Millie: Assistant Ranger apprentice on Level 2 Countryside Worker apprenticeship

Published : Tue 21st May

Millie joined us as an apprentice assistant ranger in September 2023 and recently applied for some additional work experience to expand her knowledge on an exciting project in the Lake District and shared her story

Helping out on “Fix the Fells”

Recently I left Derbyshire for a one week hiatus to the West Lakes to work with the Fix the Fells Team! The Fix the Fells Team is a partnership project between the National Trust, The Lake District National Park Authority, Natural England, the Lake District Foundation, Friends of the Lake District and the amazing volunteers.

After reading an article internally about the work the team were doing in the Lake District I was keen to head up into the fells to learn some footpath maintenance techniques as part of my apprenticeship development. There was a BMC volunteering group called ‘Mend our Mountains’ who had travelled from all over the country who I joined along with Liam, Ian, Jack and Joe; the Fix the Fells rangers for two days.

What activities did I do?

On the first two days we were on Lingmell breast putting in a waff, which is a type of cross drain. We dug into the path and laid stones, almost like dry stone walling but in the ground! The stones had to fit nicely together and touch to add stability. We added stones at an angle which allowed the water to flow off the path into the waff and down the hill towards the river. We also created bunds on either side of the exit of the waff and learnt some clever ways to re-turf an area that we had taken it from by teasing it- it's very spongy!

The third day we were at Hollow Stones on Scafell Pike. The team have been building a new stone pitched path that is wider and has more drainage to cope with the huge visitor numbers every year. We were digging in huge stones that had been dropped off via a helicopter months before. We were using a trusty old steel bar to manoeuvre the stones and the Fix the Fells rangers made it look easy!

Whilst I was up in the Western Lakes I also spent a day with the West Lakes Ranger team with Jon, Ruthie and Francesca who were all so lovely to welcome me for a day. We dug in a new hanging post, fixed a stile and put in some new post and rail. Thanks to all the Fix the Fells team and the amazing BMC volunteers for being wonderful to work with.


work on the fell


working on the fell