An Interview with our Area 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 and the bookable walks he will be hosting, which focus on tree identification and dog walking on National Trust sites.
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.'
Can you describe what your guided estate walks at Greys Court will include?
Winter Tree Walks:
'This walk is about learning simple ways to tell trees apart without the helping hand of the leaves. Attendees can also find out folklore and uses of the different timbers we encounter.'
'We warmly welcome well behaved dogs on much of our NT land. This walk offers tips for ensuring your dog doesn't cause any distress to other visitors, livestock or wildlife.'
To join a guided walk with Leo, book a ticket for £3 online below.