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12 Maidstone Borough Council


Eva Girling has arguably the best office location of all Maidstone council staff. Eva is Park Ranger at Cobtree Manor Park and is the first point of contact for visitors. She oversees the day-to-day operation of the park and is there next to the popular cafe. Some facts about Cobtree Manor Park:


- There is free parking, a cafeteria, and nine brand new pieces of children’s play equipment.


- The park will see a major revamp this year, with a massive zoo themed play area.


- The park is part of the Cobtree Estate owned by Cobtree Charity Trust Ltd and managed under a long-term lease by Maidstone Borough Council.


- It is 54 acres (21.5 hectares) and includes the site of the former Maidstone zoo.


- Designed in the late 1970s by the Hilliers of Winchester (of the Hillier Arboretum fame), Cobtree


was to become a “parkland garden” or “another Kew Gardens”.


- Most of the park is now an arboretum in its own right with about 120 species of trees and another 120 species of shrubs.


- Next to the arboretum, there is lovely area of woodland which has a beautiful display of bluebells in spring.


- In May the mysterious Ghost Tree appears for a few weeks.


- The park is full of history, from ancient field boundaries to the 19th century sheep wash and 1930s elephant house.


How did you get into your job?


Three years ago I replied to an ad in a trade magazine and went through the usual selection process. I had worked for Maidstone council before; it was a three and a half year long contract to help upgrade several parks in Maidstone. I got to know Cobtree then and fell in love with it!


What do you like about your job? I love being outdoors and plants have been my passion


Borough Update


This is your council newsletter, produced up to four times a year in the Downs Mail newspaper. It is written, edited and designed by the council's communications team, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ. Email: pr@maidstone.gov.uk. Your comments and suggestions are


always welcome. It is typeset by AW design and printed by Newbury News. If you are visually impaired and would like the newsletter text in large print, please call us on 01622 602807, and we will be happy to send you a copy.


Eva’s job includes


- Maintenance work - pruning trees and shrubs, strimming long grass and nettles.


- Working with volunteers who lend a helping hand in exchange for some healthy exercise and a dose of job satisfaction.


- Organising guided walks and nature- related events for adults and children as the park has a lot to offer to those who enjoy learning new things.


- Advising the council on the best ways to enhance the park and make it a well- known family destination.


since I was a child. At Cobtree I am surrounded by wonderful trees, shrubs and wild nature, which it is my job to control – but within reason. After all, even a patch of humble nettles can be beautiful! And it keeps a lot of insects happy. In my job, the best reward is hearing praise from those who appreciate my efforts.


What does good customer service mean to you?


I am here to help create an environment where our visitors can relax safely and spend an enjoyable hour or two playing, chatting, learning – and experiencing the beauty of the natural world first hand!


Workingfor you


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What’s On! To find out what’s on in Maidstone Borough visit www.visitmaidstone.com


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