Voluntary Opportunities
Regular or occasional requirements South West

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Voluntary opportunities with an occasional commitment requirement e.g. a few hours a week, one or two days a month. Work covers a wide range of areas: countryside, conservation and ecology voluntary opportunities including wildlife work and environmental education. Weekly updates.

To see all of this week's new additions, not just for this area - click here.  Adverts are listed in chronological order, most recent at the top.


South West vacancies: Avon, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

Full and part time placements, subdivided into subject areas, i.e. the type of work you'll be doing, click here.

Please remember to contact only the organisation or person mentioned in the ASK section and please mention that you saw the advert with CJS.    Explanation of the headings here. 

JOB: Coast and Countryside Volunteer Ranger

BE4: 15/11/19

LOC: Botallack TR197QQ

PAY: £750 training budget for the year

FOR: National Trust

This is an opportunity involved in the conservation & management of the West Cornwall estate including areas of SSI, WHS, AONBs & over one hundred scheduled monuments within a landscape of an intensity of archaeology that is rivalled by few places in Western Europe. This role will suit people who: enjoy working on the coast & in the countryside; are looking to learn new skills & want hands-on experience for a future in conservation; enjoy being part of a dedicated team & enjoy engaging with members of the public; have a full UK driving licence; are good communicators; are looking for a detailed & immersive experience of the National Trust or the sector & interested in understanding how we care for our places at National Trust over time; interested in volunteering 4 days a week for 12 months to give you a well-rounded experience. ASK: Please contact jasmin.odell@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01736 785 903 for more information & an application form.

JOB: Forest School Volunteer Assistant

BE4: N / A

LOC: Exeter, Devon

PAY: Travel expenses & in house training

FOR: A Touch of the Wild

We are looking for volunteers to help on weekdays and weekends at our holiday club, education groups, family events and birthday parties. Volunteers will be supporting the Club leaders to deliver fun days in the woods for children aged 5-14 years, packed with opportunities to take part and learn some amazing skills. Volunteers will need some exp of working with children or young people or feel confident in supporting groups of children in nature based activities. If you are interested in delivering outdoor learning, have enthusiasm, dedication and excellent communication skills this is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable exp. In house training will be provided with opportunities to learn bushcraft, green woodwork, plant ID and many more skills. A love of the great outdoors and own transport is essential! Volunteers working with vulnerable adults or children will need to take a DBS check that will be paid for by A Touch of the Wild. Volunteers are not required to make a commitment to regular days a week, although this would be helpful. ASK: Contact Hannah Standen, info@atouchofthewild.co.uk

JOB: Voluntary Reserve Assistant

BE4: 20/11/19

LOC: Goss Moor National Nature Reserve

PAY: Training, PPE & expenses

FOR: Natural England

6 hours per month. A monthly practical task day is launching this autumn to increase community involvement in the management of Goss Moor NNR. Tasks will vary from cutting scrub & maintaining the multi-use trail, to creating charcoal, & livestock management. Your input will help to diversify the landscape of the moor, & improve the habitats for notified species like the marsh fritillary butterfly. All are welcome to come along & pick up a hand tool - no prior experience is required; just a passion to be part of a team & a love of the outdoors, working in all weather. ASK: For further information email crystal.edwards@naturalengland.org.uk.

JOB: Truleigh Hill Project Volunteer - 'Pondscapes' Champion

BE4: N / A

LOC: Truleigh Hill, South Downs Way, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5FB

PAY: Training

FOR: South Downs National Park Authority

Assist the Truleigh Hill Community Landscape Officer in the creation, management and monitoring of ponds, supporting terrestrial habitats and the development of 'Pondscapes'. Involves: practical habitat management, creation and surveying (including dusk and dawn surveys and inputting data onto a national database), working with the team, volunteers, the public and project partners including Froglife and people of varying backgrounds. The ability to support at events and to have an interest in ponds, wetlands and associated species particularly amphibians. All reasonable equipment will be provided. Benefits: project and site induction, personal safety and ongoing support. Ideally volunteers will have their own transport, alternatively they can join specified project workdays delivered by the SNDPA where transport will be provided. Initially the practical activities will be delivered over Saturdays with opportunities for weekday involvement. October 2019 to March 2020) with a review for spring / summer 2020 - extension onto further years funding dependant. ASK: Please contact vrs@southdowns.gov.uk with any queries or to apply.

