving member of the Countryside Management Association and is the Vice-President of the European Ranger Federation (ERF); the regional organisation which works under the wider umbrella of the International Ranger Federation. Both organisations work to represent and support the interests of Rangers worldwide.

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Posted On: 22/11/2022

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