Volunteer gardeners and grounds people needed now

Following extensive restorations and a year of closure, Eskdale Mill re-opened to the public in July this year. This unique historical visitor attraction has welcomed over 3000 visitors in just a few months generating sustainable figures to help safeguard a viable future.

The mill is set in an idyllic location with fantastic views nestled amongst woodland in the Eskdale valley. This provides space for nature whilst also catering for people of all ages and backgrounds to come and enjoy some quality time. Whillan Beck, flowing off the fells, provides the power for the three waterwheels adding to this fantastic atmosphere.

Now that the main buildings and milling machinery have been restored, attentions are being paid to the grounds and gardens. Developments are currently underway leading to the establishment of a productive and enjoyable traditional garden space within the Miller’s Garden for the public to visit and experience whilst they’re here.

There are a variety of volunteering opportunities at Eskdale Mill ranging from mill operatives and tour guides right through to gardening and practical DIY. This means that adults of all ages are able to carry out and learn transferable skills which can support career aspirations, physical and mental wellbeing and satisfy personal hobbies and interests. Volunteers are able to work together as a team in a friendly environment whilst supporting the work plan overseen by the Mill Manager.

There is currently a particular drive to recruit new outdoor volunteers to carry out the many tasks required to control the overgrown Miller’s Garden and keep on top of the regular grounds’ maintenance. If you would like to add to or learn new skills, spend time landscaping and/or help establish a wildlife-friendly garden, please get in touch with Kate Hughes, the Mill Manager who’d love to hear from you. She can arrange a volunteer induction day with you and get you started. All that’s required is your commitment to volunteering one day per week, a reasonable level of fitness, a willingness to work in most weathers and to aim to work as part of a team. All training, travel expenses and equipment needs are provided.

Kate commented that “If you’d like to get involved in a local community project, then this is the perfect chance. We’re right at the beginning of something here and the more people that join the team, the more that can be achieved here. There’s lots of other projects that I’d like to develop here such as collaborative work with local community groups and getting the grounds and gardens in good order means that groups such as schools can also benefit from using this lovely facility.”

All current volunteer work here is gratefully supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the EU Fells & Dales LEADER Programme and Copeland Community Fund.