Andrew Sawyer, conservation officer at Cragside

Andrew Sawyer, conservation officer at Cragside © National Trust

Andrew Sawyer, conservation officer at Cragside

Andrew Sawyer
Conservation officer
Cragside, Northumberland

Andrew has worked at Cragside for 25 years
Andrew’s background is in horticulture, starting with apprenticeship as a nurseryman before going on to running a 50 acre park in Gateshead. Andrew arrived at Cragside in 1988 as head gardener and ran the gardens team until 2006, before jumping ship to conservation to try his hand at something new.

Andrew says: ‘My job is all about the people, the place and their passions. These 3 ‘ps’ apply to the past, the present and the future: the people who created this amazing place and their passions in life, our visitors who indulge in their own passions here and all those who step through the front door in future.'

Favourite part of the job?
‘Bringing our amazing past to the present and conserving it to send it on to the future. Telling stories is just wonderful too, because if you don’t keep the stories alive the past is lost forever.’

Any memorable filming moments during Inside the National Trust?
‘My favourite moment was talking with Michael Buerk about jelly and jelly moulds. It's just one of those wonderful moments in life you have to pinch yourself and say, am I really talking to this influential, serious journalist about Victorian jelly making? It was just so much fun with all the jolly jelly japes we all had.

'It was just brilliant to be part of the film crew camaraderie.’

What have you learnt?
‘I have learnt walking and talking is not as easy as people would have you believe!’