Logo: The Conservation Volunteers

CJS Focus on Volunteering

In association with The Conservation Volunteers

Published on 10 February 2020


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Inspiring the Conservation Workforce of the Future

Logo: TCV - The Conservation Volunteers


Inspiring the next generation of conservation volunteers has been something that The Conservation Volunteers have long been passionate about. In today’s environmental climate, providing people with the right skills to protect and preserve the natural environment is more important than ever.

Trainees taking part in practical conservation work (TCV)
Trainees taking part in practical conservation work (TCV)


Traineeships are effectively supporting an increasing number of young people into employment, with 75% of trainees gaining employment, taking up an apprenticeship or going on to further study within the first year of completing the programme.


We believe that training should be at the heart of any organisation that works with young people, providing them with practical and transferable skills that aid them to not only gain employment, but in their day-to-day lives.


The Conservation Volunteers have a long history of providing our volunteers with the opportunities to upskill through a variety of training courses across the UK, enabling people to expand their skill set whilst alleviating the gap in transferable skills that has been identified within the conservation sector.


Through our traineeships, we provide people with individual training plans based on their needs and the skills they wish to gain from the programme, as well as ensuring that the needs of their local environment are considered as well.

5 trainees alongside Amy Styles, WildSkills Team Leader (TCV)
5 trainees alongside Amy Styles, WildSkills Team
Leader (TCV)


Developing skills is of course a vital part of our traineeships, but it is the experience and confidence gained that also positively impacts the trainees when progressing into further training or employment with The Conservation Volunteers and other organisations after the programme is complete.


With over 60 years of experience working to improve and protect the UK’s natural environment, our team of experts are ideally positioned to provide the best possible training opportunities.


One of our award-winning traineeship programmes WildSkills initially launched in Scotland last year with 5 trainees, who have successfully developed their skills and confidence working outdoors, within their communities and in practical conservation.


“From the start the trainees have shown adaptability and resilience. They have turned their hand to a range of tasks, engaged with varying volunteers from different backgrounds and with different abilities. What the trainees excel at is bringing their individuality, their new exciting ideas, and their enthusiasm for The Conservation Volunteers and the work we do,” said Amy Styles, WildSkills Team Leader.


At The Conservation Volunteers, we are pleased to announce that we have successfully secured funding through the generous and continued support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery to launch a new traineeship programme in England this year.

WildSkills Traineeship in Scotland (TCV)
WildSkills Traineeship in Scotland (TCV)


This traineeship will be launched in early 2020 and aims to provide 16 – 29 year olds who face some form of barrier to employment with the skills and opportunities to start a career in the conservation sector.


Participants will be immersed in a wide range of conservation and environmental activities, by shadowing and supporting Senior Project Officers to develop skills in practical conservation, biodiversity and community engagement.


“TCV has a long, proud history of training the future workforce in the sector and I benefitted from similar training many years ago. These traineeships will act as a step on to the ladder for young people who are passionate about people and green spaces and want to embark on a green career, and we’re grateful to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for making the programme possible,” said Darren York, CEO of The Conservation Volunteers.

WildSkills Traineeship in Scotland (TCV)
WildSkills Traineeship in Scotland (TCV)

Our traineeships are open to anyone with a passion to work in the conservation sector. Traditionally, these traineeships see an abundance of applications from graduates of environmental science-based degrees, however all The Conservation Volunteers ask is that you have an interest in the work that we do and a keenness to learn more; no experience necessary.


If you fit the criteria for our new traineeship and are keen to pursue a career in the conservation sector, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@TCVtweets) to keep up to date with announcements in the coming months.





Logo: KnockengorrochREF    310-FOCUS-6/3
BE4    Week runs 10 to 20 April 2020
PAY    All meals provided, camping and some caravans
Outdoor activities – work includes  gardening, building, woodworking, sorting, cooking, painting, sewing  at Knockengorroch, a smallholding in the Galloway Hills to improve/prepare the site in readiness for our music festival in May. Practical, enthusiastic and creative people all welcome. Skill sharing and great company are provided. You do not need to attend the whole week. Contact Liz Holmes 01644 460662/07718 358160 Email:

REF    311-FOCUS-26/6
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Ongoing training and travel expenses 
Under The Trees is looking for Education Assistants to help lead outdoor learning sessions for children and young people. This is an exciting opportunity to join our team as we expand our outdoor education activities, nature clubs and events across the Stirling and Falkirk areas.  In return for your volunteer commitment we can provide training and travel expenses, as well as valuable experience working with youth groups in the great outdoors. 5 hours per week. Please contact: Lesley Gardiner

REF    312-FOCUS-6/3
BE4    7/3/20
LOC    PERTH & KINROSS (or within travelling distance)
PAY    Expenses only; relevant seminar fees paid.

Could you be our new Chair or Vice-Chair? Since 2004 the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership has had an independent Chair. We now urgently need a new Hon. Chair and Hon. Vice-Chair who already take an interest in biodiversity issues across Tayside and Scotland as a whole. We are flexible - and happy to discuss any ideas. What’s involved - chairing our Management Team meeting 3 times a year in Perth; helping set us on a new more independent path perhaps as a charitable body; acting as Chair at occasional seminars/meetings (inc. with MSPs, Ministers, etc.); allowing 1-2 hours a week to respond to emails from the Co-ordinator (or occasional meetings). The work is variable and flexible - 3-4 days per month. We would ask for a 3-4 year commitment but this is flexible. We would also consider a new Vice-Chair to shadow the above tasks, thus reducing the Chair’s overall commitments. To apply or propose someone, please contact Catherine:    313-FOCUS-OK8
JOB    RESIDENTIAL VOLUNTEERS – NNRs in the Scottish Highlands
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Accommodation and training
The Scottish Highlands are world renowned for their breath-taking scenery & nature. Residential volunteering opportunities are available now for our National Nature Reserves (NNRs) for committed people who can stay for 1 to 6 months (restricted to max 3 months for EU citizens). Previous experience isn’t necessary but the longer you stay the more you’ll learn & you’ll gain a better understanding of what we do. This is an excellent chance to gain practical work experience, make new friends, & improve your CV.  See our volunteering leaflet: Volunteers should bring an enthusiasm for nature & eagerness to learn new skills as to keep our NNRs in good condition, we need help with a variety of estate work & tasks including working with livestock (Highland cattle & ponies); deer management; fixing paths, woodland management; species & habitat monitoring including butterfly, moth or rare bird counts; welcoming & helping visitors to our reserves, & connect people with nature. Send your initial enquiry to citing Alison Rowe (Beinn Eighe NNR) Linda Simpson (Creag Meagaidh NNR) Lesley Watt (Rum NNR) for further information on the reserve you are interested in.

REF     314-FOCUS-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 & in carrying out physical work outdoors sometimes in poor weather. Willing to work as part of a team. Information from

REF    315-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    In-house training
One day a week. Hopetoun House is a 5-star visitor attraction open to the public from Easter to September. Supported by the Seasonal and Permanent Rangers full training and guidance is ongoing. You could gain experience of: working with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities; planning, managing and evaluating events of all sizes; producing interpretation; delivering formal and informal education; developing practical skills; conducting biological surveys and data input; developing observational and problem solving skills; improving natural history ID skills; working in a small team; managing your own time. There are no public transport links so own transport is essential. Benefits include: discount in our gift shop and “The Stables Kitchen”; complimentary admission to Hopetoun House for you and your family; social club with planned events and outings; meet new people and make new friends. If you’re interested in this role please email

REF    316-FOCUS-17/7
BE4    21/7/2020
PAY    Training and travel expenses
Nature Unlimited run sessions in woodlands across the Scottish Borders, ranging from employability programmes, community projects, mental health sessions to events such as team building & birthday parties.  Join our volunteer team and make a difference.  Help us to support wellbeing, resilience and community, working with disadvantaged groups in woodlands around the Scottish Borders. “The difference volunteering has made to my own wellbeing, as well as to those we support, has been incredible. This experience, along with the training I have received, has literally been life changing”. Time commitment of 5 dpw for a 12 week period. Contact or call Tara on 07579 217794


Logo: Craigtoun Country Park


As a charity, the Friends of Craigtoun rely heavily on volunteers in all areas of the park and, although, we have a great core team, we are always in need of more. We are able to offer a huge variety of activities that potential new volunteers can get involved in: tractor/train driving, supervising attractions, café assistance, gardening, painting, maintenance, fund raising and even face painting! We have several larger projects that will require some project management and lots of hands on work. Whether you are available for regular volunteering or one-off events, we would love to hear from you. Find out more from or look on the website   


Are you an enthusiastic and independent person looking to boost your skills and make a difference through volunteering for the RSPB Scotland? Are you passionate about raising valuable funds for our work to save Scotland's wildlife and habitats? If this sounds like you, get in touch and become part of the volunteering team and service our pin badge boxes, in your local area, in your own time.

