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Volunteering at Wray

A volunteer led guided tour around Wray Castle in Cumbria
A volunteer-led guided tour around Wray Castle | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Wray parkland and castle isn't your usual National Trust property – the castle didn't come to us full of antiques with the accompanying owner-family history. If you can see yourself working in the beautiful grounds here or welcoming visitors inside, read on, as we might just have a role for you.

Why join us?

There are lots of reasons to join us; making the move to volunteer could be the best decision you ever make.

  • Become part of a friendly and dedicated team
  • Meet people from all walks of life and forge new friendships
  • Utilise your existing skills and learn new ones
  • Strengthen your CV and help to develop your career
  • Enjoy the great outdoors
  • Learn about the history of this special place.

Join the Wray Castle team

We're always on the look-out for new volunteers to help look after this special place. If you fancy getting a bit more hands-on, your enthusiasm and skills could be put to good use outside in the grounds.

Becoming a volunteer could be a regular fixture for you or can be flexible. Either way we can work together to make it work for you and us.

If you'd like to find out more, email the team or see what opportunities there are across the Lakes in the link further down. We'd love to hear from you.

Thank you

Thank you to all our volunteers who give their time to support the National Trust in many different roles.

Volunteer dressed at Beatrix Potter reading at the National Trust Children's Book Festival at Wray Castle, Cumbria
Volunteer dressed at Beatrix Potter reading at the National Trust Children's Book Festival at Wray Castle | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Volunteer story: Neil and Lesley Morris

We have been members of the South Lakes National Trust Volunteers Group for over 12 months now.

We decided to get involved with them because we feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the country and felt this was our chance to give a little something back and help preserve our National Park for future generations.

Lots of benefits

We quickly realised that the role came with the added benefits of acquiring new skills, learning about the environment and meeting many interesting new people along the way.

On day one we apprehensively turned up looking a bit too clean and not quite sure what to expect or what we were letting ourselves in for. We were met by our ranger and started the day in the best possible way, with a brew.

After being briefed about the day’s activity we realised that our safety was of the upmost importance as well as our enjoyment. Our first task was to repair a deer fence, protecting sensitive woodland, near Wray Castle. We were shown how to knock in fence posts, attach pig nuts to the existing fence and cut away bushes and trees.

We chatted as we worked, with breaks for snacks and a lunch stop in the sun, and before we knew it the day was almost finished with one last, quite exciting job, to chase out any possible deer before closing the woods up. We’re sure we spotted at least one – well, we like to think we did!

Proud volunteers

Since then we’ve enjoyed countless superb days out in many varied and stunning locations. We’re now proud to say we can construct a lakeside path, rebuild a dry stone wall (well, we understand how it should be done!) and know how to lay a hawthorn hedge.

We’ve also helped to build the children’s adventure play area at Wray Castle and especially loved being involved with the Claife Viewing Station regeneration project.

There are still some activities we are keen to experience such as planting new trees and working higher up on the fells, maintaining the paths. The rangers are so enthusiastic about the work they do, always explain why we are carrying out the tasks and are keen to make sure we enjoy the day and have a laugh along the way.

Although the work can be quite strenuous they always make sure we work within our limits and capabilities and the days are never too long.

Added bonuses

It’s always a real buzz to look up from our spades and pickaxes to see the beautiful Lakes or the Langdale Pikes, and always a massive reward knowing that your work has made a difference to such an amazing landscape.

We also get to annoy our family by proudly showing off our handiwork when out on walks in the area. A further bonus is that with your volunteer card you get free entry into National Trust properties and 20% discount in the Trust shops.

It would be great to see more people joining us on the volunteer days.

See you in the hills!

You might also be interested in

A volunteer talking to a visitor at Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands

Frequently asked questions on volunteering 

These frequently asked questions should give you all you need to know about who can volunteer, what it involves and how to apply.

Black and white image of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley (1851-1920)

History of Wray Castle 

Discover the history of the Wray Castle estate and the fascinating link that Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the National Trust's three original founders, had with the property.

Two people working in colourful flower and vegetable borders in summer


Our volunteers make our work to look after nature and history for future generations possible. Learn more about the volunteering opportunities available and hear a selection of their stories to find out what it's like to volunteer with us.