Volunteer Story: Terry Davies
Volunteer, South Lakes
My first day volunteering for the National Trust was in March 2007 with the job involving the clearing of ditches and drains at Tarn Hows. This didn't put me off and back I came for more!
I was born on the outskirts of the Lake District National Park and my early childhood in the 50's and 60's meant spending a large amount of time enjoying the landscape and beauty of this wonderful place. It's quite ironic that the places where I now volunteer, Tarn Hows and Fell Foot, are two of the sites where I used to visit and enjoy the most.
Because of my father's work, my family moved away from the area which had a really devastating effect on me even though holidays meant short spurts of fell walking back in the Lakes.
My career took me to sea as an Engineer followed by time ashore in ship and port management. However, taking early retirement and moving back to the outskirts of the National Park, I was soon looking for voluntary work and lo and behold, the National Trust was looking for Lengthsmen in Coniston.
Over the following years, I have been privileged to work with some great people at Fell Foot and Tarn Hows, both volunteers and National Trust Rangers and I have learnt so much. I can now build a dry stone wall (not very well, I must admit), coppice trees, lay hedges, erect and demolish fences and of course clear drains and the proverbial bashing of rhododendrons!
I have even assisted in the creation of children play areas and can now drive and reverse a Land Rover towing a trailer, even though the latter exercise leaves a lot to be desired!
A few years ago, I also volunteered to assist in leading guided walks at Tarn Hows. As it was quite successful, they have continued and I now lead walks on Wednesdays in the spring and summer months. I believe that they are going down well with the public and the route is off the beaten track with an emphasis on conservation. These are very enjoyable and again it gives me the opportunity to meet new people and talk about an area of the Lakes which is second to none.
All in all, volunteering with the National Trust has given me new skills, new friends and a feeling of giving something back to an area that has given me so much pleasure over the years.