Our volunteers

Volunteers repair a moorland path with flagstones

There are over 70 dedicated volunteers at Marsden Moor who are involved in all aspects of conserving the moorland. From habitat conservation to updating our social media, growing and selling plants to leading guided walks across the moors; volunteers play a huge part in supporting the small National Trust team at Marsden Moor. Here, we take a look at a small selection of tasks our volunteers give up their time for.

Plant group

Our expert gardeners grow and sell plants at our popular plants sales to help Marsden Moor raise money towards the conservation of the moorland. The volunteers look after garden plants all year round to ensure that a great selection of healthy plants is available to buy. Keep an eye on our social media for the latest plant sales events.

Our plant sales raise vital funds and wouldn't be possible without the help of our volunteers
two volunteers accept money for payment of plants at our spring plant fair
Our plant sales raise vital funds and wouldn't be possible without the help of our volunteers

Survey group

Taking measurements from a dipwell
Two men take measurements from a dipwell against a moorland backdrop
Taking measurements from a dipwell

Our survey group volunteers meet regularly to survey and monitor the moorland. The research they carry out helps us to identify some of the most important ecological issues affecting Marsden Moor.

Let’s take a look at a few of the tasks they undertake…

Monitoring plants and animals

Where can we find the important plants and animals on the moorland? Are they species of special interest? Are they under-represented in the area? These are the kind of questions our group of survey volunteers try to find the answers to so they can contribute to the Landscape Outdoors and Nature (LON) monitoring schemes for plants, birds, butterflies and bats.

A Snipe

Measuring peat depths

In collaboration with Leeds University and Yorkshire Water, the survey group systematically measures the depth of the peat on White Moss and Birk Moss. Their findings help us to help assess how big the peat resource is, since peat bog performs an essential role in reducing flood risk and is an important nature conservation resource.

Reviewing the growth of sphagnum
Several Members of Marsden Moor  Survey Group looking at sphagnum implants on the moor
Reviewing the growth of sphagnum

Collecting data for land management

The group regularly downloads data collected by instruments set up on Dan Clough Moss as part of the Environmental Monitoring Scheme (EMS). The data is then processed by Moors for the Future to give a wide-ranging regional picture. Collecting data in this way is one of the ways to find how the changing climate is affecting the moor and to find the best way to manage the land for biodiversity.

How many volunteers does it take to fix a fence?
Volunteers and rangers fix a large gate
How many volunteers does it take to fix a fence?

Monitoring gates, fences and stiles

There are miles of fencing and a huge collection of stiles and gates on Marsden Moor, all of which need to be safe and fit for purpose. Our survey group regularly walk the fence lines to identify where work is needed.

" After retiring I joined the Monday conservation group. What a privilege it is to be saving the moorland landscape with like-minded colleagues from all walks of life."
- Alan Schofield

Further reading...

For a more in-depth look at the work of our survey group volunteers, a selection of their written reports are availble to download. 

Creating firebreaks in molinia (PDF / 1.3MB) download

Sphagnum introduction at White Moss (PDF / 0.7MB) download

Site suitability for molinia management (PDF / 1.8MB) download

Plant cover and favourable condition in blanket mire (PDF / 1.5MB) download

Introduction to geology (PDF / 3.9MB) download

Buckstones dams; condition and effectiveness (PDF / 2.3MB) download

Becoming a volunteer

PLEASE NOTE: Volunteer recruitment is currently on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please keep checking our Facebook page for the most up to date information.

Giving up time to volunteer is rewarding work and plays a crucial role in helping us to continue to protect and conserve the special landscape that we love. We couldn’t do it without them.

If you think you might be interested in volunteering with the National Trust at Marsden Moor, you can find all our volunteer vacancies online and on our Facebook page.

Corporate volunteering or Employer supported volunteering.

Get your team away from the office and help one of your local National Trust sites.
For more information please contact the team marsdenmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk