WHP team member Yendle Barwise

Yendle has come to us from the University of Surrey (where he is also completing his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering) and has an MSc in Conservation and Land Management from Bangor University. He has previously worked as a craftsperson for the Forestry Commission in Lincolnshire, as a community forester in Merseyside, and as a ranger in North Wales, where he comes from.

Working with our Environment & Sustainability Steering Group, with Matt and all our colleagues, Yendle’s role is to develop a land management plan for the estate and facilitate the trust’s work towards net zero by 2030. This will include monitoring and supporting biodiversity, establishing new woodland, bringing existing woodland into formal management, creating a net zero roadmap, and taking forward related action on behalf of the trust, such as our sustainable energy and heating strategy. We caught up with Yendle to get to know him better. 

Q- What was your first visit here like?

A- I had moved down to East Surrey from North Wales in recent years, and I had never seen Ghosts (a faux pas that I have since rectified), so I’d never heard about West Horsley Place until I saw the advertisement for my role. When I visited for my interview, the charm and intrigue of the house and estate meant that any interview-related nerves were soon quelled by sincere fascination. Restricted access to the house due to filming only served to fuel this fascination, and after a tour of the beautiful gardens and grounds by Estate and Gardens Manager, Matt, I was hooked.

ancient lollesworth woodsQ- What made you want to join the team?

A- I was, and still am, excited by the opportunity to make positive environmental change across such a unique and historically significant area of land. To me, it feels like a hidden gem, or a secret garden, and I’m privileged to be able to influence how the estate and its biodiversity will be managed and protected into the future. I was also given the chance to meet nearly half of the team at my interview on site, and I wanted to be a member of this friendly community of passionate custodians.

 Q- What is your favourite part of the estate?

A- My favourite part of the estate is Lollesworth Woods. It’s a relatively undisturbed (at least, in recent decades) area of ancient semi-natural woodland, with features including the remains of tiered fishponds, reclaimed by the woods, and carpets of bluebells and early-purple orchids. I can’t wait to see how it changes through the seasons.                                                                                                                                              A- What talent would you most like to possess?

A- I wish I had a good memory. In fact, I wish I had an average memory!

Q- What's your favourite room at West Horsley Place? 

A- My favourite room is the library. I sometimes envy our trained volunteers that explore the old books and record any inscriptions or hidden items before refurbishing the covers. It must be a painstaking task, but very exciting at times.                                                       

Q- In another life, who would you have been? 

A- I always wanted to be rock star, and I still half-hope that a band like The Rolling Stones will call me up out of the blue and ask for my help on their next tour (if you’re reading this, Mick, I’m also available via [email protected]). However, in a very slightly more realistic alternative reality, I’d probably be a farmer. My dad is from a farming background, and I love being outside, working with nature.