Jim Spedding was born in Milnthorpe in 1917. His mother came from a farming family near Lamplugh in the west of the County, and his father was originally from Ambleside. They farmed at Holmeshead, Skelwith Fold until 1933.
Jim began his working life in farm-service, but moved into the woodland trade in 1941. After a period of self-employed work he took a short retirement, but soon found himself using his walling skills and woodcraft again. He finally and reluctantly retired at 91 years old.
He has observed the birds and wildlife of his Westmorland home closely and recalls the species that used to be common on farms and farmland, but are far less frequently seen today, such as the Corncrake and the Green Plover.
“…Now if you were walking somewhere in a wood near a woodcock nest… it pops its beak right down on his breast and unless you were going to put your foot on top of him, he's never move… you'd walk right past him. And its so well camouflaged- absolutely gorgeous chap.”