We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities available, from recording butterflies to creating and maintaining habitats. Contact us for more information on what's happening in your area -

As a tiny organisation with a large remit we regularly need help with desk-top work which can be done in the comfort of your own home: preparing a bulletin, researching potential projects/events, helping with specific aspects of a project. Contact Catherine at with your interests/skills; check too.

Scotland's Gardens has been working with Garden Openers to open their gardens for charity since 1931. We are currently looking for District Volunteers and Treasurers at various locations across Scotland. If you love gardens and enjoy working as part of a team, we would like to hear from you:

Orca Watch 2020 runs from 23rd May - 31st May in Scotland with Sea Watch Foundation. Support the Sea Watch team collecting data both from the John O’Groats ferry and from the land, to help monitor the abundance of whales and dolphins in the area. Email to find out more. Please put ‘Volunteer Scheme’ in the subject line.

Every Friday 9:30am – 12:30pm. Help support North Ayrshire Ranger Service by taking part in a variety of conservation tasks in Eglinton Country Park and other sites around North Ayrshire. No experience required, tools and training provided. Learn new skills, meet new people and have fun. Contact North Ayrshire Ranger Service on 01294 551776 or email for further information.

Join the Lothians Conservation Volunteers who do practical environmental conservation in Edinburgh and the Lothians nearly every Sunday (and some Saturdays too).   Working for a variety of clients for the benefit of the wildlife, environment and people of Scotland. Free and no previous experience needed. Transport provided and all the tools, training and safety equipment.


Help us keep Scotland beautiful – take part in Spring Clean 2020

Logo: Keep Scotland Beautiful

Heather McLaughlin, Campaigns Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful


The damaging presence of litter, dog fouling and graffiti in our communities is hard to ignore. And it is a problem which our data shows is getting worse in many areas across Scotland.


Of all the environmental challenges we are faced with, removing litter from the equation should be the easiest. We all have it in us to put the rubbish we are finished with in a bin, to take it home and recycle it, or not to use the packaging in the first place. We all have the ability to pick up a piece of discarded waste and dispose of it properly.

Keep Scotland Beautiful
Keep Scotland Beautiful

Channelling the negative experience of being in a littered place into a positive can be difficult. However, our Clean Up Scotland campaign has been working with individuals and partners in communities across Scotland for over ten years to increase pride and make Scotland cleaner for us to enjoy, now and into the future.


Our annual Spring Clean campaign, launching in April, in partnership with the Great British Spring Clean, is creating a focus to spread the message that a litter free environment is beneficial for our well-being, community spirit and environmental sustainability. During April and May charities, businesses, communities, schools and other organisations carry out litter picks in their neighbourhoods and improve the places they care for. Most of these events are open to the public for individuals to get involved with.


In 2019, over 45,000 people across Scotland took action to demonstrate how much they care about our country. Litter picks not only improve the appearance of local areas and help protect our environment and wildlife, they are also a great way to meet like-minded people, improve mental and physical health, spend time outdoors and promote community pride. This spring, we’re calling for people to volunteer their time and to organise or get involved in a clean up.

Keep Scotland Beautiful
Keep Scotland Beautiful


It’s easy to get started! You can organise a litter pick in your community or favourite place as an individual or a community. Here are five litter pick tips to follow:


1. Identify a grot spot that needs ‘cleaning up’. Maybe you have a green space in mind which needs a bit of a spring clean. You may find it helpful to sketch a map of the site, marking identifiable landmarks and useful facilities, as well as proposed litter-picking routes including meeting points, potential hazards and nearest toilets.


2. Get permission to litter pick from the landowner. If you are unsure, begin with the council and they might be able to provide the necessary information. If you know that the area has large or heavy items of litter or flytipping, you should try to avoid these and instead report them to your local authority so they can be removed.


3. Borrow litter-picking equipment. Your council will usually have a stock for community events. When you contact your local authority, ask what recycling options are available in the area and what procedures they would like you to follow. If you’re stuck, we can loan equipment that can be collected from our offices in Stirling.

Volunteers work alongside Scottish Canals to litter pick along the Union Canal (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Volunteers work alongside Scottish Canals to litter pick
along the Union Canal (Keep Scotland Beautiful)


4. Get people involved! Spreading the message to a wider audience can help you engage with the community and hopefully change more people’s littering behaviour. Make sure you promote the event to your networks to encourage people to take part. This can be done through a newspaper ad, your own newsletters, posters in community centres/local shops or through a Facebook event. If you’d rather not make the Clean Up event public and keep it within your organisation or community group, that’s okay too.


Scotland volunteers help keep the National Cycle Network clean with a litter pick as part of Spring Clean 2019 (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Scotland volunteers help keep the National Cycle Network clean with a litter
pick as part of Spring Clean 2019 (Keep Scotland Beautiful)

5. Make your litter pick count. Tell us about your event and post it on the Clean Up Scotland map; this lets us know what events are happening across the country. We then use the data to showcase the breadth of community action across Scotland and demonstrate to politicians, to communities not yet involved, and to the small persistent number of people that still litter, that people do care about the quality of their local spaces and want more done to tackle our littering epidemic.


Our volunteers come from all areas and are of all ages. Many volunteer-led community groups begin organising clean ups before participating in our It’s Your Neighbourhood and Beautiful Scotland initiatives, managed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society. There’s something for everyone; a clean up is just the start of greater things!


Why not make 2020 the year you help make a difference? Get in touch or visit to find out more and we’ll help you to play an important part in keeping Scotland beautiful.



North East:

We need volunteers to help protect the environment and local community from giant hogweed, an invasive non-native plant. Throughout the Tees catchment, our opportunities include maintaining access routes along the river, planting native species, and controlling and mapping giant hogweed. All training is included. Please contact for more details.

Leeds City Council is looking for Cemetery Volunteers regularly in Hunslet or Holbeck Cemetery. Learn skills, meet new friends, keep active. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Bring lunch and wear old clothes. Hunslet cemetery we meet the last Wed of month 10am, Holbeck/Beeston Cemetery we meet first Saturday of the month 10am until 3pm latest finish. Contact

REF    317-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Travel costs covered
An excellent opportunity to spread the word about Northumberland Wildlife Trust in your local community! If you are willing to speak up, comfortable talking to people about wildlife, raising the profile of the Trust and promoting our events and visitor centres, then this is the role for you. Talking to people in your community about us (residents’ association, local groups, your local magazine). Visiting places (doctors, dentists, shops, libraries) and leave magazines or leaflets, put up posters. Representing NWT at local events and gatherings (fetes, allotment shows, sports events). Organising local fundraisers (coffee mornings, challenges and sports events). Leading volunteer teams, e.g. putting leaflets through doors. Visiting local businesses, giving information about corporate membership. Organising visits to schools to do assemblies on climate change and wildlife. Raising our profile on social media by sharing stories. 0.5 / 1 day per week. Contact for my more details or check our website

