Mark Chesman – head of estates and projects, Yorkshire Sculpture Park: There are seven of us on the estates team who are responsible for maintaining the grounds, habitat management and landscape restoration.
We have had a busy start to the year with strong winds and heavy rain impacting the estate.
The team are now experts in dealing with saturated ground conditions and erosion, with substantial rain becoming more frequent each year.
We are lucky to have beautiful lakes and the River Dearne flow through YSP. To keep the water on course we ensure the culvert entrances remain clear of river debris and that the higher water levels can flow freely under our historic bridges. Now is a great time of year for our team to be contributing to habitat management tasks across the estate.
We aim to get these completed before the bird nesting season begins, minimising disturbance and maximising benefit.
At any time of year, there is always plenty of wildlife to encounter at YSP, particularly wintering wildfowl on the lakes and the smaller woodland birds such as the nuthatch.
We are currently preparing for the Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958–2018 exhibition opening on March 12. Excavating foundations for outdoor sculptures and putting plans in place to ensure the landscape is ready for the public to enjoy.
With more than 80 world-class sculptures displayed across the park, work continues year-round.
With spring on the horizon, we look forward to welcoming back our experienced volunteers who are vital to ensuring that the park remains accessible.
When the weather picks up, I look forward to visiting one of my favourite places at YSP – the woods by the Upper Lake.
It becomes carpeted in bluebells which is always an uplifting sight.