THE organisation which runs a popular rural visitor centre has launched a search for people with a passion for the North Pennines in an effort to recruit more volunteers.

The Bowlees Visitor Centre, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, opened last year and became an immediate hit with thousands of outdoor enthusiasts.

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, which runs the centre, is looking for volunteers to be part of the Bowlees team.

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Development manager Jon Charlton said: “We’re looking for people who cannot only provide a warm welcome for our visitors, but also bring something additional to the team, whether that’s retail experience, educational skills or something more specific such as a good knowledge of birds or a geological or archaeological background.

“Our team at the partnership is made up of experts from many fields, from archaeologists to botanists who will be sharing their skills and knowledge.

“This is a great opportunity to gain some customer service and retail experience and even to get involved in planning and managing events. We are a friendly team and this is a wonderful place to work.”

The centre is open 10am-4pm, seven days a week throughout March. Frrom April until the end of October, opening hours are extended to 9am-6pm. Volunteers can choose to offer as little or as much as they like.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Nicola Cullens or Sarah Kelly, email; go online to or call 01833-622145/01388-528801.