A FORMER National Park Authority apprentice with roots in Ingleton has become the new Yorkshire Three Peaks Ranger, maintaining some of the busiest paths in the park.

Ian Colledge, 25, will look after paths on Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales and got straight to work clearing the cross drains off Whernside.

Tens of thousands of people walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks every year and the ranger post is funded from public donations.

The position was created in 2009.

Ian said: “A large portion of the work is looking after the path surfaces.

"Being upland paths they take a lot more maintenance than lowland paths, and they are very well used here.

"Clearing out cross drains by scooping out loose material is an important task because the drains are there to stop the surface washing away.

“I’d probably have to say Ingleborough is my favourite of the three peaks and that’s mainly because I’ve got family that live in Ingleton.

"Growing up I spent a lot of time going up Ingleborough and it was the first of the three peaks that I did - I was six or seven when I first went up it.

"Without Ingleborough and all the time I’ve spent on it, I would never have had that interest in the outdoors and I would never have had the thought to do this kind of work in the first place."

Member Champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Nick Cotton, said: “The current good condition of the Three Peaks route is one of the greatest achievements to date of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and its partners.  

"In the 80s, the paths in many places were impossible to use, such was the scale of the erosion and bogginess. 

"Having a dedicated Three Peaks Ranger is essential to keep up the maintenance of the route and I wish Ian all the best in his new role. 

"There could hardly be a more impressive landscape in the world to work in than the Yorkshire Three Peaks.”