BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Park ranger - District National Park, Cumbria

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Park ranger - District National Park, Cumbria - Name Simon Johnson

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name Simon Johnson

When did you become a manager? Back in 1993, when I started my career as a ranger.

What does management mean to you? As well as managing staff and a lot of volunteers, we manage the countryside, which involves anything from erosion control to lake management. We also look after visitors, by educating them about what's going on in the park, having a presence and telling them they can't ride their mountain bikes off designated trails. We're always the ones in the middle: on one side we've got farmers and on the other side recreation groups. So we have to sort out disagreements over issues like access to land. It's all about finding solutions that both groups can live with.

What do you love/hate about it? I really enjoy patrolling Ullswater - it's completely different looking after the countryside, and you get to drive a speedboat. I dislike the fact that people think you've got an easy job and spend your day driving around, waving at farmers; it's hard work.

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