My family loves volunteering for the National Trust

A woman standing in front of a brick wall

Volunteering has become a way of life for the Adams family since they relocated to Cumbria from Essex last year – even dog Alfie plays his part, at the fittingly named Bark House!

Annie Adams, a former freelance gardener who works in Wordsworth House’s heritage garden, explained: ‘We moved up last July after 30 years holidaying in Cumbria because of our love of fell walking.

‘I thought volunteering for the National Trust would give me the opportunity to meet new friends and give something back to the community. I do one day a week in the garden and fit it around my part-time job in Keswick.’

It wasn’t long before her husband, Sean, a retired police officer, was also bitten by the volunteering bug.

Annie said: ‘He volunteers for the Trust in the North Lakes at Bark House mountain base at Ashness Bridge in Borrowdale.’

Sean Adams and daughter Georgie volunteer at Bark House in Borrowdale
A close up of a man and a young woman standing outside a stone building
Sean Adams and daughter Georgie volunteer at Bark House in Borrowdale

The couple’s daughter, Georgie, a textile design student, and their dog, Alfie, also enjoy welcoming walkers to the cosy stone hut and talking to them by the fire about the local area.

Meeting people

Annie added: ‘One of the key parts of my role is visitor engagement and I do love chatting to visitors – and, of course, gardening! It’s a real pleasure to answer their questions, especially when it’s about plants and how they would thrive in their own gardens. You get to meet so many interesting people from all walks of life. 

‘I used to keep Orpington hens myself, so being able to care for them in the garden at Wordsworth House and hearing them clucking away to each other is a real delight. 

‘Volunteering for the Trust has definitely helped me settle into my new life here in Cumbria.’

Volunteer dog Alfie offers a relaxed welcome to the fittingly named Bark House
A dog asleep on grass outside an old stone building
Volunteer dog Alfie offers a relaxed welcome to the fittingly named Bark House