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Countryside Jobs Service Professional - The leading monthly for countryside staff across the UK

Published on the second Thursday every month – 8 March 2018

CJS is endorsed by the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association and the Countryside Management Association

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Countryside Management Association

logo: Vincent Wildlife Trust 

Featured Charity:   The Vincent Wildlife Trust

Find out more about our featured charity here. Including how to join and donate.

This month's edition includes their second article, read it here.



Please remember: If you are interested in a particular advert or item please contact the advertiser, not CJS, and remember to tell them you saw their advert in CJS Professional.

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CJS Newsletters and updates:

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Noteworthy this month:

Top news this month comes from defra as Michael Gove launches a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of English farming and the environment [more] and Neonicotinoids risk to bees confirmed [more]

Second article from our Featured Charity: The Vincent Wildlife Trust, Volunteers help with the return of the pine marten to Wales. Read here.

The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 are now open for entries.  CJS is delighted to be sponsoring the Botanical Britain category once again. More here.

CJS Focus on Volunteering, in association with The National Trust, browse through online here, or download a PDF version. 

35 pages in total with Adverts: Full edition: 131 this Professional copy: 113 (current adverts only) and details of projects, groups and work parties. 5 articles:

  • In the lead article from the National Trust, a spotlight is thrown on volunteer management, the way the Trust involves, supports and manages volunteers directly impacts on the volunteers ability to support and champion the cause.
  • Keep Wales Tidy sees Corporate Social Responsibility as an opportunity to make significant positive changes to local communities and the environment across Wales. CSR is also a very good for a company’s image & the wellbeing of staff.
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Biodiverse Society Project has succeeded in updating knowledge of Local Wildlife Site systems through engagement of volunteers, local naturalist groups & provision of wildlife survey training.
  • Volunteers working across the 15 members of the UK National Park family are recognised at the annual Volunteer Awards. They provide much-deserved recognition for those generously donating their time.
  • Since the launch of the Canal & River Trust in 2012 volunteer numbers have risen from a few hundred to today’s 2700 volunteers delivering 540,000 hours. CRT realises they need to know what volunteers want and act on suggestions to ensure those volunteers are happy. 

logo: RSPBJob title: Senior Conservation Officer

Location: Mid and South Wales

Starting Salary: £29,507 to £31,966 per annum

Basis: Full time – 2 year contract.

Closing Date: 22 March 2018

Interview Date: 5 April 2018

Are you passionate about protecting and restoring Welsh wildlife? Are you able to inspire and lead people, teams and partnerships to successfully deliver conservation outcomes? We are looking for a dynamic, energetic influencer with a track record of working through others to achieve goals.

Your role will be to deliver outcomes in three of our priority landscapes and improve the condition of key habitats and species in these important areas. The focus of your work will be: the Living Levels Landscapes Partnership, covering the Gwent Levels the Summit to the Sea landscape running from the summit of Pumlumon (Plynlimon) in the Cambrian Mountains through the Dyfi Estuary to Cardigan Bay the Elennydd-Mallaen SACs in the southern Cambrian Mountains with a focus on the Celtic Rainforest and Important Plant Areas including the RSPB nature reserves at Gewnffrwd Dinas and Carngafallt.

We are looking for a capable conservation professional to develop and deliver key elements of our conservation strategy in Wales. You will have experience of leading within teams and partnerships to successfully deliver complex projects and conservation outcomes. You will need to able to apply your knowledge of ecology and experience of conservation management to make good judgements about appropriate interventions and impact. The successful candidate will also have practical land management delivery experience including contract management, procurement and CDM (Contract, Design and Management) regulations

For further information and to download an application pack, please click here

Logo: Sussex Wildlife TrustLocal Wildlife Sites Officer

Location:  Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex

Contract Type:  Fixed term for 3 years from start date, with the possibility of extension

Hours:  35.00 per week

Days of Working:  Monday to Friday

Salary:  £27,466.56

Closing Date:  Sunday 15 April 2018

Interview Date:  Monday 30 April 2018

The Trust

The Sussex Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to the conservation of nature in Sussex. We want Sussex to be a home for nature’s recovery, where people and wildlife can thrive together. As part of our commitment to ensuring that nature is a central consideration in decision making across Sussex, the Trust hosts and supports the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (SxBRC).

SxBRC is one of a network of local environmental record centres around the UK. It provides environmental information services encompassing biodiversity, geodiversity and other aspects of Sussex’s natural capital.  SxBRC works in partnership with data providers and data users – including local planning authorities, government agencies and conservation organisations – for public benefit.

The Role

Local Wildlife Sites (LWSs) are non-statutory, locally designated sites. That means their only protection is through the planning system; and through landowners and local people caring about them.

The Local Wildlife Sites Officer role is a new position dedicated to establishing a functioning Local Wildlife Sites system for Sussex: ensuring that LWSs can be accurately represented in Local Plans; given due consideration in the planning & development process; and receive targeted management advice, with the ultimate aim of getting more sites into positive conservation management.

This is a unique opportunity to be directly involved in nature conservation in Sussex. The successful candidate will have the full support of colleagues in the Sussex Wildlife Trust, SxBRC and our partner organisations to help them maximise the potential of this role.

The Person

We are looking to recruit someone with significant experience in ecological surveying and preparation of professional ecological survey reports, with a graduate qualification in ecology or related discipline (or equivalent experience). Knowledge of Sussex sites, landscapes, habitats and species would be a distinct advantage.

Key Skills

As well as ecological survey and species identification skills, we are looking for someone with an aptitude for managing data and information. Another key requirement will be the ability to engage effectively with landowners and other stakeholders.

The Benefits

Based at Woods Mill, one of the Trust’s nature reserves near Henfield, this role offers flexible working, 24 days annual leave, access to an Employee Assistance Scheme and the opportunity to help the Sussex Wildlife Trust make a real difference to local wildlife.

Applying for the Role

If you are interested in this position and believe you have the necessary skills to succeed in the role, please click here

Logo: Crestwood Environmental LtdSeasonal Field Ecologist (Part-Time, Temporary) Surrey

Crestwood Environmental Ltd are looking for two motivated seasonal Field Ecologists to undertake a Reptile and Great Crested Newt translocation in Surrey. This role is a temporary position, lasting between 3 -4 months, on a shared rotational basis, approximately 5 days per week (to include weekends), 4 -5 hrs per day.

Initially we are looking for surveyors to start in June (dates to be confirmed). Please clearly state in your application when you are available to start and where you are based.

You will receive a competitive hourly rate and be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Essential requirements:  ● Reliable and safety-conscious;  ● Based within 20 miles of Redhill, Surrey, and able to travel to and from the site; Right to work in UK;Willing to work weekends and some unsociable hours; Self-motivated to work independently; Proactive communication skills;Excellent time management; Enthusiasm for ecology.

Desirable: Experience working with Reptiles and Great Crested Newt Class 1 Great Crested Newt licence.

Please forward a copy of your CV, together with a covering letter by email no later than Monday April 9th 2018 to Eleanor Yates (eleanor@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk)

logo: Caring for God's AcreCaring for God’s Acre (CfGA), the national charity that promotes the conservation of churchyards and burial grounds, seeks to appoint the following new posts for an exciting new Heritage Lottery Funded project, The Beautiful Burial Ground

Project Manager

Salary: £31,000 per annum pro rata.
Contract: 4 days a week (29.6 hours) fixed term contract until April 2022.
Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire.

Are you a self-motivated individual looking for an exciting new opportunity? We are looking for a Project Manager to galvanise a new team to deliver our new Beautiful Burial Ground Project.

The post holder will work to inspire and support partners, interest groups and the general public in the wealth of biodiversity, built heritage and social history within burial grounds. The role includes the development of advice materials, website content and identifying exemplars.

As well as ensuring that the delivery of this innovative new project is within time, budget and scope, the post holder will have the opportunity to shape its direction.

Data Manager (post re-advertised. Altered responsibilities due to new developments)

Salary: £25,951 per annum pro rata.

Contract: 4 days per week (29.6 hours), fixed term contract until April 2022.
Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire.

This post is suitable for a degree of remote and flexible working, please contact us to discuss further.
Join our new team and help shape the future of the conservation of burial grounds. We are looking for a person passionate about biodiversity and recording.

The role will involve working with the National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN) to produce a customised view of the national species database, the NBN Atlas, which will present biological records known to come from burial grounds.

The post holder will work with consultants to develop and ensure the smooth functioning of this system, links with external websites and the transfer of key summary data. The role will involve working closely with conservation and recording groups to obtain existing data and encourage new records. It includes developing simple analysis and other creative ways to ensure the raw data is summarised for the public in an engaging way.

logo: Heritage Lottery Fund / Lottery FundedAn information pack is available for the 2 posts on the Caring for God’s Acre website (currently undergoing a revamp) and via e-mail.

The office base is in Craven Arms, Shropshire.

Applications to be made with full c.v. and contact details of two referees: info@cfga.org.uk 01588 673041.

Closing date before Monday 9am 19th of March


logo: CGPExperienced Grounds Manager sought for Lake District Private Estate. 

£30,000+ plus generous benefits.

The estate looks over the southern fells and comprises fields, woodlands, ponds and gardens.  This is a high profile role and the successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring the efficient day-to-day running, development and improvement of the estate grounds (excluding private gardens).

Visit cgpbooks.co.uk for more information,  To apply, please email your CV and a full covering letter to recruitment@cgpbooks.co.uk

logo: Chorleywood Parish CouncilChorleywood Parish Council, located at South Lodge, Rickmansworth Road, is responsible for delivering high quality services to its parishioners.

Chorleywood Common consists of around 200 acres of mixed habitats, including ancient acid grassland and heathland, neutral grassland, Chalk grassland, conservation grazing, seven ponds, scrub and secondary woodland.

Conservation Ranger

£24,238 - £28,508 (career grade) + London Weighting

This position will be subject to a six month probationary period. Much of the grassland and all of the ponds are under a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme with Natural England and as such the Conservation Ranger will be working towards achieving targets laid out within the agreement and the Common Green Action Plan to increase the ecological value of our precious habitats and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.

We are therefore looking for someone with a passion for British Natural History and good knowledge of habitats and species, Level 3 in Countryside Management/Conservation or significant practical experience in land, conservation and access management.  Practical experience in use of machinery, chainsaw qualification and the ability to operate agricultural machinery is essential. You will need good people skills, with experience in planning, deliverance and undertaking of outdoor education projects.

Assistant Parish Ranger

£18,910 - £23,498 (career grade) + London Weighting

This position will be subject to a six month probationary period

Part of a small friendly team, you will carry out a wide range of grounds maintenance duties mainly on Chorleywood Common.  Enthusiastic, and flexible, you should have at least two years relevant experience and be able to work with a minimum of supervision and prioritise your workload.  A passion for the environment plus good interpersonal skills is essential together with chainsaw qualifications and the ability to operate agricultural machinery.

Hours are 8.00am - 4.00 pm Monday to Friday with half an hour for lunch.

Salary is subject to experience and qualifications.

For an application pack, please contact: Yvonne Merritt, Chorleywood Parish Council, South Lodge, Rickmansworth Road, Chorleywood, Herts WD3 5SL

Tel: 01923 285594, E-mail: info@chorleywood-pc.gov.uk.

Closing Date:  23rd March 2018

logo: Surrey Wildlife Trust Ecology ServicesSeasonal Ecologist

Short term contract (mid-April to mid-October), salary dependent on experience

We are seeking a motivated individual to join our established SWT Ecology Services team and contribute to the ongoing delivery of high quality ecological advice. 

Educated to degree level, with a passion for wildlife conservation, you will be enthusiastic and well organised with some demonstrable field experience although training will be provided. 

The role will be predominantly field-based in the Surrey region undertaking a variety of surveys with some travel to neighbouring counties required.  A full UK driving licence is necessary.

For an Application Form and full job profile, visit our website www.surreywildlifetrust.org .  Questions to Gabbie Graham gabrielle.graham@Surreywt.org.uk  01483 795440.

Deadline for applications 5pm Thursday 29th March 2018, interviews week beginning 3rd April 2018.

Ranger 12 Month Placements

Locations – Carsington (Derbyshire), Draycote (Warwickshire), Staunton Harold (Leicestershire)

At Severn Trent, we don’t just supply people with water: we work closely with the environment, caring for the wildlife and communities that surround our sites. Now, we’re on the lookout for some skilled Rangers to join our team.

Key aspects of the role include -  ● Carry out crucial maintenance, health and safety checks, accident reporting and investigations Support, shape and deliver local recreational and educational activities Lead practical conservation efforts on Sites of Specific Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves and local Nature Reserves  ● Build working relationships with wildlife trusts, local authorities and the local communityAct as on-site liaison for tenants, their staff and their clients, involved in areas such as sailing, fishing, water sports and cycling.

This is an opportunity to establish lasting, emotional connections between rich, vibrant and spectacular areas of natural beauty and the people who live around them. If you’ve knowledge of conservation, visitor management, countryside recreation activities, and have a flexible approach to your work, then we want to hear from you!

To find out more and apply, visit www.severntrentgraduates.com and go to ‘graduate programmes’.

Early applications are encouraged, closing date 31.03.18.

Logo: The Land TrustArea Head of Business Development

Home based with substantial travel

£40,000 - £45,000 per annum

6% matched contributory pension scheme,

25–30 days holiday

Are you passionate about placemaking?

The Land Trust believes that well managed green infrastructure is the key ingredient in creating sustainable healthy and vibrant communities.

This role is one of three Regional Roles for the UK (including Scotland and Wales), helping to  acquire land with associated funding from public and  private sector organisations  primarily through endowment and service charge funding helping deliver the Land Trust’s charitable objectives through new acquisitions.

Must have a track record of: successfully identifying and converting land based development leads into deliverable projects from a range of clients; developing and managing relationships at senior level with partner organisations, communities and funding bodies. You must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the property and residential development market and commercial viability to meet annual targets.

For a full Details visit   www.thelandtrust.org.uk

Apply with CV and covering letter to recruitment@thelandtrust.org.uk

Closing: Tuesday 3rd April 2018.

Interviews to be held in Warrington on: Friday 13th April 2018 

Logo: Earth TrustSenior Warden

Hours:    Full time, 35 hours a week

Term:     Permanent

Salary:   £22,000 - £25,000 per annum

The Earth Trust is seeking an energetic and practical person to take on the role of Senior Warden within our Land Management Team. Earth Trust is an environmental learning charity and guardian of some of South Oxfordshire’s most loved greenspaces. We provide access and opportunities for people to discover, appreciate and care for the natural world via the Oxfordshire landscapes that we look after, including the iconic Wittenham Clumps.

The successful candidate will be the principal ‘person on the ground’, carrying out the day to day practical land management tasks across our 500 hectare flagship farm and visitor destination. The position also includes responsibility for planning seasonal work schedules; line management of the Assistant Warden; organising and leading regular volunteer groups; running key Land Management systems (such as the machinery & vehicle maintenance schedule) and operation of the Trust’s wood fuel boiler.

The ideal candidate will have relevant practical qualifications (use of chainsaws, tractor driving, brushcutters etc.) alongside a minimum of three years’ experience of practical land management work (farming, forestry, countryside conservation etc.). You will be confident in organising and leading volunteer groups and be a practically adept person, able to turn your hand to a wide range of jobs.

Whether it’s working on our internationally-designated nature reserve, supporting our Farm Step tenants, carrying out work as part of our HLS agreement or leading a group of visitors on the farm you will need to work in a professional, well organised manner, and have a pro-active, flexible commitment to getting things done. You’ll be able to work some weekends.

This is a great opportunity for someone looking for a senior role incorporating all aspects of land management work, working for an ambitious charity, on an internationally important site.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Chris Parker, Head of Land Management, chris.parker@earthtrust.org.uk

To apply for the role please send a CV and detailed covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the role to recruitment@earthtrust.org.uk.

For further information and to download the jobs description and person specification please click here

Closing Date for applications: 12noon, Monday 26th March, 2018

Interviews: Thursday 5th April, 2018

logo: RSPBSenior Sites Manager

Location: Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex

Starting Salary: £34,643 to £37,530 per annum

Basis: Full time – permanent position

Closing Date: 26 March 2018

Interview Date: 16 April 2018

Do you want to be involved in developing and managing some of the largest newly established wetlands in the UK?  Would you like to be involved in leading the RSPB’s work along one of the UK’s most iconic and populated landscapes - the Thames Estuary? Do you enjoy leading people, overcoming challenges and developing solutions?

We are looking for a capable and dynamic Senior Site Manager with exceptional people skills and landscape scale conservation knowledge to take our South Essex reserves forward. With significant experience of countryside and conservation management, you will have a passion for nature and wetlands and the capability to work in a fast and changing environment.

You will have good financial acumen and understanding of legal, health and safety requirements that will enable you to effectively lead your team in delivering conservation and visitor management for over 50,000 visitors per annum. You will be a natural leader, encouraging and supporting others to realise their potential and striving for continuous improvement.  With strong communication skills, you will be an effective advocate for the RSPB and will be able to build effective partnerships and work with funders.

As our South Essex Senior Site Manager you will lead our reserves operating in South Essex which spans 700ha of recently created wetlands and brownfield sites on the north bank of the Thames. Your role will be to deliver an exciting work plan to take the reserve habitats and visitor engagement forward to become flagship sites of nature conservation in the UK. 

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website

logo: CJS 

logo: National TrustCountryside Jobs Service

Focus on Volunteering

In association with the National Trust   


12 February 2018


The importance of volunteering with the National Trust


The National Trust is supported by over 60,000 volunteers who gift their time, energy and skills in many different ways. From toad patrollers to trainers, room guides to rangers, our volunteering roles benefit both the individual and the organisation, and they all have one thing in common – an effective volunteer manager.  The way that we involve, support and manage volunteers directly impacts on their ability to support and champion our cause.

Keely, VMT trainee, and volunteer team at Fan Bay, White Cliffs of Dover © NT Images
Keely, VMT trainee, and volunteer team at Fan Bay, White Cliffs of Dover
© NT Images


It’s vital therefore that we are constantly investing in the development of our volunteer managers –usually paid staff, although sometimes this role is carried out by volunteers as well. 40% (approximately 4,500) of our staff manage volunteers, usually as part of a wider role.  Part of our investment in this area was the ‘Volunteer Management Traineeship Project’, which tested the merits of a structured, accredited, training programme for volunteer managers. Between 2013 and 2017, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Skills for the Future’ Programme, we hosted 17 full time, paid trainees in volunteer management. 


An entry level programme, trainees spent 18 months at a variety of National Trust places around the country, including historic properties like Tyntesfield and outdoor places like the White Cliffs of Dover.  Each trainee followed an ILM level 3 qualification in the Management of Volunteers. We learnt a huge amount about volunteer management through this programme which is useful for the sector as a whole. This is what we found:


Dedicated volunteer managers have a positive impact

The project gathered data about the impact of having a dedicated volunteer management role within the team, rather than as an add-on or as part of a wider role. As you might expect, paid staff were in support: “Having someone dedicated to volunteer management at a property made a huge difference to what we were able to achieve, and really improved communications between staff”.


Volunteer Urban Rangers from the Green Academies Project © NT Images

Volunteer Urban Rangers from the Green Academies Project

© NT Images

What was perhaps more surprising (given the often-held assumption that volunteers don’t want or need to be ‘managed’) was that 67% of volunteers at the places with a trainee felt that the role improved their volunteering experience. 589 volunteers, across 16 places, took part in the survey.


Furthermore, performance indicators at participating places demonstrated the value of a dedicated volunteer management role, with key drivers such as leadership, engagement, communication and staff confidence in managing volunteers all increasing over the lifetime of the project.


On-the-job experience is more important than accreditation

The project tested the value of accredited training for volunteer managers. All 17 trainees successfully completed their qualification; however it was the framework for the training that provided the biggest benefit, rather than the accreditation itself. Combining regular classroom training days, one day a week for paid study, a cohort learning pathway and on-the-job experience proved a winning formula for the trainees, all of whom moved on to related employment.


Volunteers pull ragwort at Trevose Head, Trevose, North Cornwall © NT Images

Volunteers pull ragwort at Trevose Head, Trevose, North Cornwall

© NT Images

Leadership matters

We selected host places based on their support for the traineeship to it to be a success. Where this leadership remained consistently in support of the importance of volunteer management, trainees and volunteers rated their experience as more positive.  As the manager at one participating site put it: “the role of the leader can make or break the success of the volunteer culture, and of the way volunteering is seen”. It’s crucial that those in leadership roles have support and training to enable them to understand the volunteering culture of the organisation, and empower their teams to make great volunteering happen. Including volunteer management in the induction for leaders is key, and volunteer managers on site can play an important role in communicating this aspect to new leaders.


Support networks are beneficial

The trainees were well supported, with a line manager, a local buddy to provide pastoral care and advice, and a mentor. Volunteer management is often hugely fulfilling, enjoyable and rewarding, but, like any role, can have its ups and downs. Encouraging support networks can provide much needed advice, especially when a volunteer manager might be the only person in that role within a team. The network was hugely valuable to the trainees, but also provided development for the mentor, and is certainly a transferable model to other discipline areas. Within this project, 38% of the mentors were external to the National Trust, offering valuable alternative perspectives and providing links into other organisations for the trainees. 


Volunteers at a summer school, Birmingham Back to Backs © NT Images

Volunteers at a summer school, Birmingham Back to Backs

© NT Images

Investing time in recruitment pays dividends

Spending time planning a recruitment strategy is time well spent, especially if you are looking to appeal to staff and volunteers from under-represented groups. The project aimed to ensure recruitment was inclusive, suitable for entry level roles, and reflected the local population. The recruitment window was long at 6 weeks, and we worked with and through partners to ensure we reached a large number of people. Getting the images and wording right on the advert was key – 50% of applicants were attracted by the ‘no experience necessary’ angle and representative imagery ensured that 61% of applicants were from either BAME backgrounds or within the 16-25 age range. The application and selection process used creative methods too, to encourage a wide range of people to apply - not just those with academic talents. Applicants could submit a short film or visual presentation alongside their written statement, and selection days were designed around group activities.


To find out more about the project and to download resources, including role profiles, recruitment tips, training plans, mentoring guides and more, go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/documents/resource-pack.pdf



Butterfly Conservation Scotland's 'Bog Squad' runs regular bog restoration sessions with volunteers on peatland sites throughout central Scotland. Tasks usually include installing dams, clearing scrub and conducting peat depth surveys. More information is available on our blog http://bogsquad.weebly.com/ Get in touch with David Hill at peatproject@btconnect.com or on 01786 459813


Saturday March 12th, 11am- 2pm. Beach clean at Ceinn an Ora. For more detail please contact ranger@north-harris.org or 01859 502222


Friends of Eglinton – Every second Wednesdays and Saturday 9:30am – 12:30pm. Eglinton Country Park.  Come along, meet new people, get active and feel great.  Wear suitable clothing for the weather and sturdy footwear.  Tools and training provided. Contact North Ayrshire Ranger Service on 01294 551776 or email joannejohnstone@north-ayrshire.gov.uk for further information.


Saturday 24th February. Hushinish beach clean. 11am- 2pm. Contact ranger@north-harris.org, 01859 502222


Castaway to Carna Working Holidays take place on the stunning Island of Carna in Loch Sunart, NW Scotland. You’ll be taking part in our ‘Wilderculture Carna’ ecological restoration project, learning about holistic management and testing some innovative regeneration techniques. It’ll be a fun, physical immersion in nature.  015394 37794 for details.


There are great Green Exercise programmes at University Hospital Ayr & Ailsa (UHA & A) as part of the NHS Greenspace for Health project. These are a Green Gym (every Wednesday 10am – 1pm), a 5 Ways Well Green Gym (every Friday 10am – 1pm) Email: d.meechan@tcv.org.uk NHS Office No: 01292 885946 TCV Mobile No: 07773 200525


We run regular upland path conservation days to help protect our mountains in both National Parks in Scotland. Volunteers can discover new places, meet people, learn new skills and also improve your health and wellbeing. No previous skills or experience required. For more information visit http://themountainsandthepeople.org.uk or contact volunteering@themountainsandthepeople.org.uk.


The charity Scottish Badgers is looking for volunteers to assist with their 'Badgers in the Landscape' project in South Lanarkshire. Flexible volunteering opportunities available on badger surveys, sett monitoring sessions and trail camera expeditions. Free training provided. To join their adventures, contact Elaine Rainey via projectofficer@scottishbadgers.org.uk or call 07565 813401.


Would you like to find out more about volunteering for nature and the environment in the spectacular Cairngorms National Park? Visit www.cairngorms.co.uk/volunteers for the latest opportunities with a range of groups and organisations, learn more about becoming a Cairngorms National Park Volunteer Ranger and sign up to our mailing list.


REF        350-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / expenses


Any full day Monday to Thursday. We are looking for volunteers to work with our Reserves Project Officer based at Dundee to undertake a varied range of outdoor practical tasks on our nature reserves such as grassland, woodland & peat bog management.   Travel from Dundee to the work sites & back is provided. You should be interested in the environment & carrying out physical work outdoors sometimes in poor weather.  Willing to work as part of a team. Contact Peter Gilbert pgilbert@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk for details


REF        351-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               

LOC        GRANGEMOUTH (covering East Central Scotland)

PAY        0


Any day Monday to Thursday. You are free to choose your commitment but if you volunteer, you must be available for a full day. A varied range of outdoor practical tasks on our nature reserves such as grassland, woodland & peat bog management.   Travel from Grangemouth to the work sites & back is provided. You should be interested in the environment & interested in carrying out physical work outdoors sometimes in poor weather. Willing to work as part of a team.   Information from pgilbert@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk


REF        353-FOCUS-29/6


BE4        Ongoing applications considered

PAY        Free accommodation

FOR        RSPB / Flows to the Future
This is an exciting opportunity to help us engage with a wide range of people and raise awareness of the global importance of the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland, an area known as The Flow Country. You will work primarily with our Learning Development and Communities Officers to build upon our existing work and increase our reach across this large area. This includes developing learning sessions for primary and secondary schools, preparing and delivering events for local youth groups, organising and supporting a programme of community events across the Flow Country, contributing to our marketing and communications work and exploring the opportunities to promote the Flow Country to a wider audience. Regular working hours, alongside staff. Please request further information by contacting our Learning Development Officer, Sjoerd Tel: 07912 774587 or sjoerd.tel@rspb.org.uk


REF        354-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training* & expenses


Options of different roles. One off clearing space at a dementia friendly garden, being part of a community garden, other gardens in need of volunteers, Mentoring in the outdoors with others in community gardens. *Training in pruning, growing vegetables with others in the community, working in groups, expenses for bus fares paid. Contact Karin on 07824 838364 or at karinchipulina@carrgomm.org


REF        356-FOCUSR-OK9


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training on data collection & sailing experience


Time: 7-14 days depending on survey selected. Volunteers join our team on board to work alongside the HWDT crew as marine mammal field biologists. Full training in visual and acoustic data collection is provided by the excellent crew on board during these live-aboard monitoring expeditions. Find our full survey list here: https://hwdt.org/silurian-timetable


REF        359-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        ST ABBS

PAY        Travel expenses from reasonable distance, training


We are looking for medium term volunteers available for 1-3 months, minimum 3 days a week, hours between 9am – 5pm. St Abbs Marine Station is currently accepting applications for volunteers to work in our research aquarium & laboratory for our busy spring & summer periods. We are seeking individuals who are interested in gaining or adding to existing practical experience of working in a marine research facility. Primary duties will be animal husbandry & general aquarium maintenance & upkeep. There will also be opportunities to aid & develop research projects, work in invertebrate larval rearing, carry out fieldwork, sample collection & analysis, & help with public outreach activities. Training will be provided as necessary. Please send your CV (2 page maximum) & a short covering letter describing why you are interested in this position, & how it will help you meet your long-term goals to hello@marinestation.co.uk 


REF        360-FOCUS-16/3


BE4        16/3/18  IV end March


PAY        Accomm, training & skills development

FOR        St Abbs & Eyemouth VMR Management Committee

4 – 6 months. This is an excellent opportunity for applicants to gain interdisciplinary & transdisciplinary experience while working with a unique marine conservation charity. The St Abbs & Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (or VMR, established in 1984) encompasses 10.3km2 of some of the most diverse & stunning marine environment along the East Berwickshire coast, supporting a variety of commercial & recreational interests. The Marine Rangers will be the public / visible arm of the VMR. Activities will include raising awareness of the marine environment & the organisation through education & interpretation, public events (particularly along the shore), questionnaires, community engagement & liaison with stakeholders & user groups, social media campaigns, as well as some more traditional scientific research activities. The Marine Rangers will be an integral part of the VMR team ensuring delivery on projects that have successfully secured funding for 2018. This post is full time, flexible hours & some weekend working.  Application packs & more information available from Sarah Russell, berwickshirecoast@gmail.com  0781 8227307  www.facebook.com/berwickshirecoast


REF        361-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


FSC is an environmental education charity providing informative & enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages & abilities to discover, explore & understand the environment. FSC is an independent charity receiving no core revenue funding from statutory sources & we therefore rely on fees paid by our visitors & on the generosity of donors, trust funds & grant bodies to finance our activities. Ideally we are looking for someone to welcome people to the aquarium & museum at weekends 10am – 4pm, who would be willing to do stock takes, keep shop clean, take small payments, greet anyone coming in. If willing or keen we are looking for someone to do guided tours of the museum & aquarium too. If you feel that you meet the skills we are looking for, then we want to hear from you. To find out more please email Alex MacFie, Centre Manager, alex.sco@field-studies-council.org


REF        362-FOCUS-16/3


BE4        14/3/18  IV wb 26/3/18


PAY        Accomm, travel & training

FOR        National Trust for Scotland & Mull & Iona Community Trust

3 months full time.  The role involves assisting with varied tasks over a number of island sites, including wildlife survey work, delivery of education projects and public events programme, providing information to visitors, practical maintenance tasks. Enthusiasm for wildlife and the great outdoors. Some knowledge / experience in the relevant field.  Flexibility, good communication skills, ability to work under own initiative, and a desire to learn essential.  You will need to be willing and able to work outside or inside in all weathers, including some lone working in rugged coastal terrain.  Some weekend/evening hours will be required.  Contact Emily Wilkins, ewilkins@nts.org.uk  01681 700659, 07717 581405, for more details and an application form (no CVs please).


logo: Keep Wales TidyCorporate Social Responsibility, perspectives from Keep Wales Tidy


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a phrase passed around by businesses and other organisations and is taken to many different levels. Importantly, well organised CSR is very good for the image of the company and the wellbeing of staff who take part.


Replacing a rustic bench using storm damaged trees (Keep Wales Tidy)

Replacing a rustic bench using storm damaged trees (Keep Wales Tidy)

For Keep Wales Tidy, one of Wales’ leading environmental charities, CSR is an opportunity to make significant positive changes to local communities and the environment across Wales. Sometimes an area needs a big piece of work doing before a community group can take over responsibility, sometimes there is no community group nearby and a piece of work needs the help of many hands primarily for the benefit of the environment. Often CSR activities help employees to understand first-hand how things such as microplastics, flytipping, or invasive species impact on the environment and people’s lives. Importantly, it encourages people to come outside and be the difference.


There are hardly any examples of the hundreds of CSR volunteers we have organised events for not enjoying what they have done. Contrariwise, there are many examples of business volunteers saying that they weren’t looking forward to it, but then really enjoyed it and found it valuable. Most end up recycling more and think about what they buy. The hope is that by volunteering with us, we can help to motivate, enthuse and educate staff around environmental issues while developing their own team(s) within their workplace.

Helping to do a beach clean (Keep Wales Tidy)

Helping to do a beach clean (Keep Wales Tidy)

We have had staff who have gone on to join community groups outside of work and some who have signed up as Keep Wales Tidy Litter Champions. Businesses see what we do and often ask us for help to look at their own waste including plastics, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and paper shredding, all of which Keep Wales Tidy can help them to deliver. These relationships are mutually beneficial and help our charity to gain crucial non grant-funded income. Frequently, Keep Wales Tidy uses support from CSR days to complete contract or smaller grant funded projects without the need for heavy machinery. This has proven to be very useful in very sensitive or inaccessible areas.


Health and wellbeing is taken so seriously and the positive effects of doing something beneficial for local communities or the environment on their wellbeing cannot be understated. Volunteering a day with us can burn a thousand calories more than if the member of staff was sitting in their office in front of a computer. These all help to

Helping to build gabions on a nature reserve (Keep Wales Tidy)

Helping to build gabions on a nature reserve (Keep Wales Tidy)

reduce stress which is one of the biggest issues in the modern workplace. Something funny normally happens during a day and this is fondly remembered by staff who take part. Staff learn new things about their colleagues which they may never have known outside of the work environment. Problem solving, communication and leadership skills also come out on CSR days with us.


From Keep Wales Tidy’s perspective, CSR days can often be quite challenging and there is a lot of work involved. We need to be able to plan the event, the date and times, brief the teams about the work beforehand, ensure there is enough equipment so that the work can be done safely and is fulfilling for staff. We work with partners and land owners to make sure permissions are in place and if it is a litterpick that it is removed afterwards. We have a responsibility for health and safety and ensure risk assessments are in place beforehand and followed through on the day. We ensure a safety briefing is given at the start of the day and that all equipment is safe and suitable for its intended use. Our experienced staff have to keep an eye on everyone and they work very hard to make sure that everyone is having fun while also working hard to complete the task. There is always a fantastic buzz at the end of a CSR day and it is very rewarding for our staff too knowing that they have played their part in making it end this way.


