Work days normally take place every other Sunday, and start (at site) at about 10.30 am, until mid-afternoon (depending on time of year, weather, how we get on with the task etc.). It is important to contact the workday co-ordinator on the evening of the previous Wednesday. If you do not have a printed version of the programme, please contact the Secretary by e-mail by the Tuesday if you want to go out (to give us time to arrange if this is possible). If you do not have your own transport we will try to arrange a lift, but this entirely depends on there being someone else travelling from nearby. If you do have transport, please consider giving a lift to those who don’t. Travelling expenses are re-imbursed by the National Trust at a standard rate based on mileage.

Please note that it may be necessary to change tasks or even venue at the last minute as weather, availability of wardens, condition of ground etc. may make the task unrealistic.

DateWork siteTask
11 January Northumberland Coast Footpath work in the Dunstanburgh area
25 January Wallington Garden work with John Ellis
8 February Cragside Clearance work in one of the quarry sites (probably includes a fire)
22 February Gibside Tree planting – limes and yews at the Octagon pond to restore the vista
7 March Wallington Garden work with John Ellis
21 March Lindisfarne Weeding the battlements at Lindisfarne Castle to unearth the original cobbles
4 April Gibside First phase of the restoration of the orchard in the walled garden – planting of apple trees and/or herbaceous border plants
18 April Northumberland Coast Gorse clearance at Dunstanburgh Heughs
30 April – 2 May Lake District Weekend Task to be arranged (based at High Wray, near Ambleside)
16 May Allenbanks General estate work with Scott Dixon
30 May Hadrian’s Wall Work to be confirmed
13 June Durham Coast Removal of Himalayan Balsam in Hawthorn Dene to stop it spreading and to allow regeneration of natural flora
27 June Durham Coast Removal of Himalayan Balsam in Hawthorn Dene to stop it spreading and to allow regeneration of natural flora

  • Wear old clothes that will be warm or cool enough to work in. If clearing gorse etc. thicker clothing may provide more protection than shorts and a teeshirt. The group models a wide range of hats for all weathers and welcomes new styles
  • Bring wet weather gear (and/or sun cream). Waterproof trousers are often useful even when it doesn’t rain (if you want a lift home again it is a good idea not to leave too much mud on the kind driver’s car seat)
  • Strong boots or wellingtons (ideally with steel toe caps) are essential for safe working
  • Work gloves (leather gardening or rigger’s gloves) are useful for many tasks, unless your hands are already hardened by decades of proper work and you can laugh in the face of a nettle. The group has a limited supply of gloves for people requiring them
  • You will need to bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink
  • Tools for the task will usually be provided at the site
  • Please pay attention to health and safety at all times. We are all involved in this work for varied reasons, but the common one is enjoyment. We all have a shared responsibility to ensure that we do not behave in a manner which could cause injury to ourselves, other members or the public.