Farewell to Ranger Chris

As regular readers of our blog will know, we’ve recently said goodbye to our Academy Ranger, Chris Wood. Chris has been with us for over two and a half years and it’s been wonderful to see him progress from an inexperienced volunteer to the top notch Ranger he’s become. He’ll be well missed by all our staff and volunteers and we wish him all the best in his new job at the Lanhydrock estate.

Chris Wood

Chris bonding with the local wildlife.

We decided not to work him too hard on his last day and instead the team went for a day out to Redcar. It’s a measure of how much of a nature geek Chris has become that his first choice of thing to do was to go nature spotting! We’d heard news of a red backed shrike at South Gare, so off we went to see if we could find it. While not the most scenic place, South Gare is a hot spot for birds, especially at migration time. Unfortunately for Chris the shrikes that had been there over the past few days had moved on and we had to settle for a few more common birds.

Red-backed shrike

The red-backed shrike was just one of the birds we didn’t see at South Gare (image courtesy of northeastwildlife.co.uk)

Redcar Beacon

The team at Redcar’s newest attraction

Following our walk we headed for Redcar’s newest attraction – the Redcar Beacon. We weren’t too inspired by the tower itself, but we’d definitely recommend visiting the café for the chocolate & peanut stack. Delicious!

Sat in the cafe

Our favourite pass time – eating cake

Chris in a smite t-shirt

Chris loves smite!

Fully refreshed we headed to the beach for a quick game of smite. Anyone who’s not played this game before should head to some of our summer events where it makes a regular appearance. Of course we had to let Chris win…

Playing smite

Chris starts the smiting on Redcar beach

Finally we went off to the Jolly Sailor in the Moors for lunch. Here we met some of the other staff and volunteers who’d come to wish Chris well. We’d had a whip around and presented Chris with a photo book of all his achievements, a picture of Roseberry Topping and his very own moth trap. I’m sure Chris will have many happy evenings mothing down in Cornwall!

The Jolly Sailer

A well fed team outside the Jolly Sailor

So what next for the team? Chris has left some mighty big shoes to fill, but we’re hoping we can find some new recruits who can step up to the mark. In fact we’ve already been looking for a couple of Long Term Volunteers to train up and help on their way to a career in conservation. Hopefully one of our newbies will be along soon to tell you all about herself. Watch this space!

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Gareth | National Trust

Gareth | National Trust

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