I've been volunteering with the National Trust on The Peak District Estate since September 2009. That September I was fortunate to get a place on a working holiday where myself and 8 others spent a weekend replacing a fence in the Derwent Valley.
That weekend I met National Trust Warden's Andy Houldsworth, Senior Warden Bill Hamer and Careership Warden Alex Sharrod, also on the team was a longterm volunteer Alan.
We all had a great weekend and I was really keen to continue volunteering. I was given encouragement by the team and the information on how to become as a regular volunteer. I couldn't wait to start and I haven't looked back, I have been a regular volunteer on the estate ever since.
I mainly volunteer in and around the Derwent and Snake area but I have also worked at Longshaw, Edale and Kinder.
The work I undertake is varied and no two days are the same. Some of the tasks I have done have ranged from cotton grass planting on Kinder, a great deal of walling and fencing across the estate, the laying and repairing of paths, assisting at the Hayfield Show, Painting, repairing gates, blocking gulley's, tree pruning, planting trees, assisting with the Acorn Camps and walks, maintaining equipment and tools, I've even herded stray sheep, and these are just a few things that I have helped out with!!!
No matter what tasks I do or where I work I have always received a warm welcome by the Trust staff and have always left the day feeling valued by a genuine appreciation for the time I give.
Volunteering for the Trust gives me a lot of satisfaction and it allows me to play a small part in the valuable conservation work done on the Dark Peak Estate.