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Get involved with conserving and enhancing the National Park

Volunteer Opportunities

We are now recruiting for volunteers that would like to get involved at the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.  The Sill is a £14.8m state-of-the art visitor centre on Hadrian’s Wall that will officially open to the public on Saturday 29 July 2017.

The Sill building features fixed and temporary exhibitions focusing on landscape, culture and heritage, several learning and event spaces, a 90 seater café showcasing local produce, a world-class Youth Hostel, a rural business hub to house and support new and emerging rural enterprises, a shop packed with local produce, arts and crafts, a tourist information service and a fully accessible Whin Sill grassland roof, the only one of its kind in the world.

The Sill

We are looking for volunteers that can help us bring this iconic and inspirational project to life. The Sill is the single most significant initiative to be undertaken in rural Northumberland in a generation and will transform how people engage with landscape, nature and the great outdoors.  The Sill gives Northumberland and the rest of the UK a new world-class facility and visitor experience in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s the perfect gateway for people of all ages to explore and enjoy the landscapes, history and rich culture of Northumberland and the wider region.

Volunteering roles at the Centre will be many and varied and will include the following areas:

  • Front of house, reception, and welcoming roles;
  • ‘Curator’ roles within the permanent and temporary exhibition spaces;
  • Supporting staff in refreshment and retail areas;
  • Maintaining and interpreting the (Whin Sill grassland) green roof;
  • General grounds and site maintenance roles;

There are also opportunities for volunteers to get involved in supporting the Sill activity programmes:

  • Supporting our staff and partners delivering the Education Programme (with schools)
  • At the Sill, in-school, in the National Park
  • Supporting our staff and partners delivering the Public Events/Training Programmes
  • Dark skies, crafts, family fun days, outdoor pursuits, etc

If you would be interested in volunteering in any of the areas outlined above, please contact us to express your interest by emailing or calling 01434 611533.

Other volunteering opportunities

Please read on for information on the types of volunteering offered by the National Park and how you can register your interest for future opportunities.

YOUNG VOLUNTEERS – If you are under 25 years old and interested in volunteering, work experience, or student placements, please see our young volunteering page for further information or contact us on the details at the base of this page.

WELCOME PATROLS GROUP – Volunteers get out and about across the National Park engaging with visitors, monitoring the condition of routes and generally acting as the eyes and ears supporting National Park staff. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness and be outgoing and confident to engage with the public.

Volunteer Guided Walk

A volunteer guided walk.

GUIDED WALKS GROUP – Volunteers lead a programme of public walks introducing visitors to the landscape, culture, and the natural and historic environments of the National Park. Volunteers need a good knowledge of the National Park, are expected to commit a certain amount of time, and undertake specific training. Volunteers usually develop into this role.

HERITAGE AT RISK GROUP – Volunteers undertake condition assessments to monitor Scheduled Monuments within the National Park and undertake practical conservation projects to protect and maintain monuments. This group is for people interested in history and archaeology.

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT GROUP – Volunteers help to survey different habitats and species and get involved in conservation projects. A good pre-existing level of knowledge is sometimes required for these tasks. If you have strong ecological identification skills we would be interested to hear from you.

RIGHTS OF WAY GROUP – Volunteers complete surveys and monitor the condition of public rights of way and promoted routes. There are also opportunities to get involved in maintenance and improvement projects.

HADRIAN’S WALL PATH GROUP – This group undertake similar tasks to the rights of way group. The tasks are targeted on the Hadrian’s Wall Path (National Trail) with the added dimension of working within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The group operate along the entire length of the National Trail, both inside and outside the National Park boundary.

COMMUNICATIONS GROUP – This group are involved in raising the profile of the volunteer service through the use of social media and helping to organise the annual volunteer gathering. The group also have a role to play in supporting other volunteers in the use of our volunteer management software and in developing information to assist volunteers to undertake tasks.

PRACTICAL TASKS – These tasks usually require no previous experience or expertise as training is provided on the day. Tasks range from litter picks and car park tidies through to site maintenance and conservation projects.

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS – Periodic projects such as the biennial Kirknewton Festival or the Campaign for National Parks Youth Mosaic project can provide volunteering opportunities for specific project purposes.

CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING – We intend to develop specific corporate volunteering and team building packages. These packages will be charged for activities ensuring our full costs are recovered. In the meantime if you are a corporate group we may be able to develop a package to meet your needs.

How to contact us:

If you are interested in volunteering for any of the Sill roles identified above, we want to hear from you.  If you are interested in other areas of volunteering where we are not currently recruiting you can express your interest and we will inform you when opportunities become available.  You can contact us on

Useful links:

If you can’t find a volunteering opportunity with us, you may be interested in volunteering with other environmental/conservation organisations in the area. A number of links are provided below:

Connect with Northumberland National Park


Planning in the National Park

Northumberland National Park Authority is the statutory Planning Authority for the area of the Northumberland National Park. View our planning pages here.