THE WILDFOWL AND WETLANDS TRUST, WELNEY, NORFOLK
Name Carl Mitchell
When did you become a manager? In 1997, when I moved from our headquarters.
I had spent 13 years as a scientist studying birds and this enabled me to help manage their habitat.
What does management mean to you? Wearing lots of different hats. The management of a reserve involves budgets, land and staff. My tasks range from writing and implementing habitat management plans through to helping teach a class of eight year olds about pond creatures.
The 1,000-acre reserve is internationally important for wild swans, ducks, wading birds and plants as well as being an important area for invertebrates.
I must ensure that the wetland is managed in a sensitive way to conserve them all.
I have a team of six wardens and my role is to support them and set them tasks. The operating budget is modest and I need to ensure that the wardens get the right tools for the job. The reserve welcomes more than 35,000 visitors a year and I aim to make sure that every visitor enjoys their stay and leaves with a lasting impression of the wonder and fragility of nature.
What do you love/hate about it? I wouldn't say I dislike anything. But I love being woken by wild swans in the winter and I love it when visitors leave thrilled - it makes the hassle worthwhile.