Gloucestershire

In pictures: Cotswold estate ranger shares his 'heaven'

Mike Robinson has a job that many across the world would envy. Now after almost four decades embedded in the National Trust's Sherborne Estate, where he works as a ranger, he is sharing his love of the Cotswold corner he calls "heaven".

Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption Mr Robinson surveys and manages more than 4,000 acres of stunning countryside, which includes Sherborne village, Sherborne House and the 17th Century Lodge Park.
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption "I take photos to capture the beauty of these scenes in front of me; the colour, the shapes and how they all interact with each other, but also to record the moment so that I can visit it again and again," he said. (Picture: Sherborne House)
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption Since 1978 Mr Robinson has worked on the estate near Northleach, nestled around the A40 midway between Cheltenham and Oxford. He began his estate career as a woodsman and 10 years later became a warden when the Trust took over management of the land.
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption "This new opportunity meant that I could get involved with my passion for nature conservation. Woodlands are now being managed, hedgerows and habitat corridors are planted to link areas together and I was able to help with the re-instatement of water meadows. I'm in heaven!" he said.
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption The land is typical of the Cotswolds with wide open rolling hills, hidden valleys, old parklands and the village of Sherborne nestling beside a chalk stream. The estate also includes a floodplain valley with streams, rivers and ancient woodland. "It is fantastic," said Mr Robinson.
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption His passion for pictures was inherited from his grandfather Harold, who developed the black and white family photos he had taken using a box brownie and Kodak camera. As a teenager Mr Robinson turned his family home's loft into a dark room to develop his own black and white images, mainly of wildlife and particularly birds.
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption Lodge Park (pictured) is a 17th Century deer-coursing grandstand which sits at the heart of the estate. Emily Slark, who works there, described Mr Robinson's photos as a "visual autobiography of his personal life and work on the estate".
Image copyright Mike Robinson/National Trust
Image caption He said: "I never really thought about displaying my pictures to the public. For me it's just a pleasure to show people some of the gems of Sherborne and its wildlife across the seasons." The exhibition runs over three weekends until 31 August, including bank holiday Monday. (Picture: A may bug)

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