Logo: Calder Rivers TrustREF    318-FOCUS-27/3
BE4    31/3/20
PAY    Training if needed
As Finance Officer of the Trust you will work with the Board of Trustees to ensure the smooth financial operation of the charity and limited company. While this position would ideally suit someone with previous financial experience and qualifications to NVQ Level 3 and above, those who are not qualified, but have been working in a similar capacity for other not-for-profit organisations may be considered. You must be computer-literate with appropriate skills in Excel, Word and Google Mail. Experience in the use of QuickBooks would be advantageous but training can be provided. You will be expected to attend Board meetings (4-5 per annum) and to report on the current financial situation with the Trust, using appropriate tools such as spreadsheets and QuickBooks. You will also be expected to process invoices and receipts using the current on-line banking software and to assist with the production of the Annual Report. Irregular hours as needed totalling about 1 day per month. Contact David Fisher

REF    319-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Training
Grab your chance to volunteer with the UK's leading practical conservation charity! As a springboard to your career in the environment sector or as personal development, becoming a Volunteer Officer is a unique, highly rewarding experience. Learn practical skills working on conservation projects in and around Leeds. You will be responsible for organising and leading tasks, will gain experience in volunteer co-ordination and project management and have the opportunity to get involved with other projects and events including fundraising, educational activity days, publicity and marketing. Our Volunteer Officers are trained by experienced staff, through our formal training programme which includes: leadership, health & safety, tools, first aid, Midas, and safeguarding. As you will be working with a diverse group of volunteers, training will also be provided in mental health first aid; working with people with learning disabilities, and equality & diversity. Visit to find opportunities in your local area.

Logo: Don Catchment Rivers TrustREF    320-FOCUS-OK8
JOB    DCRT VOLUNTEER (catchment, education/events and citizen science)
BE4    N/A
LOC    Chesterfield, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster
PAY    Expenses and access to free training
The Don Catchment Rivers Trust have a number of volunteering opportunities throughout Chesterfield, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster aimed at engaging the public in river conservation issues. Become a citizen scientist - surveying riverine wildlife; get into a pair of waders and keep our rivers and seas clean on one of our river clean-up days or talk about your passion for waterways at our engagement events or school visits. Visit for more info.

REF    321-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    All training tools & PPE provided.
We run every Tuesday throughout the year. The Nature Force Group is run by the disability charity Open Country's 'Wild about Wakefield' project. The Yorkshire-based charity enable people with disabilities to access the countryside more, mainly through a series of outdoor activities. Every Tuesday we carry out fun conservation tasks with adults with learning disabilities across the Wakefield District. We need your help assisting these disabled adults to do tasks such as tree planting, scrub clearing, wildflower planting and more! We are based at Thornes Park near the centre of Wakefield but go out for the full day with minibus provision and a range of hand tools to use. No experience is necessary. Contact Ella, Project Officer, on 07426 716677 for an informal chat or email to find out more!

REF    322-FOCUS-28/2
BE4    2/3/20
PAY    Training and expenses paid
Part time 2 days per week for 6 months plus. TCV in South Yorkshire are growing their education team this spring with the launch of a new project “Outside is Fun”. The project will be working with primary schools near the fantastic network of community woodlands owned by the Land Trust. Varied outdoor learning sessions will be undertaken exploring, discovering and helping to conserve the local environment. This role is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in outdoor education. A comprehensive training package and mentoring will be provided to help guide your development and build skills and confidence. Training includes first aid, project leadership, practical conservation, wildlife ID and bushcraft etc. It would be ideal for anyone who has worked in education, is interested in developing teaching skills or simply wants to share their enthusiasm for the outdoors. Previous experience not essential. Clothing and transport expenses provided. For more information contact:

REF    323-FOCUS-13/3
BE4    13/3/20
LOC    Based at Sedum House, Doncaster (covering South Yorkshire)
PAY    Training equivalent to £1000 and expenses
Help us care for some wonderful community woodlands. TCV, in partnership with the Land Trust, engage local communities in the use and management of 465ha green spaces. You will be joining part of the award-winning team responsible for community engagement helping them to deliver Green Gyms, practical conservation tasks, family bushcraft, guided walks and workshops. These voluntary roles are ideal for anyone wanting to enhance their CV, gain experience in practical conservation, Outdoor learning, leadership, volunteer management and much more. Previous experience not essential. A comprehensive training package and an experienced mentor will be provided including first aid, project leadership etc. to guide you through your journey, to oversee your development and help you build skills and confidence. Roles are flexible and reasonable expenses will be covered. Register your interest at or call 01302 388832.

REF    324-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    0
Coast Care is a partnership between Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Seahouses Development Trust. We are dedicated to the conservation and management of the coastal landscape of the Northumberland Coast AONB and its hinterland by offering volunteering opportunities for residents, visitors, young people and corporate groups. Coast Care has already made such a difference - over 1450 volunteers have given over 25,500 hours across a range of activities to help conserve and enhance the landscape of the coastal plain. We offer volunteering experiences at no cost to residents and visitors. There’s no obligation, all we expect from you is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. It’s a great opportunity to get outside into nature and give back to such a special landscape. If you are interested in practical conservation or wildlife surveying, get in touch at Find out more at

REF    325-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Training budget available
Are you looking to grow your career in the environmental field? If so then we would like to hear from you. The Conservation Volunteers has a history of helping people get a foothold on the conservation and environmental career ladder. We are looking for 2 passionate and motivated people to join our team this Spring. We require people who wish to build up a portfolio of practical skills, people management knowledge and a sound basis to start a career in the environmental field. The placement is flexible but ideally for a minimum of six months with an attendance of 2 days a week. Training budget available linked to commitment. Apply today and start your journey. Find us on Facebook @TCVYork to see the work we undertake. Application requests 01904 414927.



Nature for Health: the Wellbeing Benefits of Volunteering

Logo: Denbighshire County Council

Claudia Smith, Denbighshire Countryside Service, Denbighshire County Council


Denbighshire Countryside Service and Denbighshire Housing have collaborated for the ‘Nature for Health’ project. Originally funded by Natural Resources Wales since its 2018 launch, this 18-month pilot project has been granted a year’s extension with help from Denbighshire Housing and Social Services. Its focus is to improve wellbeing using social prescribing: healthcare professionals and other organisations can refer service users to take part in conservation and healthy lifestyle activities.

Tree planting at Glan Morfa, Rhyl (Claudia Smith)
Tree planting at Glan Morfa, Rhyl (Claudia Smith)


“The project provides on the doorstep opportunities to help people live healthier and more fulfilled lives through improved access to the natural environment” – Emily Reddy, Community Development Coordinator for Denbighshire Housing.

Volunteer trip to the Corwen allotments (Claudia Smith)
Volunteer trip to the Corwen allotments (Claudia Smith)


The Nature for Health team have been working across Denbighshire, involving Nature Reserves managed by Denbighshire Countryside Service. Conservation and walking sessions have been running in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Llangollen and Corwen. As a Ranger based in North Denbighshire, my role is to deliver conservation activities in Rhyl and Prestatyn. Volunteers have been involved in the maintenance of two reserves in particular; Glan Morfa in Rhyl and Coed Y Morfa in Prestatyn, both former landfill sites now transformed into green spaces. In Rhyl, volunteers have been involved in the nationwide ‘Plant!’ project, with 1350 trees planted so far this winter. Volunteers have been involved in viewpoint maintenance, fencing, bench installation, hedgelaying, wildflower habitat creation and Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Spring Clean Cymru’ month. In Prestatyn, we have planted and maintained a 300-metre long hedgerow, in partnership with Keep Wales Tidy’s Long Forest Project, during a number of well-attended sessions. Our volunteers have also been involved in woodland improvements on the site, as well as wildflower planting and nest box building. We have been working closely with Pete Harrison and Steve Ford from the Morfa Gateway Project to transform the site entrance into a welcoming green space, which can be enjoyed by wildlife and people alike!


