Volunteer: Dovedale Information Barn, White Peak

Visit our mobile barn at Dovedale where you can buy souvenirs of your visit © National Trust

Visit our mobile barn at Dovedale where you can buy souvenirs of your visit

Oriel Sweet
Dovedale Information Barn Volunteer
Dovedale, Ilam, Peak District

The Dovedale Information Barn is in a beautiful location and I find it very relaxing to be by the river all day. We see many walkers of all ages at the barn. It's fun to watch people crossing the stepping stones and enjoying themselves with their families. People often carry their dogs across the stepping stones. So far so good, I haven't seen anyone fall in at all. Depending on the weather it can be busy or very quiet. We are often asked a vast array of questions about the wildlife and about the Peak District. Although I am no expert I am learning things, such as the names of birds and flowers, that I didn't know before. There are normally two of us manning the barn together which is good because we can keep each other company. People are always ready to stop and chat with us about what they have seen on their walks and it's always nice to pass the time of day with people as they pass by.

We have both good and bad days from a selling point of view. A coach full of French schoolchildren stopped and visited the barn and bought stamps and postcards; this had a great impact on the day's takings. On quieter days when the weather is bad we chat to each other and read through some of the bird and walking books that we sell. Volunteering at Dovedale Barn is enjoyable, certainly on a nice day when the place is buzzing with people and the sun is shining.