Following on from Mick's Introduction to his life and works, I now add my own;
My name is Tom Wood and I am currently employed as the National Trust Warden for the Teign valley properties on the north east edge of Dartmoor (the nicest bit).
I grew up in rural Somerset on a large dairy farm owned by my father and his two brothers, who saw the changes in farming and sold the business in 1992.
We moved to Devon to a lovely place near Tiverton which lies in the heart of a small NT propety called Buzzards which is managed by the Wardens of Killerton estate. I spent most of the rest of my childhood playing in rivers, climbing trees, building dens and generally getting frequently muddy.
I was lucky enough to go to Blundells school in Tiverton, and left not really knowing what I wanted to do but knowing I wanted to be outdoors, and not bored. A gap year followed during which I went sailing on the Tall ships and started working for a local farm producing organic beef from red devon cows, a fantastic place which had not changed in the last 100yrs or so.
And so I started at Southampton University and a degree in Environmental Science, and left that 3 years later even more sure that I did not want to work in an office but still not sure how to achieve it. One day my Mum arrived back to say that she had just met a National Trust warden in the woods and he had suggested I try looking in the Countryside Jobs Service. That was how I started as a volunteer for the National Trust in north Cornwall, looking after the coast between Boscastle and Morwenstow. From there followed my first paid job for the NT at a small property called Ormesby Hall in north Yorkshire, and then to Buttermere in the Lake District.
I enjoyed my time in the north, made many good friends and learned many new things, and worked in some beautiful areas but it never felt truly like home, so when I saw an advert in spring 2007 to work in the Teign valley adjacent to castle Drogo (which vies with Cragside as my favourite NT property) I applied and managed to appear sane enough on the interview to get the job.
So here I am, working in one of the most stunning (probably most stunning) parts of Devon and loving every minute.