We have been leading other types of sessions: craft activities are popular with volunteers and are seen as a reward for their hard work! They also encourage participants with mobility difficulties to get involved, and introduce new attendees to volunteering. Our willow-weaving, felting, mosaic and wreath-making sessions were very successful. Volunteer trips have proved very enjoyable, including the north team joining forces with the south team at the Corwen allotments, and a visit to Gronant’s little tern colony. Over the summer, we provided a variety of family activities and fun days, including woodland skills, camp cooking and wildlife talks, engaging local children with nature. Furthermore, our training events have provided volunteers with new skills, including hedgelaying, dry-stone walling and walk leader training.

Mosaic-making at the Phoenix Centre, Rhyl (Katrina Day)
Mosaic-making at the Phoenix Centre, Rhyl (Katrina Day)


Public engagement with the Nature for Health project has continued to grow. The activities bring communities together, and encourage local residents to take pride in their local green spaces. It provides an alternative form of exercise for those who wouldn’t usually use a gym, in an outdoor setting, improving mental and physical wellbeing. Our participants enjoy meeting new people, and the activities act as an ice-breaker for those who find social situations difficult. The social aspects are particularly important for volunteers with disabilities, who enjoy coming together with the community. Additionally, the three-hour Nature for Health sessions have proved a success with those new to volunteering. Many of our volunteers have since gained the confidence to attend our full-day activities. Other volunteers who started attending the healthy walks received training and now lead walks themselves, developing their leadership skills. Volunteers have developed new skills through the activities, which has improved their job prospects.


“I have put my volunteering experience down on my CV and by doing so, it has helped me gain full time employment… I still meet the Nature for Health group on my days off as it’s a great way to keep active and healthy” – Ben Haworth-Booth, Nature for Health volunteer.

Hedge planting in Prestatyn (Claudia Smith)
Hedge planting in Prestatyn (Claudia Smith)


Nature for Health has benefitted our work within the Countryside Service. Many new volunteers started out attending the Nature for Health project, and now regularly volunteer with our general conservation sessions. A number of these volunteers attended our annual hedgelaying competition in December! Contacts within other organisations have been involved in introducing new volunteers to us: we have had referrals from GPs as a way of alleviating mental and physical health issues. New contacts in Working Denbighshire have sent volunteers our way, as well as supported living organisations. The production of promotional films to be shown in GP surgeries has further increased awareness of the project. Social media has been an effective tool: many attendees find out about these sessions through our Facebook page. As a result, our volunteer hours have increased dramatically, and we have been able to develop our work on Countryside sites.


Logo: Natural Resources WalesWe plan to continue with the Nature for Health project over the coming months in the target areas, with the aim of engaging more people in local communities. We hope that the use of nature to promote wellbeing will be picked up by organisations beyond Denbighshire to encourage communities to get involved in their green spaces.

Logo: Denbighshire Housing


Please contact, call 01824 708313, visit or check out the Denbighshire Countryside Service Facebook page for more information on how



North West:

REF    326-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N/A   

The National Communities Resource Centre, based at Trafford Hall in Chester, needs two volunteers. Trafford Hall is a residential training space, located in a 250 year old Georgian house, with eco friendly chalets and a carbon neutral training base, The Stable, as well as 14 acres of organically managed gardens and grounds. Our mission is to help residents and frontline staff in low income communities to tackle serious social problems through community action. We offer residential training to build skills, know how, confidence and motivation to develop small community projects that make a big difference.
Organic Gardening Volunteer    The garden volunteer will help in our organic gardens, assisting the head organic gardener in a variety of tasks. One day a week (flexible).
Office Volunteer    The office volunteer will help with setting up our new office at Trafford Hall and work with our fundraiser to attract sponsors for our work. One day a week (flexible). Please get in touch for more information

REF    327-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    29/2/20

PAY    Training and capped travel expenses

Brockholes Nature Reserve spans 250 acres and is a diverse, public facing reserve in central Lancashire. It supports lakes, wetlands, reedbeds, meadows and woodlands, plus visitor engagement infrastructure such as boardwalks, hides and a floating ‘Visitor Village’. This voluntary internship asks for a significant time commitment of 3 days/week for 6 months but in return offers invaluable training and mentoring from experienced reserve staff, who manage all reserve habitats and features. The role is for someone who already has good baseline experience in practical conservation and for such a person it is typically a stepping stone into a paid career in this competitive field. It is suited to someone energetic, self-motivated and passionate to learn and get stuck in. Good communication skills are important and it is not an ‘entry level’ role, because it expects some familiarity with habitat management. 3 days/week (weekdays) for 6 months. For full role description and to apply, see:

REF    328-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

Our Conservation Volunteers get stuck in with a variety of practical conservation tasks such as path work, fencing, coppicing and wetland work on sites in the Wigan area. Volunteers need to be enthusiastic with a reasonable level of physical fitness.  Full training and supervision by LWT staff. To find out more please email 01772 318374.

REF    329-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

PAY    Training / expenses

Up to 4 hours per week. Myplace works with people who have physical or mental health issues and / or are experiencing long-term unemployment. We aim to empower people, encouraging them to take action, participating in environmental activity that has positive benefits for their own health and mental wellbeing, as well as for their local community. We do this through the delivery of 5 themes of Ecotherapy: Conservation, Growing, Nature Walks, Mindful Environments and Bushcraft. Volunteers are needed to help support our weekly sessions which are delivered across East, West and Central Lancashire for all ages (13+). This role will suit people who are empathetic with good interpersonal skills and are able to work with people from all walks of life. If you would like to make a difference in a person’s life whilst developing new skills and knowledge then get in touch: 01772 872007.

Conservation volunteering in Hardknott Forest, Duddon Valley, Cumbria with Restoring Hardknott Forest. We are restoring a conifer plantation to native oak and birch woodland. We plant native trees and remove invasive non-native conifers. Tools and training in various conservation methods provided. Contact John Hodgson 07866 218781

MNTEV members 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 18 must be accompanied by adult. Contact John at 0151 6779664,

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has lots of opportunities to get involved with our work including practical conservation, assisting with education sessions and visitor engagement.  We’ll help to find the right opportunity for you, please contact Catherine Haddon at 01772 318374 /

Mere Brow Farm is a certified organic permaculture-driven farm growing fruits and nuts on 13.5 acres. We host long term Wwoofers in our purpose built bunkhouse but also welcome day volunteers (individuals or groups) and corporate volunteers. Contact us for more information

We have a varied programme of twice-weekly volunteer task days across the Ribble Catchment to help improve the Ribble and its tributaries for people and wildlife; tree planting, fencing, bank protection, river cleans etc. For dates and details please see email or call 01200 444452.

The Carbon Landscape Project is landscape-scale habitat restoration and community project across Wigan, Warrington and Salford. We work on a variety of habitats including grassland, mossland, wetland and woodland. Activities include: dead-hedging; ditch blocking; surveying; planting; and scrub clearance. No experience required, training provided. Contact: or 01942 2464150.


Teaching fish to swim!

Me volunteering at Batemans (Debs Carter)
Me volunteering at Batemans (Debs Carter)

By Debs Carter


I  briefly worked as a volunteer for Sussex Wildlife Trust on Seaford Head after being made redundant, which inspired me to look towards a new career; the ranger there ran an enthusiastic large group of volunteers, I knew almost immediately this was something I wanted to do.


I had an exuberant love of being outdoors whether coast or countryside which I wanted to turn into something exciting; I had no previous ranger experience but that wasn’t going to stop me.


I have always been a confident person and willing to try anything at least once, what I was advised at Plumpton College was that I had lots of transferrable skills from my past career as a Shore Support for Seismic crews & vessels which was a start!


Yes I had life experience, organisational, management and people skills; I needed now to work on land skills.

