Young Rangers removing non native conifers

Young Rangers

Our Young Rangers programme offers a unique opportunity for young people aged 14 to 18 years to get involved in practical conservation volunteering.

Young Rangers activities take place every month on a Sunday and are led by experienced Rangers from a several partner organisations including the National Trust, Fix the Fells, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, West Cumbria Rivers Trust and the John Muir Trust. The sessions are supported by dedicated and knowledgeable adult volunteer leaders. We take part in a range of activities, from tree planting to footpath maintenance, at sites across the Lake District National Park.

Many of our Young Rangers use their experience as part of the volunteering element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but you don't need to be completing the DofE award to take part.

The sessions are planned through to the end of the year, please see the full list of dates below:

Young Rangers dates

How to apply

If you'd like to apply to be a Young Ranger, please read the FAQs below and then click 'Apply to be a Young Ranger' - you'll need a parent or guardian to give their details as part of your application.

  • Young Rangers removing non native conifers

    Young Rangers working with the John Muir Trust in Thirlmere, November 2023

  • Young Rangers removing non native conifers

    Removing non native conifers in Wythburn valley with the John Muir Trust.

  • Young Rangers working on a path in Far Easdale

    October's session working on a path in Far Easdale with Fix the Fells

  • Young Rangers working on a path in Far Easdale

    Path maintenance on the Coast to Coast footpath with Fix the Fells

  • Young Rangers removing non native conifers

    Young Rangers November session in Thirlmere

  • Young Rangers working on a path in Far Easdale

    Young Rangers join Fix the Fells path maintenance in Far Easdale

  • Young Rangers working in the Lake District National Park.

    Young Rangers working in the Lake District National Park.


What sort of things are Young Rangers involved in?

Young Rangers work on a wide range of practical conservation tasks. In summer we are often up in the fells repairing and maintaining upland paths. At other times of year we could be involved in a variety of other conservation tasks such as dry-stone-walling, hedge-laying, woodland work, tree planting, invasive species control and wildlife surveys. Most meetings are outdoors although we sometimes get together for indoor training or social events.

When do sessions take place?

We meet once a month on a Sunday, from 10am - 4pm throughout the year. We usually meet on the third Sunday of the month, but dates will be sent out with as much notice as possible. Please note June 2024 will be the fourth Sunday to avoid Father's Day.

We try to organise a varied and interesting programme of activities and also offer some social events and training opportunities such as First Aid and Navigation courses.

In return, we do ask that you commit to attend regularly (although we understand that people may be away or unavailable on the odd occasion.)

Young Rangers dates

Where are the activities?

All over the Lake District National Park, locations can vary from high fells to valleys and woodlands depending on what is required by different organisations and the time of year. Currently we are asking everyone to make their own way to the volunteering sites.

Will I spend a full day outdoors in all weathers?

We really do go out whatever the weather - all year round, and as this is the Lake District we often experience all four seasons in one day! While we prepare with the right clothes and equipment, it can sometimes be challenging working outside. We tend to keep our sessions on the high fells to the summer months, so you wouldn't be expected to be out up high in the worst winter weather.

Who leads the group?

The days are led by our volunteer leaders and the practical work is supervised by a Ranger or other member of staff. The Fix the Fells sessions are run by a National Trust Ranger, along with support from specialist Fix the Fells volunteers.

Our leaders are committed to helping young people experience the outdoors, and are there to ensure the sessions are safe, engaging and fulfilling. All leaders have experience in working with young people and are fully trained in First Aid, Risk Management and must undergo enhanced DBS checks. Young people do not need to be accompanied.

What equipment do I need?

You will need to bring full waterproofs and warm clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You will also need to bring food and drink, sun cream and insect repellent according to the season. All other equipment, such as gloves and safety boots, is provided. We can lend work waterproofs given enough notice.

Do I need any specialist skills or previous experience?

No previous experience is necessary, but conservation work, particularly upland path work, can be strenuous and tiring - so you will need to be physically fit and able, keen to learn and willing to listen and follow health and safety guidance. It can be messy and dirty too but it is great fun, and we do stop for regular rests. The days are planned specifically with young people in mind.

How can I develop my skills?

As part of the Young Rangers programme we offer the opportunity to join our volunteer training courses in First Aid and Navigation. This is a unique way of broadening your skill set alongside the worthwhile conservation volunteering of Young Rangers.

Do I live close enough to join the programme?

We accept volunteers from Cumbria and neighbouring counties however to minimise the carbon impact of our volunteering programmes, we will prioritise those local to volunteering activity sites.

I'd like to find out more before I apply...

Please contact our Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Alice Chivers by email on . Alice will be happy to answer any questions you or your parent or guardian may have about the Young Ranger programme.

Apply to be a Young Ranger