The Lake District National Park’s Fell Top Assessor team returned for the 2020 winter season, with one longstanding member of staff about to add to his staggering 600 trips up the mighty Helvellyn.

They might just have one of the most socially distanced roles in the UK but each day offers something different.

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, the Fell Top Assessors had 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 fell top assessors can work from home. Each day from early December until April, one of the team of three will brave the weather to get to the summit of Helvellyn. From there they will collate a ‘boots on the ground’ condition report to help keep walkers and outdoor enthusiasts safe.

The team provides an invaluable safety service for people who may not be used to the fells in the winter and also offer winter skills courses in safer times.

After using the service one of the dedicated team members has managed to complete 600 journeys to the top of the Lake District's most popular climb. Since taking on the role he feels he can give back to the service that helped him for so many years.

Fell Top Assessor Jon Bennett, who is well into his 13th season, described one of his favourite moment. He said: “ I was walking in cloud for most of the way up to the summit. Then, suddenly, the cloud cleared on the summit plateau, although there was still mist over Red Tarn.

“The sun behind me cast my shadow onto this mist and I saw the most wonderful Brocken Spectre. It’s an unusual and magical experience having a halo surround your shadow.

“I’m really encouraged that many more people have found the benefits of the great outdoors and nature and are keen to explore the Lake District. Health and wellbeing is particularly important during these times. We will work hard to make sure that they can summit safely through the winter months.

“Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to do this. It’s amazing. At the moment the route is quiet but is is a great place for people in the local community to get out for a socially distance walk.”