With winter now in full retreat (we hope), we’re coming back to full volunteering life at High Wray volunteer centre. The back end of winter was spent hedgelaying on a big hedge near Coniston, helped by all manner of groups including the Fix the Fells lengthsmen and a National Trust working holiday. It’s a classic countryside task and typical of the sort of work we do here, but not by any means the only sort of thing we do.
|Hedge with a view - National Trust hedgelaying working holiday|
We recently spent a very different day with TTP (Trust the Process), one of the large drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres we work with, at the National Trust’s campsite at Low Wray. Using large logs, loads of gravel and the enthusiasm and hard work of this group we were building platforms outside four of the camping pods there. It’s quite muddy in places near the pods, so these ‘patios’ will not only give campers extra room to sit out but will also reduce the amount of mud being trod into the pods on shoes.
|TTP with one of the completed 'patios'|
The combination of being out in the fresh air, working together as a team and doing some constructive work that’ll increase people’s enjoyment of this beautiful place was a big hit with the group even if most of the mud did end up all over them!
It’s this variety of task and volunteer group that is one of the best things about our job. The contrast between different volunteers’ knowledge and experience was highlighted when a member of TTP who’d never left the city before asked what the white stuff was on the mountains. We’d had a fresh snowfall (since the path team’s last entry) – he’d been told it was snow by the other group members, but thought they were winding him up. When we confirmed it was he was amazed – even when winter has gone everywhere else it can still hang on up on the hills ….