Paul Thompson: The green-thumbed gardener who ‘clicks’ with campus wildlife celebrates 35 years at the University of Warwick
Paul Thompson, the friendly gardener with a green thumb and a camera, has been making Warwick a beautiful, wildlife-friendly place for 35 years. Whether he's raving about autumn, sharing candid critter pics, or reminiscing about Warwick's evolution, one thing's for sure: Paul's passion for his job is unwavering.
Paul has an outdoorsy soul, and when asked why he’s spent over three decades at the University of Warwick, he answered simply “I love my job. I just love working outdoors. Autumn and Winter are my favourite, the colours are the best and I love working in the snow”.
Referring to himself as a ‘learner’, Paul’s amateur wildlife photography has caught the attention of well-known outlets like BBC’s Countryfile, as well as nature TV personalities including Chris Packham.
“I went whale watching with Chris Packham” Paul explained, “He followed me on Twitter for my photos and liked the ones of the whales”.
Paul's seen Warwick change more times than he's changed his gardening gloves. The buildings, the facilities, everything – it's all evolved.
With a campus of over 290 hectares – that’s around 400 football pitches - Paul has his work cut out keeping it all beautiful. The green spaces on the University of Warwick’s campus are vital to the well-being of staff, students, and other campus visitors.
Dr Adriano Reis e Lameira, Department of Psychology, said: "Green spaces have been proven to be related to well-being. People exposed to green spaces predictably report higher scores of happiness and well-being than others after correcting for demographic and socio-economic variation between subjects.
“The lux green spaces offered by the Warwick Campus inevitably factor into the experience of students and staff, living, learning and working at the University of Warwick."
Some of Paul’s best pictures will be used as part of the University of Warwick’s ‘Autumn Watch’ campaign, starting in the first week of October.
The campaign encourages staff, students and other members of the Warwick community to keep their eyes peeled for wildlife on campus this Autumn.
Paul’s advice for wildlife photography is “Get your camera, or your mobile phone with a camera, keep it with you. You can take photos of butterflies, birds, and foxes when it's snowing and cold, carry your camera with you so you’re always ready.”
“I’ve been waiting to see a Kingfisher again for five years, but when you see something it’s worth it”.
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