Master Composters stand at event

Cumbria Master Composters

Cumbria Master Composters have been promoting home composting in the county since 2017. Find out more about the project and how you could volunteer with us or get help from our team.
Cumbria Master Composters are volunteers recruited, trained and supported by Garden Organic to help raise awareness of the benefits of composting and encourage people to compost at home.

About 🔗

Master Composters spend time promoting home composting in their local community, encouraging householders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting do so effectively.

Our volunteers across Westmorland & Furness and Cumberland are funded by Cumbria County Council and encourage composting in the local community by attending garden trails, green days and farmers' markets, and delivering composting talks. The volunteers are also involved in opening Compost Demonstration Sites, where people can go and see the different types of compost bins available and find out more about which bins would suit their needs at home.

Aims 🔗

The aims of a Master Composter volunteer are to:

  • Raise awareness of the benefits of composting.
  • Encourage more people to compost at home.
  • Support those already composting to ensure they are successful in their home composting activities.
Master Composters stand at apple day event
Master Composters stand at Hutton-in-the-Forest Apple Day

Benefits 🔗

The first step to becoming a Master Composter is to attend a training course. The purpose of this training is to ensure that all volunteers have the same basic level of knowledge.

Your place on the Master Composter scheme will be fully funded and you will not have to pay for the training course or any resources.

You can claim expenses incurred whilst carrying out volunteering within the project area. You will be supported in your role by a Volunteer Coordinator.

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Tubs of compost with lollipop sticks in them.
Volunteers demonstrate how to make compost and the benefits to the environment

Person 🔗

Master Composters are volunteers who spend time promoting home composting, encouraging householders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting do so effectively.

Master Composters come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for composting and their ability to engage with and make a difference to their local community. People’s attitudes and behaviour can be influenced by family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues and it's for this reason that our volunteers can provide a unique and much-needed role.

This role will suit people who:

  • Have an interest in composting and sustainable waste management.
  • Have good communication and listening skills.
  • Enjoy talking about and promoting home composting.
  • Would be happy to participate both individually and as part of a team.
  • Are able to share knowledge and/or present information to others.
  • Have a positive, organised and flexible approach to volunteering.
  • Are looking to extend their knowledge in sustainable waste management and horticulture.
  • Are able to attend Master Composter training events.

Home composting organic waste not only helps reduce carbon emissions but is a good way to reduce the amount of waste sent for treatment. I urge everyone to give home composting a go, and for those who live in the area and are interested in learning more, to visit Gosling Sike.

— Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Environment on the new Composting Demonstration Site

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Activities 🔗

The Master Composter volunteer role is designed to be flexible and suit individual strengths and opportunities. We ask volunteers to promote home composting in their local area, but how this is undertaken is at the discretion of the volunteer. Some of the commonly undertaken volunteer activities are listed below:

  • Attending events - stands at small, local, or larger regional or national events, allotment or parish fayres.
  • Giving talks and demonstrations at schools and neighbourhood events e.g. village fetes, fundraising events and community days, local garden centres.
  • Demonstrating to your nextdoor neighbours - set up a home compost demonstration site.
  • Producing written articles about the benefits of homemade compost for promotion in the local press, parish/community/church/allotment magazines or on websites and social media.
  • Helping to promote future sales of compost bins.
  • Setting up or helping to run a community composting site.

Most Master Composters spend around 30 hours annually in their compost promotional activities. These 30 hours include all travel and preparation time. This figure however is not compulsory.

News 🔗

Visit our new Compost Demonstration Site

The first Compost Demonstration Site in Cumbria is now open and will be used to demonstrate and teach people about various systems to make compost, as well as giving general information on composting. The Master Composter project will use this site to give training to garden groups and other interested parties. It's located in the organic wildlife garden at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s office Gosling Sike in Carlisle. The site is free to visit any time at Gosling Sike, Houghton Road, Houghton, Carlisle, CA3 0LD. If you would like to visit please email Project Coordinator, Deborah.

Contact 🔗

For more information on Cumbria Master Composters, please contact our project coordinators Deborah in Cumberland and Frankie in Westmorland and Furness.

For further information about Garden Organic’s work please contact a member of the horticulture team by email or telephone 024 7630 3517.

Composting waste

Become a Master Composter in Cumbria

Attend one of our training courses and become an influencer in your local community, who encourages others to compost, reduce their waste and care for their environment. Find out more about the role and sign up to volunteer with us.

Request the help of a Master Composter

Get advice, arrange a composting talk or invite our Master Composters to your local event.

  • Cumbria recycling
  • Master Composters stall
  • Composting machine
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