A watchtower situated in a small coastal village on the Llyn Peninsula provides its inhabitants with ‘the best office view’ in the country.

That’s according to volunteer watchkeeper Ray Waters, and looking at these photographs of his ‘office’ in Porthdinllaen, its hard to disagree with him!

Ray is one of a small but hardworking group of volunteers who provide eyes along the coast from this small station, assisting in the protection and preservation of life at sea and along the coastline.

And ‘Eyes along the coast’ is the slogan of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI), for which Ray and his wife Brenda have volunteered for the past four years.

Having retired to the area from Essex in 2006, the Waters family wanted to immerse themselves in local activities.

They volunteered for the Ffestiniog Railway and attended a gardening group, and it was there that they first heard about NCI.

“Before moving to Chwilog we had holidays in the area and we fell in love with it,” Ray explained.

“In 2006, when I retired, we decided to move here from Colchester in Essex.

“We volunteered for the Ffestiniog Railway – we still do – and we also joined a local gardening club.

“One of the club’s monthly talks was about the National Coastwatch Institution. We thought it sounded interesting and we decided to get involved.”

Ray and Brenda are now fully-fledged watchkeepers, having undergone the training the institution offers.

“They teach you how to read charts, how to administer first aid and how to use a VHF radio,” said Ray.

“You have to complete 15 or 16 shifts with a qualified watchkeeper before being assessed by a manager.”

Porthdinllaen station has 17 active volunteer watchkeepers. That means most volunteers complete two or three shifts a month.

Ray and Brenda tend to share the same shifts, or watches, which last five hours from 11am to 4pm in the summer and from 10am to 3pm in winter.

“We try to cover every day of the year where possible, apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day,” said Ray.

“If anyone is interested in joining us, please visit www.nci.org.uk/porthdinllaen for the station’s contact details.”