At the start of this week the Lake District National Park Authority's Fell Top Assessor team returned for the 2020 winter season. They might just have one of the most socially distanced roles in the UK. Long before this year's coronavirus pandemic the Fell Top Assessors have been used to working in solitary conditions to keep walkers safe on the fells.
With a job as unique as this, there's no way the fell top assessors can work from home. Each day between now and April one of them will brave the Lake District weather to get to the summit of Helvellyn. From there they will collate a 'boots on the ground' condition report to help keep you safe over the winter months.
There's some uncertainty over Christmas throughout the country but it's more of the same for Fell Top Assessor, Jon Bennett, as he's had a socially distanced Christmas most years over his twelve seasons and is on the rota to do the Christmas day shift this year too.
This year, more importantly than ever, the team will be providing an invaluable safety service for people who may not be used to the fells in the winter.
In addition to the daily report that the team shares on www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk (which you can also find on our weather forecast page) and on twitter @LakesWeather, they also offer a winter skills course which can be booked to teach people how to properly use their winter equipment and what to do if you venture out on to the fells in snowy or icy conditions.
The photo shows: Lake District National Park Authority Fell Top Assessors (l-r) Jon Bennett, Wes Hunter and Zac Poulton with Helvellyn in the background, which was taken prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
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