JOB: Conservation Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Plymouth & Surrounding Area

PAY: Training

FOR: Plymouth Environmental Action (PEA)

We carry out a variety of projects including: tree planting; beach cleans; species & habitat surveys; wildlife pond creation; hedgelaying; invasive plant species management (e.g. rhododendron, parrotfeather, Himalayan balsam etc.); coppicing (a traditional woodland management technique); dry stone walling, to name but a few! Events each weekend, but no requirement to commit to a certain number of days. You will gain valuable nature conservation skills in countryside management, such as how to create & restore important habitats for wildlife & people. You will also gain other key skills such as communication, team working & leadership. If you are really keen you may want to progress to become a Volunteer Project Officer (VPO) & get more involved ‘behind the scenes’ planning & leading practical projects & social events. You don’t need to have any skills, experience or abilities to join as a volunteer; all you need is a love of the outdoors & be a good team player. ASK: Find out more from Chris Bond, plymouthenvironmentalaction@hotmail.co.uk https://www.pea-volunteering.co.uk

JOB: Practical Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: Across Penwith, Cornwall

PAY: Travel expenses & training available

FOR: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Come & learn more about the work we do across Penwith in practical conservation, archaeology, ecology improving public access & farming practices. We are running volunteer sessions to clear vegetation to uncover some of Penwith’s archaeological treasures, restore Cornish hedges & improve access along trails connecting ancient sites. We need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves & get stuck in, embrace learning new skills & enjoy working outside in all weathers. The sessions are fascinating days out with friendly people - a great way to boost your health & wellbeing. Bring sturdy footwear, lunch & waterproof / outdoor clothing.  All training, tools, equipment & refreshments (tea / coffee & biscuits!) provided. Other volunteering opportunities are available for a range of different tasks. ASK: For more information and to register contact Holly on holly.berwick@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or visit https://www.penwithlandscape.com.

JOB: Wildlife Care Assistant

BE4: N/A

LOC: Highbridge, Somerset

PAY: Training provided

FOR: Secret World Wildlife Rescue

A minimum of one shift every other week for a period of six months – permanent. We specialise in the rescue, rehabilitation and eventual release of orphaned and injured wild creatures. Run entirely on donations we run a wildlife rescue service in the South West of England. Each year, over 5,000 wild animals are helped by Secret World. Volunteering as a wildlife care assistant is quite physically demanding and requires working indoors and outdoors. It also requires a reasonable level of admin skill to accurately understand and complete animal casualty records. Ideally be able to work independently, with initiative, and be able to follow written and verbal instructions. Tasks involve the handling and capture of animals for assessment and transport, cleaning enclosures to a good hygienic standard, preparation and delivery of food and water, providing enrichment and monitoring the condition and behaviour of the animals. ASK: For further information please visit https://www.secretworld.org/volunteer or contact Claire on 01278 768704 volunteer@secretworld.org

JOB: Nature Reserve Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Slapton Ley Field Centre, Devon

PAY: Lunch

FOR: Field Studies Council

1 day a week. Conservation Tasks might include: Clearing vegetation with hand tools, constructing woodland paths and steps, hand pulling invasive plants, constructing fences and stiles. You will need to be physically fit and happy to work out in all weathers. Some experience of using hand tools would be helpful. ASK: Find out more from Alice Henderson on 07734 781374, volunteer.sl@field-studies-council.org

JOB: Residential Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: Magdalen Farm, Winsham, Chard, Somerset

PAY: Accom. Incl Meals & Training

FOR: Magdalen Environmental Trust

A 132 acre organic educational & therapeutic centre that welcomes c. 4,500 visitors of all ages & abilities in a residential & day visit capacity. For the last 25 years we have engaged with & educated visitors using nature & the farming environment as our resource; it is fun, inspirational & innovative. Most of the help required is horticultural. There is also animal care which involves feeding up & putting our lovely poultry to bed! We always have the need for help with conservation & construction such as building wooden bridges. Time: 3 weeks to 2 months. We teach volunteers basic animal care, seasonal horticultural skills & organic vegetable growing. Experience not essential as we can teach you. As we are in a rural setting & not a community you will need to be fairly self-sufficient & being sociable is really important too. Self-motivated, enthusiastic, committed & willing to get involved.   ASK: Contact rebecca@magdalenfarm.org.uk to request a volunteer application pack.

