Lihou warden is moving on
THE company car is a tractor and a knowledge of gull personalities would be useful for anyone looking to take on a unique and varied job as the Lihou Charitable Trust’s warden.
Richard Curtis, 50, took on the newly-created job 13 years ago, but feels now is the right time to move on.
‘Emma [my wife] feels now is the right time for a new adventure,’ he said.
‘The children have left or are leaving for university, so now seemed like a new time to try something different. It will be good for the trust – a change of blood and fresh ideas.’
The trust was formed in 2005, after the States agreed to give the newly-formed organisation a 21-year lease on the house.
Mr Curtis was one of the trust founders and since then his life has centred around looking after the house and its occupants.
He estimates he has made the trip across the causeway more than 7,000 times, but said each time it still looks different.
But now he and his wife are looking to take on a gite business in France.
He plans to leave in September 2019. But first he wants to make sure the warden job is in safe hands.
While it has not been advertised yet, three people have already shown an interest.
Mr Curtis said it was important that a thorough interview process was carried out, so the right person was found to take on the job long term.
‘We want to find someone that will really want the job,’ he said.
‘We need to find the right person. Someone who wants to work with children, who can proactively work by themselves and who likes driving a tractor as their company car.’
Mr Curtis said knowledge about the environment and nature was useful, but it was more important that a successful candidate be enthusiastic to learn.
He said he had learned so much about the island and its flora and fauna.
When taking school groups around, he liked to get them close to the animals and, because of all his experience, he has got to know all the gulls that roost on the island.
This means he knows which gulls will be happy to let young people get close and see the chicks and eggs.
The house hosts hundreds of school children each year, while families, groups of friends and organisations often rent it over the summer.
It is hoped that a new warden will be appointed by Easter next year, so they can get support for their first season.
n Anyone interested should call Mr Curtis on 07781 120421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.