00:00:03 My name is Mark. I’m a National Trust warden in the Peak District, working on the Longshaw Estate. My job as a warden on the Longshaw Estate could be different to a warden on another estate, but, basically, you’re doing things like woodland management, dry-stone walling, habitat management, just all sorts of different things. It’s a really good variety. You couldn’t wish for a better job. The variation and being outside with all the wildlife is superb.
00:00:32 Where I live, where I’m from, we’ve got like big fields and woods, you know, next to where I live. I used to go down with my friends when I was small and just got into it like that. I have a keen interest in birds. My dream job really would be a sportsman because I’m very sporty. I play football and cricket. The subjects I took bear no relation to the job I’ve finished up with, so… I did maths, physics, chemistry at A level and then I just went into woodland.
00:00:58 My father is a builder, so I used to spend a lot of time with him doing building work, and a lot of my friends left school at sixteen doing apprenticeships like bricklaying, like, in the building trade really, so I think that’s one of the reasons I didn’t go to university. I wanted to just get out there and get partying with all my mates and things. I did want to follow in my dad’s footsteps, yes, being a builder, but I just got into this forestry work and being in the outdoors and it just seemed to be for me really.
00:01:33 When I first started, I used to basically do dry-stone walling. We won a CPRE dry-stone walling award for a landscape feature on top of the moor, where the Chairman of the National Trust actually came and put the last few stones on with us. It got a bit of press release. That was quite rewarding. Other things we did: footpath work through the ancient Oakwood of Padley Gorge, which is a famous place. It got quite eroded through all the visitor use, so we just pitched, like, stone pitched right through the gorge, which is still there now. It looks really well. But it were more manual, more like every day you’re out there working. As time has progressed, that job has just changed slightly.
00:02:17 Sometimes I just dwell and think, you know, maybe I should have just gone to university and studied and got a better paid job, but on the flipside I just love what I’m doing still, so, you know, it’s twenty-five years on and I still love it so maybe I made the right choice. I don’t think money is the most important thing but it does help. Everybody knows, you know, growing families and kids needing what they need, I think money needs to come into it at some point, yes.
00:02:49 Well, I think my boy is fourteen. I were doing his options last night, funnily enough, and his mind is set on being a lawyer. He’s really clever and he has got his own desires and needs, and I think people should have whatever… follow the dream, follow the dream really. Like I said before, my dad were a builder and I thought ‘I want to be a builder,’ but there’s other things out there as well, you know. It’s easy to follow your parents or be guided by your parents but I think you should just maybe try different things, maybe get out there and, you know, just do what feels right.
00:03:29 In five or ten year’s time, I’ll probably still be doing what I’m doing, but hopefully I can, I can, you know, move up the ladder a little bit. An opportunity came a few years ago when we had a restructure and we weren’t given the chance to apply for the higher position job because of how it were all restructured, so that were a bit of a kick in the teeth, actually, but hopefully something will be coming up soon and I can get up that ladder.
00:03:59 If I could do anything in the world, I’d be a professional cricketer.