JOB: Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: Cornwall

PAY: Training

FOR: Wild Futures The Monkey Sanctuary

We have a variety of short term placements throughout the year, some are funded and some which are not if you do not meet the ESC criteria or you want to stay longer.  Non-funded placements require the volunteer to pay a £40 per week donation to cover food and accommodation costs. Our short term placements are for 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 8 weeks throughout the year. Long term placements run for 12 months and start every October, please see our website for more information. All volunteers must be 18 years old with at least a level B in English. No experience is needed, however volunteers must be physically fit and able due to the working nature and the working environment. An enthusiasm for hard work is important as up to 60% of the work will involve cleaning, be it the monkey rooms or the public areas.  ASK: For more information please contact hayley_oliver@wildfutures.org

JOB: Our Past, Our Future Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: New Forest National Park

PAY: Travel expenses

FOR: New Forest National Park Authority

The Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme volunteers can take part in archaeological digs, botanical surveys, digitising historical documents, recording the history of commoning, clearing invasive plants, surveying historic routes & much more. The range of activities are supported by 11 different partners to inspire a new generation to champion & care for the New Forest. Volunteers can give as much time as they would like. No previous experience or qualifications required, just a desire & passion to learn about, improve & enjoy the New Forest National Park. ASK: Contact Richard Austin, richard.austin@newforestnpa.gov.uk for more details.

JOB: Office Angel

BE4: N / A

LOC: RSPB Arne Work Centre, Dorset

PAY: Training & expenses


The RSPB would not be able to save nature without all the work that goes on behind the scenes in our lovely office at Arne. We need your help to support the team here with admin tasks, data entry and phone cover. Competent with Microsoft Outlook, Excel & Word. Confident communicating in person and on the phone. Excellent attention to detail and happy to do some repetitive tasks. One day per week. ASK: Please contact Emma Stephens, 01929 557821 emma.stephens@rspb.org.uk

JOB: Garden Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Totnes, South Devon

PAY: Expenses paid and lunch provided

FOR: The Sharpham Trust

If you want to learn more about gardening, tree-care and horticulture, you might like to join our team of garden volunteers. You can stay all or half a day, joining in all kinds of active, hands-on tasks to be done in our 18th century walled kitchen garden, our formal gardens (designed by Percy Cane) or our sublime woodland gardens.  You don’t need experience - our gardener Bryony Middleton will give guidance each week. Plus you’ll enjoy a warm lunch with the Sharpham team. ASK: Contact Lucy Bell on 01803 731802 or email volunteer@sharphamtrust.org to find out more information

JOB: Conservation Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Totnes, South Devon

PAY: Expenses paid

FOR: The Sharpham Trust

If you like gratifying, physical work outdoors, you can help us with the conservation of Sharpham’s breath-taking parkland - thought to have been laid out by England’s most famous landscaper Capability Brown - which surrounds Sharpham House, a Grade 1-listed Georgian villa. This summer the group will be helping to restore some of the paths and steps around the Estate and building some new fencing near the orchards. The volunteers have just finished creating a new oak circular bench beside the River Dart amid the reed-beds. Our conservation volunteers meet by the coach-yard at the back of Sharpham House. No experience is necessary as guidance will be given by group leader Martin Beat from our partners Ambios ASK: Contact Lucy Bell on 01803 731802 or email volunteer@sharphamtrust.org to find out more information

JOB: Trail Watcher: England Coast Path

BE4: N / A

LOC: Somerset County Wide


FOR: Somerset County Council

The England Coast Path in Somerset currently stretches from Brean Down to Minehead. This section takes in 58 miles of the beautiful and diverse coast of Somerset. On clear days the fortified promontory of Brean Down offers panoramic views of the whole stretch to Minehead. The path takes you to Burnham on Sea, along the flood banks of the River Parrett to Bridgwater and back to Stert Point then along the open coast to Hinkley Point. From Hinkley Point it heads west, passing through the historic port of Watchet, before continuing to Minehead. As an England Coast Path Trail Watcher you will regularly walk your adopted path(s) (3-4 times per year); carry out regular light cutting back of vegetation from around gates, stiles, bridges, way mark posts and signposts; promote responsible use of the Public Rights of Way network; report any problems encountered on local rights of way. ASK: Contact rowvolunteers@somerset.gov.uk for more info.