For more information about CSR opportunities with Keep Wales Tidy, contact Chris Partridge on chris.partridge@keepwalestidy.cymru.



logo: Tir CoedREF        365-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Travel expenses / training


2 days / week for 12 weeks or 1 full week.  Learn how to build paths, coppice woodland, build simple structures, identify species & more. Accredited training in a range of skills for persons who are unemployed, under-employed, disabled etc. Supportive environment. Free woodland skills training while volunteering with the charity Tir Coed. All levels welcome incl people with disabilities or long-term health problems; some minimum criteria (age, benefit status) are in place for some opportunities due to funding restrictions. Must live in / near to Ceredigion, Powys, Pembrokeshire. Details on the website at www.tircoed.org.uk


REF        367-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & out of pocket expenses


One day per week, alternating Thursdays & Sundays, 9.15am to approx 2.30pm. We are a group of volunteers who come together to share & learn woodland skills & use them for the benefit of wildlife & our members. We aim to manage woodland sustainably & to allow our members access to affordable woodland products – such as firewood & timber. We need help with hands-on woodland management (such as tree planting & firewood processing), regular flora & fauna surveys & admin tasks. Volunteers choose how much of the day to stay for & work at their own pace. KTAT provides all the tools & training needed. Where funding allows, formal training to industry recognised qualifications. Enthusiasm & willingness to get involved in our activities. A certain level of fitness is required for physical work in our woodlands, but we have a very wide variety of roles. We welcome those with plenty of experience & those with none, but one area we would appreciate help with is flora & fauna surveys. Find out more on http://c-js.co.uk/2kMTxLP or woodland@tveg.org.uk  01547 520374 or 520929.


REF        368-FOCUS-30/3


BE4        31/3/18


PAY        Full board plus £50 a week expenses


Primrose Organic Farm is a market garden supplying organic fruit and veg to local people. Anticipated time commitment required. 35 hours per week. Assisting in growing harvesting and delivering fruit and veg to the Hay-on-Wye Market and local pubs and restaurants. Please e-mail primroseorganicfarm@gmail.com or ring 01497 847636.


Keep Wales Tidy run working parties throughout the year & tasks include litter picking, habitat management, footpath works, woodland management, Coastcare & many more. Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact KWT on 029 20256767 or info@keepwalestidy.cymru 


Actif Woods Gwynedd are currently seeking volunteers to help with health and wellbeing activities in woodlands in Gwynedd.  Volunteers should enjoy spending time outdoors, be happy to meet and greet participants and assist leaders in a variety of woodland activities.  There will also be opportunities for training. Contact Melissa for further details on actifwoodsgwynedd@smallwoods.org.uk


Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust is the leading wildlife conservation charity in the county. Volunteers are vital to every aspect of our work, which includes regular nature reserve work parties, wildlife surveys, engaging with members of the public and much more.  Visit: www.montwt.co.uk find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  To find out more about volunteering with MWT email: vols@montwt.co.uk


REF        369-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Expenses & training


Our Activity Volunteers support the National Park’s Activities & Events programme, chatting to participants, keeping groups together on a guided walk, helping out on bat walks / twilight walks, family events & at our centres, Carew Castle, Castell Henllys & Oriel y Parc. No fixed amount of time required. Opportunities are available to become Volunteer Walk Leaders & full training such as walk leader training, first aid & risk assessment is provided.  Please contact the National Parks’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, Gayle Lister  gaylel@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk


REF        370-FOCUSR-9/3               


BE4        N / A

LOC        WALES

PAY        Travel expenses


The National Trust looks after 157 miles of the Welsh coast & to help we employ local Rangers who carry out a myriad of tasks to ensure that the wildlife, history & visitor facilities are maintained in good condition. Your role is to help our Rangers to care for our places & involve more people in our work. Our places are very varied, so the role will vary from place to place. Examples of tasks: visiting your site as often as possible, walking paths & checking the condition of agreed items, maintaining a log book; being visible to visitors & encouraging others to lend a hand & become ‘taster’ COASTodians; using local knowledge to help visitors enjoy their visit; recording & / or photographing any notable sightings. You will not be expected to enforce byelaws by approaching anyone damaging the property. Your contact in this role will be stackpole.volunteers@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        371-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Accommodation


The principal on-site volunteering role for Gupton Farm, helping to run this exciting new venture with brand new accommodation provided just a few hundred metres from one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. Help lead the campsite team with both office based & practical work; help each visitor feel welcome, process arrivals & departures, making suggestions so they have a safe & enjoyable day; learn more about Gupton & Stackpole, its history, landscape, nature & archaeology & share this with our visitors; letting staff know of any issues.. You need to be available for around 30 hours a week, happy to live on site, outdoors orientated, whatever the weather, reasonably fit & keen to work with people (and animals!). We provide brand new one-bedroom accommodation on site.  You will only be on duty during agreed volunteering hours. Your contact in this role will be stackpole.volunteers@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        372-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


Work alongside the rangers to deliver habitat management work across the estate – including woodlands the rangers to deliver habitat management work across the estate – including woodlands & forestry, meadows & grasslands, coastal zones & wetlands; estate maintenance work – including path creation & maintenance, improvement of the historical landscape, keeping to site free from litter; develop your knowledge of the Stackpole area, its wildlife, habitats, history, geology & archaeology; gain skills & experience using a wide range of tools & equipment as required to carry out practical tasks; assist rangers in leading guided walks & events; help record our work & life on the estate to share our social media platforms. You need to be aged 21 or over, keen to work in the outdoors, whatever the weather; looking to gain experience, knowledge & skills with a view to enter the professional countryside management sector; reasonably fit & healthy; UK driver with full driving licence, own transport useful. If you are available 5 days a week for 6 months you’ll get a good introduction to the role, but if you are here for 12 months you will gain the fullest range of skills, knowledge & experience. Please contact Tracy Whistance, 01646 623110  stackpole.volunteers@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        373-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


Help deliver a variety of different events at Stackpole from planning & preparation to setting up & running activities on the day. It’s about offering something fun & memorable for visitors & encouraging them to return, & / or tell their friends about us. Become part of a friendly & dedicated team; meet people from all walks of life & make new friends; improve your communication skills & learn new skills; enjoy new experiences & learn something new every day. Help with the nature conservation management of the estate involving practical habitat management & help undertake a variety of biological monitoring & survey tasks. You need to be aged 21 or over, keen to work in the outdoors, whatever the weather; looking to gain experience, knowledge & skills with a view to enter the professional countryside management sector; reasonably fit & healthy; UK driver with full driving licence, own transport useful. If you are available 5 days a week for 6 months you’ll get a good introduction to the role, but if you are here for 12 months you will gain the fullest range of skills, knowledge & experience. Please contact Tracy Whistance, 01646 623110 stackpole.volunteers@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        374-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        ERDDIG, WREXHAM, LL13 0YT       

PAY        0


“We are champions of youth work and nature is our tool.” GAP is part of Our Bright Future, a £33m programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Website:    www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/green-academies-project-2 Facebook: www.facebook.com/ErddigNT  Twitter: @ErddigNT   Mobile: 07484 503674  Email: stephanie.fletcher@nationaltrust.org.uk


Northern Ireland: 

logo: National TrustREF        375-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Shared accommodation is provided*


Min 25 hours per week. What's involved? Assist in the management of Crom Estate, working on  a wide range of practical conservation skills; practical conservation techniques from seasonal habitat work such as scrub clearance to maintaining fences, gates and other access points; monitoring work including compilation of fauna surveys and botanical quadrats/transects; invasive species control; environmental education and interpretation work including website articles and press releases; maintaining good working relationships with tenants, farmers, neighbours, other voluntary organisations, local communities and local authorities; welcoming and liaising with visitors by providing information and guidance, which may include public speaking and guided walks; undertaking such other appropriate practical and administrative tasks as may be reasonably requested; occasional weekend working; becoming familiar with and then following the National Trust’s Health and Safety Policy at all times; you will be required to support Florence Court and Castle Coole ranger teams in a variety of works - primarily with events. We will cover agreed cost, these will be discussed and clarified at interview. * Heat (oil central heating), wood burning stove and electricity costs are all covered. Contact Colin Beacom on tel 07818017160 or email colin.beacom@nationaltrust.org.uk or visit website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/crom/


Farmland Bird Surveyor - East County Down. A chance to assist the RSPB with high priority work. Good opportunity to improve bird identification skills, increase knowledge of farmland bird ecology and learn more about farming. Four early morning surveys April - June on pre designated farms. Contact: Colin Graham 02890 491547,colin.graham@rspb.org.uk


Residential Volunteering Scheme - Portmore Lough, Aghalee, Craigavon. Short Term (two weeks) and long term (up to 6 months). Develop your skills in: Habitat & Estate Management, Practical Conservation work, Survey & Monitoring, Visitor Engagement. Accommodation is a three bedroomed cottage adjacent to the Reserve. Contact: Colin Graham 02890 491547, colin.graham@rspb.org.uk


Residential Volunteering Scheme - Rathlin West. Light Seabird Centre. Short term (2 weeks minimum) opportunities available for 2018 summer season. Mid March - Mid September. Experience the sights and sounds of the seabird colony and help us give all our 20,000 visitors a memorable visit by being one of our Visitor Experience Assistants. Contact: Colin Graham 02890 491547, colin.graham@rspb.org.uk


logo: Lancashire Wildlife TrustWildlife Trust Trainee scheme proves valuable to the future careers of biological recorders & biodiversity alike.


Author: Julia Simons, Biodiverse Society Project Officer, Lancashire Wildlife Trust


There are 12 new and enthusiastic naturalists in the North West following an ambitious three-year biological recording project.


Trainees Molly and Tony survey Sandwich Terns on the Sefton Coast © Cheryl Knott

Trainees Molly and Tony survey Sandwich Terns on the Sefton Coast

© Cheryl Knott

The Biodiverse Society project succeeded in updating knowledge of Local Wildlife Site (LWS) systems through engagement of volunteers, local naturalist groups & provision of wildlife survey training. The provision of year-long traineeships for 12 participants were integral to the delivery of the 3 year project, whilst also being a key outcome and expanding the scope of work that could be achieved. 


The traineeship built on previous successful trainee schemes such as the Marine & Coastal Heritage Scheme (2014-17) that addressed ‘growing skills shortage and a lack of ‘work ready’ individuals for the UK environmental sector (LANTRA 2010)’. The Biodiverse Society traineeships provided successful applicants experience in wildlife surveying, including phase 1 habitat surveys & protected species experience, knowledge of legislation at the local & regional level and awareness of the planning process.  2016 trainee, Catrin Watkin said ‘we’ve learnt so much about the workings of a conservation charity and the importance of all our volunteers. The skills and experience we have gained throughout the year will be incredibly valuable for our future in the conservation sector.’


Trainee Mark Pritchard sharing knowledge with local naturalists © Brian Jones

Trainee Mark Pritchard sharing knowledge with local naturalists

© Brian Jones

It was important that the traineeships be open to all, not just recent graduates or those in the 16 -25 category.  As a result of this, we were able to recruit 3 individuals who were keen to make a career change that didn’t fall into either the graduate or 16-25 category.


The main role of the trainees over the 3 cohorts, was to carry out condition assessments on LWS across Lancashire & North Merseyside whilst also creating biological records and phase 1 habitat maps.  The standard that was expected of them was very high & an intensive 4 week induction ensured that each cohort bonded and supported each other through their learning.  Personal development plans made sure that the individual needs of each trainee was addressed to meet their short-term goals and long-term career aspirations.


A generous training budget supported their continuous learning throughout the year, with trainees attending numerous internal & external training courses. These included courses that would be directly applied to the role such as FSC and MMU Day courses in botany, Great Crested Newt Surveying and GIS. Some courses were attended for personal development such as assertiveness training, whilst others to further their career prospects gaining licences in pesticides, brush cutter & chainsaw. Each gained an Outdoor First Aid certificate lasting 3 years. Trainees were able to gain experience in local, regional and national conservation training opportunities, including strategic and landscape scale wildlife conservation discussions. In 2016 two trainees were able to attend the RSWT (The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts) national conference as ‘future young leaders’.  The conference was part of the living landscapes initiative to explore wildlife in post-brexit reconstruction.


Throughout the year with the project, numerous networking opportunities provided occasions for learning from local naturalists, and partnership working with the Local Environmental Record Centres & Museums.  These proved to be mutually beneficial as local naturalists were able to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of recorders, and Local Environmental Record Centres and Museums gained exposure to the wider recording community, enabling better use of their resources & collections to assist in data collection & harvesting.


Johnny Pescod and Mark Pritchard gain hands on training in microscope use © Catrin Watkin

Johnny Pescod and Mark Pritchard gain hands on training in microscope use

© Catrin Watkin

2017 Trainee Johnny Pescod, said: ‘This year has really been a fantastic opportunity for me, both to build up my skills in species ID and working with volunteers, and to meet interesting and knowledgeable people from all over the North-West. Whether walking the green beach at Ainsdale with Dr Phil Smith, or learning about plant natural history with Hilary Bedford, I’ve learned a lot from a lot of different people.’


The success of the traineeship can be seen in the eight trainees that secured further employment or voluntary field work within 3 months of completing the traineeship, taking up various positions with Natural England, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, ecology firms and outdoor education companies. 3 of the most recent trainees are currently looking for positions within the ecology sector.


Achievements for wildlife as a direct result of the work of the trainees are reflected in the 162 Local Wildlife Site condition assessment reports with management recommendations that were delivered to landowners. Over 40,000 biological records were produced for use at Local Environmental Record Centres to inform local and strategic conservation planning.  This i

2015 trainees presented with certificates by LWT Chair Steve Garland © Brian Jones

2015 trainees presented with certificates by LWT Chair Steve Garland

© Brian Jones

nformation has already been used to update the LWS citations, inform decision making on planning applications, extension of Local Wildlife Site boundaries & cited features and contributed to the Lancashire and Cheshire Fauna Society vertebrate Atlas on the distribution of all vertebrate species in North Merseyside and Lancashire. Community Awareness of the importance of Local Wildlife Sites & their associated wildlife was increased. In addition, trainees were able to survey sites to gather fauna and flora records, with a view to extending existing LWS and enabling the proposal of new LWS, gathering information from these sites to assist decision making in coming years.


The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside are continually building on these experiences to apply to future trainee schemes. The Carbon Landscape, our latest landscape scale project produced by the Great Manchester Wetland Partnership, is recruiting a number of short and long term work placements over 5 years.  Long term placements will include restoration and connectivity of the landscape, empowering local groups and communities and improving access to the landscape and short term placements will assist the project and research.  The advantage of these placements is that successful applicants will get to network with all 12 partners, including Natural England & City of Trees.  The next long term placements will be advertised in May 2018 and will be found at http://carbonlandscape.org.uk, where you can also keep up to date with the current trainees via their blog or their Facebook page @CarbonLandscapeTrainees.


logo: The Biodiverse SocietyWe also regularly recruit placements for the rest of the organisation including within our Education team. All paid traineeships & voluntary positons are advertised through our website http://www.lancswt.org.uk/jobs


For more information on the Biodiverse Society Project and its outcomes, please visit http://www.lancswt.org.uk/biodiversity-society-project or contact Project Manager Joanne Brierley-Moore jmoore@lancswt.org.uk .  For information on traineeships & volunteering at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator Catherine Haddon chaddon@lancswt.org.uk both can be reached through 01772 324129.


North East: 

logo: TCVREF        376-FOCUSR-3/8


BE4        2/8/18


PAY        Expenses up to £4 per day


1-3 days per week. Gain well-rounded experience in many practical skills. Our team of project staff & fully trained volunteers – Hollyvols – work locally to enhance the natural environment. People from all backgrounds regularly participate & the work ranges from footpath construction, planting trees & dry stone walling in local green spaces & the countryside to building wildlife gardens, growing areas & outdoor classrooms in schools. Volunteers can expect training in the use of many different hand tools & conservation techniques, a lively, sociable team to be part of & some amazing outdoor places to visit & enhance. Hollyvols runs Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday each week, 9.15am to 4pm. Boots, waterproofs, tea / coffee & biscuits are provided. Contact Col Powell or Michael Bird, The Conservation Volunteers, Hollybush Conservation Centre, Broad Lane, Kirkstall, Leeds  LS5 3BP  0113 274 2335  c.powell@tcv.org.uk or m.bird@tcv.org.uk


Every second Sunday and fourth Thursday The Friends of Armley & Gotts Park Practical Group

Armley or Gotts Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire organised by Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Wade's Ranger. Contact: 07712 215638 claire.rogers@leeds.gov.uk http://www.facebook.com/leedsparks

Do you want to make a difference to Armley and Gotts Park? Do you enjoy the outdoors, being active and learning new skills, then why not join us?! 10 - 12pm to carry out vital conservation work in both parks. All are very welcome, no experience required.


The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) - Help enhance and protect green spaces in and around York & North Yorkshire. Join in and make a difference. You'll learn new skills, make friends. Practical tasks run every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. We offer free transport, full supervision, tools and equipment provided. Please contact TCV - York (01904) 414927 or email: york@tcv.org.uk  Facebook: www.facebook.com/TCVYork


Discover beautiful woodlands, learn how to manage woodland habitats or even how to make charcoal. Join our weekly tasks every Monday and Thursday and help protect our natural heritage for future generations. No experience necessary, wear outdoor clothes and bring a packed lunch. Peter Downes 07484 093411  pdownes@durhamwt.co.uk


Join the Ranger team on the Cragside Estate managing nearly 40 miles of footpaths, 4 lakes, 6 miles of historic carriage drives, meadows, grasslands and great facilities such as the Adventure Play Area. The work can be physically demanding at times but is extremely rewarding and satisfying.  Contact 01669 622026 or leigh.philp@nationaltrust.org.uk.


Would you like to spend time in the outdoors; learn to grow organic vegetables & meet great people?  We need volunteers to help us maintain our allotments for schools and community groups.  Thursday 10am-1.30pm.  Grimesthorpe Allotments Sheffield, S4 8LE.  For more information contact Jenny on volunteering@greencityaction.org.uk or leave a message on 0114 2440353.


The Friends of York Cemetery Task Day Group meet on the first Saturday of every month.  Meet outside the Gatehouse at 10am work until 2pm with a break for lunch.  Tools, gloves, refreshments supplied. The work involves bramble and nettle bashing, weeding and planting out. Contact Clive Dawson.  01904 610578 yorkcemeteryvolunteers@gmail.com  


Seal Watch volunteer, Ravenscar near Scarborough. 4 hours, one day per week. Engage with visitors about Ravenscar’s colony of up to 300 grey seals and how to behave around them, plus monitor and count seals. Training given. Outdoorsy; reasonably fit to walk up the cliff; keen to work with people and wildlife? Contact yorkshirecoast@nationaltrust.org.uk 01723 870423.


logo: North York Moors National Park Authority 


Whether you prefer to be a Volunteer Ranger patrolling the Park, an Archaeology Volunteer helping conserve iconic structures from the Industrial Age or a Visitor Centre Assistant co-leading educational family activities; we’re sure that we have a volunteering opportunity just for you. Please see our website for more details http://c-js.co.uk/2nn1rNj


REF        377-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training

FOR        Land of Oak & Iron (through Groundwork NE & Cumbria)

Approx. 1 day / month. Provide support to the Land of Oak & Iron staff team & partner orgs in organising & helping on the day at a range of events to promote Land of Oak & Iron & opportunities for local people to take part. Tasks may incl event planning & publicity, setting up on the day, running activities & talking to members of the public. Individuals need no prior experience, just enthusiasm & passion for the area. Find out more from Kath Marshall-Ivens kath.marshall-ivens@groundwork.org.uk 01207 524883 / 07966 330028


REF        378-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        ?

LOC        MORLEY, LS27 7JQ

PAY        Expenses / training


Min 1 day per week for several months. WYES is the Local Ecological Records Centre for West Yorkshire. The objective of this post is to research protected/notable species & habitat data & input this data from a variety of sources into the WYES databases.  Records are input into Excel & then imported into Recorder 6, an ecological recording package. These are then exported to a Mapinfo GIS system so that they can be viewed spatially.  This will provide exposure to professional ecological survey reports, use of Recorder 6 & GIS packages & rel work exp. Records need to be entered accurately at the highest spatial resolution possible following WYES data structures. Keen interest in a career in ecology or similar discipline & be computer literate in the use of Microsoft Excel. The position would be ideal for under graduates or recent graduates looking for rel work exp. If you would like to be considered please email a CV to Robert Masheder robert.masheder@wyjs.org.uk.


REF        379-FOCUSR-OK8

BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


Weekly or fortnightly mornings. Volunteer gardener to help our professional gardeners to maintain the award-winning park. Volunteers also required to show visitors the restored Old Magnesia Well Pump Room once or twice a month. Further information email Jane Blayney, Chair, Friends of Valley Gardens jane.blayney23@gmail.com


REF        380-FOCUS-27/7


BE4        N / A


PAY        Reduced cost accommodation


3 months minimum. As part of the Wings of the Tees Project, there is an interesting butterfly project that would be suitable for a current second year student to start considering to undertake for their final year dissertation. We would like to look at improving habitat for the Grayling and Dark Green Fritilliary. Both these species are struggling within the Tees Valley area. The idea of the project would be to do a feasibility study into the best areas within the River Tees Rediscovered Project area (areas immediately adjacent to the River Tees from the South and North Gares up to Croft on Tees). The Wings of the Tees project has funds to be able to pay for plug plants of the caterpillar food species. Groups of volunteers would be available to help with preparing the ground for habitat management and improvement and to assist with planting of the plug plants. The project would involve collating and looking at data of past surveys (which are very limited) and undertaking further surveys for evidence of these species currently. Vegetation surveys would be required to establish if the area is suitable to be managed for the butterfly species in question. Advice from a highly experienced botanist can be provided to assist with the project. sbarry@teeswildlife.org  01287 636382.


REF        382-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


We are looking for a Leader for our volunteers at Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre, undertaking tasks like outside garden and maintenance work, and indoor DIY/maintenance. You'll work alongside staff and volunteers to plan, deliver, and celebrate volunteering at this fascinating and inspiring site at Marsden, West Yorkshire. This is a responsible role with a lot to offer the right person, so if it sounds just what you've been looking for, we'd love to talk to you about it.  Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2E45McU 


REF        383-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


We are looking for volunteers to help with restoration work, such as tree planting to restore one of the wildest landscapes in England for the ‘Kielderhead Wildwood’ project. The project is to establish low density, native upland woodland, on 100 ha of open land along Scaup Burn at Kielderhead. As one of the remotest places in England in partnership with the Forestry Commission & funded by HLF. Tree planting begins in March 2018 (dates to be confirmed). No experience is necessary, all training will be given. So if you want to be part of this exciting project please visit www.nwt.org.uk/volunteer or contact Lou Chapman, Volunteer Co-ordinator, louise.chapman@northwt.org.uk


REF        384-FOCUSR-29/6


BE4        27/6/18


PAY        Travel & equipment


Rangers love the countryside and being out in the fresh air, so they know what our outdoor visitors need. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife and stunning landscapes of Hardcastle Crags, for ever, for everyone. By getting involved you could be: helping the ranger team with practical work to keep the countryside in great condition including learning many skills, dry stone walling, scything hay meadows, improving our ancient woodland, footpath maintenance, construction tasks, invasive species removal, timber extraction and general estate repairs; act as information assistants for the National Trust, communicating with the public whilst onsite, maintaining exceptional standards of customer service as part of delivering the visitor experience; maintenance of vehicle and cleaning tools; maintaining a clean and tidy workshop, container and yard; adhering to the National Trusts health and safety procedures; making each visitor feel welcome, helping people understand why we need to take care of special places and thinking about the needs of all visitors; letting staff know of any issues with fences, footpaths etc.; maintaining good relationships with people who share the land. We provide equipment to help you do this role well and safely. We’ll also cover agreed costs of your travel between home and Hardcastle Crags. Contact: Emily Taylor 01535 607075 emily.taylor@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        385-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


We are a charity with ambitious plans to improve the whole catchment of the River Holme. We are looking for someone to help raise funds for the area, volunteer with us on work party days, be part of a ‘friends of group’ for the riverside trail, bring ideas to phase two of the project, support art & access improvement projects & attend 4 steering group ‘catch ups’ per year. This requires ongoing involvement, year round, & half a day per month for fundraising. You need knowledge of wildlife, access & practical working. Please contact Elizabeth Dudley, Volunteer Engagement Officer, 01484 925529  volunteering@riverholmeconnections.org


REF        386-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A

LOC        YORK

PAY        Training


If you are looking for experience to land you a job in the environment sector or you would like to get stuck in to a committed practical volunteering opportunity which will support an environmental charity, becoming a Voluntary Officer might be for you! You will receive training in lots of aspects of conservation work, including practical skills, leadership skills, first aid, risk assessment & health & safety, & even minibus driving if you’re eligible. You will have real responsibility over the planning & execution of practical volunteer tasks, & be an integral member of our team. We ask in return that you commit ideally for 3, 4 or 5 days a week for at least 6 months.  For more information contact TCV on 01904 414927 or york@tcv.org.uk


REF        388-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


We are a charity with ambitious plans to improve the whole catchment of the River Holme. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about our aims to bring people to their local rivers, to improve the appearance & natural habitats of the river corridor & learn about our natural & industrial heritage in fun & engaging ways. The Crown bottom car park in Holmfirth is one of the only places to access the river but it has become run down. Our exciting new project aims to have better access to the river, to see more wildlife; better plant, tree & environment management. So we are looking for a small team of volunteers to maintain our new development through land maintenance & habitat management. The maintenance volunteers will need to be self-motivated & willing to work under their own steam. Approximately 2 hours per fortnight – a day of your choosing. We supply hand tools.  Please contact Elizabeth Dudley, Volunteer Engagement Officer, 01484 925529  volunteering@riverholmeconnections.org


REF        391-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


As a Wildlife Ambassador you would be assisting our Wildlife Supporter Officers by talking to visitors at our sites and going to events with them, or you could fly solo and attend events local to you. You will be helping to spread the word in your ambassadorial role by raising awareness of the Trust and telling our stories that will inspire people to take action for wildlife. We’d like to hear from you if; you enjoy being part of a team of passionate individuals, enjoy talking to people about the importance of nature conservation, would like telling our stories and be able to actively encourage people to join up should the moment arise. The role will be based from York for training and your staff contact, however we want volunteers based across Yorkshire. All enquiries to volunteering@ywt.org.uk or 01904 659570


REF        392-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


Spending time outdoors is good for our wellbeing and getting some exercise is good for our health. Luckily we have the perfect opportunity for you if you enjoy being outside and walking around beautiful nature reserves. So what’s catch, well we’d like you to count butterflies while you’re there. We have some fantastic species on our sites from delicate Marbled Whites, to diminutive Duke of Burgundy and not leaving out the spectacular Peacock butterfly. We need Butterfly Surveyors at many of our nature reserves in North Yorkshire, you’d be part of a team of surveyors, on a rota to survey the site over a 6 month period. You will survey the same section of site each time, making a note of what species you encounter on the visit. As the survey period stretches from spring to autumn you will be able to see the delightful seasonal changes on your reserve. For enquires and application form email volunteering@ywt.org or call 01904 659570


REF        393-FOCUSR-30/3

BE4        31/3/18


PAY        Travel expenses to survey sites


We are looking for a commitment of approx 4 days May - September to attend training and carry out surveys. The Wild Watch is your chance to be part of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s biggest ever wildlife survey and help your wildlife flourish. We are recruiting volunteers to carry out a variety of surveys, gathering information on wildlife right across the AONB, ready for the 2018 survey season. Volunteers will walk a 1km survey route between May and September 2018 (timing will depend on species being surveyed), recording sightings of target species. The routes can be walked at a time convenient to you, each transect should take 1-2 hours.  Find out more http://c-js.co.uk/2DTOseC  or email Alice Crosby, The Wild Watch Project Officer alice.crosby@harrogate.gov.uk


REF        394-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / expenses


The role involves promoting the North Yorkshire Rotters project and offering information and practical advice about the ‘three R’s’: reduce, reuse and recycle – by promoting campaigns such as love food hate waste and home composting.  You will have chance to talk to the public at events and help them to find out about ways that they can reduce waste sent to landfill and protect the environment.  Opportunities are also available to help deliver waste prevention workshops to schools and deliver talks to community groups in your area.  You should have an interest in helping your community, good communication skills, enthusiastic and enjoy volunteering as part of a friendly and helpful team. For further information and to apply email nyrotters@northyorks.gov.uk or 01609 797212. http://c-js.co.uk/2DT6NZd


REF        395-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


We are looking for Wildlife Champions to cover the Coast to Coast track from Washington to Consett.  You will be responsible, along with others, for monitoring the biodiversity along this route.  This involves collecting data that enables us to record, improve & promote the diversity of wildlife on walking & cycling routes.  You will be expected to monitor your allocated section every month to allow us to gain an accurate picture of the area’s biodiversity.  This should take no more than a few hours.  In addition you will need to dedicate a day or two a year to supporting or organising an engagement event in your area. You will be supported by a local Group Coordinator & receive an induction pack with full instructions, guidance notes & resources & staff will be on hand to provide support & dedicated training. You don’t need to be a wildlife or biodiversity expert to take part!  All we need is your enthusiasm & dedication. Contact volunteers-north@sustrans.org.uk 0191 2616160 for details.


REF        396-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


We are looking for Wildlife Champions to cover National Cycle Network Route 1 from Ryhope to Seaham.  You will be responsible, along with others, for monitoring the biodiversity along this route.  This involves collecting data that enables us to record, improve & promote the diversity of wildlife on walking & cycling routes.  You will be expected to monitor your allocated section every month to allow us to gain an accurate picture of the area’s biodiversity.  This should take no more than a few hours.  In addition you will need to dedicate a day or two a year to supporting or organising an engagement event in your area. You will be supported by a local Group Coordinator & receive an induction pack with full instructions, guidance notes & resources & staff will be on hand to provide support & dedicated training. You don’t need to be a wildlife or biodiversity expert to take part!  All we need is your enthusiasm & dedication. Contact volunteers-north@sustrans.org.uk 0191 2616160 for details.


REF        397-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / expenses


The work takes place on our reserves, in & around Sheffield & Rotherham from Blacka Moor & Wyming Brook on the edge of the Peak District to Centenary Riverside, a flood alleviation scheme & nature reserve on an ex steel works site, on the edge of the River Don near Rotherham town centre. Our current living landscapes project, Rotherham Rivers, funded through Waste Recycling Environmental, sees us visiting & improving sites, managed by other organisations for the benefit of wildlife, such as water voles, kingfishers & otters, in & around Rotherham, including Rother Valley Country Park, Don Island, Kilnhurst Ings & Whiston Meadows. This role would suit someone who is keen to engage in a range of practical conservation work, including site maintenance such as fencing, & habitat management such as woodland & heathland. Volunteering with the Land Management Team helps people develop practical conservation skills, build knowledge about local wildlife habitats, keep physically active & is a great place to start developing a career in the sector. In return we can cover expenses, on the job training & funding for relevant external courses such as brush-cutter & first aid at work.  Apply on: http://www.wildsheffield.com/volunteer 0114 2634335


REF        398-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


We are looking for Wildlife Champions to cover sections of our National Cycle Network in York -  NCN 62 at Foss Islands and NCN 65 Solar System Way (Skelton to Riccall).  You will be responsible, along with others, for monitoring the biodiversity along this route.  This involves collecting data that enables us to record, improve & promote the diversity of wildlife on walking & cycling routes.  You will be expected to monitor your allocated section every month to allow us to gain an accurate picture of the area’s biodiversity.  This should take no more than a few hours.  In addition you will need to dedicate a day or two a year to supporting or organising an engagement event in your area. You will be supported by a local Group Coordinator & receive an induction pack with full instructions, guidance notes & resources & staff will be on hand to provide support & dedicated training. You don’t need to be a wildlife or biodiversity expert to take part!  All we need is your enthusiasm & dedication. Contact volunteers-north@sustrans.org.uk 0191 2616160 for details.


North West: 

Every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday     Practical Conservation Volunteer

Meet on Tues at Town Hall, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 0SW, Wed & Thurs on Major St, opposite the coach station, Manchester M1 3ED, The Conservation Volunteers           Contact: 0161 962 9409 manchester@tcv.org.uk

Meet at 9.30am. Get involved in conservation tasks all over Greater Manchester. You can learn practical skills such as path and steps construction, tree felling, pond creation, tree planting and traditional skills such as hedge laying and dry stone walling.


The Conservation Volunteers are looking for volunteers to help out on task days every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tasks include woodland management, habitat creation, and construction. We pick up at Liverpool museum for nine thirty, we provide hot drinks, good company. Please contact Eric Joinson at e.joinson@tcv.org.uk.


Ribble Rivers Trust has various conservation volunteering opportunities available in Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales; tree-planting, electrofishing, riverfly monitoring, fencing, invasive species control and more. If you want to do something worthwhile, get outdoors or gain job experience contact us at admin@ribbletrust.com or ring 01200 444452. See ribbletrust.org.uk/calendar for more.


