A view from a Glenridding volunteer

Published: 6th August 2019

What's it like to volunteer at Glenridding Common? Volunteer Raymond has taken a lot from his experience

Volunteer Raymond with Isaac

^ Raymond (right) with ranger Isaac volunteering at Glenridding Common.

A useful job to do, good company and a glorious setting … what more could you ask for?

On my first day, the rain was tipping down, but that honestly made no difference to the enjoyment and sense of satisfaction. Other days have brought clear skies, with all the colours of the fellside in bright spring light over Glenridding Common. 

The jobs are practical and straightforward: staking and planting trees (birch, rowan, aspen, willow); checking whether existing trees need replacing; securing loose tree tubes; and repairing fences.  And, of course, carrying tools to and from the site.

I have walked the fells for most of my life, but this brings something different – the unexpected pleasure of being on one patch of hill all day long, instead of journeying through. Of watching the changing patterns of light over the same landscape while doing the job. It’s an opportunity to put something back, in the company of other volunteers with an unspoken connection of shared values.]

What have I learned from this? In fact, a great deal about the trees, plants and birds of the common. But also something more subtle about seeing the landscape in a different way, through the eyes of those who work for the Trust with their experience and understanding of what it requires.

I’ll be happy to carry on while I can still lace my boots.

Common Ground cover image July 2019

  • This article features in Common Ground (July 2019), which covers the latest on what's happening on the land we manage in the Lake District.
  • Read more about our work at Glenridding Common