Why volunteer?

We asked some of our volunteers why they do it, and what keeps them coming back for more.

Why volunteer for CROWS? Sometimes I ask this when working in the Pennine rain! I love the physicality of it and it’s great that the experienced volunteers are all willing to share their expertise. I get a good workout and we have a lot of laughs when we are working.

The footpath network is a fascinating part of the area’s heritage, and keeping it maintained gives me a sense of achievement, even if we can’t always match the expertise of the builders of previous centuries.

I love walking and I enjoy working outdoors, so when I retired, I joined CROWS as a volunteer and from day one I was made to feel welcome. Six years on I have learnt new skills, made new friends and my knowledge of local footpaths has increased tenfold!

I was walking through Hard Castle Craggs, having only recently moved to Hebden Bridge. I saw people working on the footpath and thought ‘I would really like to do this kind of work’. I looked at their sign, then looked it up on line and contacted them.

I joined because I wanted learn more about the landscape, paths, the history, flora and fauna. I wanted to do something useful, learn new skills and I prefer being outdoors!

The added bonus is that CROWS are a great bunch of people. I feel very lucky to be a part of this amazing voluntary service.


After decades of working indoors, I was determined to find volunteering opportunities that involved working outdoors and doing something really practical. Living alone I wanted to make sure there was a social element and in particular working alongside other like-minded people. CROWS fitted the bill completely.

I am a walker and felt I knew the pathways in the area pretty well, but work with CROWS has opened up a completely undiscovered landscape for me. An added benefit has been learning new skills such as step building and waymarking routes to make the countryside more accessible to others to explore and enjoy.