Vinnie Jones, the football hardman who became a Hollywood movie gangster reveals his passion for the country and how he encourages the next generation.
“Around here, we’ve got various trusts looking after nature. Well this is the Vinnie Trust,” grins Vinnie Jones, arms stretched out towards the 150 acres of Sussex he calls home. Jones, despite his broad smile, is a serious man. “All this is for my grandchildren. It is so important to protect the natural world we have around us,” he says. He might be best known as the hard-tackling professional football player turned Hollywood actor, but Jones’s boyish excitement as he points out the sparrowhawk that has made his fields her hunting ground is touching.
He is equally saddened that the M25 had to be built on the site where he first found his skylark’s nest in 1980. “People who live in the countryside are the key to conservation and need support. I’m trying to do my bit here by putting hedgerows back and managing things to allow ground-nesting birds to thrive, as well as helping everything from grass snakes to hedgehogs,” he explains. Jones wants to bring attention to such issues.