Kevan Gibbons and me when I volunteered at Batemans, he’s the ranger there and my mentor (Debs Carter)
Kevan Gibbons and me when I volunteered at Batemans,
he’s the ranger there and my mentor (Debs Carter)


So whilst on a two year countryside management course, to gain this necessary knowledge, I volunteered for the National Trust at Bateman’s at Burwash, working mainly on woodland management with the ranger there.


We also led guided walks together, dealt on a daily basis with the visiting public and took part in team events held there such as Apple day or hay making.


Now that I am a Countryside Ranger for West Sussex County Council, working with volunteers, either individual or groups, my own experience of being on the other side of the fence is invaluable.


Volunteers are made up of a kaleidoscope of people, different ages, personalities, varying knowledge and experience all with a passion for the outdoors, wildlife and enthusiasm. Many will have held careers in countryside management or similar and have a mountain of knowledge to share.


Many who volunteer are also studying for a future career in the countryside; making that step from a volunteer with years of experience to a new role without any experience at being paid to do the job, can be a huge step.


As a volunteer I wanted to soak up knowledge, share the love of the countryside and task at hand with the leading ranger, to be appreciated and feel like I was making a difference and invaluable to the team however large or small and show I had initiative.

Chris Maddox (Debs Carter)
Chris Maddox (Debs Carter)

As a new Ranger I am mindful of all of that, plus that most, if not all will have way more knowledge & experience than me, yet they rely on me to lead, to manage the task in hand, to organise their day and ……oh yes, of course, make the tea!


On days when I have volunteers working with me, I want them to get the best out of their day, they are giving up valuable time and energy to do a fantastic job; to organise a task and delegating a suitable task for an individual is quite complex when you first start. However enthusiastic a volunteer may be, you still have to be mindful of that person’s ability, and their wellbeing is your priority, as is their enjoyment….. no pressure then!


Chris Maddox and me (Debs Carter)
Chris Maddox and me (Debs Carter)

In my previous role I would give company training of health and safety on board vessels to men who had been seamen all their lives, there was nothing in my training they didn’t already know, not dissimilar to teaching fish to swim! So I have always found you get the very best out of people and get accepted ‘into the fold’ by the way you respect and treat others. A smile always goes a long way too, who would want to spend the day with a grumpy ranger!


Most countryside management organisations could not run without the enthusiastic and reliable volunteers.


Paid roles for those looking for a career in countryside management are very few and far between, those lucky enough to secure a role (like myself) realise the importance of this wonderful ‘army’ of individuals willing to work with you and ensure together we take care of all our beautiful landscapes and habitats to the best of our ability. Volunteers are just simply amazing.


Find out more about volunteering with Debs at


Debs is the CMA Representative for East Sussex, why not find out what she gets up to in that role on Instagram @cmaeastsussexrep



Northern Ireland:

REF    330-FOCUS-27/3

BE4    27/3/20

PAY    Training & discounts

We are looking to recruit volunteers for a 6-12 month period for 4/5 days a week. These are great opportunities for people looking to gain or build animal care experience, or willing to get stuck in to outdoor work with animals. We are involved in maintaining and developing exhibits within the site at Castle Espie in order to enhance the visitor experience. This involves caring for our large collection of rare and endangered species of waterfowl from around the world. This is an excellent opportunity to work within an internationally important wetland site, gaining invaluable animal husbandry knowledge and hands on experience, working in the fresh air with friendly, like-minded people. You will be able to become part of the small but friendly grounds team. Training in use of tools, maintenance vehicles, animal care / handling and safe working practices on site. Previous volunteers have gone on to work in animal conservation work around the world. Please contact 01453 891231.

REF    331-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    In-house training and travel expenses if required

As part of our Land, Outdoor and Nature vision you will have the opportunity to help the team carry out a diverse range of activities, making a real difference to Castle Ward and gaining skills and experience through the seasons: Volunteer to assist the Rangers in practical countryside management tasks such as path and boundary maintenance, invasive species control, habitat restoration, forestry work, biodiversity monitoring and general maintenance; Undertake wildlife monitoring across the property to help us quantify the success of our land management strategy; Assist, and potentially lead as you develop new skills, in the organisation, development and delivery of visitor experiences across the property; Welcoming visitors and maintaining good working relationships with tenants and neighbours. You will be guided and mentored by the Castle Ward Ranger Team. Opportunities to volunteer and train across the South Down Property Group. To apply contact Kim Mcmonagle

REF    332-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    In-house training and travel expenses if required

As a volunteer within our Land, Outdoor and Nature vision you will have the opportunity to help the team carry out a diverse range of activities, making a real difference to this part of the Mourne Mountains and gaining new skills and experience through the seasons: providing support for our existing mountain rangers in our exciting Mournes Path Improvement Project; volunteering with contractors and getting involved with the repair and where necessary, replacement of the c5km path on Slieve Donard; welcoming visitors and giving information regarding the project; helping engage with National Trust visitors to ensure they have an exceptional visitor experience & monitoring habitats and undertaking national flora surveys. Training will be provided to enable you to carry out your role safely and confidently. Opportunities for further personal development will be discussed during regular catch-ups. To apply contact Kim Mcmonagle

REF    333-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    In -house training and travel expenses if required

As part of our Land, Outdoor and Nature vision you will have the opportunity to help the team carry out a diverse range of activities, making a real difference to Murlough National Nature Reserve and gaining new skills and experience through the seasons: invasive scrub clearance; flora and fauna surveys; path maintenance; litter clearing; help find more environmentally sustainable ways of working across the property, so that the property achieves its environmental targets; be a friendly face for visitors to the property and answer any questions they may have; become familiar with and then follow the National Trust’s H&S Policy at all times; give any other appropriate assistance as may be reasonably requested. Training will be provided to enable you to carry out your role safely and confidently. Opportunities for further personal or skills development will be discussed during regular catch-ups. To apply contact Kim Mcmonagle



Volunteering can and does make a difference – Wallathon at Reeth, North Yorkshire

Logo: Dry Stone Walling Association


Water can be a dangerous thing, particularly when “armed” with debris. Many CJS readers will be aware of the devastation caused in North Yorkshire during the heavy floods at the end of July 2019. One of the worst hit areas was around Reeth where buildings were damaged, houses and cars destroyed and thousands of metres of dry stone wall simply washed away by the force of the water, which is where the Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) comes in.

Devastation after floods (credit DSWAPL/P Dolphin)
Devastation after floods (credit DSWAPL/P Dolphin)


Following the disaster, the DSWA office was contacted on behalf of its Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to see if there was anything that we as an organisation, and in conjunction with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, could do to help residents and landowners get things back up and running. It will take a huge amount of time before things are “back to normal” but as an initial suggestion a “Wallathon” was put forward. This is a word that was created by our Cumbria branch members a few years ago when they were looking at holding a largescale walling event – the name seems to have stuck and has become synonymous with exactly that sort of large, voluntary project.

The challenge begins (credit DSWAPL/M Kitson)
The challenge begins (credit DSWAPL/M Kitson)


The first thing was to identify a suitable date and get word out to potential volunteers. One of our professional wallers was in close contact with the local farmers and landowners and they soon settled on a date in October, bearing in mind that we were already into September at this point. It is this sort of situation where electronic means of contact really come into their own. DSWA put together a call out for volunteers of all abilities to come along and help rebuild large sections of wall. The project would take place over a weekend and volunteers were asked to advise the DSWA office if they were attending for all or part of the weekend and what level of experience, if any, they had. Details of the Wallathon were put on Facebook and other social media sites and the response was almost overwhelming. Within a very short space of time we had in the region of 100 people from far and wide who had been in touch offering to help one way or another. Knowing the numbers was crucial to ensure that there were sufficient suitable wall sections to rebuild and that the work could be managed in a structured and safe way. Local businesses and residents were also keen to contribute and the provision of refreshments for the volunteers was warmly welcomed.


