Greg Higby, Park Manager

Doing this job, I love it.

I love being out there with the Park visitors. It’s one of the best jobs anyone could have, but some days can be more than a little interesting and certainly very testing!  

The job can entail everything from being a parking assistant (or should I say the dreaded words:  'traffic warden'!) to educating children about the environment and wildlife in the park. Sadly on one occasion that did not go so well! I put out a mammal trap in the morning ready for a school group. When I got to the mammal trap to do my talk with the school children, I realised the mouse inside had gone to mouse heaven. I then had to tell a little white lie to the children: I told them the mouse was sleeping and they had to be quiet so as not to wake it! I do remember one very observant child kept saying it was dead and I was a murderer and should be reported to the police. I just changed the subject to gaming and football and moved on...!

Sometimes I’m a garage mechanic. Luckily this is only changing flat tyres or loaning a set of jump leads for a flat car battery. Believe me, you would not want me fixing your car! Then there is the odd incident involving company vehicles...I do remember an occasion where a Duty Ranger had seriously underestimated the depth of some flood water at Thorpe Meadows. When we arrived to help the Ranger, he was sitting on the roof of the vehicle. The flood water was so deep it had filled the inside of the car!

Then there are my least favourite roles... being a stand in police officer for traffic control, or search and rescue for children - or even adults and a dog on the odd occasion!

Then there is the duty of a paramedic. I remember on my first ever weekend on duty, I had to deal with a heart attack and a broken ankle on the same day! Thankfully both visitors made a full recovery and the person who had the heart attack did come back and see me to say thank you. It’s these moments which are the most rewarding. I do remember my wife asking me how my first day on duty had been. I just replied that the heart attack patient was still alive and the person with the broken ankle doing the penguin impression, with their leg facing the wrong way, will make a full recovery! My wife just looked at me as if to say, "Are you joking?"

One thing I have learnt doing this job for the last twenty years is that 99% of our Park visitors are friendly and a total joy to help; but with the remaining 1%, you do need the skin of a rhinoceros!