The development of Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park has taken a lot of time, dedication and work to create the beautiful woodland that you see now, and maintaining it is a daily task. We are lucky to have a dedicated and passionate Senior Park Warden whose keen interest in the environment is reflected in his day to day work at the park. We are proud to have Matthew within our team and to help you understand how important his role at the park is, we have asked Matthew to give us a run down on his background and day to day activities. Take it away Matthew….
I have always had a very keen interest in the natural environment, which has developed into a lifelong passion since my early years of exploring our local wood and countryside. Inspirational figures such as Sir David Attenborough, David Bellamy, Arthur C Clarke and Sir Patrick Moore played a huge role in focusing my attention towards this and beginning a life long journey of expanding my knowledge.
Depending on the time of year, certain tasks for park management can vary and often, funerals dictate most of my schedule, however, here is a sneak peek into my day to day role as Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park’ Senior Park Warden:
I open up the gates to the park – this is a special part of my day as being the first person in means I often see wildlife around such as deer and our resident barn owl.
Time to open the main buildings – I always perform a quick security check to make sure everything is accounted for as well as checking that all facilities are clean and operational.
Once the main buildings are checked, a quick walk around the park is essential for Health and Safety checks – I also note points of interest along the route for example, the first bluebells, fungi nesting birds and snakes.
Next it’s important that I make sure that all plots for the following day are fully prepared.
Following on from my daily checks and planning, my day is mostly dictated by appointments that are scheduled with families. These appointments take precedent over maintaining the park as we pride ourselves on providing the best service we can, having the philosophy that we treat people as part of our family and how we would like to be cared for.
If my appointment schedule is smaller, I will busy myself with maintaining the park where it is needed. Coppicing, grass cutting, placing bird boxes, protecting and planting, tree surgery, weed control, habitat creation and general vigilance in greeting and chatting to visitors. If I am taken away from general duties, I will always do my best to encourage these visitors to wander around the park and take in all we have to offer. I will also split this time with office work.
Machinery and equipment maintenance is a key part of my job as without the correct tools, I can’t fulfil the parks needs to the best of my ability. I will often take this time to tidy and clean the tools to make sure everything is in working order, flagging any problems I find.
Ah, paperwork – not my first love by any means but it gives me satisfaction to see all the dots joined and it’s an essential part of effective daily running of the park. I also take this time to have a well-deserved cuppa and touch base with the team.
Home time for me – but the park is open from dawn until dusk to visitors – just head to the entrance by the old church for access.
I can honestly say that I feel totally at peace with my work, it is a great honour and privilege. I love all aspects of my role here, the conservation work coupled with the reality of helping people and guiding them through the funeral process. This of course doesn’t end there, I often see families regularly, hopefully helping them on their journey through bereavement.