Introducing Thev Cram

Why did you want to come and work as a warden at Wandlebury?

I was aware of the wardens role when I was doing field teaching at Wandlebury. And thought it looked like a the sort of active and practical outdoors job I would like. And having grown up in the area it was lovely idea to help look after that place that I had played in as a child, and many years later taken my own children to explore.

There was already a mixture of men and women and they seemed to have a good camaraderie. Although to be honest I was not expecting to get the job. Not so much being a woman. More because I am no spring chicken. And I was delighted to get the job. Still feel lucky !!

What do you enjoy most and least about the role?

So many things I enjoy !! I enjoy the variety of jobs that we get involved in . Fencing, raking grassland, woodland clearance, mending barns, clearing ponds to name a few. Because the sites are small and varied in habitat and we are a small team we all have to get involved in everything. I like the fact I am still learning. About conservation, ecology, wildlife, or practical skills such as how to use an angle grinder ! I also love working outside in all weathers.

Doesn’t matter rain or sun or cold as because we are busy we don't notice the weather so much. It's not like we are waiting for a bus in our best clothes ! It's quite liberating to not worry how wet or muddy or sweaty we get. And always rewarding to see what has been achieved afterwards - hedge laid, firewood chopped and bagged for sale. The home time cup of tea and a bath has been earned ! This means we are very aware of the seasons changing. Which is very primitive and satisfying pleasure. I also enjoy the strong teamwork aspect. It's not a job you can do as an individual.

What would you say to other women considering a warden as a career?

Absolutely give it a go. Might not be the most highly paid job but it is immensely satisfying (generally speaking !)

Have you got a role model who inspired you?

Funnily enough maybe my dad. He happily taught me all sorts of DIY skills like using a drill and soldering iron. He also played football with me, showed me how to mend bikes, put air in car tyres , that sort of thing when I was a child.

All the sort of things that girls didn't really do ! I never thought it was unusual till much older and none of my my friends knew these things. Gave me the confidence to think I’ll give that a go !