Diary of a Warden – Part 4: Golden treasure
25th July – Longing for a deliciously cool, air-conditioned office seems to be the order of the day. As the weather gets ever hotter and the school holiday period begins; bringing with it potential for youthful mischief, the job of a warden is no picnic, as some might think. I’m finding the heat on the heathland almost unbearable by the time it reaches mid-morning and although there are still engagement opportunities, I’m not sure people want to engage with me; a sweaty person in uniform.
Usually, I’m in my element outdoors – probably stems from a family background in farming – but at the moment I’m struggling, not just physically but emotionally. Being out in the elements, experiencing the full force of nature, really does make you face a lot of questions. The biggest question on my mind at the moment, is how animals, plants and humans will cope if this relentless hot, dry weather continues. Bring on the rain, I say.
Fortunately, there is a diversion to this emotional turmoil. A special event called ‘Heath Week 2018’. And I’m preparing for it, which helps to keep the mind focussed. Those of you who’ve bumped into a warden in the last few weeks, will be aware of this event, I’m sure. I’ve no doubt my colleagues have been foisting our posters upon you! This week-long event will celebrate all things wonderful about, well, heathland (funnily enough); and I’m particularly excited to be co-hosting a pop-up family fun ‘hub’ at Wildmoor Heath on Friday 3rd August. One of the activities will be a treasure hunt. Yippee! I can’t wait to get stuck into this event with my colleague, Ruth. This means that I get to indulge in one of my favourite things; engaging with kids. Treasure hunt participants have to find eight golden letters on a heathland trail, which they can then return to us in exchange for a goody bag. If there’s one thing I love, it’s dishing out prizes to little smiling faces. That’s treasure!
By the way, a woman jogged past me in the full heat of the mid-day sun. Crikey, rather her than me.
For more details of Trudi’s event, and many more fun things happening across Heath Week, visit our Heath Week listings here.