So it was that on the Saturday morning an army of volunteers had arrived and registered for the Wallathon and all had been issued with high-viz jackets. As names had come in, we had been able to identify those with enough experience in walling and able to act as “team leaders” for the various sections of wall earmarked for repair. Everyone was allocated a section of wall to work on and each team consisted of a mixture of non-wallers, and people with varying levels of experience. It was encouraging to welcome a group of apprentices from the North York Moors National Park who had not long completed a training course in dry stone walling and had successfully achieved the Level 1 qualification in the craft. This was an ideal opportunity for them to put into practice their newly acquired skills.

Work in progress (credit DSWAPL/M Kitson)
Work in progress (credit DSWAPL/M Kitson)


As is often the case with large projects, there is friendly and lively banter established early on between everyone working on the walls and the phrase “you had to be there” rings very true. By the end of the day everyone had more than earned the hot meal that had kindly been prepared for them, washed down with some liquid refreshment. Many of the volunteers were staying locally in the area, ready and willing to continue walling the following day. However, some people were only able to help for one of the days so there was a small influx of new volunteers on the Sunday, where again teams were allocated specific sections of wall and team leaders were on hand to ensure everything ran smoothly. By the end of the weekend a record 225 metres of dry stone wall had been reinstated. It is a truly wonderful sight to witness such a large amount of work being completed in a single project. Not only is this very satisfying to those who have carried out the walling but the positive impact on the local community is not to be under estimated. The area had suffered so much damage that for residents it is almost impossible to imagine things ever being rebuilt or finished off, particularly if farmers and landowners are only able to carry out small amounts of repair in-between other work that has to be done.


Completed section of wall (credit DSWAPL/J Taylor)
Completed section of wall (credit DSWAPL/J Taylor)

The gratitude with which the weekend was received gave everyone a “warm and fuzzy feeling”, so much so that a second Wallathon for Reeth has been arranged for the weekend of 23 – 24 May 2020. Further details will be posted on the DSWA website and Facebook pages but if anyone wishes to get involved please contact the DSWA office on to be added to the mailing list. In that way we can keep people up to date. There were some very kind and favourable comments received by DSWA following the weekend and this quote from two ladies who attended probably sums up the success of the project:

“ …we are just home from Reeth having had a great day and just wanted to say thank you …... I don’t know who provided the morning bacon butties and the lunch but they were very much appreciated. If you could pass on our thanks, that would be great. The friendly advice and camaraderie of everyone there made the day excellent. We’re looking forward to May already.”


If largescale walling projects are perhaps not to your particular taste, the Dry Stone Walling Association does have a network of local branches throughout the country, which you could get involved with as a member of DSWA. Most branches put together a programme of events and activities, including community projects, displays at local shows and social events and you would be assured of a warm welcome. For further information about DSWA in general or how to join, why not visit the website or contact the office on or phone 015395 67953.


Alison Shaw

Dry Stone Walling Association




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.

Do you have a log burner, enjoy the outdoors and want to keep fit? Our voluntary woodland management group carry out work in the Heart of the National Forest. Spend a day in the woods and take home a boot load of logs.

Please help us maintain our gardens at Rosliston Forestry Centre! Drop in Gardening is every Monday 2-4pm Please bring your own gloves if you have them and look forward to some sociable gardening activity 01283 535039.

Join Rosliston Rangers for site management and conservation project volunteer work at Rosliston Forestry Centre DE12 8JX on the second and fourth Tuesday each month. Bring gloves and lunch and wear suitable outdoor clothing. Drinks, tools, training, some fun and job satisfaction all provided. 01283 535039.

Volunteers sought for a work party on 16th February, 10am. The Friends of Bingham Linear Park manage a nature reserve on an old railway line and need to clear scrub etc. Gloves and tools provided. Meet at top of steps by Tithby Road Bridge, Bingham. email

Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire has a number of Friends of Groups and Reserve Work Parties on a number of sites. Work parties are mainly at the weekends. For full details of the opportunities please see the following

Friends of Sharphill Wood have a work party on the 4th Sunday of each month except August (no work party) and December when it is on the 2nd Sunday. We meet at the entrance from Peveril Drive NG2 7AU at 09.45. You can find more information at or facebook

For over 25 years, we’ve been working with public, private, voluntary and community organisations to create the National Forest. We are transforming a landscape scarred by industry from black to green, and creating a woodland culture of passionate people to benefit future generations. For information on volunteering, visit

Burton Conservation Volunteers have been carrying out practical environmental work for 27 years, as a wholly independent, voluntary and highly respected, self-funding organisation. We welcome all ages and abilities, and try where possible to adapt site work to suit. Contact us on Lawrence Oates Chair BCV.

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:; or 0121 5230094.

Practical Conservation Workpartys on the Blithfield Estate (WS15 3DU). Undertake a wide variety of habitat and estate works to our grasslands, woodlands and access trails. Meet alternate Tuesdays 10.30am till 3pm. All training and PPE provided. Email or phone 07393 235461 for a chat.

Knighton Community Woodlands Group has weekly conservation task days (alternating Sundays / Thursdays) in woodlands around Knighton, Welsh Marches (Wales/West Midlands). We come together to learn skills and manage woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members. Tools and training provided. Contact: 01547 520374,,

History Rangers visit and carry out surveys of heritage sites and WW2 pillboxes in the Trent Valley in Staffordshire and Derbyshire; restore, conserve and maintain sites; identify suitable sites for survey and works. Carrying out practical works to restore and conserve sites.  Further details email:

Logo: Lincolnshire Wildlife TrustREF    334-FOCUS-21/2
BE4    21/2/20
PAY    Training & accommodation
March – September 2020, c 25 hrs per week. Join our friendly team and assist in the day-to-day running of the Education & Visitor Centre. The role will include assisting with a busy educational events programme, school visits, in the shop and exhibition area. Gain experience within the sector with a particular focus on environmental education and customer service. Some weekend and evening work required. You receive in-house training, first aid qualification and a wide range of experience in the environmental education sector. You need: enthusiasm to learn and gain hands-on experience in a competitive field; good people / communication skills, approachable personality, team worker; some previous experience of working with children in an environmental setting an advantage but training given. Over 18s only. Subject to 2 references and DBS check. Informal chat: Emma Wilmot, 01652 637055. CV and covering letter to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Far Ings NNR Education and Visitor Centre, Far Ings Road, Barton upon Humber DN18 5RG or

REF    335-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    River survey training and wildlife identification

We're looking for an enthusiastic team to join the River Project Officer to carry out aquatic habitat surveys at several locations across Shropshire (transport from Shrewsbury can be arranged). A programme of dates and locations has been organised for the public to access and attend the sessions for some casual training. We are also looking for volunteers to help set up and host the Magnificent Severn River Festival at Shrewsbury Quarry on 7th June 2020. There may also be other opportunities to help out with other projects within the Rivers Team. Subject knowledge is not essential, all relevant training will be given. Once a month. Contact Jenna Shaw on

REF    336-FOCUS-21/2

BE4    17/2/20 IV wc 2/3/20

PAY    Training provided

This is an exciting new opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed to start a career in UK wildlife conservation. As part of a team of trainees you will assist in reserve management across a variety of habitats including heathlands, woodlands and wetlands. The role will involve habitat management using a variety of tools, installing and repairing reserve infrastructure such as boardwalks and bird hides and supervising volunteers in a variety of tasks. A structured training program is offered with the opportunity to tailor training towards individual aims. Trainees will gain certification in first aid, chainsaw & brush-cutter operation and maintenance. 12 month placement. This is a rolling programme and we are looking for two trainees to start in April and a further two trainees to start in September. For more information contact:

REF    337-FOCUS-27/3

BE4    31/3/20

LOC    Mainly Leicester, Oakham & Hinckley areas also Leics and Rutland
PAY    Training & reasonable travel expenses

Do you enjoy wildlife and being outside? Would you like to inspire the next generation about nature? We are looking for committed and enthusiastic volunteers to support our Education Team to run our activities with children (mainly 5 – 12 year olds) and families. Various volunteer opportunities including: Wildlife Watch monthly Group Leader; Event Helper and Education / Membership Admin Support. 12 month commitment for 1 - 2 days per month average over spring / summer months. Wildlife Watch Leader – Monthly on weekend plus planning time; Event Helper – weekends and school holidays; Admin Support - week days, office hours. What’s in it for you? Gain new skills; meet new people; friendly team; training including first aid and volunteering support. Want to know more? Go to or contact Rachel Ibbotson, Education Officer for info and application form and arrange friendly interview.

