Lucy joins trust team

THE latest addition to the East Devon National Trust team is looking forward to getting the community involved.

Lucy Morton, from Musbury, joined the team, based in Branscombe, as a community ranger last week. Her primary tasks will be educating people about and promoting the trust’s work; working with schools and recruiting volunteers.

She said: “So much of the trust’s work is to do with the countryside and management of the countryside. My role is to tell people what we do and why we do it.”

The 43-year-old worked previously for the trust between 1995 and 2003 as a warden on Dartmoor and head warden on Exmoor. Before that, she did a year’s voluntary work for Devon Wildlife Trust.

Her willingness to get people interested in the countryside was honed by a stint as community officer at Woodland Education Centre, in Offwell, near Honiton.

“I was working with volunteers, with a view to getting more voluntary engagement at the centre,” she said.

When the funding ran out for that post, she was keen to continue along that path, so she is “delighted” to be back with the National Trust.

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Monday saw her tour the patch, which includes trust properties in Branscombe and Exmouth, taking in the Weston Platts, a 200-year-old cliffside farming site.

“We saw the original barns the farmers used to use, it was fascinating,” said Lucy.

Having originally studied hotel and catering management, Lucy later went back to college in Bournemouth to study conservation.

Her career has also included a six-month stint at Cockington Country Park, near Torquay, which included leading guided walks and organising events such as apple days. She said: “It was there that I realised I liked working with people, rather than just the practical work. That’s why I went for this post, because I knew it was going to involve people.”

Her husband, John Bell, is trying to set up a woodland cooperative, working with private woodland owners, which she is hoping to work with him on.

East Devon’s head ranger Stuart Britton welcomed Lucy on board. “I’m really happy to have Lucy as part of the team. It’s nice to have a full complement of staff, we can really start to move forward.”