Liam Plummer - Woodland Ranger Profile

Woodland Ranger, Lake District

Liam Plummer - Woodland Ranger

Meet Liam, one of our Woodland Rangers tasked with nurturing the Lake District's next generation of veteran trees.

Liam, Woodland Ranger, at Skeghyll Woods in Ambleside

What does your role as a Ranger for the National Trust involve?

My particular role involves managing the woodlands and trees across the Central & East Lakes patch. Mostly, this is about woodland management planning and tree safety, but that covers everything from organising forestry works, inspecting trees for any hazards they pose, monitoring woodland change and wildlife, inspiring others to engage with trees and woodlands, and working with tenant farmers about trees in the landscape.

Tell us more about your conservation work

Most of my work is about making sure trees and woodlands are managed sensitively for wildlife first and foremost. At the moment I’m planning our forestry work across the patch for the next ten years, which will involve some thinning or coppicing where it might benefit the habitat value of the woodland. At the other end of the scale, I’ve just been involved in planting a traditional orchard, building tree cages for field trees, and repairing woodland boundaries to keep stock out where they might nibble young trees.

What’s a typical day like?

No two days are alike! One of the privileges of my job is that I can spend days in beautiful woodlands, checking boundaries, mapping special features, or measuring trees for a felling license application. Another day I could be in a wider meeting about how we manage the landscape, and then the day after I could be out felling trees or re-building a dry-stone wall.

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m just coming towards the end of studying an MSc in forestry by distance-learning, so that has taken up a lot of spare time! But apart from that, I love nothing more than disappearing off for a weekend camping, walking and slack-lining. Or a bit of rock climbing.

Tell us the best part of the job!

Can I have two parts!? Obviously there’s spending time in cracking woodlands, seeing wildlife or listening to bird-song. And the other is planting trees that will have a big, positive impact on wildlife and the landscape long after I’m gone. I look at 2, 3, 400 year old oaks around and think about how the sapling I’m planting might look, and about who planted the trees we see now.