Roy Isherwood: Holding back the years in Langdale

Volunteers working in a wall in Langdale

Roy Isherwood volunteers in Langdale in the Lake District. Alongside his good friend Ron, Roy helps our rangers in the area by patrolling the footpaths to look for any areas that need maintenance and doing dry-stone walling jobs when needed. This year, on 1 March, Roy turned 86.

Some might expect a man reaching his 86th year to be considering slowing down a little, but Roy has no intention of easing off. On the contrary, he’s looking forward to working on a wall that he’s had his eye on for some time.

So why does he do it? Well, put simply, because he really enjoys it.  

Roy, who lives in Kendal with his wife Margery, first moved to the Lake District 29 years ago. A keen fellwalker, Roy has climbed most of the Munroes but he stopped bagging peaks in his mid-seventies and is now passionate about looking after the landscape that has given him so much pleasure throughout his adult life.

‘I can just see things that need doing and I want to look after the countryside. There’s real satisfaction in working on something like a wall that might have been there for over 200 years and knowing that if I do a really good job my work will still be there to see in another 100 years,’ he said.

Roy, whose mother lived to the ripe old age of 101, also attributes his good health to volunteering saying that it keeps him fit in both mind and body, he said; ‘Volunteering keeps you thinking, I get to meet like-minded people and we have lots of fun working together. Some of the volunteer work I do is pretty physical but it’s also skilled and I take real pride in it.’

Roy and Ron working on a dry-stone wall in Langdale
Roy and Ron working on a wall in Langdale
Roy and Ron working on a dry-stone wall in Langdale

Roy is rarely seen in Langdale without his good friend and fellow volunteer Ron Wood from Kendal, who at 68 is a mere whippersnapper compared to Roy. They share a passion for walling and walking and look set to continue their volunteering efforts together for many years yet.

Our Rangers in the Lake District rely on the support of our fantastic conservation volunteers, with almost a quarter of the National Park to care for, there simply aren’t enough Rangers or hours in the day to monitor and maintain the vast swathes of countryside under our care.

So, as long as people like Roy and Ron are keen to put something back into the countryside then we will continue to welcome them as volunteers and say a great big thank you for all their support.

Feeling inspired by Roy? Get involved, we have plenty volunteering opportunities in Langdale, whatever your interests and time availability. Check out our volunteering pages to find your opportunity.