L is for Lone Ranger

This is Ross Gemmell. Ross is a countryside ranger for Dumfries and Galloway Council. This role maintains the Southern Upland Way route, the Annandale Way and the core path network in Dumfries and Galloway - along with the Beehive Bothy and Polskeoch Bothy that are used by walkers and cyclists all year round.

L is for Lone Ranger

Ross may be repairing a gate near Dalry one day, building steps in Langholm another and installing way markers at Portpatrick the next. 

Haven't heard of the Southern Upland Way? Where have you been?

It's only one of Scotland's Great Trails, and Scotland's first coast-to-coast long-distance walking route, starting in bonnie Portpatrick and finishing in Cocksburnpath in the east of the country - a mere 214-mile journey that on average takes those brave enough to try it 14 days to complete. 

Fact - there are 1,800 km of paths in the core path network in Dumfries and Galloway, and it is no mean feat for Ross and a small number of volunteers to keep these open and maintained for all to use and enjoy.  

Best part of the job: "Getting the Southern Upland Way route ready for the Race Across Scotland ultra-marathon. There's such a buzz around, and it's great to see the route used competitively. It's not so bad either being outdoors and meeting walkers from all over the world in glorious sunshine, surrounded by the spectacular views we have here." 

Worst part of the job (and we don't usually ask this)? "The weather. Snow and ice make some days really hard work; the wind and rain can make life miserable and because it's Scotland, you know, you can have four seasons in one day. Midges are a close second!" Ross replied.  

Ross - your job is tough, dealing with all the elements the weather can throw at you. However, you create opportunities for us all to experience something special and unique. Thank you for maintaining some of the world's most historically significant and locally adored routes.  

To find out more about the Southern Upland Way, please visit - Southern Upland Way (Walkhighlands)

Page last updated: 01/11/2023
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