JOB: Adopt a Path Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Somerset County Wide


FOR: Somerset County Council

The Adopt a Path scheme is a great way to get outdoors, see the countryside near my home and get to meet some people who are really passionate about the countryside. At the same time by keeping the paths clear and open for others to enjoy perfect for getting out and about more.  As a volunteer you will only need to walk the path 3-4 times a year so the role is completely flexible and can be combined with your dog walking or exercise. As an Adopt a Path volunteer you will: regularly (3-4 times per year) walk your adopted path(s); carry out regular light cutting back of vegetation from around gates, stiles, bridges, way mark posts and signposts, etc; promote responsible use of the Public Rights of Way network through observing the Countryside Code; report to issues via Explore Somerset. ASK: Contact rowvolunteers@somerset.gov.uk for more info.

JOB: Community Outreach Volunteer, Riverlands. National Trust

BE4: 1/12/19

LOC: National Trust Estate Office, Holnicote, Exmoor TA24 8TJ

PAY: Full training and travel expenses

FOR: National Trust

Riverlands aims to increase local people’s connections with their rivers and streams and the wildlife found in them. The projects Engagement Officer, Sammy, is looking to recruit a team of volunteers to support her with this aspect of the project’s work. This role will involve helping to run community events, attending local events to meet people and promote the project, working with schools and families. This will be an extremely varied role with the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people from all ages and backgrounds. This project will also focus on working with those who will benefit the most from nature, reaching out to new audiences. This role would suit someone who is confident, outgoing, enjoys working with a wide variety of people and can inspire others. Training is provided. ASK: Contact samantha.fraser@nationaltrust.org.uk 07741129245.

JOB: Photographer and/or Film Maker, Riverlands

BE4: 1/12/19

LOC: National Trust Estate Office, Holnicote, TA24 8TJ

PAY: Travel expenses

FOR: National Trust

Riverlands is a national project that aims to create rivers and catchments that are clean, healthy and rich in wildlife. We also want the project to inspire people to connect with rivers, nature and wildlife, increasing the relevance of rivers and other freshwaters in our lives. The Porlock project area includes the River Aller, Horner Waterand Hawcombe Stream. It lies in the north-east corner of Exmoor National Parkand has a combined river length of 44km. Working in collaboration with others, we will restore the rivers and their tributaries, improve water quality, protect endangered species such as the water vole, develop opportunities for species reintroduction such as beaver, and improve land management practices, both on land owned by the National Trust, as well as that of our neighbours. We’re looking for someone who has a keen eye for a good image to help us capture this project work and showcase the benefit it has for nature and the local community. We are also interested in making films with local schools. Riverlands is a national project, so this would be the perfect opportunity to promote the work of local photographers and film makers. ASK: Contact samantha.fraser@nationaltrust.org.uk 07741129245.

JOB: Primate Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: Looe, Cornwall, UK

PAY: Travel, food & accommodation*

FOR: Wild Futures

You will assist in all parts of work at Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary. There will be general maintenance work of the site. You will also receive education talks by staff members on each species, the organisation, darting, medication, anatomy etc. Assisting at the café & children’s workshop will add variety to the volunteer’s day & ensure they interact with the general visiting public during opening hours (weekends, & half- term / summer holidays). The work at the Sanctuary is hard & physically demanding so volunteers must be fit & able. Min 2 week commitment. *Some funded opportunities for UK residents & non-UK residents (EU only). Travel, food & accommodation are free, you will also receive about £160 a month as pocket money. If you are not eligible for the funded placements we have non-funded placements too, however we ask for a £40 a week contribution for food & accommodation. ASK: More information: Hayley Oliver, hayley_oliver@wildfutures.org

Details believed correct but given without prejudice. Ends.