Quantock Hills Blog

Farewell from Georgie

- Comms Officer Georgie Grant is leaving us for pastures new

Katy Coate

Posted by Katy Coate on 30 March 2017

Farewell from Georgie It’s my last day working for the Quantock Hills AONB Service today, after 12 years here! I have joked that it feels like leaving home (I’m not joking). In truth the Quantocks will always feel like my home and have an enormous part of my heart.

I suspect I will always take hot chocolate and picnics to Staple Plain, and crave the pine filled scents of Great Wood, and bring visitors to Crowcombe Park Gate to admire the open heathland. There are some places where you feel you belong, and for me it is the Quantock Hills.

I have of course learnt a lot of Very Important Things whilst working here. But I thought I might share with you some of my most favourite factoids I picked up along the way. For example did you know that:

• During the rutting season stags will wee in boggy pits and wallow in the muddy wee mix, to get all the pheromones onto their fur.  A kind of red deer ‘Lynx effect’

• Bat poo will crumble in your fingers, whereas rodent’s poo will smear

• You can often identify a badger skull because the jaw bone will likely be still fixed to the head - badger’s jaws are that strong

• A common pipistrelle bat weighs the same as a £1 coin but will eat around three thousand insects a night

• A section of the Beetles film Hard Day’s Night was filmed at Crowcombe Heathfield station

• Romantic Poets ST Coleridge, William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy were in their early-mid twenties when they came to live in the Quantock Hills and began the English Literary Romantic Movement by writing the Lyrical Ballads.  They were young, radical and revolutionary.  Not a bit the stuffy academics you learn about in school

• Andrew Crosse the ‘Thunder and Lighting Man’ at Fyne Court in Broomfield was so called because of his early pioneering experiments into electricity. Following a curious incident in his experiments which he mentioned to friends, local papers picked up the story in which they quoted him as saying he ‘had created life’. He never said this but was from then on dismissed by the scientific establishment

• Byron’s daughter, Ada Lovelace the first computer programmer stayed for a time at Fyne Court (and reputedly had an affair with Andrew Crosse’s son.)

• Quantock adders are smaller than average and no one really knows why

I will miss long debates in the office about which are better, bats or butterflies.  I will miss lunchtime dog walks around Fyne Court which double up as team meetings. I will miss learning fascinating things about conservation daily. I will miss the wonderful volunteers. I will miss the incredible, dedicated, hardworking and wonderful team that is the Quantock Hills AONB Service.

But then, the truth is those things will always be a part of my life, because I wouldn’t want them ever not to be.  You can take the girl out of the Quantocks, but you can never take the Quantocks out of the girl.  I’ll be back for cake and more factoids as soon as I can.

Love, Georgie x

Comments in chronological order (Total 3 comments)

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  • No avatar available
    Chris Edwards

    30 Mar 17

    Thank you so much for all your work and joyful team spirit over the last 12 years Georgie - we are really really going to miss you. We are also very proud of you moving on to give your time fully to the wonderful Community Interest Company in Watchet that is #The Onion Collective.

  • No avatar available
    Jason Wopling

    01 Apr 17

    George, it must be a very sad time for you, leaving such a lovely place. It makes me wonder why you would ever want to leave such an idealic job but you must have your reasons. Thanks for your gems of information I found them fascinating to read, I can’t believe the Pipistrelle bat only weighs the same as a £1 coin. I would love to find out more of your interesting facts, you must have picked up lots in your time there. Good luck in your future pursuits and thanks for the interesting read, Jason.

  • No avatar available
    Roger habgood

    12 May 17

    I wish you luck in your new endeavours.
    I look forward to taking the girl out on the Quantocks for cake and a cuppa.
    Your smile, inquisitive nature and general positivity will be missed by all.
    The hills are wonderful and wonderful people bring them to life.
    Ta Muchly for being one of those people.
    Love, Roger.
    Volunteer, factoid collector and fellow Quantock devotee

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