Join friendly Chester National Trust Volunteers for a day: details see our website: https://chesterntv.wordpress.com/  CNTV Tuesday & Thursday groups do voluntary work at NT sites across Cheshire, Marches, Wirral in alternate weeks. Previous experience unnecessary, a job for everyone, Tools provided, friendly welcome – Brian Payne, briansue.payne@btinternet.com


Volunteer opportunities for people looking to gain experience or spend time outdoors working on an exciting environmental conservation project. Regular days are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Lead Officer: Hamish Jeffreson, contact on 07928 668581 or email hjeffreson@lancswt.org.uk


We volunteer on Sundays at National Trust sites mainly across the North West undertaking rhododendron bashing, fence construction, pond clearance, footpath maintenance, hedge laying etc. No previous experience is necessary; just enthusiasm and a willingness to get your hands dirty. Contact: info@mntv.org.uk http://www.mntv.org.uk Tel: 0161 2866542


Merseyside National Trust Environmental Volunteers work at National Trust sites in Merseyside and nearby on Sundays about fortnightly, e.g. hedge and tree planting, woodland, heath and footpath maintenance, coastline conservation. Previous experience unnecessary, tools provided, friendly welcome.  Under 16 must be accompanied by adult.  Contact John at 0151 677 9664, jmh@noc.ac.uk


REF        399-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


If you love working with children and enjoy being outdoors join our team of education volunteers in Lancaster.Help children discover the magic of the waterways through our Canal & River Explorers programme by leading sessions for primary schools, cub scouts and brownie groups in their classrooms, meeting places and out and about on our canals & rivers.  Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2Ep9rpa


REF        400-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


A new organic permaculture project seeking year round volunteers to assist on an ad-hoc basis. Mainly outdoor-based tasks available. Volunteering available Monday – Friday, as much or as little time as you can commit to. Previous experience of volunteering is preferred but not essential & we are interested in working with people who have an interest in permaculture & organic growing. Find out more on www.facebook.com/merebrowfarm  or contact Sadie on volunteering@merebrowfarm.co.uk


REF        401-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


We have been working in the region for over 50 years & manage 45 nature reserves with habitats ranging from grasslands & wet meadows to reedbeds, coastal dunes & wetlands. Our reserves provide a refuge for rare species incl natterjack toads, great crested newts, the bittern & a wide range of dragonflies & butterflies. We carry out practical habitat management on our reserves & require assistance from volunteers in doing so. No specific quals required, we just ask for a good level of fitness, a love for the outdoors with an ability to work in all weathers & have your own transport. Download a volunteer registration form at www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteering & email to volunteering@cheshirewt.org.uk


REF        402-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / travel expenses


No min length of commitment, this is a fully flexible role. Events & talks take place during the week, weekends & evenings & you can attend as little or as many of these whenever you are available. Help us to reduce waste across Cheshire West & Chester by doing any of the following: attending events, local shows, fetes & fairs, giving individual advice; delivering workshops in schools; working with community groups; writing articles for press or websites; delivering talks & presentations to local groups & organisations; working with waste management departments at larger events; or anything that suits their skills!  Benefit from developing communication skills in a variety of settings with a wide range of people, whilst helping local people save money & help the environment. Age 18+. Driving licence & vehicle may be necessary to attend events. See: http://c-js.co.uk/2DjlJj4 Margaret Warren, Project Coordinator margaret.warren@keepbritaintidy.org 07583 019497


REF        406-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        WWT benefits & discounts


1 to 2 days per week (Monday to Friday) 9.30am – 2pm during term times. At WWT we believe that the best way for people to understand & ‘connect’ with wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close. You will be directly involved in shaping children’s unforgettable experiences through the warm welcome you give them, your interactions with them & the information you provide. We need enthusiastic people to help deliver our education programmes to school groups & in doing so ensuring that the feel part of something amazing. You will be assisting with school groups, leading selected guided learning sessions (session plans provided). Experience in an educational setting would be an advantage but not essential. You will need good communication skills & the ability to work well in a team of staff & other volunteers. For further information & to apply: http://c-js.co.uk/2sawpLD  Should you have any questions: volunteer.martinmere@wwt.org.uk


REF        407-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


We are looking for enthusiastic and committed individuals to coordinate existing and new volunteers in our costumed interpretation team for weekends and events at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port. You will take a part in helping to engage more volunteers with costumed interpretation and to work with staff in developing this opportunity and activity across the site and at events.  This is a responsible role with a lot to offer the right person, so if it sounds just what you've been looking for, we'd love to talk to you about it. Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2BYP4tx 


REF        408-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


We’re looking for a Volunteer Environmental Assistant as a voluntary sandwich year placement within our Environment Team. Based at Northwich, you can expect to travel regularly to our offices, canals and rivers across the North West and North & mid Wales on both field and office based work. You'll need a good understanding of environmental issues, and have good research, data management, communication and time management skills.   The placement will be available for a minimum period of 36 weeks and is being offered for a minimum of 3 days per week.  Find out more at


logo: National ParksWhy the UK’s National Parks are celebrating their Volunteers


There are 15 members in the UK National Park family. These vitally protected areas span the length and breadth of the country, renowned for their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. National Parks are full of life, people live and

A South Downs National Park volunteer assists with scrub clearance (National Parks UK)

A South Downs National Park volunteer assists with scrub clearance

(National Parks UK)

work amongst these most treasured landscapes and the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the land and wildlife. English National Parks alone welcome over 90 million visitors a year and all Parks provide opportunities for everyone to experience, enjoy and learn about their special qualities.


Last year, nearly 5,000 people volunteered their time across the UK’s 15 National Parks. Volunteering is an important part of stewarding these precious landscapes for future generations, and it’s about so much more than clearing litter, as Rosie Hancock Pook, Communications Manager at National Parks UK tell us: “National Park Volunteers give their time, energy, skills and enthusiasm to help us conserve and enhance the country's 15 greatest assets and safeguard them for future generations to experience and enjoy. It’s easy to get involved, each National Park lists volunteering options on its website, with roles ranging from practical work to more ambassadorial roles in visitor centres and promotion at events and festivals. Volunteers can also be called on to carry out wildlife surveys, lead guided walks and work with schools on educational visits. Most parks run volunteer ranger programmes too, with the opportunity to work with full-time rangers.


Our volunteers come from all walks of life. From retirees who want to ‘give something back’ to students and young people looking to widen their experience and aid their first step into work. Some come to us individually, others as part of an existing group or as a corporate volunteering task with their employers. What all our volunteers have in common is the wish to give their time, energy and skills to help the National Parks achieve their purposes of conserving their special qualities and helping visitors to enjoy and experience all the Parks have to offer.

Cat Edwards and Arianne Arnold from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Youth Rangers lend a hand in the Gwaun valley (National Parks UK)

Cat Edwards and Arianne Arnold from the Pembrokeshire Coast National

Park Youth Rangers lend a hand in the Gwaun valley (National Parks UK)


James Gillies, 52, from Glasgow, agrees: “I wanted to give something back”, he told The Guardian. “Volunteering is a great way for me to put all that knowledge about the countryside I’ve picked up over the years to good use.” Gillies volunteers as a ranger in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, maintaining upland hill paths and working in the park’s visitor centre. The keen walker has also become an Adopt a Path volunteer, surveying a trail at Beinn Ime Mountain in the Arrochar Alps twice a year, with his reports informing the park’s maintenance work.


For Gillies, volunteering has offered a lifeline during a spell out of work. “It keeps me busy and shows potential employers that I’ve not just sat around doing nothing. Working in visitor centres has made me much more confident talking to people, too.”


Over on the Pembrokeshire Coast, the National Park’s youth rangers are helping to inspire local people. The group is open to 18 to 25-year-olds, and members regularly take part in conservation work, as well as running children’s activities and talking to the public about the park. “Taking part gives the young people a greater sense of community and pride in the National Park and where they live,” coordinator Tom Moses told the Guardian website.


Nominees and winners at the 2017 National Parks UK Volunteer Awards (National Parks UK)

Nominees and winners at the 2017 National Parks UK Volunteer Awards

(National Parks UK)

James Gillies and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park youth rangers are both past nominees in the National Parks UK Volunteer Awards. We run the annual awards to recognise and reward the transformative action made by our dedicated National Park volunteers. Any individual, group, young person or project volunteering in National Parks can be nominated and winners are selected by an expert panel including television presenter and National Park advocate, Julia Bradbury.


We are delighted to be able to showcase through the awards just how incredible our volunteers are and for the nominees and winners it provides an opportunity to meet like-minded people from across the UK and take a well-deserved break from their hard work in the Parks.    


The 2017 awards ceremony was held at Kendal Mountain Festival and saw winners presented with their prizes by BAFTA-winning adventurer, writer and television presenter Steve Backshall. Winners received bursaries toward future volunteering activity and the latest outdoor kit from official National Parks outfitter Columbia Sportswear, who also generously sponsored the event.


Yvonne Witter from the Peak District Mosaic Group, Winners of the 2017 Group Award (National Parks UK)

Yvonne Witter from the Peak District Mosaic Group, Winners of the

2017 Group Award (National Parks UK)

Derek Collins from Dartmoor Preservation Association won the Individual category for his tireless work across Dartmoor National Park - from bracken management to clearing ground around ancient scheduled monuments, and the mucky job of clearing water leats. 


Caitlin McCauley spends her university holidays supporting families and children from the most deprived areas of the Tees Valley in their visits to North York Moors National Park and was the recipient of the Young Person category award. The Cleveland Way Adoption Scheme, winner of the Project award, enables families, scout troops and other groups to carry out practical conservation in North York Moors National Park and provides crucial information to the Cleveland Way Maintenance Ranger and National Trails Officer.


The winner of the Group award was the Peak District Mosaic group; a collective made up of individuals from BME (black and minority ethnic) communities around the Peak District National Park. They give their time to mentor, increase confidence and encourage people from BME communities and those who have challenging social and community issues to access the Peak District National Park


I would wholeheartedly recommend recognising the work of your volunteers with an awards ceremony. Not only do they provide some much-deserved recognition for those generously donating their time to support your cause but, crucially, they can help publicise the generosity of volunteers and communicate the impact this sometimes overlooked but consistently vital workforce has on the UK’s extraordinary countryside.” 


For more information on volunteering in National Parks, please visit nationalparks.gov.uk, or follow us on social media @uknationalparks



REF        409-FOCUSR-OK6


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses covered and training provided


We’re opening a new visitor and education centre at Greystones Farm in Bourton-on-the-Water. The site is home to beautiful SSSI grassland and a scheduled ancient monument dating back to the Neolithic age. Our visitor centre will provide visitors with everything they need to know about the work of the Trust, the site's wildlife and heritage. Plus the farm is open to school groups for education sessions led by staff. Our Visitor Centre volunteers will be there to welcome visitors and groups to the site, handout useful information leaflets, sell trail guides and hire out our explorer packs to families. The Trust will provide training and there will always be a member of staff on hand to provide support. Time: weekly. If you would like to find out more please contact Donna Cavill, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteering@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk or call 01452 383333


REF        411-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses, training available within role


At least one day per fortnight. We are looking for ranger and farm volunteers to support us at Shugborough Estate. If you decide to join the ranger team, you will be helping to look after landscapes for future generations; working alongside passionate countryside management professionals and learning new skills along the way; keeping fit and healthy and making new friends. If you join the farm team you will learn more about livestock and running the farm; using your communication skills to make visitors feel welcomed and helping people feel as welcomed to Shugborough as you do. Contact Kate Gibbon, volunteering coordinator, kate.gibbon@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        412-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

PAY        Travel expenses / training

The Churchyard Task Team is a group of volunteers, led by a coordinator, who go out & about every week to Shropshire Churchyards. We undertake conservation work such as scything, tree pruning, hedge laying, walling & sapling removal. There are two task days a week. Join in regularly or occasionally. All abilities welcome, work at your own pace, we are a very friendly bunch & we would love to have you along. Please contact Ben Mullen ben@cfga.org.uk, 01588 673041


REF        413-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               

LOC        Fenn’s, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR, & NNR Base (N Shropshire)

PAY        Travel expenses


Great opportunity to assist with the restoration of part of Britain’s 3rd largest lowland raised peat bog. The NNR is 690ha & straddles the English / Welsh border, 4 miles from Whitchurch, Shropshire & 10 miles from Wrexham. Role is varied & can incl practical estate & habitat management tasks, surveying / monitoring, assisting with events / guided walks & office projects. Protective clothing & some formal courses & in-house training provided.  Suitable for a student looking for a work placement or someone wanting to gain further exp in the conservation sector. Reliable & enthusiastic, keen interest in wildlife & conservation, physically fit & prepared to work outdoors.  Apply with David Tompkins, Reserve Manager david.tompkins@naturalengland.org.uk 01948 880362  www.gov.uk/natural-england


REF        414-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Travel expenses (restricted distance), on the job training


Regular commitment preferred; Tuesdays & Wednesdays only at the moment. Volunteer on a National Nature Reserve helping us to conserve one of the UK’s most important sites. You will be learning practical conservation skills, such as grassland, scrub, woodland & boundary management. You would be volunteering alongside a small team of staff & vols delivering to a professional standard. Possibility of certified training for long term vols. Previous experience of practical conservation & quals a benefit but not essential. Steep terrain of the site & nature of the work demands a good level of fitness. CV or details of experience & certification to shaun.taylor@naturalengland.org.uk  


REF        T415-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        £200 per month spending money, training, accommodation & food

FOR        ACUK

Free 12 month training scheme. The Firm Foundations Instructor Training Scheme is run at our 3 ACUK centres: Whitemoor Lakes is our watersports centre in Staffordshire; Pioneer Centre is our outdoor centre set near the Wye Forest in Shropshire; Benham Sports Arena is a busy indoor sports centre in Northamptonshire. We offer various qualifications across the 3 centres. You can earn nationally recognised qualifications from the British Canoe Union, British Fencing Association & many more awards ranging from watersports to climbing, archery to first aid. On top of this you will also receive centre-specific training. 2nd year option available for full salaried position & extra training. ACUK is the wholly owned operating company of registered charity Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC). Operating upon a foundation of Christian principles & offering service regardless of race, religion or creed, NAYC has over 50 years’ experience in providing people with opportunities. Open to 18-24 year olds across the UK. www.acuk.net/firm-foundations


REF        416-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses, full training provided for trainee leader roles


Time: 2+ days per week. A range of posts available for keen people wanting to be involved in conservation - we have opportunities for practical conservation and leadership roles including for complete beginners, but also vacancies for back office work e.g. in publicity and social media, funding applications, communications for those with relevant skills.  Get in touch and we will find you a niche!  We are also looking for casual volunteers for our practical work days. Please contact K Thompson at kay.thompson@tcv.org.uk


REF        417-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & accommodation              


Long term, 3-6 months. We seek a volunteer with a keen interest in wildlife to work alongside the nature reserve management team and undertake a variety of practical conservation work. This includes: a wide range of habitat management – grassland, wetland, woodland, scrub; livestock management, survey and monitoring, data handling plus an opportunity to get involved in education/interpretation/events programme. In house training provided, some funding for formal/certificated training. Accommodation provided in static caravan on site. Please send CV and covering letter to: Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve, Gibraltar Rd, Skegness, Lincs PE24 4SU. For more details, tel Kevin Wilson 01754 898079 or email kwilson@lincstrust.co.uk


REF        418-FOCUSR-27/7


BE4        30/8/18


PAY        Fuel expenses


Help the ranger team to provide our visitors with experiences that move, teach and inspire. You will support the ranger team to prepare for and help deliver events, guided walks, children’s activities and to develop interpretation. This role is quite flexible to suit your availability and interests, with activities taking place on weekends and in the week (activities tend to centre around the Spring and Summer with the exception being our Halloween events). Fuel expenses paid from home to the property. Every other month we run training days for our volunteers and we hold volunteer socials. Once you have completed 50 hours in a given year you are entitled to a National Trust volunteer card with various benefits. Time: Supporting with a minimum of 4 events over the year. Apply via the website: http://c-js.co.uk/2EK6DAl or email: kate.price@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        419-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


If you love working with children and enjoy being outdoors join our team of education volunteers in Birmingham. Help children discover the magic of the waterways through our Canal & River Explorers programme by leading sessions for primary schools, cub scouts and brownie groups in their classrooms, meeting places and out and about on our canals & rivers.  Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2BbHZck


REF        420-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


We are looking for potential Leaders for our expanding volunteer teams on planned works, on tasks like moving boats to lock repairs, installing towpaths, and maintaining bridges. You'll work alongside staff and volunteers to plan, deliver, and celebrate volunteering, particularly on the Grand Union and Stratford Canals in Warwickshire. This is a responsible role with a lot to offer the right person, so if it sounds just what you've been looking for, we'd love to talk to you about it.  Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2FOdDMc 


REF        421-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Fuel expenses, in-house training


Time: At least once a month. Rangers love the countryside and being out in the fresh air, so they know what our outdoor visitors need. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife and stunning landscapes of Brockhampton Estate, for ever, for everyone. Apply through myvolunteering on the National Trust website - http://bit.ly/2bOf56Y or contact nicholas.hinchliffe@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


REF        423-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Induction, training and support given


Anticipated time commitment required: one day per week. Thrive is the leading charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Our Garden Project Volunteers support our horticultural therapists in delivering a high level of service to our client gardeners by working alongside them encouraging them in the work and in developing social interaction with others. Tasks include demonstrating and guiding for instance sowing seeds, watering, weeding etc. Watching out for the health and safety of those you are working with. Taster days - second Monday of each month - come and find out more. To find out more, please look at our website: thrive.org.uk or call 0121 2934531 or send an email to birmingham@thrive.org.uk


REF        425-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & fuel expenses


Time: Anytime. Join our team of wildlife enthusiasts as we survey flora and fauna on the Brockhampton Estate. Take part in bat and bird surveys, butterfly transects and a wide variety of other wildlife and habitat monitoring programmes. Training and experience in identification of flora and fauna. Apply through myvolunteering on the National Trust website - http://bit.ly/2Eq2Dos or contact craig.cooper@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


REF        426-FOCUS-11/5


BE4        14/5/18  IV 31/5/18


PAY        Training


Full time September 2018 to July 2019. You will assist in implementing the Trust's twin objectives; the conservation of its properties and helping people to enjoy and understand them. Volunteering alongside our ranger team you will assist in the conservation, maintenance and development of the Dark Peak including: carry out practical tasks in all weathers and on often challenging terrain and ground conditions; use and maintain tools, machinery and equipment; develop land management skills; delivery great customer service. Formal training to aid development in and delivery of countryside management. For an application or more information contact deborah.webster@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        427-FOCUS-11/5


BE4        14/5/18  IV 29/5/18


PAY        Training


Full time September 2018 to July 2019. You will assist in implementing the Trust's twin objectives; the conservation of its properties and helping people to enjoy and understand them. Volunteering alongside our ranger team you will assist in the conservation, maintenance and development of the White Peak: use and maintain tools, machinery and equipment; develop practical land management skills; achieve high standards of conservation and presentation; deliver great customer service. For an application or to learn more, contact deborah.webster@nationaltrust.org.uk


Weekly Volunteer Day every Friday & alternate Tuesdays, 9.30-15.30. Meet at Brandon Marsh Nature Centre, CV3 3GW. Contact: anna.jennings@wkwt.org.uk The Dunsmore Living Landscape scheme aims to reconnect Warwickshire’s ancient woodlands, hedgerows and grasslands. Join us to get stuck in with practical habitat management and surveying in this beautiful area.


Lincoln Conservation Group carries out practical nature conservation work in the Lincoln area, helping to sustain the local plant and animal life and having fun at the same time! We provide tools and training. Volunteer days (16 years +) are usually on the first and third Sundays each month. http://www.lincolnconservationgroup.org.uk


We run practical conservation volunteer days across Birmingham and the Black Country. We provide tools, equipment and training (and tea and coffee!). Meet new people, learn new skills, enjoy being outdoors and make a difference to greenspaces and wildlife on your doorstep. Details from: http://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/whats-on; alison.w@bbcwildlife.org.uk or 0121 523 0094.


If you love getting involved in nature this is the role for you! Grounds volunteers do practical work to help keep the Castle site looking great. The role is extremely varied and perfect if you like getting out come rain or shine. Contact Tattershall Castle for more details on maggie.everington@nationaltrust.org.uk.


The National Trust is looking for local volunteers in South Birmingham. We support work with Millennium Green Park charitable trust in Kings Norton (B38). On Saturdays, volunteers are involved in everyday practical tasks to keep the site looking its best. Training, PPE provided. Many other opportunities available! peter.emms@nationaltrust.org.uk



Practical conservation work party every Wednesday, 9am-3pm. Come and join the Woodwalton Fen NNR team for a variety of practical management tasks. Suit those of a practical nature who are physically fit & can work outdoors in all weathers. No previous experience necessary. Contact us for more information john.kerr@naturalengland.org.uk


REF        428-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        Ongoing

PAY        Training / expenses


4-6 hpw.  Volunteers will be involved in many aspects of the recently restored Windpump, helping visitors to understand its operation, share the story ‘so far’, engage visitors with our local industrial heritage, maintaining equipment, general housekeeping and assisting with visitor enquiries. This is an exciting, flexible role in which no two days will be the same, typical duties involve: providing a warm welcome to visitors, checking membership cards, selling tickets and giving out leaflets or trails; developing a good knowledge of Horsey Windpump and the wider offer so that so that all visitors receive accurate and rel information to enhance their visit and ‘make a day of it’; assisting colleagues and fellow volunteers in the maintenance of the working equipment; interpreting the water drainage process to visitors through answering questions, giving talks or leading short guided tours; assisting with special events or any other circumstances as required; becoming familiar with and then following the National Trust’s Health and Safety Policy at all times.  For further information please contact Sarah at Horsey Windpump; sarah.keenan@nationaltrust.org.uk, 07585 980745 or 01493 393904


REF        429-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training in practice conservation techniques


Time: You can come along for as long as suits you. The Conservation Volunteers help hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim green places. Through our own environmental projects and through our network of 2,000 community groups, we see people every day, and all across the UK joining in and feeling good. The Conservation Volunteers receive no core funding from the government to carry out our work supporting people and places. We rely entirely on the generous help of our volunteers and supporters.  Debbie Murray 01603 274512 07740 899691.


REF        430-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Volunteer benefits available


Friends of Thetford Forest is a voluntary organisation set up to help increase understanding, knowledge & enjoyment of Thetford Forest & to encourage the involvement & support of the community in its development. We have a wide range of outdoor & conservation volunteering opportunities supporting the Forestry Commission & are always looking for new volunteers. We are currently in particular need of ‘Meet & Greet’ volunteers welcoming visitors & providing information at High Lodge Forest Centre in Suffolk, & volunteers to inspect local walking trails. For more information about our volunteering opportunities, please visit  https://www.fotf.org.uk/content/fotf_contact_us  or email volunteering@fotf.org.uk



Conservation Volunteer for Celtic harmony Camp. The conservation team meets every Monday and Thursday 10-4pm. Our skilled conservation team need help to conserve the natural habitats of Bourne Wood and maintain access facilities for visitors. Activities vary from conservation work such as woodland management to wattle fencing to working on the herb garden. Complete the application form at www.celticharmony.org/volunteering


The Thanet Coast offers free training and support for volunteer 'Coastal Wardens/Guardians' to help look after sections of coastline and monitor activities, wildlife or join practical tasks - from non-native species control, beach cleans, school fieldtrips to helping run educational 'Seashore Safaris'.  Further information: nekmpa.org.uk  or contact us at: thanet.coast@thanet.gov.uk


Discover opportunities to get involved in nature surveys, citizen science and wildlife photography at Morden Hall Park in London. Join our Nature Group to get involved regularly, or volunteer at events such as our annual BioBlitz survey event (2nd - 3rd June 2018). To find out more visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mordenhallpark


Friends of Peartree Green are looking for volunteers to assist with some conservation work parties, using hand tools, at Peartree Green LNR, Southampton. The sessions will take place on 18th February and 18th March. Please contact Phil Budd (07748 236666) for more details.


Hampshire Conservation Volunteers We work at weekends on a wide variety of sites. Spring and summer are for construction of paths, boardwalks and fences, while autumn is the time for pond maintenance. Winter tasks include coppicing, hedgelaying and scrub-bashing, usually with a roaring bonfire. Phone 023 9232 5570 or see www.hcv.org.uk


Join our volunteer force to help conserve 110 acres of SSSI woodland near Cobham, Kent. We'll be working to our approved management plan to remove sycamore seedlings and rhodo, cut back scrub for the OCND project, plant trees to replace sycamores etc. Usually 9.30 on the 1st Sun in the month, visit wkdct.org.uk email mike@mikeadams12.plus.com


CCV is always seeking new volunteers to join their regular Sunday conservation tasks in nature reserves around the Chichester area. Lifts can be arranged. Training & tools will be provided. Physically fit volunteers of any age over 16 will be welcome. Contact Scott Robertson: 01243 552113, scottrob293@hotmail.co.uk


Volunteers welcome to help with surveying areas of Greater London for a range of wildlife including butterflies and plants; and also of more 'specialist' groups. Details from the website at www.lnhs.org.uk


Bournemouth Parks has many opportunities for volunteering. With ten fantastic nature reserves, including Hengistbury Head, Stour Valley and Turbary Common, there is plenty of conservation work to get involved with, as well as wildlife monitoring and recording. For more details, please contact Richard Hesketh  -  richard.hesketh@bournemouth.gov.uk


Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust Tuesday Work Party. Habitat management/ surveying for rare reptile species on SSSI Lowland heathland sites across the Surrey/Hampshire Weald. We meet every Tuesday at the Witley Centre. Contact: Ralph Connolly ARC Weald Volunteer Coordinator, ARC, Witley Centre, Godalming, Surrey GU8 5QA ralph.connolly@arc-trust.org 07387 261217 www.arc-trust.org


Help a local garden get ready for spring and get some exercise outdoors too. The Capital Growth garden map is an interactive tool where you can find many different growing spaces in London. Build some valuable skills, meet amazing people, and help us build a greener city! http://www.capitalgrowth.org/spaces/


London Wildlife Trust’s team of Survey Volunteers are surveying London’s freshwater habitats, dragonflies and damselflies. We are running dragonfly and damselfly ID workshops in June and July, and survey the adult insects between April and September with the goal of creating an atlas of Odonata for London! Contact: wfw@wildlondon.org.uk


We have a wide range of opportunities for volunteering including gardening, craft activities, jam making, helping with fundraising events, minibus driving, funding applications, administration support and more.  You will work alongside our highly skilled team and help provide support to adults with learning disabilities. For more info http://c-js.co.uk/2GV36A5


Reigate Area Conservation Volunteers, undertakes conservation tasks around the Reigate area of Surrey. With over 30 years’ experience, including DoE students at all levels, RACV has undertaken work for Wildlife Trusts, Local Authorities, National Trust, Woodland Trust, and private landowners & companies. Come and join us! See: www.racv.org.uk


Join the Wood Wardens, a friendly group of volunteers who help manage Broxbourne Woods National Nature Reserve near Hertford. They meet on the 1st Friday and 3rd Sunday every month to undertake practical woodland management. Activities include tree planting, clearing ponds, scrub management and boardwalk construction. No experience necessary. Email: miriam.linforth@hertfordshire.gov.uk  tel 01992 588433.


Enjoy seasonal scrub clearance, coppicing, path/step work & pond restoration task days with our great conservation crew. Task days run Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs and 1-2 Sundays/month in NE Surrey, Croydon & Sutton areas. Also voluntary livestock checker/farm helper opportunities. Info: www.downlandsproject.org.uk; Downlands Partnership Facebook; Twitter @downygrazers; call 01883 341140. 


Enjoy seasonal scrub clearance, path maintenance, woodland management, signage making (carpentry in our Horton Country Park workshop) & pond restoration task days with our great conservation crew. Task days run Tues, Weds and Thurs in North Surrey & Kingston areas. Info: www.lowermoleproject.org.uk; Lower Mole Partnership Facebook; @ExploreSurreyUK; call 01372 743783. 


Grow your own food? Team PollinATE is looking for volunteers in Brighton & Hove to help collect data on home-grown food. If you'd like to: learn how to identify pollinators, meet other growers and find out how much your produce, visit www.teampollinate.co.uk to find out how you can get involved.


REF        431-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses


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, monitoring water quality & 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. Contact Richard Austin, richard.austin@newforestnpa.gov.uk for more details.




REF        432-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Rangers love the countryside and being out in the fresh air, so they know what our outdoor visitors need. They’re great at taking care of the woods, wildlife and stunning landscapes of Badbury Woods for ever, for everyone. Developing a good knowledge of the property, its history, landscape, archaeological and biological importance, supporting Rangers and other volunteers to complete outdoor and indoor practical tasks in all types of terrain and ground conditions. Welcoming visitors by providing information and guidance. Assisting with the upkeep and maintenance of our countryside properties in North Anglesey and achieving high standards of conservation and presentation. Maintaining good working relationships with visitors, tenants, farmers, neighbours, other voluntary organisations, local communities and local authorities. Monitoring conditions of footpaths and fences and reporting incidents and situations that may require follow up. Being aware of the different access requirements of all our visitors and assisting with these where necessary Becoming familiar with and then following the National Trust’s Health and Safety Policy at all times. There may be other activities where we could use your help. Contact rachel.coltman@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        433-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        ESSEX

PAY        Work experience


Role is flexible & negotiable but usually involves 2 days per week for a min of 6 months. We have 4 weekly vol groups & work with community groups across the county. Whether part of one of our action teams or helping to organise & deliver projects to improve green spaces; vols are essential to everything we do. Volunteer officers & leaders can train to lead vol groups on a range of practical conservation activities & can get involved in all aspects of running projects depending on their interests & skills they want to develop. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to gain work experience in conservation, community building or someone looking to use their skills to help others. We can provide: work experience in conservation & community building; opportunity to use your skills to help others; leadership experience. All level of experience is welcome. Enjoy working outdoors; passion for nature. Community orientated & enjoy assisting people. Further information from Nicola Downs, Senior Project Officer, 01206 764470  essex@tcv.org.uk


REF        434-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training & materials provided

FOR        Countryside Management Service, Hertfordshire CC

1 or 2 hours per week. Man stalls at health & wellbeing awareness events; give talks to community groups & orgs who are potential advocates (GP patient participation groups etc.) or to potential walkers (diabetes, pulmonary rehab or cardiac support groups etc.); actively seek out opportunities for promotion & building partnerships within your local community to increase awareness of & signposting to the Health Walks initiative; lobby locally, use social media & engage with press to promote the Health Walks locally; support new walks & struggling walks to ensure sustainability long-term;  attend 3 x yearly Ambassador steering groups with CMS & provide feedback for the 3 x yearly Health Walk Leader meetings in your area; maintain a stock of up-to-date promotional literature (programmes, flyers, posters etc.) at libraries, GP surgeries, tourist information etc. This role requires & can help to develop the following skills: ability to think creatively & communicate the health & wellbeing messages supporting the initiative; public speaking experience & confidence speaking in front of groups; ability to motivate others into action; proactive & organised; ability to plan ahead & see a project or task through to the end. Find out more on 01992 588433, healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk


REF        435-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Uniform, tool training


Volunteers attend conservation tasks supervised by the Ranger Team & Volunteer Leaders to carry out management of the Lee Valley Park. Help to undertake management Plan & Biodiversity Action Plan driven tasks & activities to benefit conservation, the environment, fauna & flora, & visitors in the Lee Valley Park. Contact:  volunteers@leevalleypark.org.uk, 01992 709867


REF        436-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


Come and volunteer in the countryside and the community! Do you enjoy keeping physically and mentally well outdoors? Would you like to improve the community’s green spaces for people and wildlife? This weekend opportunity is new for Spring 2018.  Meet our friendly team and come and see what we are all about! If you are interested, why not take a look at our website: www.nwkcp.org or give us a call: 01322 621 239. If you prefer email: sara.spellman@kent.gov.uk


REF        437-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


Animal husbandry, incl feeding, cleaning and provide care to wildlife patients. Assisting staff with other tasks inside the hospital as required. At least once a week. Further information: 01243 641672 enquiries@brentlodge.org


REF        438-FOCUSR-3/8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Full training to carry out tasks will be provided.


Working 10 am - 3 pm Thursdays or 10 am - 12:30 pm Fridays / Other days can be arranged. Help with habitat creation and management. Typical tasks involve tree planting, mulching, weeding, litter picking and creating features for wildlife. You can help us carry out wildlife surveys if you prefer.  Please contact dhrutibell@littlebelhuscountrypark.co.uk or phone on 07725 246192 or 01708 857245


REF        439-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & travel


Want to volunteer outside & help vulnerable residents? Then join Groundwork’s Green Aiders team! Put your skills into action with weekly gardening sessions in gardens across Hertfordshire, Harlow, Essex, Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire. Get buckets of experience – two new gardens every time. Free training in gardening & power tool use. All PPE, tools, equipment, lunches & travel costs covered. www.groundwork.org.uk/east To book a place, arrange a taster day or for more info Emma Reynolds, 01707 255177 emma.reynolds@groundwork.org.uk  


REF        440-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Time: Volunteers opt for a regular shift, which they attend every week at the same time. Weekend shifts can be weekly or fortnightly. Animal care: cleaning and feeding of animals at the centre. Setting up pens and cages for new admissions. Restocking food supplies for all areas of the hospital and advising of any shortages. Helping to move animals from one area to another as they progress with their rehabilitation. Being available to help veterinary staff with jobs.  Please visit the website https://www.wildlifeaid.org.uk/become-volunteer/


REF        441-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel and lunch expenses, some training


Dependent on the role, finance 3 days per month approx, all others 1 day per week. Varied roles are available.  I suggest you look at our website www.slbi.org.uk/getinvolved to find out more about these, or contact us direct. Please contact us by email: info@slbi.org.uk


REF        442-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        All over Sussex at National Trust Properties

PAY        Training & travel*


We have conservation work parties mostly every other Sunday with the occasional Saturday.  Work includes scrub clearance, coppicing, dry stone walling, fence work, laying paths etc.  No qualifications or previous experience required. No time commitment. *Petrol costs if car sharing, tool training, learning new skills, working alongside experts in their field, making new friends, knowing you’re making a unique contribution to the National Trust, counts towards your Duke of Edinburgh Award. Contact Details: sdntv@hotmail.com https://southdownsntv.org.uk/  https://www.facebook.com/SouthDownsNTV Need to say where you heard about us.