REF    338-FOCUS-6/3

BE4    N/A

PAY    0

We are the Wild People exist to help promote people’s relationships with nature, to develop an understanding of our personal place in the natural environment and to explore ways to feel free within it. Wild In The Woodland programme is for young people from the age of 8 to get familiar with and begin to understand the natural environment. The programme is designed around two, two hour sessions on Saturdays each month for 3-6 months. You would be supporting the delivery of this programme assisting the two lead practitioners with the woodland based activities in the local area. Two Saturdays per month for 3-6 months. Find out more from Leo on or 07817 665347.

Logo: Lincolnshire Wildlife TrustREF    339-FOCUS-26/6
BE4    30/6/20
PAY    Training & accommodation
6 month placement from Sept / Oct 2020, c 25 hrs per week. Suitable for someone looking to begin a career in nature conservation. Assist the reserves team in managing the north Lincolnshire reserves including practical habitat management of grassland, wetland, heathland and peatland sites, access maintenance and working with livestock. You need to be capable of using tools and enjoy working outdoors. Good team working skills and self-motivation essential. Driving licence and some experience of practical conservation work an advantage. We provide in-house training, first aid qualification and a wide range of experience in the nature conservation sector. Enthusiasm to learn and gain hands-on experience in a competitive field required. Over 18s only. Subject to 2 references and DBS check. Informal chat: Simon Wellock, 01652 634507. CV and covering letter to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Ness End Farm, Far Ings Road, Baron upon Humber DN18 5RG or

REF    340-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    Knighton area (Powys / Shropshire / Herefordshire border)
PAY    Expenses

Knighton Community Woodlands Group (KCWG) is local people coming together to learn and share woodland skills, and to use those skills for the benefit of wildlife and our members. We are seeking an experienced fundraiser who will use their skills for a few hours each week to help support our development and expansion. Your knowledge of funding sources, and your ability to successfully apply to them, will allow us to provide training and tools to our volunteers, bring woodlands back into management, provide additional volunteering and paid roles, and cover running costs. This opportunity will allow you to work from home and set your own hours. You will be supported by a sociable, experienced and knowledgeable group who have been running for the past 10 years. For more information: 01547 520374

REF    341-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    Knighton area (Powys / Shropshire / Herefordshire border)
PAY    Expenses

Knighton Community Woodlands Group (KCWG) is local people coming together to learn and share woodland skills, and to use those skills for the benefit of wildlife and our members. We are seeking a marketing volunteer whose role will be to help us for a few hours each week to recruit volunteers, promote our training courses and products, and raise and maintain our public profile. This will involve leading our social media presence, maintaining our website, writing and issuing press releases, advertising our volunteering opportunities through local channels and writing our annual newsletter. This opportunity will allow you to work from home and set your own hours. You will be supported by a sociable, experienced and knowledgeable group who have been running for the past 10 years. For more information 01547 520374

REF    342-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    Knighton area (Powys / Shropshire / Herefordshire border)
PAY    Expenses

Knighton Community Woodlands Group (KCWG) is local people coming together to learn and share woodland skills, and to use those skills for the benefit of wildlife and our members. We need to become more financially self-sufficient through sales and so need to establish what the potential local market is for woodland products such as charcoal, bean poles, pea sticks and hedging stakes. We are seeking a volunteer for a few hours each week who will contact local retailers to find out if they would be willing to stock these items and the level of stock that they would require. This opportunity would allow you to work from home and set your own hours. You would need to travel to local vendors as required. You will be supported by a sociable, experienced and knowledgeable group who have been running for the past 10 years. For more information 01547 520374

REF    343-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    All relevant training given e.g. First Aid, DBS Check etc.

We are looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to help deliver our outdoor education sessions for primary school classes. The sessions typically take place on weekdays between 9am and 3pm at Wood Lane Nature Reserve (transport from Shrewsbury can be arranged). Topics covered in these sessions include recycling, rocks & fossils, conservation and wildlife. Subject knowledge is not essential, an ability to engage and inspire young people is much more important. This role offers very flexible hours: the volunteer will be contacted as school bookings are made in order to see if they are available. Find out more from Jenna Shaw at

REF    344-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    All relevant training given e.g. First Aid, DBS Check etc.

We are looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to help facilitate the 'Make Your Weekend Wild' sessions for 11 – 24 year olds. The sessions take place on the first Sunday of every month from 10am until 3pm. The group carry out tasks such as coppicing, hedge laying and wildlife surveys. Subject knowledge is not essential, an ability to engage and inspire young people is much more important. *Transport can be arranged from Shrewsbury if needed. Find out more from Jenna Shaw at

REF    345-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

PAY    Training & travel expenses

Assist Family Mentors to deliver the SSBC Family Mentor programme across Bulwell & Aspley. Volunteers will be supporting families to increase their confidence & ability in group activities such as Active Play, Stay & Play, Songs & Rhymes, Baby Play & Cook & Play. Min 2 hours per week Monday to Saturday. Skills / exp: being a parent & / or grandparent; working with children; being supportive; a good listener; developing relationships. For more information contact

REF    346-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Get fit and get closer to nature

Our volunteer Nature Reserve Wardens act as our eyes on the ground. They walk one of our chosen nature reserves regularly to help us foresee and locate problems. How involved you get is up to you – some people simply walk and report back to us, others carry out light maintenance and surveying too. We are particularly looking for volunteer wardens at Piddlebrook Meadows, near Pershore; Grimley Brick Pits, near Worcester and Pound Green Common, near Bewdley but many of our reserves would benefit from an extra pair of eyes / hands, so if you're interested to know more, get in touch

REF    347-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    Fenn’s, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR, & NNR Base (N Shropshire)
PAY    Travel expenses / training

A great opportunity to assist with the restoration of Britain’s 3rd largest lowland raised peat bog as part of the Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project. The National Nature Reserve is 690ha & straddles the English / Welsh border, 4 miles from Whitchurch, Shropshire & 10 miles from Wrexham. Role is varied & can include 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 experience in the conservation sector. Applicants must be reliable & enthusiastic, have a keen interest in wildlife & conservation and be physically fit & prepared to work outdoors. Apply to Steve Dobbin, Reserve Manager and Volunteer Adviser;, 01948 880362.

REF    348-FOCUS-10/4

BE4    13/4/20

PAY    Meals & tent pitch*

Green & Away is looking for passionate and hardworking individuals to join the summer internship programme across 6 departments: catering, events, hospitality, office management, technical and maintenance, and sustainability and education. Interns are responsible for the daily operation of their departments, including management of a team of volunteers. Successful applicants will work well as part of a team as well as independently, enjoy new challenges and responsibility and have an interest in sustainability, charity work, ecotourism, and outdoor living. You will gain management experience and learn about the challenges involved in sustainable living and environmental education. All internships will start around 15 June 2020 (tbc) and end mid-August. Successful applicants will camp on site for the duration of the placement and will have one or two days off a week depending on workload. *We provide 3 vegetarian meals a day, as well as a space to pitch your tent. For more information, please see:

REF    349-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    29/2/20

LOC    Queenswood Country Park, Nr Leominster, Dinmore Hill, HR6 0PY
PAY    Training & poss expenses

Bring together your passion for wildlife with your skills in working with children and young people. This is a voluntary position giving you the opportunity to put your skills into action and gain more experience of working in outdoor play, outdoor learning and forest school delivery. Activities will include supporting staff and other volunteers in the preparation and delivery of Nature Tots sessions, schools education, Wildlife Watch and other wildlife and sustainability themed events at Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum as well as outreach sessions in the community. Time commitment of 7.5 to 22 hours/week for at least 8 months. Please contact Karen, if you would like to know more or to request an application form. We have lots of other volunteering opportunities so please feel free to get in touch if you are interested.

