What do you do at Hill End?
I am the Site and Operations Manager responsible for all buildings, land, volunteers, recruitment and care. Due to the nature of our site and wide-ranging activities every day is different and interesting. Using our Hill End Train (a specially customised 2CV) I could be transporting bags for a school group up to High Barn, taking meter readings or counting newts in all ponds on-site.
Four years ago I started the volunteer program and today we have 30 active members. Their work is instrumental to the maintenance and development of our vast site. In total Hill End has up to 1,000 volunteer days per year which means about 6,000 hours of voluntary help annually.
How long have you been at Hill End?
26 years. I started as an Estate Worker, moving onto the Land Technician, Land Manager and to my current role today. In my 26 years the site has diversified hugely and I worked on many of the gardens and features here today including the willow maze, sound garden and mushroom seating.
Previously I was in college, studied and worked in conservation and land management.
Best memory at Hill End
We have many school groups who come here for their summer camp and sleepover. For many of the younger children it is their first time away from home. It’s lovely to welcome them here and all of their cuddly toys too!
Favourite animal spotted on-site
Great Crested Newt, found in any of our 16 ponds on-site.
Hot chocolate or ice lolly