Back to News

Our longest serving staff member retires after 35 years

23 Dec 2020

Jean Moore, our longest serving staff member retires after 35 wonderful years

Jean Moore first started working here, on the Pensthorpe Estate, approximately 35 years ago, before it became the nature reserve that we are familiar with today.

Back then it used to be a fruit farm and Jean recalls with a chuckle, her short journey to work every day: “I used to hop over the fence and into the field, to pick strawberries and raspberries at 5am in the morning when the morning dew was still about.” This was whilst she was juggling work with being a mum to her two boys, in between the daily school run.

A few years later Jean started working for Bill Makins, the original founder of the nature reserve. Her husband, Alan, worked on the land with Bill Makins and her love for the local area and having her family here meant it felt like a natural choice for her to work close to home.

“I also worked in the café when I first started and helped out in the gardens over the years.” Jean continues “I helped with the original planting in the Wave Garden, with landscape designer Julie Toll and the Head Gardener at the time. I also helped out with keeping the Millennium Garden tidy, alongside my cleaning duties.”


Jean Moore 


During her time here Jean has been part of some memorable moments in the history of the site. She was here all the way through the Springwatch years (2008 – 2010); she was invited to Buckingham Palace for a garden party in May 2013 and she met the late, great Botanist and television presenter, David Bellamy OBE, as well as HRH The Duke of Edinburgh when the nature reserve was officially opened in July 1988. She fondly recalls that all the famous faces she came across in her years working here at Pensthorpe were a delight to meet. Jean has also struck up some great friendships over the years, with visitors who she met whilst working in the gardens and who she keeps in touch with today.

Jean’s love of the beautiful landscape, colourful gardens and nature and wildlife kept her happy and satisfied with her work for many years. “Once the visitors have gone and you are alone, it’s just a magical place to be”.

Now, in her retirement, Jean plans to develop her sewing and quilt making skills, which she enjoyed taking part in at quilting workshops held at Pensthorpe, as well as baking. “I’ve done more sewing than I’ve ever done. My daughter in-law is a teacher, so I have made over 150 themed face masks, including Christmas-themed, for her school. I’ve also been making cushions, quilts and coasters, as Christmas gifts, so I’ve been keeping very busy!”.

Bill and Deb Jordan, owners of Pensthorpe Natural Park, and the rest of the team have gifted Jean with a beautiful garden bench, which she will enjoy with her husband Alan, so they can sit in their own garden and remember Pensthorpe fondly for years to come.



Jean Moore with owners Deb and Bill Jordan 


Deb Jordan comments “Since our arrival 18 years ago, Jean has been a very loyal, friendly, and hard-working member of the Pensthorpe team. Supporting us with the Millennium Garden replanting and weeding, as well as many other unusual tasks that tend to come your way working on a Nature Reserve! She has been a great inspiration to us all here and will be greatly missed.”