A WELL known figure on Dartmoor is moving on after 20 years. Ranger Rob Taylor is leaving the Authority after nearly two decades making a difference to life in the National Park.

Rob, who joined as an assistant ranger in June 2004, is off to work as a Rights of Way Warden for Devon County Council, a job which involves looking after parts of the South West Coast Path and Tarka Trail.

He said: ‘Being a Ranger is a challenging, inspiring and rewarding role. It’s been a privilege.’

Rob started his working life in the Armed Forces as a musician with the Royal Engineers Band. He left after eight years and retrained as a National Trust Warden, based on South Dartmoor.

A spokesman for the Authority said: ‘After completing his apprenticeship, he became their Warden for the Bideford Bay and Hartland area before landing the Assistant Ranger job for Dartmoor.

‘To many, Rob is a familiar and friendly face. Over the last two decades he has carried out many duties including regular patrols and giving advice and help to people if they need it, public rights of way and practical conservation work, supporting Ranger Ralph children’s club and Junior Rangers, representing the Authority at public events, and working with volunteer groups, other organisations, commoners and landowners – plus more besides.

‘Rob’s enthusiasm and dedication has undoubtedly made a valuable contribution towards keeping Dartmoor special for its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.’

Rob said: ‘I’ve enjoyed the variation in role immensely, and the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through meeting and working with a broad range of people.

‘It’s the relationships with people living and working on Dartmoor that I’m most proud of and what I’ll miss most.

‘In such a broad role like this, it’s important to invest yourself in the area, your colleagues, the landowners, farmers and communities.

‘I’ve developed long, productive and highly enjoyable working relationships as a result. It’s been a privilege to work in a protected landscape and my time here will doubtless prove to be the most pivotal and defining time of my working life. I will miss many people and I will miss the place.

Head Ranger Simon Lee said: ‘Rob has achieved so much for Dartmoor and its communities over the last 19 years and will be sorely missed by both the Ranger Team and all those that have had the pleasure of working with him. We wish Rob well in his new role.’