So what is a Stakhanovite? Well the word came about because of a man called Alexei Stakhanov who was a Russian miner to find out more see this link.
Paul Martin is definitely a Stakhanovite- hardworking and committed to the National Trust and especially to Wimpole Estate. He started working here as a work experience volunteer nearly six years ago while he was at college studying countryside management. After the course he then did three years with us as a seasonal forester, undertaking a variety of work, and finally had a full-time two-year contract which was extended to help with our enormous workload (which by then included the additional HLS work including the massive tree planting programme in the Park and the forestry work as well as taking his part in visitor engagement activities).
Tom Swinburn came from Hatfield Forest, another National Trust property, where he had volunteered for many years and then obtained a short-term contract for a year; however he then decided to take on the new Folly Ranger post at Wimpole which was another short-term contract. With a variety of tasks concerning the Folly he took to the hard work well and between us (the forestry/ranger team) we saved the estate a fortune by not outsourcing the landscaping and felling contracts. Not only that, there was the Folly visitor engagement work too in which he helped to organise three big events during the summer.
Paul has always wanted to stay at Wimpole but unfortunately his contract was coming to an end and so it was with Tom’s contract. With no sight of any new or extended positions at Wimpole both men had to start applying for other jobs and I’m very pleased to say that they have both got jobs locally with the Mercier Tree Surgery company (oddly that is where Dan the Wimpole Premises Ranger went when his contract ended). They will both be sorely missed and, with the current workload, I do wonder how the volunteers and I myself will fare.
I wish the two of them all the best of luck for 2016 and their new jobs which start on the 4th January 2016. Thank you for all your blood, sweat and tears ‘cos I wouldn’t have been able to do the work without you… enjoy the photographs 🙂