Terry Bellamy, Assistant Ranger

I started working at the Trust in February 2013 as a Park Assistant/Cleaner. I was previously a Plasterer for 20 years but with work drying up due to the recession I was looking for a way out. My friends thought I was mad going from being a plasterer to emptying bins and cleaning toilets at Ferry Meadows, but I couldn’t have been happier as after cleaning the toilets my job was literally a 'walk in the park' as I collected litter around the Park. I continued to enjoy my work as a Park Assistant for a few years until the opportunity to be promoted to Assistant Ranger arose, which I proudly remain as to this day. Although I don’t have to clean the toilets anymore, I still do litter collection from time to time in the winter months while the seasonal park assistants are not around, and I have progressed quite well over the years.

I have been trained to a high standard on pretty much all the machines we use around the Park and have acquired various chainsaw tickets to enable me to complete tree work which is very much one of the highlights of the job for me.

I have been a visitor to the Park since I was a small boy and I was always excited to visit Ferry Meadows, cycling there from Farcet. I always had a keen interest in wildlife and was fascinated with all the stuffed birds, animals and fish (most likely just plastic fish though!) that were on display in the Visitor Centre, the place was always full with people who obviously had similar interests as myself. There used to be a family of foxes on display and the layout was very well done so you could see a family of badgers burrowed underneath in their sett. There used to be a small wooden box in front of this display and I seem to recall it had a warning on the box and inside was a human foot (again plastic I hope!) with a broken glass bottle sticking into it, quite grotesquely highlighting the need to put your litter in a bin!

This was over 30 years ago and litter continues to be a massive problem within the Park, and with growing visitor numbers it only seems to be getting worse. We do appreciate that 99% of visitors are absolutely brilliant at binning their litter, but it only takes that 1% of people who drop and leave their rubbish which makes our jobs so much harder and causes a huge impact on the wildlife found in the Park.

After 8 years of working at Nene Park Trust, I still massively enjoy it and hope I’m here for many more years to come.