The national park authorities get hundreds of people asking about ranger positions each year. The appeal of working outdoors surrounded by wonderful landscapes means that ranger vacancies have lots of applicants.

What do rangers do?

Rangers work with other staff and volunteers to maintain footpaths, gates, stiles and bridges.

Rangers are the eyes and ears of the national park authority as they are out and about in the national park most of the time. They provide a contact between visitors, local people and the national park authority.

Rangers have plenty of local knowledge about what to see, where to go, and the wildlife and history of the national park. Answering questions from the public and dealing with local communities are an important part of a ranger's job.

National park rangers look out for any potential problems, like stiles or signposts that need repair, and then work with staff and volunteers to fix them. They also work to reduce issues between visitors and local people. If walkers stray off a footpath onto farmland it can disrupt livestock; a ranger can help by putting up a signed route.

Many rangers take school groups out into the national park and work with volunteers to run events for the public. They also work with other teams in the national park authority, like events, education, planners, field and property workers, and communication teams.

What qualifications and experience do you need?

A degree in conservation, environmental management or similar subject will show you have the right knowledge and practical skills. You might want to read the tips on becoming a Lake District ranger page. Experience is also essential, try volunteering with an environmental organisation or joining a national park's volunteer schemes. The volunteering page has details about how to volunteer with various national parks and with other environmental organisations like the National Trust and the Wildlife Trust.

As well as knowledge and practical skills rangers need to be good communicators and enjoy working with volunteers and the public. You also need to like being outdoors, all year round in all weathers, not just when it's sunny!