Our Volunteers

Our volunteers come from Cumbria and beyond. Some are retired and others work full time but they all have one thing in common – they love the fells!

There are 150 volunteers and they are referred to as “Lengthsmen”.  This term comes from medieval times when lengthsmen would be paid to walk the length of the parish and repair any roads and unblock ditches.

Volunteers get involved in “work parties” which can include building drains, constructing handmade paths and removing pigeon holes. Much of this work is supervised by our rangers but unsupervised work parties also take place owing to the high level of skills developed.  You can read more about path repair techniques here.

Ever seen people on the fells with spades and brooms?  A key part of the work of volunteers are “drain runs”. This is effectively where drains are cleared of stones and vegetation to keep the water off the paths and areas of stone-pitching are swept to remove loose stones and soil to keep it easier to walk on. Drain runs can be done in small or large groups or even solo.

In 2018 volunteers broke all records and gifted 2,500 days on the mountain paths. They completed 645 drain runs in all weathers – a truly phenomenal year of work. We could not undertake the volume of Fix the Fells work without them and their enthusiasm makes the programme what it is.

The training is comprehensive and includes learning the practical skills of path maintenance and repair, navigation skills, first aid and manual handling. There are also opportunities to learn additional skills such as hedge laying and dry-stone walling.  In return for this training, we ask all volunteers to commit to a minimum of 12 days every year.

We also have a few furry friends who sometimes accompany the volunteers on the fells, including Hamish the West Highland White. They spend their time “supervising” the work.


Thank you for your interest but we’re not currently recruiting volunteers.  If you’re interested in joining the Fix the Fells volunteer programme in the future, please go through this Checklist to see if it is for you and read the Volunteer Role Profile. You can also have a glance through the Frequently Asked Questions.  If you have any further queries not covered in the checklist, volunteer role profile or FAQs, you can contact one of our volunteers lengthsmen1@fixthefells.co.uk.

If you can’t make the commitment necessary to become a regular volunteer, you may enjoy the “Fell Care Days” organised by our partner organisation Friends of the Lake District. Everyone is welcome at these fun and worthwhile events and details can be seen on their website here.

You can also help to Fix the Fells by going on a National Trust upland path working holiday. Click here to find out more.

Thank you!

Fix the Fells Volunteer Lengthsmen, Barry Capp, says:

“Volunteering as part of the Fix the Fells Lengthsmen team provides great personal enjoyment, satisfaction and camaraderie as well as making a really useful contribution to the repair and maintenance of our spectacular Lake District upland paths and landscape. It is also a brilliant way of keeping fit and active in a unique, all-weather environment”.

Fix the Fells Young Ranger scheme now OPEN for new volunteers

Although we are not currently recruiting for our adult volunteer scheme, recruitment is open for the Fix the Fells Young Ranger programme. If you are under 18 years of age and interested in joining then further details can be found here www.fixthefells.co.uk/young-rangers

Fix the Fells Volunteers on Nab Scar
Fix the Fells Volunteers on Nab Scar
Hamish a Fix The Fells Supervisor
Hamish a Fix The Fells Supervisor