Noelle RohanDominic LyttleEd McCann
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Interview with the new Mournes Forest Trails Ranger

Posted on August 10, 2016 @ 11:12 AM in Mountainbiking

It's important to get to know the people who are looking after our trails. To help, we caught up with Steve Brook, the new trails ranger for Castlewellan and Rostrevor. 

 

Hi Steve! Our first question - what did you do before you became a trail ranger?

I’ve had a varied working life, but a common thread has been working in the countryside. I studied countryside management as a teenager at agricultural college, which led on to me working as an assistant scientific officer with the Department of Agriculture, before re-training as a tree surgeon.

In the last year I have worked with Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute surveying river systems across Northern Ireland to understand the breeding success of our native Trout and Salmon populations, and also with the Environmental Health department within Newry, Mourne and Down Council.

What do you like most about job?

I love the varied nature of the job. I could be in a meeting with an event organiser in the morning, inspecting a trail for wear and tear in the afternoon and cutting windblown trees off the trail in the evening. No two days are the same. 

Are you a mountain biker yourself? If so, how long have you been riding?

I’m relatively new to mountain biking, but have been blown away by the sheer skill of some of the riders I’ve met since starting as Trail Ranger, and I’ve had more offers to go riding than I can keep up with. 

Any favourite bit to do on the trails?

Having worked as a tree surgeon I always love to work with trees and this is a key part of the job. However, at the moment a huge part of the Trail Team’s time has been spent clearing vegetation so as to keep the trails open and enjoyable. We have a programme of improvement works for the trails planned for the autumn and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that.

Okay, quick fire round.

Favourite film?   

Tremors

TV show you're currently into? 

Walking Dead

Favourite food?

Bacon.

Worst injury you've picked up?

Damaged pride.

Favourite song?

Let it Go, from Frozen.

Awesome. Anything else you’d like to share with the mountain bike community? 

Yeah, myself and the trails team are here to make sure the trails are enjoyable to ride and safe. If any riders notice anything on the trails that they feel needs attention they can contact me anytime at ftranger@mourne.co.uk, or stop and speak to the Trails Team if you meet them on the trails. Feedback is always welcome. 

Thanks for chatting to us Steve and best of luck with the new job!

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

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