Nick McAllister, Mid and South East Wales warden

Garden and Estate Manager, Stourhead

Alan Power - Garden and Estate Manager

My name is Nick and I've been working for the National Trust in the Brecon Beacons and Mid and South East Wales since November 2009. I started with the National Trust as a volunteer warden in 2008. I wanted to gain some practical experience while I was studying for a HND in Environmental Conservation Management at college.

Cwm Llwch

Career change

I decided to change career when I hit 40, and it’s one of the best things I've ever done. I've always enjoyed the outdoors and especially the mountains. Even when I'm not working I spend a lot of time in the 'hills', as I'm the team leader of a local mountain rescue team.
My job is very varied and no day is ever the same. Sometimes I work on my own and sometimes I have assistance from full-time volunteers based at Brecon.

Where you'll find me

I work at five sites throughout Mid and South East Wales: they're Abergwesyn Common, the Begwns, the Sugar Loaf, the Skirrid and Henrhyd Falls. Four of these sites are common land and I spend some of my time talking to the farmers that use our land for grazing their livestock, which is mainly sheep, cattle and ponies.
I spend a lot of my time keeping the footpaths, culverts, gates and stiles in good working order. Their constant use by visitors means there's always something that needs to be done. While I'm doing this I also get some time to talk to visitors about the sites and the work that we’re doing to protect them.
One of the worst parts of my job though is collecting the rubbish left lying around. That's when I wish everyone would respect the countryside and take their rubbish home.

What a privilege

Spending my days working in the mountains alongside all the spectacular views and the wildlife is a real privilege. It's also very rewarding to meet and talk to people from all sorts of backgrounds and places.
So if you’re visiting one of the places that I work at, and see me wandering around with a spade or bag of rubbish, come and have a chat. It would be really nice to meet you.