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Pensthorpe: Edward Bramham-Jones
Edward Bramham-Jones
Ed loves working in the great outdoors in all weather

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve is thrust into the spotlight for a few weeks each year by BBC Springwatch.

The rest of the time, a group of wardens and gardeners keep the park up to scratch.

Edward Bramham-Jones is one of the team that help manage the reserve, now one of most watched parks in England.

"I've always had an interest in wildlife. It was Pensthorpe that inspired me to get into ecology and habitat management," he said.

Ed, 21, is part of a small group of dedicated staff at Pensthorpe who keep the reserve in good working order, making sure the wildlife is well cared for and the venue is in pristine condition for the thousands of visitors each year.

The workers don't quite get the fame of the feathered stars who appear in front of the Springwatch cameras, but life at Pensthorpe is rewarding and Ed much prefers it to a job in the city.

"When I was at Fakenham High School, I sent in a CV to Pensthorpe hoping to do a bit of work outside. Luckily I got a job and I've been here since 2004.

Edward Bramham-Jones
Ed has plenty to keep him busy working Pensthorpe's 600 acre site

"I went to Fakenham College and studied environmental science and geography, which interested me a lot. I then went on to Easton College, where I did a HND in Countryside Management."

No ordinary job

While many people are tied to their desks wishing they could work out in the countryside, many people think Ed is mad to be out in the freezing cold of winter or heat of summer.

"People think I'm very lucky, but also a bit weird," said Ed.

"At the start, people thought I was mad, but now I think they're a bit jealous. It's great being able to work outside in the summer - not so much in the winter, but all year round it's a great job.

"I still love going into the city and enjoying myself, but I enjoy the countryside and people from the city are often amazed at how tranquil it is here.

"I am quite inspired by my work. I do spend a lot of time here and there is always lots of stuff to be getting on with.

"We have a bird park here so we feed, clean and look after the aviaries. We also have the nature reserve here, so we do meadow management and woodland management.

"We also have a farm here, so we do conservation grade farming and 10 percent is given back to wildlife - it keeps me fit and out of trouble.

"I work with a mix of people but we're all very enthusiastic about wildlife and the habitat here.

"You learn something different everyday. It's fascinating to see what's going to happen next year, and then the next and the next."


The BBC's Springwatch team arrived at Pensthorpe in 2008, making the reserve a new location for the prime time show.

Kate Humble
Kate Humble spent Springwatch 2008 at Pensthorpe

Not only was it a chance for the public to see the reserve on television, it was also a good opportunity for the staff to see how the show was put together.

"I got to work with some real experts. It was great to see how other people work, spend some time with them and it was amazing to see Pensthorpe on TV," said Ed.

"It was quite weird watching the television and seeing places I work on everyday.

"It's quite astonishing really. To be on such a big programme like Springwatch has really put us on the map," he added.

Springwatch returns to BBC Two in May 2009.

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