An Interview with our Area Ranger

Leo our Ranger

Our wonderful Area Ranger Leo covers a large area of land, including Basildon Park, Greys Court, Nuffield Place, and the Goring Gap sites. Read on to find out more about the work he does.

So Leo, what is an average week in the life of a ranger?

'Rangering is a multi faceted and varied role, and a typical week comprises duties as varied as writing management plans and applying for grants, through to maintaining machinery and carrying out woodland management. We lead volunteers, supervise contracts and deliver much of the work ourselves.'

That is very varied! What would you say is the highlight of your job?

'The variety is part of the enjoyment but if I had to pick one element I particularly enjoy conducting forestry operations. There is something rewarding about felling large, challenging trees, extracting the timber to use, then admiring the new glade fill with flowers and butterflies in spring.'

The land must seem so different in the changing seasons - what is your favourite time of the year for a walk around Greys Court?

'Greys Court is blessed with a mix of woodland, from towering beech high forest, through softwood and ash plantation to oak with a coppiced understorey. The continuity of woodland cover has enabled a fine carpet of bluebells to establish. The purple haze on a damp April morning is hard to top.'

Bluebell flower head
Bluebell flower head
Bluebell flower head


Upcoming events

Towering Trees 26 May - 17 July

Thu 26 May 2022
Gaze up at the treetops and learn more about the importance of woodland on our summer children's trail.

Jubilee Weekend Celebrations

Thu 02 Jun 2022
Join our Platinum Jubilee celebrations with fete-style self led games on the top lawn, bunting around the site and a Jubilee display in the house.

Sculpture in the Gardens 11 June - 17 July

Sat 11 Jun 2022
The Oxford Sculptors Group returns for their 5th year exhibiting in the walled gardens and Cromwellian building.

Sculpture Evenings in the Gardens

Thu 16 Jun 2022
This year we're hosting some sculpture evenings in the gardens, where you'll be able to see the exhibition after hours with live sculpture demonstrations and a drink on arrival.

Silent Woodland Walks

Tue 21 Jun 2022
Come and enjoy a quiet meditative walk through the peaceful woodland at Greys Court, with guide Deborah Lewis.