Volunteering in Borrowdale

Three people chatting round a table beside an open fire

Sharing a good yarn about a great day out on the hills, as the fire crackles and the wind whistles down the chimney. Volunteering in Borrowdale is all about helping people to feel a deeper connection to the special places that we look after.

We simply couldn’t do the things we do without the help we get from people who give up their time to lend us a hand.

The safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and supporters is our top concern and in accordance with Government guidelines on social distancing, our houses, shops, cafes, gardens and parks are now closed, and from March 24 all of our car parks will close. However, many will be grateful for support when they reopen. If you are interested in volunteering, please keep checking for future opportunities.

Meeting people

At Bark House Mountain Base (pictured above), a one-room stone bothy with no electricity or running water, volunteers light the fire, set out the chairs and open the bothy as a walkers' shelter during the day. They answer people’s questions, give advice about walking routes and make people feel at home.

Bringing places to life

We run a series of special open days at our quirky buildings like Force Crag Mine (the last working metal ore mine in the Lakes) and Derwent Island House (the only inhabited island in the Lakes which opens to visitors).

Volunteers reveal the hidden stories of these special places to people by leading guided tours (full training given). They also help visitors to relax with a cuppa, and take people with limited mobility up the mine-track in true Landrover style.

Share your love of the Lakes and help bring places to life
Volunteers showing minerals to visitors
Share your love of the Lakes and help bring places to life

At our other family events volunteers help us out with delivering family activities – making dens, skimming stones or playing simple games, making sure everyone leaves with really special memories of their day.

Behind the scenes

All our work is based on meticulous historical research. Research volunteers help us trawl through the archives to find the best stories to tell, ensuring that we’re getting our facts straight and unearthing the hidden and untold stories that show familiar places in a new light.

Surfing the internet with a coffee - it's all valid research
People using books and computers
Surfing the internet with a coffee - it's all valid research

Checking and maintaining

Every gate, every stile, every hinge, every signpost. Someone’s got to have the tough job of walking around the beautiful Lake District countryside making sure everything’s working OK, doing a bit of DIY fettling if it isn’t, and keeping records of what’s been checked and when it was last repaired.

Needs fettled? Put your DIY skills to use
Volunteer with hammer repairing barrier at Friar's Crag
Needs fettled? Put your DIY skills to use