A new chapter begins…

A new chapter in my life is about to begin! I will soon be journeying down south to Cornwall to start a new position as a Ranger for the National Trust’s Lanhydrock.

I will therefore, sadly, be leaving my current post as an Academy Ranger for the National Trust’s North York Moors, Yorkshire Coast and Durham countryside properties in the coming days.

I set up this blog to follow in the footsteps of the Ranger team here during our day to day work. It’s great looking back through some of the posts and seeing the huge variety of things we have done. There really is something different every day in this job, and I have enjoyed my time in this position immensely.

Highlights for me have been spending time getting to know some of the Trust sites well, including Roseberry Topping – possibly my favourite place of all. I have found it especially rewarding watching our sites change with the seasons…

Roseberry Topping - SPRING (courtesy of Brian Nicholson)

Roseberry Topping – SPRING (courtesy of Brian Nicholson)

Roseberry Topping - WINTER

Roseberry Topping – WINTER

Seeing and learning the massive variety of wildlife on our sites has also been extremely rewarding too and engrained in me a passion for wildlife that I know I will now take on into the future…

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Wildlife on our properties - Bluebells

Wildlife on our properties - A cheeky Roe Deer

Wildlife on our properties - A Great tit with chicks

So how did I get here?

I was born and raised in Hartlepool – a proud monkey hanger, through and through! Being in a constant urban environment up until recent years, I was unaware of the wonders of the countryside until, in 2010, I decided to take on a mighty challenge and walk the entire South West Coast Path, a 630 mile trail following the coastlines of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. The walk took me 62 days to complete and the experience opened up my eyes to a whole new environment.

When I returned home after the walk (and my legs had recovered) I knew that I wanted to pursue a career working in the outdoors, and started volunteering with various local organisations including the North York Moors National Park, the RSPB and the National Trust.

It’s strange looking back and seeing how far I have come in a relatively short space of time. Back before I took on the South West Coast Path, I knew very little about the countryside and what goes into managing it. I didn’t know a Blackbird from a Robin or an Ash from an Oak. What I did have was a hunger to learn and so dedicated a year to volunteering as much as I could, soaking up information as I went. I then had a breakthrough, and was lucky enough to land my current post as an Academy Ranger – essentially a Ranger in training.

I started as an Academy Ranger 21 months ago, and it has flew by in what feels like a blink of an eye. I’m especially grateful to the team here, particularly Gareth, Kate and Wayne for giving me first the opportunity, and then the time and support to develop. Our team of volunteers too, who regularly give up their time to help us do what we do have made my job that extra bit rewarding. It has been a pleasure working with you all!

Enjoying the sun on a Sunday volunteer task on the Durham Coast

Enjoying the sun on a Sunday volunteer task on the Durham Coast

I’m grateful to the National Trust too, for inspiring me to start this journey, and to continue a new chapter.

For anyone out there looking to pursue a career as a Ranger, I recommend it highly and give you some newly acquired Cornish advice – ‘Gussenup angitten’ – go and get it (literally: get on up and get it). You can achieve anything if you try hard enough.

———

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Lord Byron

Chris | National Trust

Chris | National Trust

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