TV presenter writes book about 'unique' life of Norfolk wildlife ranger
- Credit: The History Press
A wildlife TV presenter has written a book about the battles and the privilege of protecting a world-renowned nature reserve on the Norfolk coast.
Ajay Tegala, known for his appearances on Springwatch and Celebrity Eggheads, worked as a National Trust ranger at Blakeney Point for seven years in his 20s.
"I'd always dreamed of writing a book on my experiences," he said. "And I started writing it when I had time during the lockdown and it flowed from there."
The book, called 'The Unique Life of a Ranger: Seasons of Change on Blakeney Point', contains 50 illustrations of scenery and wildlife as well as insights into life 'behind the scenes' at the first coastal nature reserve in the National Trust's care, which has been a bird sanctuary for 121 years and is now home to England's largest grey seal colony.
Mr Tegala lived on the Point with two other rangers during the summer months.
"We were at the end of a three-mile shingle spit in a lifeboat shed, protecting the birds. It was a rickety old building, the wind blowing, raindrops coming from the ceiling," he said.
He grew up in Lincolnshire and has "fond memories" of visiting the Norfolk coast with his family.
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At the age of 15, he decided to become a conservationist and wildlife ranger after a week's work experience with the National Trust.
He studied countryside management at university and volunteered as an assistant warden on the Norfolk coast at Blakeney Point.
After graduating, he became the full-time ranger for the National Trust at the Point, protecting the shorebirds and seals.
The book follows a three-part structure, the first exploring Mr Tegala's placement year at Blakeney. The second describes living on the point for six months, while the final section is a survey of various events over the seven years he spent there including the tidal surge of 2013 which battered Norfolk's coastline causing the worst damage since the 1953 floods.
'The Unique Life of a Ranger', published by The History Press, will be launched with a special event at Morston Quay at 6.30pm on Thursday (August 4) when there will be a guided walk.