REF        443-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


We are looking for volunteers to help deliver environmental education sessions, providing an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy and learn through first hand experiential activities. Activities for primary schools include pond dipping, minibeast hunts and sensory activities. There are also sessions for secondary schools. Other activities you may help with include guided walks, professional development, training for teachers and family activity days. Please email volunteer.ef@field-studies-council.org


REF        444-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Monday mornings during school term times. Help to lead an innovative programme of weekly activities for children aged from 18 months to 4 years and their parents/carers. Set up for sessions, using and maintaining resources and equipment appropriately, and ensuring that it is returned to its proper storage place after use. Monitor the quality of the work through evaluation and informal feedback. Manage the daily finance of the activities including taking money, recording and following financial procedures. Work with the Learning Assistant and the rest of the team to ensure that all sessions are adequately resourced and staffed in advance. Act as a good ambassador for the National Trust, providing a warm, friendly welcome to all visitors. Learn about Morden Hall Park as a whole so you can tell our visitors about it. To apply for this role, please complete the online application form on the National Trust Volunteering web page, or alternatively contact the Learning Assistant for more details at mordenhallparklearning@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        445-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        WWT Benefits & Discounts


As a Membership Recruitment Volunteer you will help develop the Arundel Centre and charity’s support by engaging with our visitors, and enhancing their experience with your knowledge and enthusiasm. This will inspire people to support us as members of WWT. Roaming our reserve and actively engaging our visitors with our mission to save wetlands for wildlife and people, you will be asking visitors about their day and persuading them what a great idea membership would be by tailoring the benefits to their needs. Training in how to do this will be provided. You will really enjoy this role if you enjoy meeting and chatting with people and have great communication skills. Ideally two weekly shifts, 10.30am to 1.00pm or 2.00pm to 4.30pm. Please see our website www.wwt.org.uk/support/volunteer-with-wwt for more details and to apply. If you have any questions please email volunteer.arundel@wwt.org.uk


REF        446-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        Greenwich Park, Regents Park, Bushy Park, QE Olympic Park & Stratford
PAY        0


We are looking for volunteers to help deliver environmental education sessions, providing an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy and learn through first hand experiential activities. Activities for primary schools include pond dipping, minibeast hunts and sensory activities. There are also sessions for secondary schools. Other activities you may help with include guided walks, professional development, training for teachers and family activity days. Please email aaron.lr@field-studies-council.org

REF        447-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        WWT Discount & Benefits


At WWT, we believe the best way for people to understand and connect to wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close. We are looking for people to join our London Wetland Centre Learning Team and contribute to this aspect of our work by assisting them in facilitating our special school visits. Your role will be to assist the Learning Team with preparatory tasks in advance of school visits, greeting and briefing school groups upon arrival, engaging learners during the self-guided portion of their visit, assisting with guided learning sessions, and to tidy up resources after schools have left. We are looking for volunteers on weekdays during Spring/Summer/Autumn school terms - shifts from 9am to 3pm. Please complete and submit an online application form via our website http://www.wwt.org.uk/support/volunteer-with-wwt/ If you have any problems completing the application online please email volunteer.london@wwt.org.uk Successful applicants will be asked to come and meet the team to find out more about the role and discuss availability before being offered a placement.


REF        448-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


If you love working with children and enjoy being outdoors join our team of education volunteers at Crofton near Marlborough on the Kennet & Avon Canal. Help children discover the magic of the waterways through our Canal & River Explorers programme by leading sessions for primary schools, cub scouts and brownie groups in their classrooms, meeting places and out and about on our canals & rivers.  Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2siJ4wj


REF        449-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing, flexible opportunities

LOC        Based at Caterham (Downlands) &/or Epsom (Lower Mole)*

PAY        Experience

FOR        Surrey Countryside Partnerships (hosted by Surrey County Council)

Gain a wide range of practical conservation experience working to maintain/restore a diverse range of habitats, in particular rare chalk grassland & woodlands. Principally weekdays; we are flexible on duration/days of week. You would be principally joining in on scheduled task days, gaining essential on-the-job experience learning about targeted countryside/rare habitat management practices; helping to prepare for tasks, carpentry & opportunities to work with our Downlands Partnership grazing service; some formal training (brushcutters etc) could also be made available. We work closely with volunteers of all ages, plus school & corporate groups so excellent communication skills are required & you need to be able to work confidently as part of a small busy team.  Physically demanding at times and involves working outdoors in all weathers. Full clean driving licence and access to a vehicle essential. An ideal first internship during/post countryside management studies. *but required to work across partnerships' area (principally North/NE Surrey and in to Croydon, Sutton, Kingston) Please email your interest to countrysidepartnershipsteam@surreycc.gov.uk. For initial informal discussion contact Debbie Hescott on 01737 733931. www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreycountrysidepartnerships


REF        450-FOCUSR-27/4


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training and some expenses


Approximately once a fortnight. The role involves assisting or leading outdoor educational activities with school groups from KS1 to KS13. Duties include helping prepare resources, setting up activities on the day, engaging with children, connecting them to nature and promoting the National Trust values. Please email devilsdyke@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


REF        451-FOCUS-16/3

JOB        Environment & Wildlife – Nature Conservation in South Africa

BE4        14/3/18  IV 16/3/18

LOC        Training in Sussex, then work in South Africa

PAY        All necessary training


Would you like to work with us at Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve in South Africa? The Wildlife For All Trust is a British registered environmental charity with a pioneering approach to nature conservation. We are looking for individuals who really want to help make a difference. We strongly encourage & train our team members to be the best they can be. We are unusually successful, focusing on achievement. This is an exciting & unique opportunity to do something meaningful. For more details, including how to apply, please see the ‘Interviews’ page of our website: www.wildlifeforall.org


REF        452-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Opportunity to Volunteer at a Community Allotment where people from different sections of our local community all work together. Whilst it is targeted at those who wouldn’t normally get involved in growing food, everybody's welcome to take part in growing and gardening, learning and developing hands on skills, and sharing the harvest. Both amateur and experienced gardeners are welcome to attend and join in the fun. Contact Karen Heynike, Walton Charity, Tel 0203 328 0254 email kheynike@waltoncharity.org.uk


REF        453-FOCUS-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Reasonable travel expenses will be covered


2-3 days per week for 6 months.  You will gain transferable skills through a structured training package that can be added to depending on the goals and aims of the successful candidate. You will have the opportunity to attend talks, workshops and training courses, whilst gaining experience in a variety of sectors. Build on your IT skills, sales and marketing experience, leadership and practical conservation skills. Support with CV checking and improving for future interviews/employment opportunities. Use of and access to TCV resources, including premises, IT equipment, vehicles, tools and project materials and PPE (where applicable). Excellent opportunity to contribute to local and national initiatives, and to carry out supervisory role of other volunteers. You will be working alongside an experienced staff member assisting in the delivery of a range of topics including; Green Gyms in Hastings, Bexhill, Haywards Heath & Burgess Hill. East Sussex Bio-diversity Action Team tasks on a range of sites across the county, undertaking a wide range of conservation tasks including hedgelaying, woodland management, pond creation & management, footpath improvement works, invasive species control ,etc.; grant bid writing; community group support; and volunteer development & training. Contact Tim Hills, Senior Project Officer, t.hills@tcv.org.uk 01424 444 675.


REF        454-FOCUSR-30/3


BE4        1/4/18


PAY        Training*

FOR        Countryside Management Service, Hertfordshire County Council

2 - 3 hours per month. Friends of Hartham Common are a group of local people who work in partnership with East Herts Council to enhance Hartham Common for wildlife and for users. We are looking for a volunteer who wants to help promote the group, such set up a Facebook page, write articles, send out emails or help organise events. The Friends meet on the 2nd Saturday of the month for a practical morning session. Activities include tree planting, clearing ponds, scrub management, building a boardwalk or installing a gate.  No experience necessary. * Leadership and First Aid Training if attending practical tasks. Contact CMS on 01992 588433 or isabel.crozier@hertfordshire.gov.uk Visit the ‘Volunteer with us’ pages for further details: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/CMS

REF        456-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        WWT Discount & Benefits


At WWT, we believe the best way for people to understand and connect to wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close. We are looking for people to join our London Wetland Centre Learning Team and contribute to this aspect of our work by assisting them in facilitating our special school visits. Your role will be to assist the Learning Team with preparatory tasks in advance of school visits, greeting and briefing school groups upon arrival, engaging learners during the self-guided portion of their visit, assisting with guided learning sessions, and to tidy up resources after schools have left. We are looking for volunteers on weekdays during Spring/Summer/Autumn school terms - shifts from 9am to 3pm. Please complete and submit an online application form via our website http://www.wwt.org.uk/support/volunteer-with-wwt/ If you have any problems completing the application online please email volunteer.london@wwt.org.uk Successful applicants will be asked to come and meet the team to find out more about the role and discuss availability before being offered a placement.


REF        457-FOCUSR-OK8

BE4        Ongoing

PAY        Training / expenses


We need people with all kinds of talents: an aptitude for mechanics, an enthusiasm for environmental work, coaching skills or just an all round willingness to help out. But above all we're looking for a good sense of humour, patience & empathy to encourage our supported volunteers who may have mental health problems, mild learning difficulties or are dealing with addiction or the aftermath of family breakdown or unemployment. Regular/occasional commitment required. Contact Miranda Soane, Community Boats Co-ordinator, miranda.soane@surreycaretrust.org.uk 07712 652675

logo: Canal & River TrustWhat volunteers want

(& how the Canal & River Trust tries to provide it)


A happy volunteer is a productive volunteer.  An unhappy volunteer will often take their services elsewhere, or worse, stay resentfully and suck up lots of staff and volunteer time and enthusiasm.  So, we all want to keep our volunteers happy, but how can we do it?


Volunteers ready a trip boat at National Waterway Museum, Ellesmere Port (Canal & River Trust)

Volunteers ready a trip boat at National Waterway Museum, Ellesmere

Port (Canal & River Trust)

At the Canal & River Trust we’ve had an amazing 5 years, building our volunteering from a few hundred volunteers delivering 205,000 hours in 2012 (our launch year) to todays’ 2,700 volunteers delivering 540,000 hours right across our charitable works, from crucial maintenance of towpaths and locks through keeping our customers happy to guiding our strategic development.


From the start we planned to keep them happy: providing uniform and equipment, paying expenses, investing in training and skills for both volunteers and the staff managing them.  As time has passed, we’ve rolled out more in response to demand – regular communications, social events like summer trips and Christmas parties, and closer integration with our staff teams.  There’s been some great local innovations, but not much consistency across the Trust, which has caused frustrations. 


A lot of feedback is informal, picked up via chats in the mess room, or shared on social media.  So how do we make sure we’re getting an accurate picture of common problems and priorities for our volunteers? Since we started we have run regular surveys and reviews, generally on a local or team basis: ‘end of season’ reviews for our visitor-facing roles (like the iconic Volunteer Lock Keepers), and quarterly snapshots of random selections of volunteers.  They’ve helped us identify some common problems such as communications, processing of expenses and distribution of equipment, and reassured us with good levels of retention and approval – a fairly steady 87% would tell friends and family to give volunteering with us a go.

Towpath Taskforce volunteers on the Monmouth & Brecon Canal (Canal & River Trust)

Towpath Taskforce volunteers on the Monmouth & Brecon Canal

(Canal & River Trust)


But this is only a small proportion of our volunteers, and crucially missing out some of our most diverse but distant groups, those from other organisations - such as parish councils, businesses and Scout groups.  To reach everyone, in summer 2017 we did only our second ever survey with all of our volunteers, including the leaders of these groups.  We got a brilliant response of 1,240, 49% of our active volunteers.  This was generally really positive, with 96% recommending the Trust as a place to donate time, 92% proud to volunteer for us, and 94% intending to continue volunteering.  But there were some concerns, too: only 68% felt they had the resources needed, 51% felt safety suggestions were acted upon, and 56% that they were listened to and valued.


What are we doing to tackle these concerns, and build on the successes to date?  A purely reactive approach, taking action when the clamour gets loud enough or the resources become available, can be popular but is rarely cost/effort effective, and is unlikely to tackle any systemic problems.  Our response is to pull together a ‘Volunteer Journey’: a plan to develop the best possible experience for our volunteers while they’re giving us their time, while making the most of the benefits for the Canal & River Trust.  Within the plan there are 4 key outcomes:


Volunteers learning traditional brickwork techniques on a Caldon Canal lengthsman’s hovel (Canal & River Trust)

Volunteers learning traditional brickwork techniques on a Caldon Canal

lengthsman’s hovel (Canal & River Trust)

Structure - Volunteering offers are structured, resourced effectively and consistently delivered

Communications – Effective Communication between us, our people and volunteers ensuring messaging is accurate, timely and relevant to support local and national decision making

Planning -  Volunteering opportunities are effectively planned for and delivered at a local and national level

Processes – Working processes and practices are consistent, high quality and accessible


We've already started work in these areas.  First up, on structure: we’re more closely defining our volunteer manager roles and responsibilities more clearly with our staff teams; investing in training and development for our volunteering specialists; recruiting more volunteers to lead volunteers; and setting up a more consistent model for how we support groups ‘adopting’ a stretch of canal.  Second, communications: making it easier to access opportunities on our website; setting up an annual volunteering conference; running regular newsletters for both our own volunteers and partner groups; and getting more interactive on social media.  Third, planning: pulling together training packages for our key volunteers; approving them to do skilled tasks such as boat helming and machinery operation; and building them into our works planning.  Finally, process: simplifying our safety paperwork, especially for partner groups; improving our induction sessions, especially for our more informal volunteers.


There’s lots more to do – we want to get better at providing feedback on ideas and complaints, get more consistent in how we use and support our volunteers, and crucially deliver on some of the projects we’re now developing.  But we’re getting there, and it’s in no small part to the support of our volunteers. The Canal & River Trust simply couldn't continue to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, on Britain's canals and rivers, without the extraordinary commitment of our thousands of volunteers.  That’s enough to make everyone happy.

To find out more about volunteering at the Canal & River Trust, go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer

Tom Freeland, Canal & River Trust

South West: 

logo: Plymouth Environmental ActionREF        458-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


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. Find out more from Chris Bond, plymouthenvironmentalaction@hotmail.co.uk  www.pea-volunteering.co.uk


REF        459-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Training


Minimum stay is two weeks & maximum three months. Help clean the monkey enclosures, prepare their food & enrichment. Help with children's workshops & in the cafe. gardening & help in the day to day running of the sanctuary. No quals or experience required, just a willingness to be involved. More details from Antony Williams will@wildfutures.org


REF        460-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


Be the public face of Seaton Wetlands, welcome people, serve refreshments, answer questions about the site & share any knowledge on wildlife & birds seen in the area. In the Discovery Hut there is a nature table which the Wardens can show to children. Make tea & coffee, hire out the off-road mobility scooter (Tramper) & pond dipping equipment. This is a fun & varied role on Saturday, Sundays or Mondays. Training sessions are run for Wardens on the Tramper & First Aid. Also social events. Volunteers must enjoy meeting people & have great communication skills. Find out more from the Countryside Team 01395 517557 countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk


REF        461-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Accom. incl meals & training


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. Join different lessons on the farm, such as hands on farming, survival in the wild & river dipping, in order to get an overview of the outdoor education programme. 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.   Contact rebecca@magdalenfarm.org.uk to request a volunteer application pack.


REF        462-FOCUSR-27/4

BE4        30/4/18

PAY        Training / expenses


Once a week in spring and summer. Do you have a passion for plants or wildlife?  Could you share your knowledge to help survey and monitor flora and fauna around Lanhdyrock estate to create valuable online records that help the Ranger Team with conservation management of the estate?  By getting involved, you could: use/improve your wildlife ID skills and knowledge; see how ecological surveys help with conservation management decisions; become part of a friendly and dedicated countryside team; improve your communication skills.  You will: help with surveys for a variety of species groups; record and provide data to the Ranger Team within the specified timescales; learn more about Lanhydrock, its history, landscape and nature; let staff know of any issues with fences, footpaths, etc.; maintain good relationships with people who share the land; become familiar with and follow the National Trust H&S Policy at all times; work outdoors in all weather conditions & get involved with other activities that are of interest to you, that we could use your help with us. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/find-an-opportunity


REF        465-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training will be provided


On an ad-hoc basis, usually school holidays. There’s nothing like a fun day out, and Events Assistants help us to make them happen at Fyne Court. You can help set up and deliver a range of events for families and adult groups. After 50 hours volunteering you will receive a membership card and discount in NT shops and cafes. Contact fynecourt@nationaltrust.org.uk  01823 451587.


REF        466-FOCUS-13/4


BE4        13/4/18


PAY        Travel expenses covered


Time: Every Tuesday 10-4pm for 8 weeks, April 24th to June 12th. Windmill Hill City Farm provides opportunities for people without a garden, families and schools and encourages them to take part in food growing, farming and other outdoor activities. In partnership with Bristol Mental Health Employment Service (BMHES) the farm is running an 8 week Garden Placement for individuals who have experienced a mental health challenge. The placement covers a range of garden and maintenance activities. We are looking for individuals to join the placement and develop the Community Gardens at Windmill Hill City Farm into a beautiful and productive space where people can grow and thrive. On the placement, you will maintain and develop garden areas so they can be used for gardening and food growing activities. Through participation in the placement you will learn a range of gardening & site maintenance skills in a working env. To apply please contact Sam Lloyd-Smith sam.lloydsmith@windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk or 0117 9471194


REF        467-FOCUS-27/4


BE4        26/4/18 (noon)


PAY        Accommodation, food & some training


Full time, 5 days per week from early / mid-July until early / mid-September with regular weekend working. You will be asked to assist with a range of visitor management, information and education tasks. Including: providing information for visitors at the ‘beach trailer’, assisting with events and education activities for visitors and assisting with maintaining nature trail path & visitor facilities whilst ensuring safe, efficient, customer focused service. The volunteer should have a pleasant manner and good communication skills – being able to relate well to Centre staff and our full range of customers. Qualifications (A Level or equivalent) in ecology, geography or related subjects would be of benefit, as would a qualification in basic first aid. Experience of working with young people and/or experience of working in a conservation environment would also be beneficial. For application pack contact Alice - volunteer.sl@field-studies-council.org


REF        468-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training will be provided


4th Sunday of the month. Volunteer Trust10 Events Assistant support the Brean Down team in running Trust10 events.

Help plan, organise and deliver events and fundraising activities at Brean Down. Help advertise these events to staff and volunteers and general public. After 50 hours volunteering you will receive a membership card and discount in NT shops and cafes. Contact breandown@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        470-FOCUSR-OK8

BE4        N/A

PAY        Training will be provided


4th Sunday of the month. Our Trust10 Co-ordinators are great leaders, who inspire people to get things done, on the day of the monthly running event. They motivate a group of volunteers to share their passion for running, the outdoors and working as a team. After 50 hours volunteering you will receive a membership card and discount in NT shops and cafes. Contact breandown@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        471-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Suitable for those who already walk their dogs in the area. Orientate, engage and encourage responsible dog walking on our National Trust sites at Wellington Monument or Fyne Court. Engaging with dog owners in a friendly way. Educating and changing attitudes on dog fouling and behaviour in the countryside and surrounding areas. Offering maps, information and handing out dog waste bags.  fynecourt@nationaltrust.org.uk  01823 451587.


Every Thursday Dry Stone Walling Work Party

Durlston Country Park, Swan age organized by Dorset County Council. Contact: 01929 424443 info@durlston.co.uk http://www.durlston.co.uk

Meet at the Learning Centre at 10am. Session runs till 13:00. Join us for a session of dry stone walling at Durlston Country Park NNR. No experience necessary. Wear suitable work clothing and sturdy footwear. Tools, training and hot drinks provided. Suitable for a variety of ages and ability levels.


Join the Ranger team on group conservation days. Try volunteering in the countryside and get hands-on with the great outdoors. 3rd March - Help to preserve the archaeological sites at Lanhydrock. 5th May - Help us to carry out maintenance works on one of our cycle trails. Contact Laurence Harvey  01208 265965 laurence.harvey@nationaltrust.org.uk


Every Wednesday throughout the year. EuCAN Dorset Mid-week Volunteers

Minibus (if spare seats) from Weymouth and Dorchester, or meet at destination. organised by EuCAN Dorset Mid-Week Volunteers. Contact: 07763 923545 eucan.dmv@gmail.com http://c-js.co.uk/2r1tFPD

10:00 - 15:30. A variety of tasks (including hedgelaying, drystone walling, Fencing, heathland restoration, habitat management and invasive species) on NNRs and SSSI's within Dorset’s AONB, and occasionally just beyond. Operated by volunteers for volunteers, we fund brushcutter, chainsaw, and other courses where possible. Copy and follow https://tinyurl.com/hfxv9nm for detailed worksite information.


Every Wednesday Practical Conservation Work Party

Durlston Country Park, Swanage organized by Dorset County Council. Contact: 01929 424443 info@durlston.co.uk http://www.durlston.co.uk

Meet at the Learning Centre at 10am. Session runs till 13:00. Join us for all kinds of outdoor conservation work around Durlston Country Park NNR. Wear suitable work clothing and sturdy footwear. All tools, training and hot drinks provided. Suitable for a variety of ages and ability levels.



REF        472-FOCUSR-OK5


BE4        Ongoing

PAY        Training


Long term, time commitment dependent on volunteers' availability.  You will upload records, sent to you by volunteer recorders, onto iRecord and validate and verify records on iRecord.  Act as a central point of contact for local volunteer recorders, and enquires from organisations/groups (e.g. local wildlife groups) and members of the public, regarding information/advice on Dragonflies and recording in the area.  You will also produce a short annual update article for our Darter newsletter. Additional activities vary depending on the volunteers' skills and interests e.g. leading field workshops and talks, attending events, and setting up a local group.  Contact David Hepper, BDS Records Officer, records@british-dragonflies.org.uk or 01252 721053


logo: Snakes in the Heather Community Survey 

Snakes in the Heather – helping Britain’s rarest reptile

Amphibian & Reptile Conservation (ARC) are leading a brand-new project to conserve our rarest reptile – the smooth snake. “Snakes in the Heather” aims to conserve this secretive creature throughout its range in Britain.

Please complete our Community Survey to help us safeguard the smooth snake for the future - there are over £250 worth of prizes up for grabs! www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Snakes-in-the-Heather
You can also support smooth snake conservation by making a donation:



REF        473-FOCUSR-OK9


BE4        Ongoing

PAY        Survey pack*

FOR        PTES

Characterised by big old trees growing in open pasture-land, Wood Pasture often contains some of the oldest living trees in our country, providing a direct link with bygone landscapes and homes to many rare and threatened species. This survey is relatively simple to do but tells us so much about the structure, condition and management. You will be required to do a structured walk around a site, counting and estimating things like trees, canopy cover and scrub, whilst looking out for a few key species such as hawthorn, elder and bramble. All the data we get helps us build a better picture of the conservation task we have ahead of ourselves in order to preserve this precious habitat and the rare species to which it is home.*Surveyor will receive a survey pack with all the instructions, maps and guides. They can contact the project organiser for any additional help needed. Each survey should take a couple of hours, plus a bit of prep time. Contact megan.gimber@ptes.org or go to www.ptes.org/wpp for more information.


REF        HOL-FOCUS-30/11


DATE     Throughout the year

BASE     VARIOUS             

COST     £70


Waterway Recovery Group’s week long residential volunteering holidays are the perfect opportunity for anyone looking to learn new skills, meet a wide range of different people, give something back or just have a fun filled week making amazing memories.  Each Canal Camp costs only £70 for the whole week and is run by volunteers for volunteers – providing all the training, food and banter needed to fully immerse yourself in the world of Canal Restoration. Accommodation and travel to and from site is also included during the week. Our volunteering holidays act as a catalyst to canal restoration projects giving a much needed boost to local restoration groups making significant progress in just one week. It’s easy to find out more about our canal camps – to get involved, just visit: www.wrg.org.uk or contact us on 01494 783 453 ext 610.


REF        474-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Love Your Waterways with Inland Waterways Association. Our volunteers enable us to be a powerful champion for the nation’s inland waterways, protecting and expanding the network for everyone. Our volunteer community takes action to: speak for the waterways: listen to those who love the waterways and campaign, fundraise and influence to provide a sustainable waterway environment for everyone. Protect: conserve the heritage, environment and facilities for all along the waterways through advice, practical tasks and commenting on planning applications affecting the waterway corridor. Restore: bring the waterways back to peak condition for navigation and recreation through expert advice and our hands-on Waterway Recovery Group canal camps and weekend digs. Inspire: engage others in the waterways and our work both in person with walks, talks, educational and promotional events and communicate locally, nationally and online. For more information or to get involved visit www.waterways.org.uk/volunteer


REF        475-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        N / A

PAY        Travel expenses up to £12 per person


Time: Usually around 6 hours.  The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities to salvage the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms every year across the UK and Europe, and direct this fresh, nutritious food to people in need. We need volunteers to help us harvest this fresh fruit and veg so we can divert to people in need. Fill in this form to be notified about upcoming gleans in your region:  https://feedbackglobal.org/gleaning-volunteer-form/   or contact:  james@feedbackglobal.org 


REF        476-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


Become an Education Volunteer with the Canal & River Trust and inspire the next generation about the nation’s canals and rivers. If you love being outdoors and have a knack for engaging with children, we’d love you to join our friendly team. Full training provided. Find out more at http://c-js.co.uk/2EjJHKO


REF        477-FOCUSR-9/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        0


Buglife are currently recruiting new Bug Champions. We are looking for people who are interested in wildlife, & would like to gain experience within your local community, raising awareness of Buglife, fundraising & campaigning. You will be supporting Buglife in your own community & help raise awareness of the work we do. This fantastic opportunity allows for you to plan your own volunteer time as the face of Buglife. If you are interested please visit the website & provide us with your name, location & contact details. To apply or find our more information please email your details to volunteer.peterborough@buglife.org.uk  www.buglife.org.uk/contact/volunteering-and-internships


Bat Conservation Trust Help us monitor the UK's bats by taking part in one or more of our surveys and observing these fascinating mammals in your local area. Anyone can take part, from beginners to experts, and we run training workshops. Find a survey to suit you and sign up online and enjoy being part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme volunteer team. http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/nbmp.html


The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey WCBS monitors common and widespread butterflies in the general countryside and urban areas.  We are recruiting volunteers for the 2018 season and there are opportunities to get involved throughout the UK. To find out more please contact the WCBS co-ordinator via survey@butterfly-conservation.org or visit http://bit.ly/WCBS2018.


Crab Watch is a new citizen science initiative in Europe developed as part of the Sea Change Project. It aims to harness the sense of excitement and wonder of finding a crab to raise awareness and enhance our knowledge of the changing distribution of native and non-native crabs. Visit www.seachangeproject.eu to download all you need.


Love Your Waterways with Inland Waterways Association

Our volunteers enable us to be a powerful champion for the nation’s inland waterways: speaking for the waterways, protecting and restoring the waterways for everyone and inspiring others to explore the network. For more information or to get involved visit www.waterways.org.uk/volunteer


Waterway Recovery Group provides practical and technical support to waterways restoration projects across the country. WRG organises events to help restore derelict canals of England and Wales through running restoration holidays called Canal Camps and weekend activities as well as teaching heritage construction skills. For more visit: www.wrg.org.uk


Live and learn on an organic farm by volunteering with WWOOF. WWOOF UK has nearly 700 farms, smallholdings, vineyards, crofts, retreat centres, nature reserves and woodlands across the British Isles ready to open their doors to you. Start a life changing adventure today. Go to wwoof.org.uk.


What effect has recent weather had on wildlife? Does climate change affect timings in nature? Join Nature's Calendar and help scientists discover answers to these questions. From leaf buds bursting to blackberries ripening, let us know what’s happening near you. https://naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk/


The Association of Countryside Volunteers

It is with deep regret on the one hand and an element of pride as to all the Association has achieved in its fifty year existence on the other that Roger Higgs informs us of the fact that the Association of Countryside Volunteers has now ceased to exist. This is due to lack of new and active members. Roger says: “Whilst putting together the Association’s last Magazine, it suddenly struck me that when the Association was first established, way back in October 1967, at Grasmere in the Lake District, the founding fathers, one of whom, Trevor Hardy and his wife Dorothy, have remained active throughout the life of the Association, were at the time young people, one in their late twenties and others early forties.  I believe I’m right in saying now that currently, few members are younger than sixty, many somewhat older.  Younger people now seem to have very busy lives and despite there being many thousands of countryside volunteers across the UK, of all ages, working for a myriad of organisations, time is precious and understandably your local patch comes first.” If anyone wants to contact Roger he can be emailed on rogerhiggs@hotmail.co.uk



REF        F116-FOCUS-29/6

BE4        30/6/18


PAY        Accommodation


This locally owned and operated camp, close to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, offers accommodation for international gorilla trekkers.  The mountain gorilla camp is looking for volunteers to help local staff with operational tasks, including taking reservations, meeting and briefing guests on arrival. Volunteers receive free accommodation and contribute US$15 per day for food.  1 month minimum. Exceptional opportunity to work at a World Heritage site & encounter families of mountain gorillas. Please visit https://www.volunteer4africa.org/ for full project details and application instructions.


Herpetological Field Training Expeditions in Laguna del Tigre National Park, Guatemala. Carry out wildlife surveying & monitoring, specialising in the ecology and behaviour of reptiles and amphibians. Join our unique training programme offering invaluable experience in tropical field biology. 2018 Dates: 23 June – 4 Jul, 11 – 23 Aug. Contact info@explorewithindigo.com


Community-based sea turtle conservation on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Join the Indigo Sea Turtle Initiative! Experience in field surveying, or other conservation projects, would be beneficial, but no specialist experience of sea turtles is required. More important is a willingness to learn! Contact info@explorewithindigo.com or see http://explorewithindigo.com/indigo-sea-turtle-initiative/ for more info. Internships are available for those with experience of sea turtle conservation.


REF        F478-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        COSTA RICA       

PAY        Accomm & other benefits


1 month min.  The sanctuary is looking for volunteer help year round with animal care, construction & gardening work. Volunteer activities range from daily leaf collection for howler monkeys to planting saplings. Caring, positive attitude & cheery. Details on www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/ info@volunteerlatinamerica.com


REF        F479-FOCUS-OK7


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Free accommodation and food


3 months minimum.  This wildlife reintroduction project is looking for volunteers to help take care of jaguars at a breeding centre and maintain the facilities. This a good opportunity to work in a remote and natural setting with an endangered species. The project provides free accommodation and food. You can view further information on the VLA website. www.volunteerlatinamerica.com


Key:        REF       CJS reference no. (job number – source – delete date)                  JOB        Title

BE4        Application closing date IV = Interview date                                     LOC        Location

PAY        £ range - usually per annum (but check starting point)                       FOR        Employer

Main text usually includes: Description of Job, Person Spec / Requirements and How to apply or obtain more information

CJS Suggestions: Please check the main text to ensure that you have all of the required qualifications / experience before you apply.  Contact ONLY the person, email, number or address given use links to a job description / more information, if an SAE is required double check you use the correct stamps. If you're sending a CV by email name the file with YOUR name not just CV.doc


PLEASE REMEMBER to DOUBLE CHECK the BE4 (closing date) of the vacancies.  

And please contact only the person, telephone number, email address given.

This CJS Focus was published on 12/2/18.


The CJS Team would like to thank everyone who has contributed adverts, articles and information for this CJS Focus publication. 

Next edition will feature Greenspace, published 21/5/18



Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

Volunteers: 42 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols

During the past month CJS Weekly has included 219 job adverts, 177 were for paid posts.  To see these you have to subscribe, find out how here.

Practical work days and conservation tasks section for one off, one day / half day activities, see these here.

Surveys, Fieldwork and Citizen Science pages will start filling up with spring & summer call outs for sightings, see details here, recent additions are below.

Free advertising is available on all these pages except CJS Online, contact us for more details.

Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in February

Many conservation organisations appeal for volunteer surveyors to record and submit local sightings for a national wildlife survey.

Taking part in any of these surveys will give you useful experience and also help to extend the scientific knowledge of a species, so vital for appropriate conservation management. Some include training in survey techniques and some may even pay expenses. 



Scottish Mountain Hare Survey  

As the only native hare species in Britain, the mountain hare is an integral part of Scotland’s moorland heritage.  Help to update our understanding of their current distribution by submitting your sightings, since spring 2016 - http://www.gwct.org.uk/mountainharesurvey



The Great Eggcase Hunt is a public recording project which encourages people of all ages to get to the beach in search of mermaids purses – the eggcases of sharks, skates, and rays. Find out more, identify your finds and submit details to the Shark Trust via the app or www.eggcase.org! eggcase@sharktrust.org http://www.sharktrust.org


If you are interested in helping with any of the surveys please contact the person or see the website listed.

Please see the full listings online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/workdays/surveys


logo: British Wildlife Photography AwardsBritish Wildlife Photography Awards - The leading competition for British wildlife photography


The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 are now open for entries.


Little owl by Ian Watson (BWPA)All ages are welcome. Whether a characterful animal portrait, interesting behaviour, animals in their habitat, the secret world in the undergrowth, coastal and marine creatures, or atmospheric woodland scenes we want to see your pictures and films. Help us raise awareness about our wonderful natural heritage and encourage discovery and conservation.


Be part of a competition and community that is supported by the UK's major conservation charities and celebrates excellence in wildlife photography.

Little Owl by Ian Watson

What can you win?

Win a prestigious award and prize from a prize fund worth up to £20,000, including £5,000 cash for the overall winner and camera kit from lead sponsor Canon, vouchers towards clothing and holidays.

New this year: Wildlife Worldwide are delighted to be sponsoring the Habitat category in the BWPA and will provide the lucky winner with a place on one of their dedicated wildlife photography tours – full details of the prize to be announced soon.

Your photos could be featured in a touring exhibition launching in London that reaches millions across the UK through National Media and a beautiful book published by Ammonite Press.


CJS is delighted to be sponsoring the Botanical Britain category once again. This category includes botanical subjects photographed in Britain, including: trees, plants, flowers, fungi and algae. Capture the essence, beauty and diversity of the botanical world, whether close-up, macro or as part of a wider scene.

Read about the categories here.


Be inspired by recent winners, photos and videos 

Enter now: Read the rules and submit your entries at www.bwpawards.org.uk

CJS FocusAdvance Notice

The next edition of CJS Focus will be looking at Greenspace in association with Fields in Trust. The deadline for advertising is 11 May but we're accepting adverts now.

If you would like to see a topic covered or can offer an article please get in touch.

Second article from our Featured Charity: logo: The Vincent Wildlife TrustThe Vincent Wildlife Trust 

Volunteers help with the return of the pine marten to Wales

In early autumn of this year, The Vincent Wildlife Trust was back in Scotland trapping pine martens for relocation to Wales – the third and final translocation as part of the Trust’s ‘Pine Marten Recovery Project’. Between September and October, twelve martens were selected for release in Wales, bringing the total number of animals translocated since 2015 to 51.

