A Day in the Life: Edd Sopp
Hi my name is Edward Sopp and I am one of the Assistant Rangers at AONB. I am originally from West Sussex in England and moved to Mold in 2018. I am based out of Loggerheads Country Park near Mold and cover the Clwydian Range from Prestatyn in the north to Llandegla in the south.
As Assistant Ranger my job is extremely varied and covers everything from daily checks of our most popular sites such as Moel Famau to working with volunteers and running public events. A lot of my time is spent out and about around the AONB looking after our sites by doing habitat management, public engagement, litter picking etc. Twice a week we have volunteer days which either myself or one of my colleagues run. These are based at our bigger more popular sites around the AONB. During the winter months most of the volunteer tasks are habitat management based, whether this is coppicing at Loggerheads Country Park or clearing small trees and shrubs from our heathland sites. During the summer months the tasks become a bit more varied and range from footpath maintenance and way marking to drystone walling and other traditional skills such as lime mortaring and charcoal making. Another big part of my job is public engagement, whether that be day to day out on site or at organised events such as guided walks or after school summer activities. One of my favourite guided walks to lead is looking for nightjars on Moel Famau. I also help carry out ecological surveys for things like butterflies, black grouse and great crested newts.
My day at work
It is quite hard to describe a typical day on the job as it is so varied but I will have a go.
Most days start with a quick litter pick around Loggerheads tea gardens and car park followed by a check of Moel Famau and Coed Moel Famau. The rest of the day depends on the season, in the winter it is typically habitat management such as scrub clearing, coppicing or heather burning. In the summer it could be anything from way marking and drystone walling to surveying. We have a small herd of Carneddau Ponies which graze some of our sites and they have to be checked every day which is always fun. Luckily they come when called so finding them is never too hard. Hopefully that has given a flavour of what an average day can entail.
Is there a down side?
There isn’t much I don’t look forward to but one of my least favourite jobs is clearing up litter on our sites. Whether it is in the car parks or on top of Moel Famau there is nothing more disheartening than having to clear up after people that don’t take their rubbish away with them, be it a plastic bottle, crisp packets or dog poo bags.
What I love
There is so much that I love about my job from working outside most of the time to the people that I meet along the way. I have to say that the most satisfying thing is finishing a task and looking back at what you have achieved and how much of a positive impact you have had. It is always nice when people who are out enjoying the AONB tell us how great the sites look and how much they appreciate the hard work that we all put into keeping the AONB looking its best.
My favourite site
My favourite site is Moel Findeg as it is always so peaceful and there is a stunning view of Moel Famau.
My favourite view
My favourite view has to be the 360 degree panoramic view from the top of Moel Famau.