JOHN WYATT (1925 – 2006) was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Cheshire, son of a cotton mill overseer. He left school when he was 15 and worked as a copy boy in the Manchester office of the Daily Telegraph. Three years later he became a forestry worker and campsite warden at Great Tower, Windermere. After the Second World War, in which he served as a naval telegraphist, he returned to Ashton as a sub-postmaster and took a correspondence writing course through Ruskin College, Oxford. He found his way back to the Lake District as an estate worker and regional organiser for Oxfam. In 1961 he became the first warden of the Lake District National Park, and served as the chief ranger for 25 years. He was awarded an MBE in 1986. In addition to The Shining Levels he wrote several guidebooks and two further autobiographies, Reflections on the Lakes and The Bliss of Solitude. He was buried in his beloved Lakeland woods, where a yew still marks his grave.
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