Pine marten (image: Robert Cruickshanks)

Pine marten (image: Robert Cruickshanks)

For decades, The Vincent Wildlife, a mammal conservation charity, has been studying pine martens in Britain, looking for evidence of their survival. When it became clear that they were functionally extinct across southern Britain, the Trust decided that a course of action was needed.

In 2015, the Trust took a significant step in improving the fortunes of the pine marten in Wales. Under the leadership of Dr Jenny Macpherson, and after much careful research and planning, together with regular engagement with the local community, the Trust began a programme to restore this native mammal to Wales by bringing martens from Scotland to bolster any local relict marten population. And it worked! Today, in mid-Wales, we once again have a breeding pine marten population. The Trust carefully selected suitable areas of habitat, and each autumn released a number of animals and then monitored them daily using radio-tracking technology. For the last two years several of the female martens have given birth and this has been incredibly exciting for the team and a real sign of success.

“We are increasingly receiving sightings where people report encounters with the released pine martens; unexpected, and enchanting. It grounds the pine martens reestablishment as something tangible and real and highlights something equally as important as the science, the research, and the ecological theory: the fact that something wonderful and wild has returned to Wales, enriching the landscape and spreading a hopeful message that what is endangered, damaged or lost can be recovered with expertise, willpower and the support of local communities” David Bavin, Pine Marten Field Officer.

To ensure the long-term goal of a self-sustaining population, we need to continue to monitor the, now radio-collarless, martens. To achieve this we are hoping to maintain interest in the project beyond the translocations, by working with local schools and universities, working with local landowners and shoots and encouraging ecotourism related to martens. Most importantly we want the local community to take ownership in where the project goes as we move forward.


In the extract from a VWT article below, Josie Bridges, Community Engagement Officer with the pine marten project, explains where the Trust is now with its pine marten work and the important role volunteers are playing in the success of this project:

Volunteers about to start a scat survey
‘We have had an amazing core group of local volunteers over the last few years who have been integral to the success of the translocation. They have been out radio-tracking with us every day (in all weathers!), have built release pens, raised our morale in the middle of the night whilst we're struggling to find martens, and even lent us their dogs to help detect marten scat. One of our long serving (suffering?) volunteers is a glutton for punishment and is now employed by us as our full-time Field Assistant. Over the next few years we are hoping to really expand our volunteer base and get many more people out there and trained to look for martens through scat surveys, camera traps and den box surveys. Some of our volunteers have gone above and beyond their normal volunteering by helping us with our camera traps. Cameras are a great way to keep track of the animals once they have had their collars removed, and having volunteers tasked with checking their 'local' marten’s camera every week has been an enormous help. Some of our most far flung individuals could be a four-hour round trip for us to check and so we would be limited in the amount of times we could check it. Our volunteers’ hard work, along with the many photos and sightings we are now regularly getting in from the public, has encouraged us to start a camera trap loan scheme where we lend out cameras to people who may have martens in their area. They then report back if and when they have a marten come to their camera and we can ID it for them. This will help us widen the area that we can be surveying for our now collarless animals.

Whilst knowing exactly what each of our martens is up to individually is less important now as we are moving into surveying the population as a whole, it is still useful to know who is who on the cameras. Not least because it allows us to know if any new kits turn up on any footage. So how do we tell them apart? Each marten has a unique bib that has a unique, individual pattern of spots and freckles. We take note of this pattern when the animal is under anaesthetic as part of the translocation process so we can then compare it to later footage.

We then use a simple bit of kit called a 'jiggler' (a long piece of flexible wire with a tea infuser filled with peanut butter at the end that the martens 'meerkat' up towards). This gives us a nice clear photo of a marten’s bib. The peanut butter can sometimes attract unwanted visitors though who can cause havoc by running off with the tea strainer. Occasionally you can't tell who is who on the cameras from the bibs so we have to turn to DNA collected from hair tubes. This is particularly useful for identifying our increasing numbers of kits for whom, of course, we don't have bib shots. A hair tube is a section of drain pipe with bait wired into the top and sticky patches attached to the bottom that the marten has to wiggle past to get to the bait (hopefully), leaving behind a few strands of hair that we can then send for DNA analysis. We are also having some success with using adapted squirrel feeders to collect hair samples, but this has come with its own problems; our martens find them very attractive and quite often photo-bomb the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project feeders! PM16 and her three almost grown kits from this year have taken a particular liking to the free peanuts on offer. Some of our animals are much easier to keep track of than others post collar removal and this has led to one of our most charismatic martens, PM07, being adopted by Chester Zoo. We now regularly send clips that we gather to the Zoo for them to share on their social media and help us spread awareness of the project and martens in general.

 With only 12 martens to radio-track this year, it feels very relaxed compared with the first two years of the translocation. But with big scat surveys, den box refurbishment and potentially the building of a pine marten viewing hide in the future, I'm sure it won't stay quiet for long!’


You can find out more about the Trust’s Pine Marten Recovery Project and any opportunities for volunteering at www.pine-marten-recovery-project.org.uk or email josiebridges@vwt.org.uk .

Hilary Macmillan, Communications Manager  The Vincent Wildlife Trust 


More about The Vincent Wildlife Trust here.



Government Policy and Annoucements 

Bovine TB strategy review - Animal Plant and Health Agency

The government has announced a review of its 25 year Bovine TB strategy.

The government has announced a review of its 25 year Bovine TB strategy to be chaired by Sir Charles Godfray, a population biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society.

Four years after the 25 year strategy was first published, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said he believes now is a good time to review progress and consider what additional actions might be necessary now to ensure other tools and interventions are ready to be deployed in later phases of the strategy. The government has said it also envisages future reviews at five yearly intervals.

The 25 year strategy outlined a very broad range of interventions to fight the disease including tighter cattle movement controls and removal of infected cattle from herds, improved diagnostic tests, enhanced biosecurity measures, the culling of badgers in areas where disease is rife, vaccination of badgers and work to develop a viable vaccine for use in cattle.

So far, the principal elements deployed in the first phase of the strategy have been cattle movement controls, the removal of infected cattle from herds and the badger cull which covered more than 20 different areas in 2017. Michael Gove and Farming Minister George Eustice have said they want to ensure other elements of the strategy, such as cattle vaccination or developing genetic resistance, are ready to be deployed in the next phase of the strategy in order to ensure the government maintains progress towards its target of becoming officially TB free by 2038.


Land and Countryside Management

Environment Agency completes £10 million flood storage basin on World Wetlands Day – Environment Agency

The new flood defence, which includes urban wetland, will help protect 2,000 properties from flooding.

The new £10m Salford flood scheme includes urban wetland and was opened on World Wetlands Day (Environment Agency)The new £10m Salford flood scheme includes urban wetland and was opened on World Wetlands Day (Environment Agency)

A £10 million flood scheme which will protect almost 2,000 homes and businesses, hold more than 250 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water during a flood and includes more than 5 hectares of urban wetland habitat, has been officially completed today (Friday 2 February).

The Environment Agency has marked the completion of its Salford Flood Improvement Scheme to coincide with World Wetlands Day.

The Salford scheme delivers on a long-held vision to not only create a flood storage basin in Salford – to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Irwell – but also to provide a boost to local wildlife populations by including a high quality urban wetland habitat.

Wetlands provide many benefits to society and help us to be more resilient to the effects of our changing climate. They provide multiple benefits such as slowing the flow of water, reducing flood risk, filtering water and capturing carbon. Their importance is increasing as a result of climate and land use change.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: "The £10 million Salford flood scheme will reduce flood risk to almost 2,000 homes and businesses. In addition, we have created more than 5 hectares of urban wetland, bringing attractive landscapes for people and wildlife. People in the area can also enjoy a new footpath around the site and links to existing footpaths that now provide a green route to and from the centre of Manchester. This excellent partnership project is a fine example of the multiple benefits our work brings to the local community."


10,000 new trees to boost roadside wildlife habitat in the South West – Highways England

Highways England is starting a major programme of tree and shrub planting along the A30 and A38 in a bid to connect a 105 mile corridor of wildlife habitat.

The work is taking place at 21 sites in Devon and Cornwall and involves the planting of 10,000 native trees and shrubs to fill or reduce gaps in hedgerow and woodland along the roadside.

In total the planting will provide around three extra miles of vegetation and connect over 105 miles of habitat on the verge and land adjacent to the A30 and A38.

The scheme is being delivered under Highways England’s national Biodiversity Plan which is being supported by a £30 million national investment programme over the next five years.

The plan recognises road verges and associated land can be managed to provide areas of habitat, relatively free from human access, that may be scarce in the surrounding landscape.

These road verges can also be used to connect fragmented habitats in the wider landscape, enabling plant and animal populations to move and interact, and so become stronger and more resilient.

Ecologist Leonardo Gubert said: “Highways England is committed to protecting the environment through its biodiversity plan and improving the connectivity of habitats along our roads is one of our top nature conservation priorities. The main aim of this improvement scheme is to reconnect wildlife habitat and ecosystems on a significant scale across our road network in the South West allowing species to move between core areas. The work is expected to have a huge benefit for a wide variety of species of animals including insects, birds, and mammals, such as butterflies, bees, flies and dormice, suitable places to forage, shelter and breed.”


RSPCA campaign success as Wales’ council land becomes ‘no fly zone’ for sky lanterns - RSPCA

RSPCA Cymru is celebrating as the final local authority to ban the release of deadly sky lanterns on their land approved restrictions on their use on Wednesday, effectively making Wales a no-fly zone for the devices on council land.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council unanimously approved plans to restrict sky lantern use on land controlled by the local authority in a vote.

The charity has long highlighted the dangers these devices pose to public safety and to animal welfare.

In 2013, the Welsh Government challenged councils across Wales to implement bans on their land – and RSPCA Cymru supporters have been contacting their local authority urging them to take action.

Twenty-one local authorities in Wales had already taken action – and Merthyr Tydfil CBC joined the list on Wednesday evening, as a meeting of full Council unanimously approved “a voluntary ban of the release of sky lanterns and balloons from Council owned land and property with immediate effect”.

In addition, Merthyr CBC also supported instructing all Councils tenants of the ban, which also extends to the sale of sky lanterns on local authority land.

RSPCA campaigns assistant Charlie Skinner said: “This has been long-fought and tireless campaign, and we’re delighted that Merthyr Council’s action means all 22 local authorities across the country have acted on the real danger posed by sky lanterns.

“Council land in Wales is now a no fly zone for sky lanterns. These devices can have deadly consequences for pets, farm and wild animals; and it’s huge step forward for animal welfare that these restrictions now exist in all corners of our nation. We’re so grateful to all of our supporters who have campaigned tirelessly on this topic. It’s a great example of what the RSPCA, our supporters and others can do when working together for the good of animals."


Brownfield registers identify land for more than 1 million homes - CPRE

Councils find sites for more than five times the number of homes predicted by Government

An analysis of Brownfield Land Registers, published today (Monday, 12 February), confirms that there is enough space on brownfield land to build at least one million new homes, with more than two-thirds of these homes deliverable within the next five years.  Many of these sites are in areas with a high need for housing.

Brownfield registers identify land for more than 1 million homes (image: CPRE)This means that three of the next five years’ worth of Government housing targets could be met through building homes on brownfield land that has already been identified, easing pressures on councils to continue releasing greenfield land unnecessarily and preventing the unnecessary loss of countryside.

Brownfield registers identify land for more than 1 million homes (image: CPRE)

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which carried out the analysis, found that the 17,656 sites identified by local planning authorities, covering over 28,000 hectares of land, would provide enough land for a minimum of 1,052,124 homes – this could rise to over 1.1 million once all registers are published, confirming CPRE’s previous estimates.

Most brownfield land is within urban areas that already have infrastructure, and where there is a higher demand for housing. The areas of England identified as having the highest number of potential “deliverable” homes include London, the North West and the South East with the new registers giving minimum housing estimates of 267,859, 160,785 and 132,263 respectively.

Rebecca Pullinger, Planning Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: “It’s fantastic news that local authorities have identified so many sites on brownfield land that are ready and waiting to be developed – and shown how wide of the mark the Government’s estimates of brownfield capacity have been. Contrary to what the Government, and other commentators have said, brownfield sites are also available in areas with high housing pressure. Indeed, our analysis is conservative with its estimates of potential number of homes that could be built – the figure could much higher if density is increased and if more registers looked at small sites. The Government needs to get on with amending its guidance to make sure that councils identified all the available brownfield sites in their areas. They then need to improve incentives to build on these sites and ensure that they follow through on their commitment that all that new-builds should be on brownfield first.”

Despite a requirement for all local planning authorities to publish Brownfield Land Registers by 31 December 2017, more than one in five failed to meet the deadline for submissions. As of 31 January, 18 were still to publish. The analysis was carried out on the 95% of Brownfield Land Registers that have been published successfully.


London soon to become the world’s first National Park City – National Park City Foundation

London is a step closer to becoming the world’s first National Park City as the idea has now secured the backing not just of the Mayor of London and members of the London Assembly but a majority of London’s 654 local council ward teams - the local authority councillors elected by Londoners.

With this broad mandate, leaders of the campaign will be working with the Mayor and Londoners across the capital to launch the National Park City in 2019.

Inspired by the aims and values of Britain’s national parks, the London National Park City will celebrate the capital’s remarkable urban landscape and work with Londoners to make the city greener, healthier and more enjoyable. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said: “It is fantastic news that so many Londoners are getting behind our ambition of making the capital the first National Park City. I’m committed to working to make this a reality and have already ensured I’m protecting and investing in our outstanding green spaces with my draft London Plan and £9m Greener City Fund. I’ll be working closely with the Foundation to help us reach our goal of declaring London a National Park City in 2019.”

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Founder of the London National Park City campaign said: “London being the world’s first National Park City is backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, London Assembly members and local councillors of all parties. Thanks to thousands of Londoners contacting their local ward councillors, a majority of local politicians now back the idea of London as a National Park City. “In recent weeks councillors in Bexley, Hackney, Kingston and Southwark have joined ward teams across the capital from Barnet and Bromley to Wandsworth and Westminster to show cross-party support for London to be the world’s first National Park City.

“Making London a National Park City is the capital’s big chance to recognise everything that is done by communities, businesses and councils to make our city greener, richer in wildlife and better for Londoners’ health and well-being - and to challenge us to do even better. With London set to be National Park City in 2019, let’s take pride and use the time to make our streets, gardens and balconies as green and beautiful as we can.”


Raising the financial red flag is a warning signal for green space - Fields in Trust

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, comments on the recently published review of local council finance and its potential implications for parks and green spaces.

Figures from the Local Government Information Unit's annual review of local council finance, released last week, show some worrying signs for the UK's parks and green spaces.

Coming just days after Northamptonshire County Council "raised a red flag" indicating a likely budget shortfall in the current year and an inability to set a balanced budget for 2018/19 the LGIU report demonstrates that this troubling situation is widespread and could affect as many as one in ten councils who will be unable to cover the costs of delivering their statutory services. No surprise then to find budgets for all other areas of discretionary spending squeezed – whilst most council taxpayers assume their parks and green spaces will always be there, there are no guarantees that any local authority will maintain a local park when reducing budgets are stretched across the whole range of adult and children's community services.

The LGUI report indicates that, financial difficulties will force councils to cut many core community services for their 2018/19 budgets. Over half say they will be reducing parks and leisure activities this year (53% of councils). Added to this the change in the regulations from the 2015 Autumn Statement which mean local councils can retain 100% of the sale of assets to invest in public services and the prospect of a local council selling off a green space for much needed housing may well be attractive to cash-strapped council leaders - even though not a long-term solution.


Severn Waste Services help wildlife - Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Boynes Coppice (c) Wendy CarterEvesham-based firm Severn Waste Services have awarded £30,000 via the Landfill Communities Fund to help wildlife in south Worcestershire.

Boynes Coppice (c) Wendy Carter

The money has been awarded to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest conservation organisation, to help with essential maintenance on three of their nature reserves – Boynes Coppice and Meadow and Nash’s Meadows near Upton-upon-Severn and Tiddesley Wood on the edge of Pershore.

David Molloy, the Trust’s Conservation Officer responsible for the three reserves, explained “We’re delighted that Severn Waste Services has chosen to fund this really important work on three of our nature reserves.

“Some of the work that it’s funding may sound mundane but it’s absolutely crucial if we are to manage these beautiful sites in the best way for wildlife.

“Fencing at both Boynes and Nash’s, for example, will allow us to graze the meadows with cattle and sheep. The animals eat the coarser and quicker growing plants, which allows the more delicate wildflowers to thrive; come late spring the fields are awash with colour and alive with bees and butterflies.”


Signs of spring sweep across the nation - RSPB

Acrobatic ravens, the dawn chorus and carpets of bluebells are among the beacons of spring that have started to pop up on RSPB reserves across England and Wales as nature starts to stir from its winter slumber.

Despite the current chilly conditions, temperatures in January were above average with parts of southern England reaching 15°C, enough to trigger a reaction from some early-nesting birds looking to gain a competitive advantage on rivals ahead of the breeding season.

The dawn chorus – nature’s soundtrack – is one of the most well known and loved signs that spring is well on its way. Starting with the sweet, simple melody of the blackbird, shortly followed by the robin, wren and many others, the dawn chorus builds fast during February with more places coming alive with the sound of bird song as the month goes on. 

But it isn’t just our garden birds that have been exercising their vocal chords. The booming call of Britain’s loudest bird, the bittern, was heard as early as mid-January at RSPB Ham Wall in Somerset. While the gruff, far-carrying call of early-nesting ravens have been heard on a number of reserves as they take to the skies to perform their acrobatic, tumbling displays usually only seen at this time of the year. 

Debra Depledge, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said: “As we emerge out of winter and into spring RSPB reserves will become a hive of activity as birds furiously prepare for the start of the breeding season. The warm January conditions will have stirred many birds out of their winter slumber earlier than usual allowing some pioneering individuals to gain competitive edge on potential rivals by making a start on gathering nest materials, securing a patch and finding a mate.”

The warm January weather also acted as a catalyst for other wildlife. Throughout southern England, there have been a number of reports of frogs starting to spawn and newts heading towards the nearest pond as they emerge from their winter hibernation.

The sight and smell of early-flowing woodland plants such as bluebells, primrose and daffodils have also started to greet people in their gardens or while enjoying a woodland trail. These plants have evolved over many years to flower before the woodland canopy closes overhead plunging them into darkness.


Dorset Wildlife Trust objects to drilling for oil in Poole Bay - Dorset Wildlife Trust

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has objected to the plans to drill an exploratory well for oil six kilometres out to sea in Poole Bay, in a letter written to the Environmental Management Team at the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

DWT objects to the project because of concerns for wildlife and highly sensitive natural habitats in the area, highlighting three main concerns: pollution from a ‘blow out’ (such as happened on a much bigger scale in the Gulf of Mexico); drill cuttings dumped on the seabed, and vibration known to damage sea life.  The wildlife charity recommends that the effort, time, money and research necessary would be better used to seek alternatives in renewable energy, but at the very least to avoid drilling in this sensitive area.   

Male black bream nest guarding by Matt-DoggettMale black bream nest guarding by Matt-Doggett

The exploration zone sits within the boundary of the proposed Solent and Dorset Coast Special Protection Area, and DWT believes oil exploration should not occur within such a Marine Protected Area.  There is concern for the short-snouted seahorse, that have been recorded in Poole Bay.   

DWT is also worried about the timing of the exploration drilling, which is proposed to start during the spawning season of many commercially important fish and long-lived species, including cod, lemon sole, black bream, sandeels and common cuttlefish, potentially causing huge disturbances to their reproduction cycle.  The area is important for commercial fishing and aquaculture (shellfish farms) which would be decimated if there was any pollution. 


Wildlife Charity ‘Appalled’ by Irresponsible Behaviour at South Walney Nature Reserve - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is calling for people to have more respect for our natural wild places following the trespass by the driver of a Landrover which got stuck in the sands off the Trust’s South Walney Nature Reserve on Sunday 25th February.

The driver illegally drove on to the nature reserve, across the protected beach and onto the sand in an area that is populated with seals, ignoring ‘no entry’ signs and removing a log barrier to gain access. South Walney Nature Reserve is protected under several conservation designations: it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.

“It is illegal, dangerous and damaging to take cars onto the sands. There is damage to the vegetated shingle from the vehicle itself, then there will be further damage from the vehicles that are going down to remove it, and if it cannot be removed there is serious risk of pollution from the petrol tank and oil as it rusts away. If the vehicle cannot be recovered it will potentially remain as eyesore for years”, explains Sarah Dalrymple, South Walney Warden. “I am appalled that some people think this is acceptable behaviour. The police are now dealing with the matter.”


Green light for community woodland in Carron Valley - Forestry Commission Scotland

Forest Enterprise Scotland has approved plans under the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS) to transfer land to create a new community woodland in the Carron Valley.
The plans, proposed by community body Valley Renewables Group (VRG) and supported by the Community Council and local residents, will develop a woodland area for local events and provide walking and adventure trails.     In addition, the woodland will provide timber for home heating for 20 homes, helping to reduce fuel poverty. Under the CATS programme, communities are given the opportunity to purchase, lease or use the National Forest Estate if it provides benefits for local people.
The Valley Renewables Group was set up initially as a development trust to administer community funds from the Craigengelt Wind Farm and is now managing benefits from other windfarms in the area. The Group intends to invest income from the wind farm into to the new community woodland which will promote health and well-being through a range of activities.
Margaret Porter, chair of the Valley Renewables Group:  “This is an important and exciting milestone for our small, dispersed community, and will be our first community owned asset. Currently, we have no social facilities and this will give us a permanent base for community activities and events. We’ll be working to provide improved access to the forest, sustainable community wood fuel, up-skilling and educational opportunities, and an increased range of habitats for local people and visitors to enjoy. This represents a huge opportunity for our community to focus on a long-term project, to create jobs and to move forward together.”

A part-time woodland manager will be employed for the first two to three years in order to get the woodland properly established.



Once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape future farming policy - defra

Reducing direct payments could free up £150 million for the environment and other public goods.

Farmers, landowners and food producers have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of English farming and the environment, with a consultation launched today (27 February) by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The government’s proposals will see money redirected from direct payments under the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), which are based on the amount of land farmed, to a new system of paying farmers “public money for public goods” - principally their work to enhance the environment and invest in sustainable food production.

Other public goods which could be supported include investment in technology and skills to improve productivity, providing public access to farmland and the countryside, enhanced welfare standards for livestock and measures to support the resilience of rural and upland communities.  In line with its manifesto commitment, the government will continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament in 2022.  It has today set out proposals for an ‘agricultural transition’ lasting a number of years beyond the implementation period during which direct payments would continue, providing stability and certainty for farmers as they prepare for the new system.  At the same time, however, reductions to direct payments to the largest landowners first could free up around £150 million in the first year of the agricultural transition period, which could be used to boost farmers delivering environmental enhancement and other public goods.


Responses from CPRE & NFU

CPRE welcomes agriculture proposals

CPRE has welcomed the Government’s proposed direction on future agricultural policy published today (27 February) and urged it to resist calls to simply maintain the status quo.

The consultation sets out a new direction for a countryside where food production goes hand-in-hand with delivering benefits for the wider public. The proposals take on board many of the recommendations CPRE made in New Model Farming, published just after the EU referendum.  

‘This is the first time in a generation we have had the chance to set our own agricultural policy and is a fantastic opportunity for this Government to revitalise our countryside and enhance our cherished farmed landscape,’ said CPRE head of rural affairs Belinda Gordon. She added: ‘While it is true that the consultation contains little that Michael Gove hasn’t trailed in previous speeches, it is important that this positive vision isn’t diluted. CPRE will be urging the Government to maintain current levels of funding but re-direct them to ensure we have a dynamic, healthy countryside with even more beautiful landscapes for all to enjoy.


Productive British farms are key to delivering for food and the environment, NFU says

NFU President Minette Batters has today (27 February) reinforced British farming’s unique role in producing safe and traceable food and enhancing the countryside as the government opens a consultation on future farming policy.

Mrs Batters said that profitable, productive and resilient farm businesses are key to delivering the public goods that Secretary of State Michael Gove referred to when announcing the proposals for 'agricultural transition'.

Mrs Batters said: "Good quality, safe and traceable food is a public right and we believe it is a public good for generations to come.  British farmers have world leading standards in food production, animal welfare and environmental stewardship and we are committed to delivering those standards now and in the future, in the face of unprecedented change for the industry.  In order to keep delivering for Britain, farm businesses need to be productive, profitable and resilient to volatility.  This must be at the forefront of government policy if we are to have a farming sector that feeds us, cares for our countryside and delivers economic benefits."


The future for food, farming and the environment - defra consultation

Seeking views on our proposals for future agricultural policy in England.

Leaving the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy will give us the chance for reform. We want to know your thoughts on the future of agricultural policy in England.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 8 May 2018

Click through for documents and to respond


New report: how supermarkets drive food waste on UK farms - FeedBack

Our new report reveals how supermarkets drive food overproduction and waste on UK farms.  Our investigations into international supply chains and our work with UK farmers through our Gleaning Network, which involves going to farms to harvest surplus produce, has shown us first-hand the scale of food waste, largely unseen to the public. To address this, we have released a new report that highlights farm level food waste and the systemic role that supermarkets play in this issue. The report draws on our investigations into global food supply chains, a survey of UK farmers in 2015 and case studies.

Estimating the level of farm waste is challenging. Farmers surveyed for this report wasted on average 10–16% on typical years, equal to around 22,000–37,000 tonnes: enough food to provide 150,000 to 250,000 people with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a whole year. WRAP’s most recent research suggests that a conservative estimate of farm level food waste is 2.5 million tonnes, with the associated cost being £0.8 billion. There is a distinct lack of research on farm-level food waste, particularly when compared to household food waste – this needs to be addressed.

How supermarket culture drives waste

Farm level food waste is a symptom of overproduction, UK supermarkets transfer the commercial risk of overproduction onto farmers, and create a food production model that prioritises consistent, high availability  of cosmetically perfect produce over minimal waste. This has led to a food system which is synonymous with waste. 

Read the full Farmers Talk Food Waste report here.(PDF) 


Funding and new partnerships

ORCA announce new partnership with Noble Caledonia - ORCA

Small cruise ship specialists Noble Caledonia have announced the introduction of a new partnership with ORCA, one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities with more than fifteen years’ experience of delivering conservation projects at sea.

Humpback Whale (Michael J Tetley)Humpback Whale (Michael J Tetley)

ORCA gives members of the public the chance to play a hands on role in protecting the ocean, as well as having a wealth of experience training seafarers to play their part in marine conservation. Noble Caledonia are partnering with ORCA to create a unique and innovative marriage between these two areas of expertise that will give crew members, expedition staff and passengers the chance to work together to collect crucial sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the incredible habitats Noble Caledonia ships visit.  The data collected will go into a collective record of where these animals are being found or migrating to, giving a better understanding of their behaviour that is crucial in helping to effectively protect them.

In announcing this partnership, Noble Caledonia’s Head of Expedition Field Operations Pamela Le Noury said : “We are keen to offer Citizen Science as part of our expedition product.  This will be an opportunity for our passengers to participate in data collection for scientific research as well as other projects, such as beach clean-ups and wildlife monitoring, whilst on board one of our expedition voyages, many of which are operated in the some of the most remote places on the Planet”.


Celebrating 10,000 Bags of Help projects - Groundwork

Look around you anywhere in London and you’ll find people working hard to benefit their communities – with projects ranging from food banks, community gardens or after school clubs to tree planting and litter picking. Tesco’s Bags of Help grant scheme has been a source of Image: Groundworksupport for many of these projects, and today we’re celebrating a huge milestone: 10,000 projects funded by the scheme across the Great Britain.

Image: Groundwork

Bags of Help is Tesco’s community grant scheme run in partnership with Groundwork, using the money raised from the carrier bag charge to fund local projects across Great Britain. Since 2015 the scheme has awarded £43 million of funding to 10,000 local projects across the UK. In London, over £3 million has been awarded to more than 750 projects.

Bags of Help awards funding for all kinds of projects and activities that benefit local communities, from improving community buildings and outdoor spaces, to new equipment, training coaches and volunteers, and hosting community events. You can use this interactive map to see where funding has been awarded near you, and you can read some of the inspiring stories from London’s Bags of Help funded projects here.


Wildlife partnership between charity and university pays dividends – Cumbria Wildlife Trust

A review of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of Cumbria and Cumbria Wildlife Trust has praised the partnership and called for a further agreement to be drawn up.

The three-year plan began in 2014 and pulled together informal links established between university staff and the charity. The initial aim was to provide learning placements for undergraduate conservation and wildlife media students but this expanded and resulted in postgraduate students also making use of the Trust’s nature reserves and staff.

The report highlights how the professional development of staff has benefitted from the agreement through ‘mutual working and cross-fertilisation of theory and practice.’ Cumbria Wildlife Trust pays tribute to the presence of students who it’s claimed have ‘contributed a huge amount to a two-way learning process deriving from practical conservation work.’

“This link has brought significant benefits to students and staff at the university who have been able to make the most of the wealth of experience and expertise on our doorstep,” Dr Elspeth Lees, head of the university’s department of science, natural resources and outdoor studies, said. “We’re delighted Cumbria Wildlife Trust have welcomed this association and we look forward to closer working in the future.”

This is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at cementing the university’s position as a leading centre for outdoor study. In September 2017 the university’s new Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas was launched with the aim of providing a research hub for the UK and international national parks.


Funding to support marine economy – Scottish Government

More than £4.8 million shared between businesses.

Sea fisheries, aquaculture and processing businesses will share more than £4.8 million aimed at boosting growth and creating local jobs.

The fifth round of the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will award grants to 43 projects across Scotland.

The St James Smokehouse Ltd in Gretna is to receive about £1 million to develop a salmon processing factory. This will create 50 jobs locally over the next three years.

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre will use its £2.2 million grant to take forward a range of projects to develop the salmon industry.

Other projects include £12,155 to the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Ltd collaborative tagging project, which will work with five inshore fisheries groups to develop data to help manage Scotland’s crab stocks. 

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Our maritime economy plays a crucial role in supporting communities across the country, which is why continued investment is important. The support of this fund will help processing businesses expand and enhance their work. I’m particularly delighted to see a number of grants going to fishermen to help make their day–to-day routines easier and safer and to improve the quality of their produce. Investment in fisheries, aquaculture and processors is crucial to support our ambitions to double the value of the food and drink industry.”


Peatlands to be restored in the North West - Environment Agency

Environment Agency secures £160,000 to restore peatlands across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire

Sykes Moor and Peak Naze peatland (image: Environment Agency)Sykes Moor and Peak Naze peatland (image: Environment Agency)

Work is underway to restore peatlands to their natural state across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire after £160,000 of funding was secured through the Department Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Environment Agency will be working with a number of partners including Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Warrington Borough Council and United Utilities at six sites.

The funding will be used to restore upland and lowland peatlands to their natural state by increasing their capacity to prevent carbon entering the atmosphere, reduce flood risk by slowing the flow of rain water and creating habitats for vulnerable wildlife.  Natural England has been advising the partners about the best design for the schemes, and approving methods used on the Sites of Special Scientific Interest.  By blocking drainage ditches, building peat bunds and working with the local topography, the work will help keep water on the sites, encouraging the typical bog plant species and discouraging the dry-loving grasses and birch.

They provide 70% of our drinking water. Peatlands cover 11% of England’s landscape and they provide a great habitat for a wide range of wildlife and birds including merlin, dunlin and golden plover. They also provide 70% of our drinking water and reduce greenhouse gases by locking away at least 3.2 billion tonnes of CO².

There are six projects across the Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire that have secured this funding, part of a Defra peatlands restoration pot of £500,000, with further projects around the country.


Pollution, sustainablity and climate

Marine mammals under threat from micro plastics – ORCA

Marine pollution is continuing to present a serious threat to marine life, with a new study suggesting that the risk from micro plastics to whales, some sharks and other marine species is increasing.

Some marine mammal species, such as baleen whales and basking sharks, have evolved to swallow thousands of cubic metres of sea water a day, and feed by filtering it for plankton and other small organisms. Microbeads (image: ORCA)They are now ingesting the tiny particles of plastic which are now spread across the world’s oceans, which stops their ability to absorb nutrients and may even cause toxic side effects.  The authors of this new study have warned that some species of marine mammals could be at threat of extinction with the damage caused by micro plastics combined with other threats such as bycatch and over fishing. 

Microbeads (image: ORCA)

The study, which has been published in the journal, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, has advised that more research needs to be done into large marine animals so that the effect of micro plastics can be better understood. We know from necropsies of marine life that larger plastic is causing huge damage, the impact of microplastic is less apparent but just as significant.

One of the co-authors of the study, Elitza Germanov has told the Guardian ‘Despite the growing research on micro plastics in the marine environment, there are only a few studies that examine the effects on large filter feeders. We are still trying to understand the magnitude of the issue. It has become clear, though, that micro plastic contamination has the potential to further reduce the population numbers of these species, many of which are long-lived and have few offspring throughout their lives.”

Maria Cristina Fossi, who is also a co-author of the study added that, though filter feeders don’t seem to be killed by microplastic alone, they could produce “sub-lethal effects” which would still damage their health.


Queen joins battle against plastic pollution in the UK - WDC

Plastic bottles and straws are to be banned from all Royal estates in the UK.

The move is said to have been instigated by the Queen after speaking to television presenter, Sir David Attenborough about the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean.

The plan involves gradually phasing out the use of plastic straws in public cafes at Royal estates, and banning  them outright in staff dining rooms. Internal caterers at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will now use china plates and glasses, or recyclable paper cups. The Royal Collection cafes will also now have to use compostable or biodegradable packaging for any takeaway food or drink items.


Climate change means more frequent flooding, warns Environment Agency - Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has warned people to be prepared for flooding as it launches its Flood Action Campaign

Intense bouts of flooding are set to become more frequent, the Environment Agency has warned today (Friday 16 February).

