Richie the Ranger celebrates 50 years of promoting the environment on Merseyside

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Richie says he’s looking forward to the next 50 years.

Richie Baker, or Richie The Ranger as he's known, is celebrating 50 years of promoting the environment on Merseyside.

Richie says his love for the natural world started at a young age. "I was born down Scotland Road, and there wasn't a single blade of grass to be seen in that area but eventually moved to Walton where we had a garden.

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“My Dad was in a wheelchair, and I can remember looking at the overgrown garden with him as he sat in his wheelchair. I was only 12-years-old at the time and I still remember his words, 'With my brains and your brawn, son, we can conquer this garden.' With his wise advice, we transformed the jungle into a lovely oasis, and this led me to a love of plants and nature, which stays with me till this very day."

As well as working at St John's Gardens, he was involved in many projects, such as the 1984 garden festival. In addition to this, for more than 20 years now he's worked on a nature programme for BBC Radio Merseyside.

Richie said: “My first job was as a gardener working at St John's gardens in the city centre. That year they had a theme in the city, which was, 'Plant a tree in 73!' That first year I planted dozens of trees in the city centre, these are now mature trees, of course and when I see them, it gives me great pleasure to think, gosh, I planted them."

Richie retired from working for Liverpool Council ten years ago, after a service of 40 years, setting up his own small venture to carry on promoting the environment on Merseyside. This involves education, giving talks to local groups and guided walks.

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Richie's enthusiasm has even rubbed off on his own family, with his son now working as a park supervisor himself. And, when he's not putting on his own walks, he still enjoys days out in nature with his daughter and granddaughter.

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