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13 November 2014

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You are in: Dorset > Nature > Autumnwatch > A life on Brownsea

Chris Thaine, Brownsea Island Reserve Manager, DWT

Chris Thaine, Brownsea's Reserve Manager

A life on Brownsea

He's Brownsea Island's Reserve Manager for the Dorset Wildlife Trust, but Chris Thain's role is much more than a nine to five job - it's a way of life.

Chris Thain has been the Reserve Manager on Brownsea Island for eight years.

Employed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chris's job is an all-encompassing role where no two days are the same.

His main duties are to look after the wildlife and to work with the volunteers on the island.

Chris finds Brownsea's lagoon a calming place to spend time

Brownsea Island's lagoon

He says: "Brownsea is really a very prestigious affair. It's one of the richest-in-wildlife nature reserves on the south coast."

Chris lives on the island, in a large house known as The Villa. It was once the island's vicarage (although a vicar has never lived there), and the house is also used as accommodation for residential volunteers, as well as a home for two other Trust staff.

Managing the house and its guests can be a significant part of the job too, says Chris, and volunteers play a critical role in the running and upkeep of the island.

All over the UK

Chris was born in Hampshire and grew up in Essex, but it wasn't until his time at university in Sheffield that his interest in wildlife started to appear when he became interested in birdwatching.

And so began a career working with nature, and it's been one that's taken him across the UK from Orkney to Kent, and even, for a time in 1985, to Brownsea Island, when he was the assistant to the person who held the job that Chris has now.

From that time, Chris describes Brownsea as his favourite little bolt hole and after another 18 years working for various other Wildlife Trusts, he returned to Brownsea - and he can't ever imagine himself leaving.

He says: "I can't see myself ever moving on from here, it's such a fantastic place. Where do you go after Brownsea?"

last updated: 06/04/2009 at 11:56
created: 23/10/2008

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