The warning follows a pattern of severe flooding over the past 10 years linked to an increase in extreme weather events as the country’s climate changes. Met Office records show that since 1910 there have been 17 record breaking rainfall months or seasons – with 9 of them since 2000. As intense storms are becoming more frequent, sea levels are also rising because of climate change.

The Environment Agency has today launched its Flood Action Campaign, targeting younger people through social media and online advertising to encourage them to check their flood risk at GOV.UK, sign up for free warnings and be prepared to take action when flooding hits. Research shows that 18 to 34 year olds are least likely to perceive flood risk to their area, know how to protect their homes or where to go for information. They are also at highest risk of fatality as they are less likely to perceive their personal risk.

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said: "Climate change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding. Floods destroy – lives, livelihoods, and property. Our flood defences reduce the risk of flooding, and our flood warnings help keep communities safe when it threatens. But we can never entirely eliminate the risk of flooding. Checking your flood risk is the first step to protecting yourself, your loved ones and your home. In summer 2012, the lengthy period of drought the country had experienced came to an abrupt end when prolonged and intense rainfall increased the risk of flooding from rivers and surface water for long periods. Almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded across the country, particularly in the south west. The winter of 2013 to 2014 started with a coastal surge and record sea levels on the north and east coasts. This was followed by 12 storms in succession and became the wettest winter for 250 years – 11,000 homes were flooded."


Leading the fight against plastic - Truro and Penwith College

Truro and Penwith College in Cornwall has introduced a wave of environmental improvements and initiatives aimed at reducing single-use plastics and creating a cleaner environment for Cornwall.

(image: Truro and Penwith College)Truro and Penwith College is joining the growing global movement looking to reduce the amount of plastics and waste being washed up on our shores through sustainability champions at each of the College’s campuses in Truro and Penwith.

(image: Truro and Penwith College)

The training restaurant at Penwith College, Senara, has led the charge with support to help Penzance become the first location in the UK to meet the criteria for Plastic Free Coastlines (PFC).

Senara has worked to help achieve PFC status for Penzance by introducing biodegradable cups, containers and straws within the restaurant, and has undertaken beach cleans with students. The restaurant even recycles bar milk into ricotta to use in the kitchen to increase sustainability, and is currently working with milk supplier Trink Dairy to switch its milk supply from plastic bottles to reusable glass bottles.

Jaime Gaspare, catering lecturer at the College, said: “We recently undertook a beach clean and plan to implement this into tutorials once a month. We are fully supportive of Surfers Against Sewage and have also joined the campaign to support The Final Straw.”

After successfully completing the Five Objective Guidelines in the SAS Plastic Free Coastlines (PFC) toolkit in early December, Penzance has become the first location in the UK to meet the criteria to be awarded this prestigious recognition.

Spires Coffee Bar in Truro city centre has also taken steps to improve sustainability by switching to biodegradable take-away mugs and cutlery. They also offer a re-usable Travel Mug to encourage customers to reduce their plastic waste.

Those interested in reducing their own plastic footprint and help to create plastic free coastlines, can visit www.plasticfree.org.uk to download a Plastic Free Coastlines Individual Action Plan.


WDC joins call for legally binding targets on packaging waste in the UK - WDC

Responding to new waste and recycling figures published by the UK government today, WDC, along with 17 environmental groups co-ordinated by the UK’s Wildlife and Countryside Link are warning that the UK Government must set ambitious and legally binding targets to deal with the growing ‘packaging waste mountain.’

The call comes as the latest figures, released today, show that overall recycling rates have continued to stall and packaging waste recycling has fallen from 2013. Although the packaging waste recycling rate in 2016 had increased from 2014 (up to 71.4% from 64.1%), it is still lower than in 2013 when 72.7% of packaging waste was recycled.  The amount of recyclable packaging waste ending up in landfill or destroyed is up by 15.7% compared to 2013 - an extra 446,000 tonnes.

With China refusing to take our plastic, cardboard and paper waste adding an extra driver, it is essential that the UK Government takes urgent steps to slash UK waste production and revolutionise recycling, to give us the capacity to deal with waste sustainably. The UK Government has stepped-up on the issue of microbeads and they need to continue being a world leader by addressing waste production and management in the UK, not exporting problems to other nations.


‘Far too many serious pollution incidents’ says Environment Agency water quality report – Environment Agency

Environment Agency publishes State of the Environment: Water Quality report

317 serious water pollution incidents occurred in 2016 (Environment Agency)317 serious water pollution incidents occurred in 2016 (Environment Agency)

Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd has called on water companies and farmers to cut the amount of pollution incidents harming England’s waters and for penalties to be made tougher, as the EA publishes The State of the Environment: Water Quality report today (Monday 19 Feb).

Although the number of serious incidents has fallen by almost two thirds since 2001, the report reveals that 317 occurred in 2016. Agriculture is now the largest sector responsible for water pollution, while the number of serious incidents by water companies has remained at around 60 per year for the past decade – more than one a week.

The report shows that water quality has improved markedly over the last 30 years, following more than a century of poorly regulated industrial practices. England has the cleanest bathing waters since records began and rivers that were biologically dead are reviving. But there is more work to do to achieve the Environment Agency’s ambition of a cleaner, healthier and better managed water environment


Scottish Natural Heritage reduces carbon emissions by 20 per cent over past two years - Scottish Natural Heritage

Following 2009 climate change legislation by the Scottish Government that requires public bodies to contribute to the delivery of national targets including reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) put into place measures to ensure we would not only meet, but exceed this target. SNH has achieved a nearly 20 per cent reduction over the last two years, far surpassing expectations.

We have achieved these reductions though a wide range of initiatives across the organisation, including:

  • Evolving Smarter Working so we make space to share our buildings with other public organisations, reducing our gas and electricity use
  • Reducing reliance on paper by rolling out laptops to all our staff
  • Reducing business travel by encouraging the use of video-conferencing
  • Encouraging the use of public transportation, carpools, walking, or cycling when travel is necessary
  • Choosing sustainable goods, services or works that comply with the Government Buying Standards

SNH has also started replacing petrol and diesel cars, expecting to replace its fleet with electric cars by 2026. This is ahead of the Scottish Government’s target to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.


Scientific Research, Results and Publications

A good life for all within the planet’s means - University of Leeds

A study led by the University of Leeds has found that no country currently meets its citizens’ basic needs at a globally sustainable level of resource use.

Image: University of LeedsThe research, published in Nature Sustainability, is the first to quantify the sustainability of national resource use associated with meeting basic human needs for 151 countries.

Each country’s resource use and well-being achievements have been made available as a website built by the academics involved in the study.

Image: University of Leeds

Lead author, Dr Daniel O’Neill, from the Sustainability Research Institute at Leeds, said:  “Almost everything we do, from having dinner to surfing the Internet, uses resources in some way, but the connections between resource use and human well-being are not always visible to us. We examined international relationships between the sustainability of resource use and the achievement of social goals, and found that basic needs, such as nutrition, sanitation, and the elimination of extreme poverty, could most likely be achieved in all countries without exceeding global environmental limits. Unfortunately, the same is not true for other social goals that go beyond basic subsistence such as secondary education and high life satisfaction. Meeting these goals could require a level of resource use that is two to six times the sustainable level.”

Co-author, Dr Andrew Fanning, also from the Sustainability Research Institute, said: “Our results suggest that some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as combating climate change and its impacts, could be undermined by the pursuit of other goals, particularly those focused on growth or high levels of human well-being."


New alien species invasions still rising globally – University College London

Up to 16% of all species on Earth could qualify as potential alien species and if they invade new regions, impacts will be difficult to predict, according to new research involving UCL.

Mandarin duck (credit: Professor Tim Blackburn)Mandarin duck (credit: Professor Tim Blackburn)

The study shows that the number of newly emerging alien species – those never before encountered as aliens – continues to rise, posing a significant challenge to biosecurity interventions worldwide.

Approaches to tackle the growing issue largely rely on knowledge of species’ invasion history elsewhere, giving new previously unrecorded alien species a higher chance of slipping through border controls and eluding early response management.

The study, published today in PNAS and led by scientists at Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), the University of Vienna and UCL, analysed a global database of 45,984 records detailing the first invasions of 16,019 established alien species from 1500 until 2005 to investigate the dynamics of how alien species spread worldwide.

Between the years 2000 and 2005, one quarter of records are of species that had not previously been found anywhere as an alien, which is a worryingly high proportion. 

For plants, mammals, and fishes, the proportion of newly emerging alien species has remained constant during the last 150 years but the total number of alien species has increased.

Insects, molluscs and other invertebrates have the highest proportion of emerging alien species. Birds are the only group exempt from the trend, showing the lowest proportions of emerging alien species, with a distinct decline noted recently.


Biodiversity loss raises risk of ‘extinction cascades’ – University of Exeter

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of “extinction cascades”, where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions. 

The researchers, from the University of Exeter, showed there is a higher risk of extinction cascades when other species are not present to fill the “gap” created by the loss of a species.

Researchers used plants and insects, such as the parasitoid aphidius megourae, pictured above (University of Exeter)Researchers used plants and insects, such as the parasitoid aphidius megourae (University of Exeter)

Even if the loss of one species does not directly cause knock-on extinctions, the study shows that this leads to simpler ecological communities that are at greater risk of “run-away extinction cascades” with the potential loss of many species.

With extinction rates at their highest levels ever and numerous species under threat due to human activity, the findings are a further warning about the consequences of eroding biodiversity.

“Interactions between species are important for ecosystem (a community of interacting species) stability,” said Dr Dirk Sanders, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. “And because species are interconnected through multiple interactions, an impact on one species can affect others as well. It has been predicted that more complex food webs will be less vulnerable to extinction cascades because there is a greater chance that other species can step in and buffer against the effects of species loss. In our experiment, we used communities of plants and insects to test this prediction.”

The researchers removed one species of wasp and found that it led to secondary extinctions of other, indirectly linked, species at the same level of the food web.

This effect was much stronger in simple communities than for the same species within a more complex food web.


The Conflict Between Males and Females Could Replace the Evolution of New Species - University of Lincoln

New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonising habitats, challenging long-held theories on the way natural selection drives the evolution of biodiversity.
According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, first introduced in his book On the Origin of Species (1859), new environments such as mountains and islands with abundant food and habitats, offer species the ‘ecological opportunity’ to colonise an area using those resources.
New research from the UK has shown that exactly the same mechanism of evolution that creates new species also operates within the same species when males and females compete for the ecological resources available in different habitats, such as bushy areas or stony patches with abundant food. The conflict between the sexes can lead to one sex becoming bigger, more colourful or adapting to eat different food, just like a traditional process of evolution by natural selection can lead an ancestor to split into two different species.
This process of evolution between the sexes expands the biodiversity of the area – a development that evolutionary biologists previously thought only occurred when the number of different species using different resources or ‘niches’ increases. This new research challenges that assumption, showing that different species and different sexes of the same species can occupy these niches.


Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults - Durham University

The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth’s crust, according to new research.

The recommendation, from the ReFINE (Researching Fracking) consortium, is based on published microseismic data from 109 fracking operations carried out predominantly in the USA.

Jointly led by Durham and Newcastle Universities, UK, the research looked at reducing the risk of reactivating geological faults by fluid injection in boreholes.

Researchers used microseismic data to estimate how far fracking-induced fractures in rock extended horizontally from borehole injection points.

The results indicated there was a one per cent chance that fractures from fracking activity could extend horizontally beyond 895m in shale rocks.

There was also a 32 per cent chance of fractures extending horizontally beyond 433m, which had been previously suggested as a horizontal separation distance between fluid injection points and faults in an earlier study.

The research is published in the journal Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources.


Laser technology reveals the weight of some of UK’s and world’s biggest trees - University College London

New laser scanning technology is being used by UCL scientists to provide fresh and unprecedented insights into the structure and mass of trees, a development that will help plot how much carbon they absorb and how they might respond to climate change.

Two studies, published today (Friday) by the Royal Society, by researchers at UCL and the universities of Oxford, Sonoma State, Ghent and Wageningen, reveal the technology has captured the 3D structure of individual trees in ways they have never been seen before.

The new approach pioneered by Dr Mat Disney, Reader in Remote Sensing in UCL’s Department of Geography, and colleagues has enabled trees to be “weighed” very accurately by estimating their volume from the precise 3D data.

A seemingly ordinary Sycamore tree in Wytham Woods near Oxford, for example, has been found to have nearly 11km of branches, double that of the much larger tropical trees measured by the team led by Dr Disney.

Dr Disney’s team, in collaboration with Yadvinder Malhi, a professor of ecosystem science at Oxford University, and the Gabonese National Parks Agency, used the technology to measure a 45m tall Moabi tree in Gabon with its 60m crown. They estimated its weight at about 100 tons, making it the largest tree ever measured like this in the tropics.

Previously, trees could only be weighed by cutting them down or by using other indirect methods such as remote sensing or scaling up from manual measurements of trunk diameter, both of which have potentially large errors. The new technology provides an important advance in measuring mass which is vital to revealing how much carbon trees absorb during their lifetimes and how they may respond to climate change, according to the papers published in the Royal Society Interface Focus journal.

Access the paper: M. I. Disney, M. Boni Vicari, A. Burt, K. Calders, S. L. Lewis, P. Raumonen, P. Wilkes Weighing trees with lasers: advances, challenges and opportunities Interface Focus 2018 8 20170048


Delight for biologists as new scientific discovery made in the UK – National Trust

A fungus previously unknown to world science has been discovered on land looked after by the National Trust. What was thought to be one species, Big Blue Pinkgill (Entoloma bloxamii), has been proven by mycologists at Kew Gardens to be at least four different species in a ground-breaking find.

The discovery of the dark blue Entoloma atromadidum – one of the four similar looking species – was made by a group studying fungi at the National Trust’s Wolstonbury Hill and later confirmed by the Lost and Found Fungi project based at Kew. Big Blue Pinkgill had been identified as one of 100 Target Species for the project, which began in 2014 and concludes next year.

Big Blue Pinkgill (Entoloma bloxamii) (image: Louise Buckley, National Trust)Big Blue Pinkgill (Entoloma bloxamii) (image: Louise Buckley, National Trust)

Mycologists had suspected Big Blue Pinkgills comprised of more than one species, but lacked the necessary DNA and photographic evidence. The find at Wolstonbury Hill – a South Downs landmark with a rich history – means their suspicions can now be confirmed in the record books, and that there are at least four different species.

Dr Martyn Ainsworth, Research Leader (Mycology), Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew, said: “After more than a year of detective work and DNA sequencing at Kew we finally reached a position where we could confidently describe and name this new species in a publication. This work could not have happened without the keen eyes of many volunteers searching sites such as Wolstonbury for suitable specimens to analyse as part of our Lost & Found Fungi Project. It is always exciting to add a new name to the fungal kingdom and I’m still amazed that, even in a well-studied country such as ours, there are still fungi such as this very striking blue mushroom to be discovered."


Water, riparean and marine, plus Coast

Sewage and animal waste having serious impact on UK coastline – Cardiff University

Analysis of fragile seagrass meadows by Cardiff University and Swansea University scientists has shown that consistent pollution from sewage and livestock waste is affecting their survival.

Seagrass meadows are flowering plants that have adapted to live a life in the sea and were recently featured in the BBC’s Blue Planet II episode ‘Green Seas’. They have been called the “canaries of the sea”, due to their sensitivity to a changing environment. Like the canary in the coal mine, their condition can be used as an indicator of the condition of our coastal areas.

Seagrass (image: B Jones)Persistently high pollution puts the long-term resilience of seagrass meadows in doubt. Previous work provided evidence that nutrient pollution is a constant feature across the British Isles, but these new findings give the clearest indication yet of the source.

Seagrass (image: B Jones)

Leaf tissue was analysed for nitrogen and a stable isotope of nitrogen called 15N. The abundance of 15N is greater in sewage and livestock waste than in other sources, so these results offer a unique insight into where the nitrogen in seagrass originates from.

Ten of the 11 sites within this study were in areas with designated EU marine protection. Despite being safeguarded under the EU Habitats Directive and some meadows being designated Special Areas of Conservation, most of the seagrass meadows included in the study were in poor condition, with nitrogen levels 75% higher than global averages.

The seagrass meadow with the highest levels of nitrogen from sewage was found within the Thames waterway. However, a seagrass meadow in Studland Bay, Dorset, popular with swimmers and boaters was also significantly enriched with nutrients from sewage.

Despite high levels of sewage nutrients being detected, none of the locations were classed as unsuitable for swimmers.

Benjamin Jones, a director of Project Seagrass and researcher at Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute, said: “This is the first time research has uncovered the origins of pollution affecting the health of seagrass meadows in the British Isles. Despite these areas of the coast being protected by EU law, and many sites being Special Areas of Conservation, untreated sewage from humans and livestock is still making its way into the sea.

Access the paper: Tracking nitrogen source using δ15N reveals human and agricultural drivers of seagrass degradation across the British Isles – is published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science


Carbon Dioxide ‘Pulses’ Threaten Scotland’s Coralline Algal Reefs – University of Glasgow

Scotland’s marine ecosystems may be more sensitive to carbon dioxide than previously thought, and could be damaged irreparably by the CO2 ‘pulses’ created by industrial activities, land run off or natural tidal processes. 
Until now, scientists had only tested the effect of high CO2 on individual plants and animals, meaning very little was known about how whole marine ecosystems respond to sudden influxes of CO2. 
A team of marine scientists from the University of Glasgow and Heriot-Watt University conducted an experiment on the west coast of Scotland to measure the community response to short-term CO2 exposure. 
The team pumped water enriched with CO2 into chambers placed over the coralline algal ecosystem and monitored the community’s response before, during and after CO2 exposure. The experiment revealed that acute CO2 exposure led to net dissolution: calcified organisms like the coralline algae and star fish were dissolving. 
Dr Nick Kamenos, Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow said: “Coralline algal are common in Scotland and change the shape of the seabed; this makes them very important for providing homes to juvenile species of commercial importance such as scallops. However, the algae are also sensitive to increases in carbon dioxide concentrations such as those used in this experiment. This means that as a whole community, they and the services they provide may be at risk for abrupt increases in carbon dioxide. We found that there was a sudden, community-level, shift to overall dissolution, meaning that within that community, the skeletons of calcifying organisms like the coralline algae and associated star fish were dissolving.”


New research expands the potential of environmental DNA techniques in river monitoring – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Environmental DNA survives for less than two days in small fast-flowing rivers, providing highly localised and current information on species composition, new experimental research has shown. This is crucial new evidence as biologists turn increasingly to new DNA sampling techniques to assess aquatic ecosystem health.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling is being adopted more and more by government agencies and commercial contractors in biodiversity assessments because it uses far less manpower, needs less expertise and could reduce costs. The technique involves taking water samples The research team is now testing these methods in natural river systems (Daniel Hauck)from aquatic habitats and screening for remnants of DNA (e.g. cells and secretions) originating from the species present. The hope is that this rapid approach could be automated to replace more laborious methods of sample sorting and identification that are currently needed.

The research team is now testing these methods in natural river systems (Daniel Hauck)

But questions have remained: how long has the eDNA been in the water? And from how far up-river might it have come? An international team of scientists working on the LOFRESH project, led by Bangor University and including the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, have now provided answers. Their findings are published in the first issue of a new academic journal from Nature, Communications Biology.

Project coordinator Prof Simon Creer of Bangor University said, “This eDNA technique has been used far more widely over recent years, and has already contributed to conserving species in the UK such as the Great Crested Newt. While the technique can identify creatures ranging from the microscopic to larger fish and mammals, we could not say with certainty how long ago any creature had been present. Was this 'zombie' eDNA persisting from a long-dead creature or was it more recent?"


Birds and mammals

Geese reduce metabolic rate to cope with winter – Anglia Ruskin University

New study shows heart rate and body temperature falls in the coldest conditions

New research shows that geese cope with the harsh winter climate by reducing their heart rate and body temperature.  
Greylag geese - photo by Dr Claudia WascherThe study, led by Dr Claudia Wascher of Anglia Ruskin University and carried out at the University of Vienna’s Konrad Lorenz research station in Austria, is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Greylag geese - photo by Dr Claudia Wascher

Birds are endothermic meaning they maintain a constant body temperature, typically by increasing their energy expenditure in colder weather.  However, this new research indicates that geese exhibit ‘winter hypometabolism’, which sees them reduce their heart rate and tolerate a lower core body temperature.
The scientists studied 25 birds, part of a flock of approximately 170 wild greylag geese, by fitting small transmitters to measure heart rate and body temperature over an 18-month period.  Heart rate can be used as an estimate of an individual’s energy expenditure.
In all geese studied there were profound seasonal changes of heart rate and body temperature, with peaks in summer and troughs in winter.  Daily mean heart rate was on average 22% lower during December and January than at the summer peak, whereas daily mean body temperature was 1°c lower in the winter trough compared to the summer peak. 


Duck faeces shed light on plant seed dispersal – British Ecological Society

Mallard - Attila Molnár V, University of DebrecenMallards are among the most abundant and widespread duck species in the world, yet little attention has been paid to date to their role in spreading plant seeds. A new study in the Journal of Ecology reveals a number of plants that were not previously known to be part of the diet of waterbirds.

Mallard - Attila Molnár V, University of Debrecen

Mallards pick up seeds when feeding on or below the water surface, or on land within a few metres of water. Many of these seeds are not digested and survive gut passage intact, and as a result these dabbling ducks transport and disperse seeds and spores of a broad range of aquatic and terrestrial plants in a process called ‘endozoochory’.

Ducks are usually thought to disperse seeds primarily on the outside when stuck in the feathers, or in mud on their feet or their bill.

To study which plants are dispersed by mallards during their autumn migration period, researchers from the University of Debrecen (Hungary) and Estación Biológica de Doñana (Spain) collected over 200 faecal samples in two protected wetland regions of Hungary, one of which is at Lake Balaton, central Europe’s largest freshwater lake.

They recovered seeds of 21 flowering plants (including 13 terrestrial species), many of which were not previously known to be dispersed by ducks. These new species include the brown galingale (Cyperus fuscus), which is threatened in the UK but common in Hungary.

Even more excitingly, the ecologists also found viable spores of floating watermoss (Salvinia natans) in 32 samples, providing the first field demonstration of endozoochory of ferns by birds.


Scotland’s woodland and farmland birds increase, as upland birds decline – Scottish Natural Heritage

Scotland’s woodland and farmland bird numbers have increased over the past two decades, but during this time, upland birds have faced decline. This is according to a Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report published today, The Official Statistic for Terrestrial Breeding Birds.

Lapwing (image: Scottish Natural Heritate)The latest results reveal varied trends for Scotland’s terrestrial breeding birds, with woodland birds increasing by 67% between 1994 and 2016, farmland birds increasing by 13%, but upland birds decreasing by 16%. 

Woodland specialists, such as great-spotted woodpecker and chiffchaff, have shown the largest increases.  Great-spotted woodpeckers have expanded across Europe, possibly as a result of increased forests and woodlands becoming more connected.  

Lapwing (image: Scottish Natural Heritage)

For farmland species, goldfinches have continued to increase and are now a common sight in most gardens. Whitethroat, a small migratory warbler, has also bounced back from their historical lows associated with droughts in their Sahelian overwintering grounds in Africa. 

Upland birds are the most concerning group, with declines for 10 of the 17 species. Among the largest declines are breeding waders, including curlew, golden plover and lapwing.  Major work is underway to help tackle these declines, including extensive peatland restoration and the Working for Waders project.

Simon Foster, SNH’s trends analyst, said:

“It’s wonderful to see that woodland and farmland birds are not only holding their own in Scotland, but that many are thriving. However, with some upland birds struggling, there are a lot of people and projects working hard to improve conditions for waders – some of which have seen worrying declines. We and many of our partners are hoping to see these birds fare better in the coming years.”


Pushing back the American Mink invasion of Scotland – University of Aberdeen

A study aiming to discover why American Mink, an invasive species, choose to settle Image: University of Aberdeenin areas where they do and therefore discover ways to more effectively prevent their spread, was published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Image: University of Aberdeen

Invasive species present a daunting challenge to conservationists because of the scale in which their impact plays on biodiversity.  Despite current emphasis on prevention and early action, many of these species have become well established and their spread is overwhelming native species.

Scientists have now found that the way individuals attempt to recolonise areas that have been previously cleared of this unwelcome species can be predicted, helping to focus control effort to the areas most at risk.

The research, led by scientists at the University of Aberdeen, has taken place of the last decade. Scientists worked alongside conservation practitioners and many members of the public acting as volunteer citizen conservationists who sought to push back the invasion of Scotland by the American mink.

Professor Xavier Lambin, who led the research, said: “Mink originally escaped from fur farms  all over rural Scotland since 1962 and are devastating to bird and mammal species living along waterways, including the water vole, a species with high cultural value in the UK.  This is of huge concern to conservationists."

Access the paper: Melero Y, Cornulier T, Oliver MK, Lambin X. Ecological traps for large-scale invasive species control: Predicting settling rules by recolonising American mink post-culling. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–11. 


Amphibians and invertebrates

Dearth of data spawns uncertainty over extinction risk to amphibians - ZSL

Conservationists are calling for increased effort towards assessing the extinction risk faced by the world’s amphibians, after it transpired that gaps in current data mean that the conservation status of almost two-thirds of species is unknown.  

A new study, led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) alongside scientists from the Australian Museum and the IUCN Amphibian Red List Authority, calls for urgent action to plug these knowledge gaps, particularly in the face of ongoing habitat loss and degradation that continues to detriment amphibian populations worldwide. 

Lead author Benjamin Tapley, curator of herpetology at ZSL, said: “The last time that we had a near-complete overview of extinction risk in amphibians was over 10 years ago, in 2004, when the IUCN’s ground breaking Global Amphibian Assessment was published. Since then, more than 1,700 amphibian species have been discovered - but the extinction risk of most of these new species simply isn’t known.”

Already understood to be one of the most threatened groups of animals on the planet, the paper illustrates that over the last 12 years, the assessment of extinction risk of amphibians has not kept up with the discovery of new species and that many existing assessments are now out of date. The new report found that 61.3 percent of all known amphibian species have either not had their extinction risk evaluated, or are suffering from out-of-date information. 


Infectious disease in hoverflies linked to honeybee health - Royal Holloway University of London

In research published on 28 February, 2018 in ‘Biology Letters’, scientists from Royal Holloway, University of London, Oxford University and Cornell University have shown for the first time that viruses that are harmful to honeybees are also present in hoverfly pollinators.  

Image: Royal Holloway University of LondonImage: Royal Holloway University of London

Infectious diseases have been identified as a key driver of bee population declines. The new research suggests that hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) are exposed to the same diseases, and may move the infections around when they feed from the same flowers as the honeybees.

Unlike honeybees, hoverflies are very mobile, and can undertake large-scale annual migrations. Thus the study suggests hoverflies have the potential to spread diseases throughout landscapes, or even across entire continents.

Global declines of insect pollinators jeopardise the delivery of pollination services in both agricultural and natural ecosystems.

It has been well documented in the past the importance of infectious diseases in bees, but the study shows for the first time the extent to which the diseases are shared with other pollinator groups.

Dr Emily Bailes, Post Doctoral Research Assistant at Royal Holloway, who led the research, said: “We have seen a decline in bees in the UK for several years, but this study shows for the first time that hoverflies may be moving these diseases much further than bees normally would.

“This is because of their annual migrations across Europe. This could expose local bee populations to new strains of the diseases and make them more likely to become infected, much like different flu strains in humans. We therefore need to think of ways to limit this transfer between species."


Citizen Science

Citizen scientists are the future! – ORCA

Citizen scientists are the future and even though this is nothing new, recently it has been catapulted into the public consciousness! For hundreds of years amateur scientists have collected data and information to help us understand the environment.

Rare money spider Hilaira nubigena © Jens-Kjeld JensenIn the UK alone, organisations such as the RSPB and The National Trust have millions of members and thousands of active volunteers that help us to protect the countryside. From regular weekend beach cleans on the Isle of Man to recreational divers documenting the levels of marine litter, volunteers are more important than ever, to help limit damage to the environment and identify the threats it faces.

Rare money spider Hilaira nubigena © Jens-Kjeld Jensen

Recreational divers make a contribution. In Norfolk, whilst collecting information about marine conservation zones, volunteer divers have discovered a submerged prehistoric forest and in the Isle of Man they were the first to find a horse mussel reef.  Citizen scientists were hugely important in getting the basking shark onto the UK protected species list, and the satellite tagging of these species has recorded the first transatlantic crossing by a basking shark.  The UK is home to some phenomenal wildlife and habitats and it houses some species that need a huge amount of help to safeguard their future. We know from more than fifteen years work that citizen science has a crucial role to play at the highest level and how impactful it can be, particularly when used alongside traditional publicly funded research.


Open Air Laboratories empower a million new citizen scientists to explore nature – Imperial College London 

A family constructing a bat box (Imperial College London)More than one million people across the UK have taken part in a unique scheme that allows them to contribute to research on their local green spaces.

For the last 10 years, the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project, led by Imperial College London and backed through the Big Lottery Fund, has brought communities and scientists together to gather environmental evidence and inform wider scientific enquiry.  

A family constructing a bat box (Imperial College London)

People from a huge variety of backgrounds have taken part, carrying out OPAL's nature surveys everywhere from inner-city housing estates to remote rural areas.

Activities including counting bugs, checking trees for signs of diseaseor recording sightings of the invasive New Zealand flatworm, have inspired local people to rediscover the outdoors. Research areas have included soil, air quality, water, climate, biodiversity and tree health, as well as investigations into invasive species.

As well as encouraging the one million people across the UK to get involved, OPAL, based in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial, has also trained over 4,300 teachers to deliver outdoor learning, getting pupils out of the classroom and bringing lessons to life. 


Scientific Publication

Matthew Geary, Paul F. Haworth & Alan H. Fielding Hen harrier Circus cyaneus nest sites on the Isle of Mull are associated with habitat mosaics and constrained by topography. Bird Study. doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2017.142161


Krah, F.-S., Seibold, S., Brandl, R., Baldrian, P., Müller, J. and Bässler, C. (2018), Independent effects of host and environment on the diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi. J Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12939


Gaughran A, Kelly DJ, MacWhite T, Mullen E, Maher P, Good M, et al. (2018) Super-ranging. A new ranging strategy in European badgers. PLoS ONE https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191818


Parker, S. S., Pauly, G. B., Moore, J., Fraga, N. S., Knapp, J. J., Principe, Z., Brown, B. V., Randall, J. M., Cohen, B. S. and Wake, T. A. (), Adapting the bioblitz to meet conservation needs. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/cobi.13103 


Coggan, N. V., Hayward, M. W. & Gibb, H. (2018) A global database and ‘state of the field’ review of research into ecosystem engineering by land animals. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12819


Mathew J. Hardy, Sarah A. Bekessy, James A. Fitzsimons, Luis Mata, Chris Cook, Alex Nankivell, Kate Smillie, Ascelin Gordon, Protecting nature on private land using revolving funds: Assessing property suitability, Biological Conservation, Volume 220, April 2018, Pages 84-93, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.01.026.


Janine Aschwanden, Herbert Stark, Dieter Peter, Thomas Steuri, Baptiste Schmid, Felix Liechti, Bird collisions at wind turbines in a mountainous area related to bird movement intensities measured by radar, Biological Conservation, Volume 220, April 2018, Pages 228-236, ISSN 0006-3207, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.01.005.


Lyndsey Graham, Rachel Gaulton, France Gerard, Joanna T. Staley, The influence of hedgerow structural condition on wildlife habitat provision in farmed landscapes, Biological Conservation, Volume 220, April 2018, Pages 122-131, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.017.


Animal and wildlife news

‘Momentous day for animals’ as RSPCA Cymru campaign for circus ban set for victory - RSPCA

RSPCA Cymru has decreed today (Wednesday 14 February) as a “momentous day for animals” as the Welsh Government confirms its plan to bring forward legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The animal welfare charity has led the campaign on this issue for some two decades – with over 9,000 signing an RSPCA petition urging action.

Polling, too, has consistently demonstrated a clear will for action – with 74% of people within Wales supporting a ban on wild animals performing in circuses.

The transient nature of circuses – alongside cramped accommodation and forced training for animals – highlights how inappropriate these settings are for wild animals. The RSPCA has long highlighted how the welfare of wild animals based in such settings is likely to be heavily compromised.  An announcement had previously been made regarding the introduction of a licensing scheme for mobile animal exhibits (MAEs) in Wales, including circuses – but the Welsh Government has now confirmed it is “exploring opportunities to bring forward legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales”.

Claire Lawson, RSPCA Cymru Assistant Director of External Relations, said: “This is a momentous day for animals – with the sight of wild animals touring in circuses in Wales set to be consigned to the history books once and for all.  The RSPCA has fought for years to see this ban become a reality – and we are absolutely delighted that the Welsh Government has confirmed its intention to bring forward legislation to end this outdated and cruel practice on this country’s soil. Wild animals do not belong in the circus. Put simply, it is a life not worth living – with regular travelling, unsuitable accommodation and forced training the grim realities of this cruel practice. Thankfully – after tireless campaigning from the RSPCA and others – animals will no longer face this horrendous life.”



Launched Today: The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs – Hedgehog Street

Photo by Hedgehog Champion Liza GriffithsPublished jointly by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).  This report is the only comprehensive review of the status of Britain’s hedgehogs in the UK.

Photo by Hedgehog Champion Liza Griffiths

It shows that hedgehogs in the countryside are in a serious decline.  However, the picture is not so bad for our towns and cities.  Although the species has declined by a third in urban areas since 2000, the rate of decline is slowing, and where hogs are found, numbers appear to be growing in some places.  This shows why campaigns like Hedgehog Street are so important, and could actually help bring this species back from the brink.

Access the report here 


Two men sentenced for destroying bat roosts in Dorset - National Wildlife Crime Unit

A property developer and demolition company manager who admitted destroying roosts for protected species of bats have been sentenced at court.

