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Volunteering opportunities at Penshaw Monument

A group of visitors walk up steps towards the Penshaw Monument in the background on a sunny day, in Sunderland
Walking up to Penshaw Monument | © National Trust Images / John Millar

To keep Penshaw Monument in the best possible condition we rely on the help of many volunteers. They’re a diverse group of people who carry out lots of different roles, from making visitors feel welcome to helping care for the outdoors. Discover why volunteering with the National Trust is so rewarding and how to get involved.

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.

Two adults and two children look out at the view from Penshaw Monument, Sunderland
Admiring the view from Penshaw Monument | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Where will I be volunteering?

Volunteers work at Penshaw Monument and the surrounding woodland. The area is a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI), so volunteers learn about the significance of the limestone and wildflowers while building new skills.

We also look after Gibside, an 18th-century landscape garden with acres of woodland, home to roe deer and red kites. Occasionally, the team will also support Washington Old Hall manor house. While volunteers can work across all these sites, most tend to stick to one property.

What roles are available?

There are three main ways people volunteer at Penshaw Monument:

Volunteer rangers

With so many places to look after we rely on local people to act as our eyes and ears. Volunteer rangers tend to be local people who regularly come to Penshaw Monument to walk.

The volunteer ranger team meet at Penshaw fortnightly, on Fridays. Tasks can include invasive species control, scrub removal, footpath maintenance and fencing as well as woodland management, like felling trees.

Most of the work involves maintaining Penshaw Monument, as it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Litter Picking volunteers

The litter picking team meet on Mondays and Fridays each week and help to clear the paths and woodlands of any litter.

Volunteer monument guides

Penshaw Monument's rooftop is open to visitors on weekends between Easter and September. On reaching the top of the spiral staircase, visitors are greeted by friendly guides, who are filled with facts about the monument and make sure the visitors stay safe.

Two volunteers, one with garden shears, cutting back vegetation at Morden Hall Park in London
Volunteers at work in the outdoors | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Training for volunteers

On-the-job training is provided by one of the ranger team, so no experience is necessary. There are also opportunities to get involved at other times by helping with the events programme or to complete wildlife surveys.

How to become a volunteer?

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering at Penshaw Monument, please either call 0191 416 6879 or email the team at Or you can search for current opportunities via the link below.

Thank you

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

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