Working Holiday Bookings Up 50%

Bookings of its working holidays are up 50% on this time last year, the National Trust announced this week.

The activity programme, celebrating its 45th year, runs over 300 breaks offering the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and play a vital part in conserving the country’s natural legacy.

The wide variety of activities include surfing while repairing footpaths in Devon, planting trees and photographing the wonders of Snowdonia or dry-stone walling alongside Hadrian’s Wall in Northumbria.

The Trust’s Head of Holidays, Marianne Wanstall, said: "This increase in bookings is fantastic news. Our working holidays are not just an amazing opportunity to learn new skills but see behind the scenes of the National Trust, meet new people and enjoy unique experiences. The volunteering work ensures that our special places remain open, relevant and accessible."

As growing numbers of Britons choose to holiday at home amid the economic downturn, National Trust working holidays also provide great value for money, with seven night breaks available from £145, including accommodation, all activities and meals.

New additions in 2012 include a farming holiday which involves hands on experience of all aspects of farming with management of cattle, pigs and even emus. Families are also well catered for with some new holidays offering child friendly activities such as sand sculpture competitions, beach cleaning and orienteering.

Marianne Wanstall added: "We’re really focused on providing unique experiences; our most popular choices are those with activities at their core, such as cycling, surfing, sailing, bush craft or photography. One of the real positives is the range of participants, from young to old, and we’re delighted that there’s been a major growth in our family holiday packages."

With 60,000 regular volunteers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, working holidaymakers join a huge tradition of volunteering within the National Trust.

Rob Clarke, holiday owner in the Lake District, said: "Working holidaymakers play a really valued role, giving up their time and skills to help us look after this special place. It’s also fantastic to be involved with all the camaraderie and enjoyment that comes from the people taking part."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 July 2003
Childcare charges rise over summer holidays
Families face a huge rise in the cost of summer holiday childcare, according to a new survey published today by the national childcare charity, Daycare Trust. The typical weekly cost of a place for a child in a summer holiday play scheme is set to rise by 16%, according to the report. Currently, the typical cost for childcare is £67.
15 May 2015
Rail Workers To Strike On Bank Holiday Monday
Network Rail workers are to strike over bank holiday Monday, it has been announced. The strike will be held on 25 May and last for 24 hours. The UK-wide action will see signallers, maintenance staff and station workers strike in a row over pay. The action follows a vote for industrial action by members of the union RMT.
28 May 2014
Inmate Wayne McLeod Caught After Absconding From Prison
Police have caught 36-year-old prisoner Wayne McLeod, the third prisoner to abscond from jail over the bank holiday weekend. He went on the run from Springhill open prison in Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, between 5.15pm and 8.15pm on Sunday, according to Thames Valley Police.
02 August 2010
Pre-Notting Hill Carnival Operation Underway
A four-week crackdown on troublemakers begins today as the Met Police get ready for trouble-makers ahead of this year's Notting Hill Carnival. They said that the eyes of the world turn to west London over the August bank holiday weekend and the Met works hard throughout the year to ensure carnival is not marred by crime.
19 August 2009
Bank Holiday Air Strike Balloted
Baggage handlers and check-in staff at three of the UK's busiest airports are being balloted for industrial action, which may lead to flight disruption over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Employees of Swissport, Rentokil Initial and ASIG at Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted airports may strike.