Developer Christopher Wilson, of Avante Ltd, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentencing on Friday 16 February 2018 after admitting two offences of damaging or destroying a breeding site or resting place of a European protected species of animal.  He was ordered to pay £2,500 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and was fined £1,750 as well as being ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £170.  The case featured only the second ever Proceeds of Crime Act application relating to bats in the United Kingdom.

David Stokes, director of South Coast Demolition, had admitted the same offences and was sentenced at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 13 December 2017, when he was fined £1,600, ordered to pay £400 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

In 2016 Wilson purchased the former Ickle Angels Nursery site in Carroll Avenue, Ferndown, which consisted of two buildings that were known to contain roosts for Pipistrelle and Long-Eared Bats.  When he submitted a planning application to redevelop the site, Wilson included a Biodiversity Management Plan that had been commissioned by the previous owner of the site in October 2012 and had an expired date on it.  He should have commissioned a new Biodiversity Management Plan but failed to do so. The original plan also advised that, due to the presence of bats, a licence from Natural England would be required before starting works on the site.

Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said: “What makes this case nationally important is that we applied for a Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 application, which is only the second time this has been done for bat crime in the UK. A POCA arises after a defendant is shown to financially benefit from a crime. The order is to reclaim an amount. If any developers, demolition firms, roofers or public have any concerns or questions please do contact the Bat Conservation Trust Helpline on 0345 1300 228. They will assist. We would rather work with developers to prevent matters. I would like to thank the ecologists who give up their time to assist police in such cases and the Bat Conservation Trust.”

Pete Charleston, Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer for the Bat Conservation Trust, said: “The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) always regrets the need for prosecutions of this nature. These convictions send a clear message to those who might be tempted to cut corners. If you think that costs can be saved by not following due process then think again, you will be held to account with any profit being confiscated. BCT are very grateful to both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for a highly professional and effective investigation.”


New report points to 30% decline in water vole distribution - The Wildlife Trusts

National treasure ‘Ratty’ needs urgent help to survive

A new analysis of data collected over ten years by a network of experts led by The Wildlife Trusts has revealed that water vole distribution has declined dramatically. There has been a 30% decline in the places where these river mammals once lived across England and Wales during the survey period 2006 - 2015.* While the new analysis reveals a slight increase in distribution in recent years – thanks to some successful conservation efforts by The Wildlife Trusts and others – the full data covering the whole ten years paints a bleak picture.

(image: Neil Aldridge)(image: Neil Aldridge)

Great conservation efforts have been made to ensure a future for this mammal: The Wildlife Trusts and many other individuals and groups carry out river restoration and reintroductions of water voles across the UK. At a local level, these projects appear to have been successful; however, these successes are not enough to reverse the national distribution trends.

Habitat loss, water pollution and built development have led to massive declines in the number of water voles since the 1960s – this has been exacerbated by predation by North American mink which were introduced to Britain for fur farming in the twentieth century. The water vole is the UK’s most rapidly declining mammal and has been lost from 94% of places where they were once prevalent. The latest data revealing a ten year decline of 30% shows an ever-worsening situation: their range is continuing to contract.


Record numbers of common dolphin sightings off Scotland’s west coast - Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

Sightings of common dolphins across the Hebrides have reached a new record high according to research conducted by marine conservation charity, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Common dolphin spotted from Silurian (image: HWDT)Evidence collected during marine research expeditions on the Trust’s specialized research yacht Silurian in 2017 has revealed a dramatic 24% increase from the previous year’s already record-breaking figures.

Common dolphin spotted from Silurian (image: HWDT)

The findings were made in a research season running from April to October 2017, part of the charity’s unique long-term citizen science project monitoring whales, dolphins and porpoises – collectively known as cetaceans – and basking sharks in the Hebrides.

“We have never documented so many sightings of common dolphins off Scotland’s west coast before. Our findings highlight the importance of on-going monitoring and research to strengthen our understanding of what is taking place in Hebridean waters. It is hard to say what is causing this increase, but a rise in sea surface temperatures linked to climate change could be playing a role.”   Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills, Science and Policy Officer

During 2017, the Trust recorded 93 sightings of common dolphins – its highest total ever, up from 75 sightings in 2016. The encounters included a total of 1,340 individual animals – down from 2016’s high of 2,303, due to smaller group sizes and fewer super pods.

Over the past two years, the charity has also recorded a higher than average number of sightings of white-beaked dolphins – with 14 sightings of 74 individuals in 2017. Generally preferring colder, deeper waters in the North Atlantic, white-beaked dolphins have distinct white noses. These fast, acrobatic swimmers are usually spotted further away from the coast – favouring sites around the Outer Hebrides, and usually seen in groups of five to 20 individuals.


Position Statement: the reintroduction of the lynx to Britain - Mammal Society

Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in winter birch forest, Norway (image: ©Scotlandbigpicture.com via Mammal Society)Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in winter birch forest, Norway (image: ©Scotlandbigpicture.com via Mammal Society)

The northern or Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx, was once a native British species. Exact dates of its extinction in the UK are not known but radiocarbon dating of fossil remains have shown that this large feline is likely to have been present in the wild in the British Isles until the early Medieval period, and perhaps even more recently via unconfirmed records. 

The reintroduction of lynx to the UK has been much discussed in recent years and applications for the reintroduction of animals that were once locally or nationally extinct can be controversial.  However there are now examples, from both the UK and elsewhere in Europe, illustrating that well-managed programmes can be successful for species ranging from beaver to kite.  Additionally, pressure to restore ecosystem functionality, the growth of the rewilding movement, and the legal imperative to consider reintroductions of extinct species to EU states under the Habitats Directive mean that that discussion of lynx reintroduction is timely.

The Mammal Society considers that Lynx reintroduction to Britain is a realistic proposition.  However, it should only be undertaken once management and funding structures are in place to minimise risks to human interests, the environment, and animal welfare. 

Read the full Mammal Society Position Statement on lynx reintroduction here


Derbyshire’s badger vaccination project gets Government funding for another 4 years - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that the badger vaccination programme is now able to continue for another 4 years. This has been made possible thanks to generous funding from several sources, £80,000 from National Trust, £4,000 from the High Peak Derbyshire Badger Group, £40,000 from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust itself, all topped up by £181,906.76 funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which has just been confirmed.

Photo Andrew MasonDerbyshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that the badger vaccination programme is now able to continue for another 4 years.

Photo Andrew Mason

This has been made possible thanks to generous funding from several sources, £80,000 from National Trust, £4,000 from the High Peak Derbyshire Badger Group, £40,000 from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust itself, all topped up by £181,906.76 funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which has just been confirmed.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Living Landscapes for North Derbyshire Tim Birch said, “We are pleased the Government have provided more money for Derbyshire’s badger vaccination programme. The funding will mean this important work will continue for another 4 years – enabling us to expand the vaccination programme to other areas of Derbyshire. The area scheduled for vaccination will now increase to cover up to 90km2 across Derbyshire. It also enables the Trust to continue to work in partnership with many organisations and show that vaccination is a viable alternative to the badger cull which we are totally opposed to.”

Vaccinating badgers against bovine TB is an important part of tackling the disease in cattle.


2017 squirrel survey reveals Scotland’s red squirrels are holding on strong - Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has published the results of its 2017 annual survey, which indicate that overall Scotland’s red squirrel populations have stabilised, with significant gains in the North East.

Squirrel at feederbox © Raymond LeinsterSince 2011, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has been monitoring squirrel populations in the parts of the country where red squirrels are most under threat from the spread of non-native grey squirrels. Grey squirrels, which were introduced to Britain from North America in the 19th Century, out-compete red squirrels for resources, and can also carry squirrelpox, a virus that doesn't harm them but is deadly to reds.

Squirrel at feederbox © Raymond Leinster

The 2017 survey results show that red squirrel populations have remained stable in the past year, a sign that with continued effort from conservationists and volunteers, their decline can be halted.  The most positive results were found in North East Scotland, where red squirrels have significantly increased their range, particularly around Aberdeen. This correlates with a recent flurry of red squirrel sightings reported increasingly close to the city centre.

In Tayside and the Central Lowlands, red squirrels have maintained their range, indicating that the project, which was awarded a £2.4m National Lottery grant last year, is successfully protecting Scotland’s largest red squirrel population north of the Highland Boundary Line.

Mary-Anne Collis, Red Squirrel Conservation Officer for Argyll, the Trossachs and Stirling said: "In the Central Lowlands, red squirrels are holding their ground and as a result we’ve started to see them in areas where they haven’t been seen for a long time. This is particularly noticeable to the south and east of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, which is now predominantly a red-only zone.

Access the report here


Results of the National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2017! – Sea Watch Foundation

As announced on TV’s BBC Countryfile last night, results of the 2017 National Whale and Dolphin Watch are in!

During last year’s event, which took place 29th July – 6th August, a record-breaking 1,529 hours of dedicated watches took place. Some 300 hours more than any previous occasion, this represents 2,500 volunteers all around the British Isles getting involved to report on the UK’s whale and dolphin species.

A close encounter with a killer whale for these boat-users in Shetland! Photo by Rhona Clarke. 2017 was the sixteenth year that this huge citizen science scheme had taken place and clearly the event is building on popularity year on year. “It’s so important for people to join in helping us to track whales, dolphins and porpoises in UK waters. The Sea Watch Foundation database holds hundreds of thousands of records which are used by scientists and governments to inform research and policy on these wonderful animals” says Kathy James, Sightings Officer for Sea Watch. “By taking part, people are directly contributing to their conservation”.

Aside from the expansive effort put in by volunteers in 2017, there were also a huge number of whale, dolphin and porpoise sightings reported as part of the event. 1,410 records of cetaceans, the collective term for whales, dolphins and porpoises, were reported from land and at sea.

A close encounter with a killer whale for these boat-users in Shetland! Photo by Rhona Clarke.

This most recent effort also showed that on average around the UK, a cetacean could be spotted once an hour! North and East Scotland, South Devon, Cornwall and North-east England all had a greater sightings rate than the national average. These excellent cetacean-spotting areas clocked up between 1 and 5 animals per hour on average per site.  Eleven different cetacean species were seen in UK waters during the National Whale and Dolphin Watch. All in all, 29 species of cetacean have been recorded in UK waters although only fourteen are recorded regularly. Seeing a good proportion of these in just nine days goes to show what people can achieve when they work together.

Access the report: Click here to read the full 2017 National Whale and Dolphin Watch report



Hand-reared godwits found safe and sound in Portugal - Wildfowl & Wetlands

Two of the first ever British wading birds to be released into the wild under a new conservation technique have been spotted alive and well – 1,200 miles away in Portugal.

Project Godwit chicks shortly after hatching (c) Bob Ellis WWTThe two black-tailed godwits from Norfolk were among 26 that conservationists hatched and reared by hand before releasing into the wild, a process known as ‘headstarting’.

After release the birds joined wild flocks and this is the first time any of them have been outside the UK.

Project Godwit chicks shortly after hatching (c) Bob Ellis WWT

Dutch ornithologists reported seeing the birds among a flock on the Tagus Estuary near Lisbon.

The team from RSPB and WWT behind “Project Godwit” has welcomed the news that their protégés have migrated safely.

Project Godwit manager Hannah Ward said: “Bird migration is an amazing feat and it’s fraught with dangers. These two godwits were last seen on opposite sides of the UK, one in Essex and the other in Somerset. It’s a huge relief to hear they have both made it to the same spot in Portugal safe and sound. “They’re still less than a year old, so they probably won’t attempt return to the UK to breed this year, but older godwits should be setting off right now. We’re appealing to all birdwatchers to keep their eyes out for marked birds. “Project Godwit birds have coloured leg rings so that we can identify individual birds. Every bit of news helps us create a brighter future for the UK black-tailed godwits.”

Project Godwit is a partnership between RSPB and WWT with major funding from the EU LIFE Nature Programme, The HSBC 50th Anniversary Fund, Natural England and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Back from the Brink programme. The project aims to secure the future of black-tailed godwits in the UK.


RSPB appeals to shooting industry to help root out raptor killers - RSPB

The RSPB has launched a confidential ‘Raptor Crime Hotline’ (0300 999 0101) to help whistle-blowers within the shooting industry come forward with information about bird of prey persecution.

The link between driven grouse shooting and the illegal killing of birds of prey, such as peregrines and hen harriers, has been widely documented. The RSPB’s latest Birdcrime report revealed over 80 confirmed raptor persecution incidents had taken place in 2016, with many more likely to have gone undetected. It also showed that North Yorkshire has had more than twice as many confirmed incidents of raptor persecution than any other county for the last five years. 

The RSPB would like to see much more acceptance from shooting organisations about the scale and conservation impact of the persecution and more support to clean up the industry and help root out those involved.

Senior Investigations Officer Guy Shorrock, of the RSPB, said: “Illegal killing is not only robbing people of the chance to enjoy watching birds of prey but has serious consequences for their populations. We are sure there are people within rural and shooting communities who know who is committing these crimes but are cautious about speaking out. This 24-hour hotline provides a completely safe and confidential way to pass on information – calls are not recorded and are treated in the utmost confidence.

“We would like to see shooting organisations showing their support by including the hotline on their websites and encouraging their members to come forward with information regarding crimes against birds of prey in the UK.”

Over the years RSPB Investigations staff have spoken in confidence with gamekeepers and others within the shooting industry and received graphic reports of routine and intensive raptor persecution on many sporting estates. In addition, it has provided a disturbing insight into management culture and the pressure put on gamekeepers, often from the very start of their careers, to kill protected wildlife. The RSPB will continue to push the government to introduce licensing of driven grouse shooting to improve accountability of these estates and to promote good practise. 


Wildfowl recovery plan at Wyver Lane - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Lapwing at Wyver Lane, Paul ShawDerbyshire Wildlife Trust is celebrating a grant of £3726.22 awarded by the Co-op Local Communities Fund as well as an additional £2,550 from Hamamelis Trust to restore the wetland habitat and renew signage and hide information at Wyver Lane Nature Reserve.

Lapwing at Wyver Lane, Paul Shaw

The reserve is situated in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Belper and runs along the bank of the River Derwent. It is one of the Trust’s most important wetland sites and is home to many species of bird from waders such as curlew and common sandpiper passing through in spring, to birds which breed here such as lapwing. Large numbers of gulls visit the reserve during winter - they are mainly black headed gulls, but you may also see common, herring, lesser and greater black backed gulls. They are joined by wildfowl escaping the icy north. In really cold conditions, numbers of duck species such as wigeon and teal visit - they both have characteristics whistles, not quacks, best heard at sun rise and sun set, and easily heard from the track running parallel to the reserve (Wyver Lane).

Some of the habitats at the reserve now need a bit of a helping hand in order to be ideal for lapwing and wigeon, two nationally declining species on the UK BAP Amber list. Some of the grant will be used for this important improvement work as well as the help of local volunteers. A barn owl box will also be installed at the reserve as well as a bird seed store.

In addition to the reserve work, the grant will enable the Trust to commission a new orientation panel and several new species information panels signposting the way for visitors and giving them a flavour of the beautiful wildlife and special habitats they will see.


Beast from the East could spell doom for garden birds at crucial time - RSPB

With the Met Office forecasting ‘exceptionally cold’ temperatures for most of the UK this week, the RSPB is asking people to think about their garden birds by topping up garden feeders, putting out fresh water and providing shelter.

After benefiting from mild January conditions, which saw temperatures reach 15°C in parts of southern England, birds will now struggle to deal with the cold snap, which comes at a crucial time when they need extra energy. Prolonged periods of cold weather leave birds vulnerable as natural food sources become harder to come by and water sources freeze over. 

At this time of year, birds are starting to think about finding a mate and building nests to raise a family, which means they need plenty of food and water.

To keep their energy up during the colder months, the best way to help garden birds is by providing them with a variety of food, but fatty food will be especially helpful. For example, fat balls or homemade bird cakes, which only take a few minutes to make and can be a great children’s activity, are perfect for your feathered friends. These can be made cheaply with kitchen scraps and lard. If you prefer, seeds, fruits or dried mealworms are also among birds’ favourite snacks.

Another vital support for vulnerable birds is fresh water for drinking and bathing. Finding sources of water can be hard for birds when there’s been a frost, but with a simple trick you can help to keep a patch of water ice-free. The RSPB recommends floating a small ball, such as a ping-pong ball, on the surface of the water as a light breeze will stop an area of water from freezing.

Finally, providing shelter from the harsh weather is extremely important. Putting up a nestbox will give birds a great place to roost in and shelter from the elements before the warmer spring arrives.



Rare high-altitude money spider discovered near Loch Ness – Trees for Life

Surveys at Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston near Loch Ness have revealed a rare money spider in a find described by experts as “spectacular”.

The discovery of an adult male of the species Hilaira nubigena at the native forest restoration site in Inverness-shire is the first record of the spider west of the Great Glen for more than 25 years. 

The rare arachnid has been recorded from damp moorland above 400m and up to 700m, but little is known about its habits. It may be characteristic of high-altitude habitats such as ‘montane woodland’ – a waist-high mini-forest found on mountainsides, which is home to a unique range of species. Unfortunately this important habitat is overgrazed, and most of it has already disappeared in Scotland.

“This really spectacular find shows that the habitat at Dundreggan is rather special,” said Edward Milner, who identified the spider, and who has been studying spiders in Scotland for over 20 years.

“Some of the spider species that we find in the montane woodland on the estate are also found in the Arctic. They are adapted to surviving the extreme conditions that we can experience here. I last saw this spider near the summit of Liathach in Wester Ross in June 1986.”

The few recent records of Hilaira nubigena in Scotland are all from south of the Great Glen, with a few records from mountains on the west coast. It has only been recorded from 14 sites throughout Scotland, including a recent one above 500m in the Carrifran Valley near Moffat.


Butterfly breeds for first time in 130 years - Butterfly Conservation

A declining butterfly may have started breeding in Scotland for the first time in 130 years, after eggs were discovered by amateur naturalists, Butterfly Conservation (BC) has confirmed.

White-Letter Hairstreak (image: Butterfly Conservation)A handful of White-letter Hairstreak eggs were found on Wych Elm trees at Lennel near Coldstream, Berwickshire, on Sunday 4 February.

White-Letter Hairstreak (image: Butterfly Conservation)

The discovery comes after Borders Butterfly Recorder Iain Cowe spotted an adult White-letter Hairstreak about 10 miles north east of this area last year - the first sighting in Scotland since 1884.

Iain said: “The discovery of these eggs is hugely significant as it not only confirms the White-letter Hairstreak is breeding here, but one of the eggs was an old, hatched shell – so it looks like the butterfly could have been breeding here since at least 2016. Last year was an impossible find, but this year’s egg discovery is beyond anything we thought possible.”

The White-letter Hairstreak, which has a distinctive ‘W’ marking on the underside of its wing, is widespread across England and Wales, but the butterfly has suffered a 72% decline over the last decade.

The butterfly’s caterpillars feed on elm and the White-letter Hairstreak declined dramatically in the 1970s as a result of Dutch Elm disease.

For more than ten years, a group of BC volunteers have been monitoring the butterfly and its gradual spread northwards, which experts think is most likely the result of a warming climate.


Neonicotinoids: risks to bees confirmed - European Food Safety Authority

Most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees, according to assessments published today by EFSA. The Authority has updated its risk assessments of three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – that are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threat they pose to bees.

These new conclusions update those published in 2013, after which the European Commission imposed controls on use of the substances.

For the new assessments, which this time cover wild bees – bumblebees and solitary bees – as well as honeybees, EFSA’s Pesticides Unit carried out an extensive data collection exercise, including a systematic literature review, to gather all the scientific evidence published since the previous evaluations.

The team also applied the guidance document developed by EFSA specifically for the risk assessment of pesticides and bees.

Jose Tarazona, Head of EFSA’s Pesticides Unit, said: “The availability of such a substantial amount of data as well as the guidance has enabled us to produce very detailed conclusions. There is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide and the route of exposure. Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.”


Responses from Buglife and Scottish Wildlife Trust

EU Regulatory Scientists Confirm Neonics harm bees - Buglife

The European Food Standards Authority has published its scientific reviews of the evidence linking the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides to bee harm and decline.  The Authority reviewed nearly 1,000 papers and concludes that clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam all pose a high risk to wild bees and honeybees – in fact nearly 600 high risk pathways are confirmed.

 Bombus humilis (photo: ©Sam Ashfield via Buglife) Bombus humilis (photo: ©Sam Ashfield via Buglife)

Member States are now expected to vote on a proposal to extend and broaden the existing ban - which was only on flowering and spring sown crops.  The ban must be broadened because the persistent insecticides have been confirmed to pose a risk to bees when dust from seed planting contaminates wild flowers and insects, and when wildflowers near crops take up some of the c.95% of the chemical that ends up in the soil.

 “While it is good news that the regulators have definitively concluded that neonicotinoids pose a high risk, it is a tragedy that our bees, moths, butterflies and flies have been hammered by these toxins for over 15 years, causing severe declines in wild pollinators and the pollination services they undertake.  Not only should EU countries now ban their use entirely, they should also urgently approve and implement EFSA’s bee risk assessment process so that the blunder is not repeated.” Said Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO.


Further evidence shows bees at risk from neonicotinoid pesticides - Scottish Wildlife Trust

Our Chief Executive Jonny Hughes said: “We welcome the publication of this important evidence-based study. People in Scotland care about bees and banning harmful neonicotinoids is something we can do to help them. Pollinators are an essential part of our environment. Without them we wouldn’t have seeds and fruit that many other animals rely on for food. And when you consider that crop pollination has an estimated value of £43 million per year to Scotland’s economy, it is clear that the use of agricultural pesticides that harm pollinators could have serious hidden costs in the longer term. This comprehensive assessment should provide more than enough evidence for the Scottish Government to show its support for a full ban of the use of these harmful chemicals.


Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering

Green Gym's 20th Anniversary - TCV

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of setting up the first TCV Green Gym in Sonning Common, South Oxfordshire, the pioneering group hosted a giant work session on Thursday 8th February at Watlington Hill Nature Reserve. This was joined by other local Green Gyms and staff from TCV.

The Green Gym was the brainchild of Dr William Bird, then at Sonning Common Health Centre, who brought in nature conservation experts TCV to set up the first group in 1998.  That group has prospered, holding two weekly sessions with a total of 40 active members, some of whom have been there from the beginning. There are now 130 Green Gyms all over the country.

Sonning Common is now an independent Green Gym run completely by a team of dedicated and energetic volunteers. The group enjoy working outdoors, learning new skills and helping to rescue or preserve important wildlife habitats and, of course, the social side of group activity.  Craig Lister the Managing Director of TCV's Green Gym gave a short speech which shared how the Green Gym movement (now international) is growing and its role in the NHS's Social Prescribing Programme.

“I love going out in the fresh air and getting stuck into scrub-cutting or whatever task we’re doing that day.  Catching up with the other members is also a big plus,” said Gill Vaughan, a founder member.


Walking project at Edinburgh drug rehabilitation centre hailed a success - Ramblers

An innovative new trial scheme has been hailed as a success, after introducing staff and service users at a Lothian drug treatment testing centre to the benefits of walking.
During the last 12 months, Ramblers Scotland has been working with the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian’s Drug Treatment Testing Order office (DTTO) to offer walking routes to people undergoing drug treatment – as well as to busy NHS staff – via its Medal Routes project.
The Medal Routes project offers maps for 15, 30 and 60-minute circular walks at 80 locations throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. 

Organisers of the project are delighted with the popularity of the scheme. They awarded certificates and book tokens to the most active staff and service users at a prize-giving event at The Grindlay Court Centre in Edinburgh on Thursday 1 February.
Cllr Ian Campbell, vice convener of culture and communities at the City of Edinburgh Council said: “We have been delighted to be involved with this pilot and our staff and services users who have been involved have been very positive about their experiences. To name just a few benefits - walking boosts your mood, helps you sleep better and reduces stress and anxiety.”


Learning outdoors - More than £860k to increase outdoor learning in the early years - Scottish Government

The number of hours nursery children spend outdoors is set to increase, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, has announced. 

Inspiring Scotland will receive £862,550 to encourage and support greater use of outdoor learning in the early years. Actions they will take include:

  • Working with eight local authorities to deliver outdoor learning opportunities
  • Producing a ‘how to’ guide for practitioners, with practical advice on how to access outdoor spaces
  • Driving partnership working between councils, third sector and private companies in promoting outdoor learning
  • Helping organisations review the impact of outdoor learning when delivering the expansion to 1,140 hours of funded childcare

Ms Todd made the announcement during a visit to City of Edinburgh Council’s Lauriston Castle Forest Kindergarten.

She said: “The significant expansion of funded early learning and childcare gives us the perfect opportunity to define the type of experience we want to offer our children during their early years. That is why we are committing more than £860,000 to increase the use of outdoor learning, to ensure it becomes a defining feature of childhood in Scotland. “Outdoor learning not only improves mental wellbeing and health and fitness, it can make a huge difference to children’s confidence levels and their ability to risk assess while encouraging a lifelong love of the outdoors. “By supporting our young people to go outside and play we are not only making sure their early years are as happy and healthy as possible we are also ensuring every child in Scotland gets the best possible start in life.”


Moor to Enjoy - It really is good for you! - Exmoor National Park

Recent research proves that being in National Parks improves mental and physical wellbeing. Evidence has been published in light of action research carried out in two linked 3-year long projects by Exmoor and Dartmoor National Park Authorities.

Partners from Public Health England, Devon and Somerset County Council Public Health Teams and other guests gathered on Friday 16th February to hear about the results of the ‘Moor Health and Wellbeing’ report. The evaluation, carried out by Plymouth University, weighs up the challenges and successes faced by Exmoor’s Moor to Enjoy Project and Dartmoor’s Naturally Healthy Project. Some of the reported positive changes identified from participants’ experiences within the National Parks included a sense of belonging, feeling physically or mentally energised, enjoyment, a sense of achievement and increased opportunities for creativity and learning.

Exmoor’s Moor to Enjoy Project focused on supporting groups and group leaders in communities within striking distance of the National Park developing and delivering exciting activities and ‘taster’ days out on Exmoor. “The Project aims to bring together public health and social care professionals and groups and group leaders with the amazing opportunities to get out on Exmoor and enjoy the stunning landscape and wildlife. We hope that through these taster days, we are able to give groups and individuals the confidence and skills to discover more of Exmoor independently in the future,” said Lucy McQuillan from Exmoor National Park. “Getting active outdoors doesn’t have to be a full on hike with all the kit. We are trying to encourage people to take that first step to explore the National Park in a way that suits them. This might be as simple as sitting by a river or having a picnic at a favourite view point,” she continued.


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Calendar of events and courses in: May 2018


08/05/2018   A new era for shark conservation? Protecting 'flat sharks' & rays   1 Day

Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, Zoological Society of London, Outer Circle, Regents Park, NW1 4RY, Zoological Society of London. Contact: jennifer.howes@zsl.org http://c-js.info/2eVtfBY


Administrative and Office Skills

01/05/2018   Arc Intermediate Training   2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

04/05/2018   Introduction to Green Infrastructure in an Urban Environment   1 Day

London,, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/04052018000000IntroductiontoGreenInfrastructureinanUrbanEnvironment.aspx

The one day training course will provide participants with an introduction to the key aspects of Urban GI and an understanding of the important role it plays in delivering Ecosystem Services. An overview of the different GI features - green roofs, green walls, rain gardens, trees and landscape planting etc. will be provided.

09/05/2018   Intermediate Level Grant Writing   1 Day

Royal Society of Biology, Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London WC1N 2JU, Royal Society of Biology. Contact: 020 7685 2578 training@rsb.org.uk https://www.rsb.org.uk/events?event=intermediatelevelgrantwriting

10/05/2018   Social Media Training - London   1 Day

St. Lukes' Community Centre, Talk Action. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/social-media-training/

The media revolution is here! Everything you wanted to know about social media but were afraid to ask.

13/05/2018   Wild Writing   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/10/25/wild-writing?instance=0

Join author and creative writing tutor Ruth Brandt for a day of writing inspired by the beautiful setting of Nower Wood.

15/05/2018   MapInfo Foundation Training   2 Day

17/05/2018   MapInfo Intermediate Training   1 Day

Both: Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

23/05/2018   Advanced Facilitation Training London   1 Day

St Luke's Community Centre, London - EC1V 8AJ, Talk Action. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/Advanced-Facilitation-London/

A unique day of interactive and participatory learning to build your skills and confidence as a facilitator, meeting organiser or workshop leader. You will develop your skills and attitudes as a facilitator in working with diverse groups and using participatory processes.

23/05/2018   Presentation Skills   1/2 Day

Charles Darwin House 2, 107 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8TZ, Royal Society of Biology. Contact: 020 7685 2578 training@rsb.org.uk https://www.rsb.org.uk/events?event=presentationskills

31/05/2018   Preliminary Ecological Appriasal   2 Day

Bristol, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is an essential skill for any ecological consultant. This course will cover desk studies and data searches, identifying protected species and habitats (including field visits), discussion of further survey work required, wildlife legislation and how to write a report.


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

02/05/2018   Wild Beach Leader Training - Level 3 OCN accredited   3 Day

Lowestoft, Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01473 890089 bev.rogers@suffolkwildlifetrust.org http://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/cpd

07/05/2018   KS2 Outdoor Toolkit   1 Day

Glyndwr University, Northop, Plas Derw Trust. Contact: 01385 2840955 info@plasderw.co.uk http://www.plasderwforestschool.co.uk

Grab and go activities for the outdoors. Make the outdoors easy with your KS2 class.

12/05/2018   Forest School Level 2 Assistant Course   5 Day

Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds, Green Light Trust. Contact: 01284 830829 lindsay@greenlighttrust.org http://www.greenlighttrust.org/we-help-schools-colleges/forest-schools

Designed for individuals who wish to assist a Level 3 Forest School Leader at Forest School.

19/05/2018   Workshop: Outdoor Play Tips for Adults with Children   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2018/01/10/workshop-outdoor-play-tips-adults-children?instance=0

Build your confidence in getting children to enjoy the outdoors. Discover free entertainment that will get them wanting more nature and less TV.


First Aid, Risk Assessment and other Health & Safety Related Courses

05/05/2018   Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid   2 Day

TBC, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/outdoor-first-aid-5-6-may/

Our 16 hour first aid course, two day course has been developed to meet the first aid training requirements outlined by the institute of outdoor learning and also most National Governing body award such as BCU, Mountain Training, BASI/IASI. This qualification is perfect for anyone working in outdoors environments.

17/05/2018   RSPH Level 2 Award in the safe use of Rodenticides   1 Day

Bury St Edmunds, Pest Solution. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk http://www.pestcontroltraining.co/

The RSPH Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Rodenticides provides learners with an understanding of why the purchase and use of rodenticides is controlled and why other rodent control methods should be considered before rodenticides are used.

17/05/2018   Hill skills and navigation   2 Day

Inverness, Drumalban. Contact: 07506757989 sjoerd@drumalban.scot https://www.drumalban.scot/navigation

For outdoor workers in the fields of conservation, ecology, forestry, etc. Training based on practical knowledge of the demands of remote outdoor work, taking into account circumstances likely to be encountered in the field (e.g. dawn surveys, featureless moorland). Covered: decision making, planning&preparation, health and safety and navigation skills.

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

01/05/2018   Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence   2 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

The course provides a balance of classroom and field-based sessions for those interested in acquiring a great crested newt licence. Coursework covers: species identification, the legislative framework and the ecology of great crested newts.

03/05/2018   Practical Vertebrate Trapping   1 Day

Bury St Edmunds, Pest Solution. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk http://www.pestcontroltraining.co.uk

This course is aimed at pest controllers who want to add vertebrate trapping to their service portfolio. The course covers both theory and practical aspects of trapping vertebrate pests, such as moles, rabbits, grey squirrels, pigeons, rats and mice.

04/05/2018   Land Snail Identification   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

Based in the classic snail country of the North Downs the weekend includes searching for land snails in their appropriate habitats with follow up identification at the Centre. There is an excellent key to snails produced by FSC.

04/05/2018   Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence   2 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

The course provides a mof classroom-based work and practical sessions but the majority of the time will be spent outdoors undertaking survey work by day and by night. The classroom time will cover UK species identification, the various life stages of newts, the protection afforded to great crested newts under current legislation, the ecology of great crested newts and their habitat.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

08/05/2018   Great Crested Newt Ecology and Surveying   1 Day by Acorn Ecology  http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Introductory level course suitable for those working in consultancy or conservation, covering the following topics:  Ecology and habitat requirements of GCN's; Identification; and Survey techniques. There will also be a practical session making bottle traps, as well as evening and early morning field visits to undertake basic survey techniques.

09/05/2018   Great Crested Newts and Development   1 Day by Acorn Ecology  http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/advanced/   The course will be taught by Lindsay Carrington BSc DPhil MCIEEM who is an ecological consultant with many years of experience of working with great crested newts on development projects. It covers licensing and legislation, survey requirements, mitigation techniques and includes a case study workshop session.

Acorn Ecology courses at Langton Matravers, Nr Swanage. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk 

09/05/2018   Reptile Ecology & Survey   1 Day

Witley Centre, GU8 5QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2018/01/03/reptile-ecology-survey?instance=0

Discover the fascinating world of reptiles and their ecology through a mix of classroom exercises and an expert-led field visit to a local nature reserve.

11/05/2018   Introduction to Water Beetles   2 Day

FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This is an introductory course for anyone wanting to know how to identify water beetles. Anybody who has used a pond net, or been to a pond dipping demonstration, will have come across several different kinds of beetles.

11/05/2018   Amphibian survey training    1 Day

Calderglen Country Park, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/event/amphibian-survey-training-6/?instance_id=6556

Froglife are holding an evening training event where you can learn how to identify our native amphibian species undertaking 3 methods of pond survey. This session is entirely outdoors and gives you the opportunity to get hands on and learn about netting, egg-searching and torching techniques. 

12/05/2018   Bees, Hoverflies and Flowers: Pollinators and Pollination   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

Bees, hoverflies and other pollinating insects play an enormously important role in natural habitats and agricultural systems alike. This course introduces the insects that play a role in pollination, helping you to recognise them, understand how they interact with flowering plants, and find out how to play your part in conserving them.

