Practical Conservation work

Location: Various locations, Cumbria

Volunteers tree planting at Eycott Hill 

Check here for up and coming Conservation Days near where you live. Why not give it a go? Good company, good exercise and good fun!

Around Kendal and the south lakes

Around Carlisle and north Cumbria

Penrith, Keswick and the central lakes

Around Kirkby Stephen and the eastern fells

Cockermouth and West Cumbria

Booking is required on all Conservation days.  To book your place email or call 01539 816300 during office hours.

Information about Practical Conservation Days

We try to make our Conservation Days welcoming and friendly.  They are a great opportunity to meet others, do something really positive for nature and to have fun!

Read on if you are new to practical conservation work or would like to know more.

Why do I need to book onto a Conservation Day

Knowing who is going to attend a Conservation Day really helps the Reserve Managers to plan the day and make sure they have sufficient tools and equipment. It also means that if we have to cancel or change the Conservation Day at short notice we can easily contact everyone – saving wasted time and journeys. More importantly though – having a list of registered volunteers attending work parties means that if an emergency arises Reserve Managers have your emergency contact details to hand. This is an important part of the Trust’s Health & Safety procedure.

What can I expect to do on the day?

Volunteers of all ages and abilities help us with our practical conservation work. There is always a variety of tasks to be done and our Reserve Managers are adept at finding the right tasks to suit individual capabilities.

Work is varied depending on the reserve and the time of year. All tools are provided and training is given in use. Protective clothing where required is provided.

Some tasks can be quite strenuous but generally tasks can be assigned to suit individual capability. If you have a medical condition please let the reserve manager know at the start of the work party.
Typical work party tasks may involve

  • repairing walls, stiles, paths, gates and fences
  • working with saws to coppice or remove scrub
  • tackling brambles and other invading plants
  • putting up or cleaning bird or bat boxes
  • cutting or scything grass
  • planting plug plants
  • supervising bonfires!

What should I wear and what do I need to bring with me?

Wear warm, comfortable layered clothing including waterproofs and over trousers (not your best ones!)- and for those rarer warm sunny days – a sun hat and sunscreen
Strong boots and gardening gloves
A packed lunch, snacks and drinks with you to sustain you during the day – though often we provide biscuits

Other info

Access to facilities on work parties
Our reserves are generally in remote places so there is usually no access to toilets and other facilities
Cancelling work parties
We sometimes have to cancel work parties due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. By booking in advance we are able to contact you easily to let you know.
Photography at Conservation days
Please be aware that photographs may be taken and used for publicity purposes
Under 16-s
If you are under 16 you are welcome to come and help at work parties but you must be accompanied by an adult.

Volunteer handbook 2019