Meet Twywell’s new Ranger Mark and his Deputy Ranger Otto

Posted 23rd October 2022

Park Ranger Mark Pomfrett has swapped his suit for wellies, taking on a new role as part time ranger of Northamptonshire’s Twywell Hills and Dales.

The 55-year-old from Kettering, who travelled all around the world when he worked as a Land Surveyor in the Army (Royal Engineers) and more recently works in telecommunications, wanted a change in career and is now employed part time by Groundwork Northamptonshire to help manage this popular green space on the southern edge of Rockingham Forest.

Mark, whose deputy ranger Otto, a Newfiepoo dog, joins him on the job, is responsible for opening and closing the site, for security and maintenance, looking after the cattle. He checks that the area is safe and ensures that user groups gain the best possible benefit from the environment and is the main contact for the public.

Mark said: “I absolutely love Twywell and have been coming here for years with my family and dogs. This is a dream job for me and I’m already loving my new routine, a far cry from the high intensity of the telecommunications world. Get in touch if you have any issues or suggestions and do come along and say hi and meet my deputy, Otto.  I will be introducing a suggestions box on site and welcome everyone’s thoughts and feelings about this much-loved area.”

Twywell Hills and Dales attracts hundreds of visitors every week and is recognised as the best place for butterflies in Northamptonshire. It is also a popular walking site for the local community, managed by Groundwork Northamptonshire in partnership with The Land Trust.

Significant improvements have been made over the last couple of years to improve the site’s habitat and biodiversity and open up the site for the more adventurous visitors. Recent additions have included a new deck and pontoon area and a heritage fruit orchard, which was planted as part of the Jubilee celebrations in honour our late Queen Elizabeth 2.

Over the coming months the orchard will be expanded, and visitors can soon expect to see new signposting and marked routes.

Nathan Wearn-Hutter, Green Projects Manager & Carbon Lead of Groundwork Northamptonshire, said: “We will also be implementing a new waste system which will recycle up to 90 per cent of our site’s regular waste. We also have a host of pop-up events planned for next year, including a charity fun run in aid of our Green Patch community garden in Kettering, orienteering, bat hunting, Great Crested Newt hunting, and pond dipping. An exciting future.”