12/05/2018   Learn to Love Spiders   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

The publication of the new WILDGuide - Britains Spiders: a field guide - has thrown a spotlight on the extent to which spiders can be identified in the field with the aid of some very simple kit - a hand lens and a spi-pot - and released again unharmed. In this course you will be introduced to the techniques and skills required to identify live spiders and learn the possibilities and limitations to what can be done in the field.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

13/05/2018   Hands on the Hive   1 Day

Assington Mill, Assington, Suffolk, CO10 5LZ, Assington Mill. Contact: 01787 229955 info@assingtonmill.com http://www.assingtonmill.com

An afternoon meeting the inhabitants of the beehive – only for those who have some previous knowledge of bees. £45

19/05/2018   Wild About Ponds   1 Day

Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774400 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk https://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/wildlife-gardening-wild-about-ponds-2/

22/05/2018   Investigating Insects   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2018/01/16/investigating-insects?instance=0

Acquire in-depth knowledge of insects with an expert ecologist. Develop your ID skills, catch & release specimens and record data.

24/05/2018   Practical Wasp Control   1 Day

Bury St Edmunds, Pest Solution. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk http://www.pestcontroltraining.co/

The course is divided into a theory session and a practical session. The aim of the course is to allow candidates to confidently be able to treat wasp and hornet nests with professional grade products as they will have received training as required by the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986.

25/05/2018   Developing your Skills in Entomology   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

Insects are fascinating creatures: many are attractive, and have amazing life histories and behaviour. They also play important roles in ecosystems, for example in pollinating plants and providing food for birds, making the decline of many insect species a cause for concern.

25/05/2018   Bee ID Workshop   2 Day at FSC Blencathra, Field Studies Council.

An opportunity to learn how to record and critically identify bees with Steven Falk, author of the new 'Field Guide to Bees of Britain and Northern Ireland'. The course will provide an introduction to bees, then a chance to identify them under the microscope.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

25/05/2018   How to Help Bees and other Pollinators    1 Day

Warnham, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-25-how-to-help-bees-and-other-pollinators-250518

Pollinating insects provide a vital service to farmers and gardeners but their numbers are in decline. This course will teach you all about our most important groups of pollinating insects and the benefits they provide. An outdoor session will give you advice on how to create habitats (in the countryside or in your back garden) to help your local wild pollinator communities. Discount for members.

26/05/2018   Introduction to Butterflies and Day Flying Moths   1 Day at FSC London, Field Studies Council.

The course will cover the different stages of butterfly and moth life cycles and lifestyles, focusing on the importance of larval food plants and flowers for nectaring. Participants will have a chance to search for a variety of species in the mixed habitats of Bushy Park, and given guidance on their identification.

26/05/2018   Spiders Identification at The Green Centre   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

This is an introduction to the British families within the Araneae (spiders). You will learn how to recognise these spiders to family level, gain an insight into their varied biology and become familiar with the field techniques required to find them.

26/05/2018   Spider Identification   4 Day at FSC Dale Fort, Field Studies Council.

Based at the stunning location of Dale Fort, this course will focus on field identification of spiders of woodland, grassland and coasts. There will be follow up sessions in the lab, allowing spiders to be identified more fully. The tutor is the co-author of the recently published WILDGuide 'Britain's Spiders'.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

29/05/2018   Reptile Surveying and Handling   1 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Introductory level course, especially relevant to consultancy as a huge proportion of consultancy work during summer involves reptile surveying and translocation projects. Course includes identification of UK reptiles, reptile handling (slow worms and non-native snakes), field visit to survey a 'development site', and a presentation about mitigation strategies.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

01/05/2018   Introduction to Bat Echolocation and Sound Analysis   1 Day

Bowland Wild Boar Park, Chipping, Lancashire , Ecology Services UK Ltd. Contact: 01995 61492 info@ecologyservice.co.uk http://www.ecologyservice.co.uk

A course for those who are new to professional bat work or with limited experience. Participants will develop an understanding of key information about echolocation, ultrasound and how bat sounds can be collected and analysed. Bat detectors will be available for ‘hands-on’ learning and software will be demonstrated.

03/05/2018   Using bat detectors   1 Day

Juniper Hall FSC, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/using_bat_detectors.html

Course introduces use of bat detectors for professional bat surveys, covers different detector systems, range of detectors available, advice on choosing appropriate detector and making recordings. Also demonstrates how to perform basic identification in the field, using real broadcast echolocation calls. Discount if booked with Bat Ecology & Conservation

04/05/2018   Dormouse Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

This course is a first step towards gaining your dormouse licence, and the trainer will usually be prepared to act as one of your referees for this purpose. Course includes dormouse ecology and conservation, survey techniques, best practice in handling dormice (demonstrated) and a dormouse nest box check.

04/05/2018   Bat ecology and conservation   1 Day

Juniper Hall FSC, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_ecology_and_conservation.html

Designed for those new to bat work, this course gives a comprehensive foundation to bat biology, ecology and conservation. You will learn about the different UK species, range, distribution, bat conservation and threats, bat taxonomy, physiological adaptations, life histories, foraging ecology, life cycle, roosting requirements and bat identification.

04/05/2018   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Callow Rock, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org http://www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses/dormouse-ecology-conservation/

This one day course is recognized as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence.

05/05/2018   Discovering Bats in Epping Forest   1 Day

FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This extensive day and evening course assumes no previous knowledge of bats. Topics include identification, biology and echolocation with the chance to have a closer look at bats both in the laboratory and the field. Participants will learn about the behaviour of UK bat species as well as nomenclature and classification.

05/05/2018   Squirrel management    1 Day

Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association . Contact: 01952 432769 FayHurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk

The course will balance a healthy respect of this fascinating animal with the need to manage numbers to a sustainable level. Including: an understanding on the squirrel's life cycle, behaviour and preferred habitat to aid effective management, identify and monitor damage to assess population and establish a management plan.

09/05/2018   Introduction to Bats and Bat Surveys    1 Day

Bowland Wild Boar Park, Chipping, Lancashire , Ecology Services UK Ltd. Contact: 01995 61492 info@ecologyservice.co.uk http://www.ecologyservice.co.uk

A course for those new to professional bat work or with limited experience. Skills covered include techniques and equipment for building surveys, emergence surveys and activity surveys.

09/05/2018   Introduction to Bats and Bat Surveys   1 Day

Lancashire, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/09052018000000IntroductiontoBatsandBatSurveys.aspx

The course provides an introduction to key skills, experience and knowledge necessary for undertaking professional bat work in the UK.

11/05/2018   Understanding British Mammals 1    3 Day

Denmark Farm, Lampeter , Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

This 3 day intensive course gives a thorough introduction to mammals including insectivores, rodents, lagomorphs and deer. Key features of species identification will be covered including pelage and skull examination. Characteristic field- signs, with a guide to tracks and trails, feeding remains, droppings, nests and burrows will be investigated.

12/05/2018   Badgers   1 Day

Assington Mill, Assington, Suffolk, CO10 5LZ, Assington Mill. Contact: 01787 229955 info@assingtonmill.com http://www.assingtonmill.com

Learn about the life of a badger, how to tell a badger sett from a rabbit hole, whether the sett is used and, after a traditional high tea, we will go out and look for them. £90 inc. a big high tea

18/05/2018   An Evening with Bats   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-18-an-evening-with-bats-180518

The evening will start indoors with a presentation on the ecology of bats and an introduction to local species. The talk will also cover their identification by habitat, behaviour and using bat detectors. There will be a short break for tea/coffee before heading out onto the reserve at sunset to search for bats using detectors. The Woods Mill Reserve and pond is usually a good site for a number of species. Discount for members.

18/05/2018   Water Vole Surveying Techniques   1 Day

Winnall Moors, Winchester, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774400 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk https://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/water-vole-survey-techniques-copy/

24/05/2018   How to apply for a Natural England bat mitigation licence   2 Day

9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk http://www.richardgreenecology.co.uk/training/

This advanced course will explain what information is required to apply for a bat mitigation licence and go through the process of completing all the relevant forms, including the necessary content, common mistakes and 'top tips' to avoid further information requests from Natural England. A reference will be provided to competent attendees.

29/05/2018   Surveying for Bats training course   2 Day

Nettlecombe Cour, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 020 7820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk

This 2-day course gives you the knowledge and skills to plan professional bat surveys. You’ll learn practical survey skills and field sign identification through classroom sessions and practical sessions. The course covers survey objectives, desktop and scoping surveys, identifying appropriate survey techniques, survey skills, field signs and assessment of roosts.

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

02/05/2018   Bird Survey Techniques   1 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Introductory level course suitable for both ecologists and conservationists. The course covers different bird survey techniques that can be used, the methods involved and how to present and interpret the results. Techniques covered included breeding bird surveys, single species surveys, transect surveys and point counts.

03/05/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

SWT Falls of Clyde, Lanark, British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID through a range of activities both in the classroom and on the reserve. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

03/05/2018   Spring Birds   4 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

May is an important month for both resident and migratory species. You will visit coastal, woodland and wetland habitats, learning to identify birds by sight and sound and examining their general ecology. The fee includes a visit to Skomer Island with its internationally important seabird colonies.  

04/05/2018   An Introduction to Bird Watching   1 Day at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council.

The aim of this course is to identify many of the more common breeding birds of North Wales by sight and sound. This will be a relaxing course, suitable for beginners. We will walk in some of the lovely places in the beautiful Conwy Valley.

04/05/2018   Birds in the Shropshire Springtime   2 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

Shropshire in springtime is a delightful place in which to develop your bird identification skills. This course will visit a variety of different habitats within the county, which should enable a wide range of species to be encountered and give an indication of where to find different birds.

05/05/2018   Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound   1 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

Whether you're new to birding or have some previous experience, come and spend a day in Constable Country learning how to identify the resident and migrant birds found around Flatford Mill. Early May is a really good time in the birding calendar, as most of our summer visitors will have arrived by now.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

07/05/2018   Dawn Chorus Walk and Breakfast   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/11/08/dawn-chorus-walk-and-breakfast?instance=0

Enjoy the morning bird song with fellow enthusiasts on International Dawn Chorus day. An Ornithologist will lead you through the woods before having breakfast.

10/05/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay , British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID through a range of activities both in the classroom and in surrounding coastal, farmland and woodland habitat. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

10/05/2018   An Evening with Nightingales   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-10-an-evening-with-nightingales-100518

The evening will start in the classroom where you will get a chance to hear about the life cycle of the nightingale and there will be a chance to listen to historical nightingale recordings. After the indoor session we will go out onto the reserve to hopefully hear nightingales. Discount for members.

11/05/2018   An Introduction to Warblers   1 Day

Coldwaltham, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-11-an-introduction-to-warblers-110518

A chance to take a closer look at this difficult but fascinating group to try and sort out the subtle differences between them. There is a great emphasis on sound in this course and we will spend the afternoon out on one of the Trust's special reserves. Discount for members.

12/05/2018   Birds of Woodland in Spring    1 Day

Tudeley Woods RSPB Reserve, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Fully experience the songs and calls of birds of mixed woodland with this early morning start. Also discover how the woods are managed for wildlife

17/05/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, Aberfoyle, British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID by sight and sound through a range of activities both in the classroom and in surrounding woodland habitat. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

18/05/2018   Bird Identification    3 Day

Denmark Farm, Lampeter , Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

This 3 day intensive course is for you if you struggle with spotting the differences between birds. All you need is an expert guide and tutor (David Anning from RSPB Ynys Hir) to help you to focus, develop observation skills and note their key features.

18/05/2018   British Birds of Prey: Identification and Monitoring   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

This course is aimed at those with limited or no experience of observing birds of prey in the wild and will introduce you to the different British birds of prey, their ecology and behaviours as well as various ways of monitoring them.

18/05/2018   Bird Survey Techniques   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course covers collecting bird data to contribute to accurate, long-term surveys which are essential to measure population trends. It is aimed at keen amateur ornithologists and wildlife professionals who would like to learn some basic bird survey techniques, and it will include a dawn survey.

19/05/2018   Woodland Birds of Epping Forest   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

This one day course will help you get to grips with woodland birds on a relaxed late spring walk around Epping Forest. On the north eastern outskirts of Britain's largest city lies a verdant oasis of some age.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

19/05/2018   Peregine Falcon: Ecology, Survey Methods and Mitigation   1 Day

Acer Ecology Office, Cardiff Bay, Acer Ecology Ltd. Contact: 029 2065 0331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/peregine-falcon-course/

The course will provide participants with an understanding of peregrine ecology, conservation and threats. In particular, the course aims to provide examples of effective survey, timings and precautions in respect of development and mitigation examples. Participants will gain an understanding of the legislative framework surrounding the species.

20/05/2018   Identifying Trees in Leaf   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

This day will focus on identifying common British trees as well as some non-native species. By the end of the day you'll be able to identify common trees to species level with confidence. 10am - 3pm   £35

24/05/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

Bennachie Visitor Centre, Inverurie, British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID by sight and sound through a range of activities both in the classroom and in surrounding woodland habitat. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

25/05/2018   Spring Birdwatching   2 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

Visiting a range of locations around Suffolk and Essex, as well making use of sites around Flatford Mill, participants will explore woods, heathlands or marshes as the group make best use of local weather conditions to watch and discover more about the local birdlife.

25/05/2018   Bird Language and Nature Awareness   3 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

Reading 'bird language' is the ancient art of interpreting bird calls and behaviour, and is closely related to tracking. We will discover how interpreting bird vocalisations can help us become much more aware of what is happening in the wider landscape.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/05/2018   Transforming an antisocial SSSI – Gordon Miller Award   1 Day

Saltwells Nature Reserve, Saltwells Lane, Brierley Hill, Dudley, DY2 0AP , Countryside Management Association. Contact: alan.preece@dudley.gov.uk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-an-antisocial-sssi-gordon-miller-award-tickets-42718444016

The day will explore how we slowly changed an urban antisocial hotspot and failing geological Site of Special Scientific Interest into a thriving beauty spot loved by the local community. Fee: CMA members free. Non-members £40

04/05/2018   Vegetative Grass Identification   3 Day  at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course aims to dispel the myth that grasses are one of the more difficult plant families to identify. Participants will be introduced to simplified dichotomous keys to demonstrate that most species of grass can be identified through the observation of a few diagnostic characteristics on non-flowering plants at any time of year.

04/05/2018   Identifying Grasses in Spring   3 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

This course is designed to enable anyone to identify grasses by their vegetative (non-flowering) characteristics and should be especially valuable to those engaged in botanical survey work, teachers of ecology as well as to amateur botanists. You will develop your skills through laboratory work, field visits to a variety of habitats and practice with botanical keys.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

05/05/2018   Make a wildflower meadow   1 Day

Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Learn how to make a wildflower meadow of any size, including the seed mixes to use, and create a fascinating habitat for wildlife

05/05/2018   Woodland Flowers in the Chilterns   1 Day at FSC Amersham, Field Studies Council.

Woodlands are a feature of the Chiltern Hills and woodland flowers are at their peak at this time of year. After a short introduction, most of the day will be spent in the field, exploring the fields and woods around the Centre and then travelling a short distance to one of the fine ancient woodlands in the area.

08/05/2018   Ancient Woodland Plants   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

This course will explain the concept of ancient woodlands and focus on developing the identification skills necessary to recognise Ancient Woodland Indicators across Britain. A range of material examining the history, management, use, folklore and ecology of ancient woodlands will be discussed during an entertaining and enlightening course.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

08/05/2018   QTRA Training   2 Day

Sheffield, Quantified Tree Risk Assessment Ltd. Contact: 01625 618999 admin@qtra.co.uk http://www.qtra.co.uk/

10/05/2018   Woodland plant ID course   2 Day

Woodah Farm, near Exeter, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre. Contact: (01392) 274128 DBRC@dbrc.org.uk http://www.dbrc.org.uk/training-course-2/

11/05/2018   Introduction to Lichens   2 Day

FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

The 1,500+ species of lichen in Scotland form an important part of its natural heritage. This course is an introduction to the basics of lichen biology, ecology, collecting and identification, using keys and microscopes. The course complements the following 'Lichen Identification' course. Book both courses together to receive a 15% discount on fees.

12/05/2018   An introduction to Minerals   1 Day

Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Our world is built from minerals. Come to this Study Day to learn about their occurrence, structure and beauty. Some are mixed together to form rocks whilst many are economically valuable. During the day you will be able to handle and identify mineral specimens.

12/05/2018   Limestone Woodland Flowers of Llynclys   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

Llynclys Common nature reserve is one of the richest botanical sites in Shropshire. The reserve, managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust consists of a series of former limestone quarries and a large common.

12/05/2018   Trees and Bees at Bushy Park   1 Day at FSC London, Field Studies Council.

A wonderful opportunity to learn about the trees and pollinators at Bushy Park. We will attempt to identify and list all the tree types by gathering foliage, seeds, cones and taking diagnostic photos. We will simultaneously try to identify and list all the species of pollinators flying in May, examine what blossoms and other flowers they prefer and where they might be breeding.

12/05/2018   Introduction to Grasses   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

Grasses for many people are dishearteningly similar and difficult to tell apart. This course will help lay solid foundations enabling the individual to understand terminology commonly used in guidebooks though it will focus on identifying species in their vegetative state - commonly required for year-round recognition.

12/05/2018   Mosses and Liverworts: Introducing Bryophytes   1 Day

FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

A course for people who would like either an introduction to mosses and liverworts, or a refresher in the features useful for identification. A range of species exhibiting particular characteristics will be examined under microscopes to demonstrate what to look for when we go out into the forest.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

12/05/2018   Introduction to the Wild Flowers of Sussex    1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-12-introduction-to-the-wild-flowers-of-sussex-120518

The course will start with an indoor session introducing us to the wild flowers of the county and their identification. After lunch we will walk around the Woods Mill reserve and search for spring flowers around the meadows, woods and pond. Learn how to identify them as well as their medicinal uses and associated folklore. Discount for members.

13/05/2018   Lichen Identification   6 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

This course will focus on understanding the most important characters for identifying lichens, so that participants can gain confidence in using keys and identification guides. Excursions will include local walks and day trips out to more distant sites characterised by different habitats and lichen communities. This course complements and can be linked with Introduction to Lichens which runs immediately before it. Book both courses together to receive a 15% discount on course fees.

15/05/2018   Identification of Woodland Plants   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

A course visiting a fantastic woodland site, with a rich and diverse ground flora full of ancient woodland indicator species (AWIs). Previous courses have seen over 20 AWIs (including Town Hall Clock and Herb Paris) as well as many other interesting plants.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

17/05/2018   Phase 1 habitat survey   1 Day

9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk http://www.richardgreenecology.co.uk/training/

This part classroom, part field work course will show you how to use the JNCC Phase 1 habitat codes to identify a range of habitats and provide the skills to carry out a phase habitat 1 survey. You will be shown a range of techniques to create habitat maps. Professional mapping training is provided on our QGIS course on 27 March 2018.

18/05/2018   Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families   3 Day

FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

By close examination and gaining an understanding of the floral structure of the major flower families that make up over three quarters of our British flora, you will gain huge strides forward in your confidence and competence as a budding field botanist. For those who begin to take more than a passing interest in our wild flowers, the seemingly infinite variety of colours and designs soon becomes an overwhelming obstacle.

18/05/2018   The Magic of Trees: A Closer Look at Trees in the British Landscape   3 Day

FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course will look at a variety of different species from native broad leafed trees, conifers, evergreens, early introductions to ornamentals and veteran trees. The course will help you to better understand and identify trees. It will include a mixture of classroom based sessions and field trips to the local area as well sessions on tree folklore and trees in literature and history.

18/05/2018   Botanical Illustration   3 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-18-botanical-illustration-three-day-course-18-19-200518

This classroom based course is for a mixed ability group, tailored for individual needs. After a drawing exercise, plant material is selected, measured, drawn and painted in detail. Discount for members.

18/05/2018   Hedgerow survey & species identification   1 Day

9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk http://www.richardgreenecology.co.uk/training/

This course will show you how to survey and evaluate hedgerows in accordance with the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 and UK Hedgerows Biodiversity Action Plan. In addition, the course will include the identification of common species needed in the assessment. This course will be part classroom and part field based.

19/05/2018   How to Use Plant Identification Keys   1 Day at FSC London, Field Studies Council.

Do you feel embarrassed when you use picture guides to identify wild plants? Don't, they are really useful! However, to get the most out of botanising, learning how to use keys is an essential tool. This course will take the fear out of 'keying out'.

19/05/2018   Introduction to Broad-Leaved Trees   1 Day at FSC London, Field Studies Council.

Trees form an imposing and ecologically important part of the landscape of the British Isles: but they are much more interesting if we know their names! During this course in Bushy Park, we will look at features such as leaves, bark, flowers and fruits which can be used to identify the more common species throughout the summer months. Course fee includ FSC fold out chart: Tree Name Trail

19/05/2018   Introducing Lichens   1 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

20/05/2018   Introduction to Orchids    1 Day

Tyland Barn and visits to sites in Mid Kent, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

What do you know about wild orchids: their life cycles, how they are pollinated, relationships with fungi, where to find them, and how to identify them? Discover all this and more on this course, which includes field visits to orchid sites in mid Kent

22/05/2018   QTRA Training   2 Day

Bath, Quantified Tree Risk Assessment Ltd. Contact: 01625 618999 admin@qtra.co.uk http://www.qtra.co.uk/

25/05/2018   Discovering the Flora of Chalk Grasslands and Woodlands   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

Suitable for both beginners and more advanced botanists, this course provides an opportunity to study the exceptionally rich downland flora of Box Hill. This will enable us to become familiar with the identification and natural history of a wide range of chalk plants, including less familiar groups and some of the rarer species that are a speciality of the area.

25/05/2018   Mountain Plants of North Wales   2 Day at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council.

A fascinating introduction to the ecology of some of Britain's rarest and most ancient plant communities. Arctic alpines now survive in just a few shady upland refuges such as the spectacular mountains of Snowdonia. Suitable for beginners or experienced botanists.

25/05/2018   Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families   3 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. This course is for anyone with a recent or renewed interest in wild flowers, who would like to learn how to identify them correctly. By close examination and gaining an understanding of floral structure of the major flower families that make up over three quarters of our British flora, you will gain huge strides forward in your confidence and competence as a budding field botanist.

25/05/2018   Identifying Woodland Plants   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course is for botanists wishing to hone their skills in woodland plant identification concentrating, not just on trees and the more colourful woodland herbs, but also on the traditionally difficult groups such as woodland grasses, sedges and ferns as well as providing an introduction to mosses and liverworts.

25/05/2018   Big Tree Country: Introduction to Tree Identification   2 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

This course involves good, long walks through stunning scenery to meet many of the remarkable broad-leaved and conifer species which makes Perthshire 'Big Tree Country'. The course complements the following 'Tree Identification for Improvers' course. This course complements and can be combined with Tree Identification for Improvers which follows immediately afterwards. Book both courses together to receive a 15% discount on fees.#For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

25/05/2018   An introduction to Ferns    1 Day

Quarry Wood, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Discover how to recognise ferns of woodlands using leaf shapes and other distinctive features.

26/05/2018   Urban Wild Plants   1 Day

FSC London, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Wild plants in urban areas are often very different to their counterparts in the countryside. This course will explore these differences, in particular the diversity of non-natives in urban habitats often exceeds that of natives - participants will be introduced to non-natives of the London area that they are less likely to experience elsewhere in the UK.

26/05/2018   The Mountain Environment   1 Day

Snowdonia, Wales, Natures Work. Contact: 07816 727414 info@natureswork.co.uk http://www.natureswork.co.uk/training-courses/course-calendar-2017/

We take a look at the mountain environment from its geological history to its vegetation and human influences upon the landscape. Identify general characteristics of rock types, habitats and take a closer look at the wildlife which inhabit this environment. A notebook, pencil and camera would be useful to bring along.

26/05/2018   An Introduction to Herbal Medicine   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-05-26-an-introduction-to-herbal-medicine-260518

This course will offer an introduction to our native herbs and how humans have used, and still use them, and how our well-being can be enhanced by connection to the natural world. The course will consist of an indoor introduction to herbal medicine followed by an outdoor session where we will look for herbs and learn to prepare a simple herbal remedy. Discount for members.

27/05/2018   Big Tree Country: Tree Identification for Improvers   4 Day

FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course builds confidence and skills in the identification of native, naturalised and exotic tree species found in Perthshire's 'Big Tree Country'. It will also study Spring woodland ground flora communities and woodland ecology, history and management. The course complements the preceding 'Introduction to Tree Identification' course, book both to receive a 15% discount on fees.

27/05/2018   Alpine Flowers   1 Day

Snowdonia, Wales, Natures Work. Contact: 07816 727414 info@natureswork.co.uk http://www.natureswork.co.uk/training-courses/course-calendar-2017/

This course will help you to recognise & identify mountain & alpine flowers. Snowdonia is home to specialised plants more at home in the European Alps & Arctic environments. We look at the adaptations & ecology of these plants & develop your skills & confidence in identifying plants in the field. Bring along a notebook, pencil & camera to help you remember the plants.

28/05/2018   Using a Flora   4 Day

FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

The course will be particularly useful to countryside professionals and is intended for those with some knowledge of botanical terminology; it is designed for anyone who would like to increase their confidence in working with a flora as a means of identifying and getting to know more about our wonderful yet dwindling heritage of wild flowers.

28/05/2018   Glaciation of Snowdonia   1 Day

Wales, Natures Work. Contact: 07816 727414 info@natureswork.co.uk http://www.natureswork.co.uk/training-courses/course-calendar-2017/

We will identify and explain the formation of these features both large and small scale including features of erosion, transportation and deposition. The itinerary on the day will depend upon weather conditions and may include a lowland glacial environment. A notebook, pencil and camera would be useful to bring along.

30/05/2018   Phase 1 Habitat Survey   1 Day

Bristol, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

An introductory level course, relevant to both consultancy and conservation. Our day long course includes: introduction and background to Phase 1 habitat surveys, field experience of identifying and recording habitats, basic identification of dominant plant species and preparation of habitat maps in the classroom.

31/05/2018   Using a Flora   4 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

The use of a botanical flora is an essential skill for anyone with a serious interest in field botany, whether for survey work or simply as a hobby. Naming plants correctly can be difficult. It's a Buttercup, but which Buttercup? A Crane's-bill, but which Crane's-bill? And as for those little white things, the yellow dandelion-like things, and so on.



18/05/2018   Upland Photography   3 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/arts

This course is for keen amateur photographers, or those starting out who want to learn more about how to frame and capture light in the landscape at dawn, dusk and beyond, focusing on the two iconic Shropshire Nature reserves the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones, as well as the valleys between.

20/05/2018   Photography Workshop: Photo Editing   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2018/01/16/photography-workshop-photo-editing?instance=0

Make the most of your pictures by learning how to master Photoshop Elements 14. Spend the morning taking photos in the woods and the afternoon editing them.

Practical Countryside Skills

13/05/2018   Scything for Beginners   1 Day

Assington Mill, Assington, Suffolk, CO10 5LZ, Assington Mill. Contact: 01787 229955 info@assingtonmill.com http://www.assingtonmill.com

Scythes are much more pleasant to use than strimmers, especially the Austrian model that you will be using. Come and spend a day learning how to scythe. £110 inc. home-made lunch

19/05/2018   Dry Stone Walling for Beginners   2 Day

Werneth Low Country Park, Cheshire Branch, Dry Stone Walling Association. Contact: 07415 107120 dswacheshire@gmail.com http://dswacheshire.org.uk/courses.html

The Cheshire Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association offers a 2 day practical course teaching the ancient craft of dry stone walling. Over a weekend, you will learn how to take down a dry stone wall and rebuild it to a good standard.


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

02/05/2018   Aerial Tree Rigging (CS41)   4 Day

Cross Gate Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire HD9 1SL, TKF Training. Contact: 01484 685114 jonny.ripley@tkftraining.co.uk https://tkftraining.co.uk/tree-climbing-training-courses/aerial-tree-rigging-cs41/

The course provides the knowledge and skills required for learners to be assessed for: Level 3 Award in Aerial Tree Rigging.

10/05/2018   Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control   1 Day

Bury St Edmunds, Pest Solution. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk http://www.pestcontroltraining.co/

This course aims to prepare trainees for the Level 2 Award assessment in The Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide (Phostoxin or Talunex) for Vertebrate Control. It is designed for those new to the use of aluminium phosphide or as refresher training to those already using aluminium phosphide without a certificate.

14/05/2018   Basic Electrical Knowledge (UA1)   2 Day by TKF Training https://tkftraining.co.uk/wordpress/events/basic-electrical-knowledge-ua1-14th-15th-may-2018/  Provides candidates with knowledge of the principles of working safely in proximity to overhead and underground utility services, idnetify electrical equipment, electrically categorise trees and understand their responsibilities on site.

14/05/2018   Ground Based Chainsaw Operation (CS30 & CS31)   5 Day by TKF Training

 https://tkftraining.co.uk/chainsaw-training-courses/  This course is for anyone who is required to operate chainsaws for cross cutting and felling small trees. It will provide the knowledge and skills required for learners to be assessed for the regulated qualification: Level 2 Award in Ground Based Chainsaw Operator.

14/05/2018   Off Road Vehicle Operating (4x4)   2 Day by TKF Training

 https://tkftraining.co.uk/chainsaw-training-courses/  Driving a 4x4 vehicle off road requires ability and skill, especially if driving off road is part of your everyday working life. This course covers the key fundamentals of 4x4 vehicle driving. Once the course has been completed and passed you will gain a certificate of training in professional 4x4 off road driving.

14/05/2018   Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1) and Hand Held Applicators on Land or Near Water (PA6A/AW)   2 Day by TKF Training

 https://tkftraining.co.uk/pa1-pa6-training/  This course is essential for all those involved in the storage, handling and application of pesticides and for all those involved in operating and maintaining hydraulic nozzle type knapsack sprayers on land AND to or near water. PA1 & PA6A £446.95 OR PA1 & PA6A+AW £461.95 (inc of VAT)

21/05/2018   Lantra Awards 1 Day Brushcutters/trimmers (Experienced/Refreshers)   1 Day by TKF Training

https://tkftraining.co.uk/wordpress/events/lantra-awards-1-day-brushcutterstrimmers-experienced-users-21st-may-2018/ This integrated Brushcutters/Trimmers training and assessment course has experienced instructors who will make sure that you use the trimmer safely and with confidence, and that you understand the relevant regulations and safety requirements

22/05/2018   Lantra Awards Woodchippers   1 Day by TKF Training 

https://tkftraining.co.uk/wordpress/events/lantra-awards-woodchippers-22nd-may-2018/  Our Woodchippers training course will provide you with the appropriate techniques and safety guidelines to ensure that you are not only confident when using the woodchipper but that you are also aware of relevant health and safety guidelines making sure you stay protected.

TKF courses are held at Cross Gate Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire HD9 1SL. Contact: 01484 685114 jonny.ripley@tkftraining.co.uk


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses


TKF Advanced Grounds Person ELCAS Funded by TKF Training


Advance your career in conservation with our part time MSc in Environmental Conservation at the University of Greenwich, taught one day a week over two years.  Accredited by CIEEM applicants with experience rather than formal qualifications welcomed. Contact Dr Debbie Bartlett for details d.bartlett@greenwich.ac.uk.

Distance learning

Online Botany and its Role in the Ecosystem by Qualiteach Education and Ecology Training       

Ecology Training Course, Ecology of the UK level 3, Ecology Level 2, Marine Mammals level 3 and African Wildlife Conservation level 4 Accredited course all with Animal Biology and Care Ltd       


Training Centre / provider listings

Drumalban - Hill skills and navigation training


Updated provider listings from

ACS Distance Education

Butser Ancient Farm

Cotswolds Rural Skills

Ignite Woodfuel Supply Chain Training

Malvern Coppicing

Snowdonia National Park Study Centre - Plas Tan y Bwlch

Tony Darbyshire Arb Training (Sawpod Ltd)


Send details of your training courses.

Send your training course information today to training@countryside-jobs.com or submit online here.

If you're running professional courses or events and would like details to be included here and in the online Training Directory click here for more information, email your details to us or for further information please contact the CJS Team.


Classified adverts with CJS.

Heritage Arboriculture offers a complete range of tree surgery & tree management, from new semi-mature tree
plantings to 'Veteran Tree Management'. www.heritagearboriculture.co.uk Recommendations are based on sound
Arboricultural techniques and practices. We are qualified, insured and experienced Arborists based in North
Bedfordshire. Please contact: nicki@heritagearboriculture.co.uk or call 01234 720801


Is your organisation an SME or charity?  Do you need help with a short term project, organising an event or some IT/Marketing support to develop your communications or social media campaigns?  If so, you may be eligible to participate in The Open University Work Placement Programme sponsored by Santander Universities. Placements can range from up to two weeks at no cost to the employer to longer placements of up to ten weeks (match-funded between the employer and Santander Universities).  To find out more about this great initiative and/or register an interest, please contact us at:- http://www3.open.ac.uk/forms/employer-expressions-of-interest/ 


Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.

Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund with SNH

BTO grants of max. £200 towards expenses of young volunteers at accredited British/Irish Bird Observatories

Woodland Trust tree giveaway

Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF)

Foundation Scotland

Sussex Lund

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Agri-Environment Climate Scheme

The People’s Health Trust

Transform Foundation

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is offering Stories in Stone grants

The Edinburgh Airport Community Board is looking to support local sport, health and wellbeing, environment and educational initiatives

Perth & Kinross Community Environment Challenge Fund managed by Perth & Kinross Council

Thomson Charitable Trust

The Gannochy Trust

The Robertson Trust

SYHA Hostelling Scotland offers Youth Active Grants

Improving Public Access Fund from Scottish Government

NHS Tayside Community Innovation Fund

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Educational Travel Grants

The Glasgow Airport Flight Path Fund offers community investment in a number of areas including education, the environment and employment

The Travel Grant from Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN)

London Marathon Charitable Trust

See the adverts by Clicking Here

The next edition of CJS Professional will be published on: 12 April

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