REF    350-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    All relevant training given e.g. First Aid, DBS Check etc.

We are looking for friendly and enthusiastic people that are able to engage young children and their families to help run our weekly Wildlings group every Wednesday morning during term-time in Shrewsbury. These sessions are for 0-5 year olds to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and exciting area. Activities include mud play, water play, bug hunting and campfire cooking. Find out more from Jenna Shaw at


Olly Buck is currently a Volunteer Ranger with North Norfolk District Council - we asked him some questions

Logo: North Norfolk District Council


CJS advertised the role of Volunteer Ranger last year, you were lucky enough to get the job; we’d like to ask you a few questions about your time as Ranger


Were you specifically looking for this sort of role?


Olly Buck our volunteer ranger who in these pictures is carrying out conservation management on a woodland ride to help create valuable habitat for butterfly species and reptiles.  (North Norfolk District Council)
Olly Buck our volunteer ranger who in these
pictures is carrying out conservation management
on a woodland ride to help create valuable
habitat for butterfly species and reptiles.
(North Norfolk District Council)


How was the application, was there a lot of competition for the post?

The application was fine. I had to submit a CV and Covering Letter. After successfully passing this stage I was invited to an informal interview. There was competition for the post.


How easy has the 12 months been working on a full time (if you are) voluntary basis?

The tasks have been physical (I have definitely got stronger) but the tasks have all been doable and well explained. Nothing too hard but they have definitely tested me.


How easy was it to do without bringing in any money and working full time or was it a part time role you were able to work alongside?

The lack of income is hard but I know the experience is worth it. The hours are also very flexible so I can fit in other things I need to when required. I also get my petrol reimbursed which helps a lot.


What tasks have you been involved in whilst volunteering and has it been as expected? Which have been the best or most enjoyable?

Ride maintenance, strimming, being a banksman, felling with a hand-saw, building an electric fence, supervising volunteer groups and school groups, den building activities, mini-beast catching, helping with summer, Halloween and Christmas events, pond clearing, weekly butterfly survey, annual bat survey, milling planks, building benches, creating hibernaculum, and making signs.


Were these the types of things you were expecting to do?

Yes these were the type of things I was expecting to do. The variety of tasks is very enjoyable. The most enjoyable tasks have been supervising the volunteer groups and carrying out the butterfly surveys.


What training have you received and who paid for it?

I completed a safeguarding and wellbeing course that was paid for by the District Council.


So no practical quals, e.g. strimming or do you already have these?

Not as of yet.


Do you feel like you have contributed in a worthwhile way to the practical countryside management of the site?

Definitely – lots of wildlife conservation.

North Norfolk District Council
North Norfolk District Council


Is there any one thing in particular that you’ve done that you feel really makes a difference?

Opening up the rides and using the cuttings to make habitat piles. Some of the rides were becoming very dark and overgrown. The difference in space and light levels has been huge. Hopefully this will encourage wildflower to grow, help to maintain our rare butterfly species and increase reptile numbers. This spring and summer, I look forward to seeing the result of all the hard work.


What are the most important things you’ve learnt from the experience?

Knowledge of species, how to carry out pruning cuts and how to safely use tools.


Any downsides to the work?

It can be very cold and wet but I don’t mind that too much.


What has been the highlight of your time at Holt Country Park?

Being asked to go to the Green Flag Awards with the team.


Can you give any advice to applicants for future Volunteer Ranger post?
Follow the application instructions carefully. I know some people didn’t get very far because they didn’t read that they had to send in a Covering Letter as well as a CV. You also need a passion for the environment and just be yourself.


The role runs for 2 years so in 2021 The Council may be advertising for a new member. They say “The volunteer ranger post is very important for helping to create opportunities for people trying to get into the conservation wildlife management industry. NNDC aim is to help provide people with experience and training to help obtain their chosen roles. NNDC are supported by the volunteer in helping to carry out important conservation management for providing wildlife habitats and areas of enjoyable woodland and open recreation for visitors.”


Find out more about the Countryside Service at North Norfolk District Council at




Logo: Norfolk Wildlife TrustREF    351-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    Training and expenses
Several opportunities exist for volunteers to help in our busy seasonal visitor centres at Holme Dunes, Hickling Broad & Ranworth Broad, all of which are fabulous locations. You will be the welcoming face of NWT, sharing your enthusiasm, handling money & promoting our work. They are open 7 days a week, so there are a variety of flexible roles to fit into the rotas, incl regular commitments or more occasional cover, with a particular need for weekends & school holidays. We are especially keen to find more volunteers to help out at our Information Centre on Malthouse Staithe, near our Ranworth Broad Visitor Centre, especially on Sundays. For a full role description & to apply visit & send your application forms to

Logo: Norfolk Wildlife TrustREF    352-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    N / A
PAY    Training and expenses
On average 1 day per month. We are looking for friendly, outgoing people who have knowledge of & enthusiasm for wildlife & conservation, have good communication skills & are confident in dealing with people of all ages to raise interest & awareness of Norfolk’s wildlife by showing members of the public / visitors to sites some of Norfolk’s most spectacular wildlife events. These could include great crested grebes’ courtship displays, marsh harriers passing food to each other, swallowtail butterflies emerging, or other wildlife spectacles that you have knowledge of or interest in. To download a role description & application form visit or contact Alan Marchbank 01603 598360.

REF    353-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Training provided

Take part in our Peregrine Winter Roost survey. We know a lot about the breeding habits and patterns of Peregrine falcons through the work of the Peregrine Network, but where do they go in the winter months? Take part in our Winter Roost survey to help us build knowledge about these fascinating birds. We can provide you with a comprehensive pack showing you what you need to do. We also run Watchpoints across the UK where the public can see the birds close up during the breeding season (April – July) and always welcome new volunteers to help the public learn about Peregrines. We have around 30 volunteers for the Peregrine Watchpoint and could usefully have another 15-20 people. The season is longer this year as we have Dippy the Dinosaur on view at the Cathedral and they have asked if we can keep the Watchpoint open from April till October. Half a day a week. For more information about both opportunities please email:

REF    354-FOCUS-OK8

BE4     Ongoing

PAY    In-house training

Join our weekly work parties and help with practical conservation work at our Green Flag Award winning sites in Huntingdon and St Neots. With us, you can gain experience in tool use and habitat management within woodland, grassland and wetland areas, whilst having fun in the great outdoors! We undertake a wide variety of tasks including vegetation clearance, hedgelaying and fence maintenance. You can also get involved with wildlife surveying. We are looking to survey as many different wildlife groups as we can, including insects, birds and fungi. No experience is needed for this, just enthusiasm for learning about wildlife! Plus, if the outdoors isn’t for you, why not help in one of our visitor centres? We are always looking for friendly and enthusiastic people to get involved! Please contact Robyn Staddon at or on 07704 019620 to arrange an informal chat about the opportunities available.


Logo: Hawk and Owl TrustREF    355-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
LOC    Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, North Norfolk
PAY    Training provided for most tasks
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve is currently expanding its size from 45 to almost 200 acres. Set deep in the heart of North Norfolk there are always volunteering opportunities at this lovely site on the banks of the River Wensum, a beautiful and tranquil chalk stream. Our volunteers help in all areas of operation from making nesting boxes, undertaking construction or agricultural work to looking after our Highland cattle and rare breed sheep. For those who prefer an indoor job there are opportunities to greet visitors and or help with administrative work in the office. There really is something for everyone. Keen birdwatchers act as Wardens on the reserve, helping our visitors to make the most of their visit. The extended reserve means we need to increase the number of volunteers who support us, so if you have a few spare hours a week and would like to join the team, please get in touch with Seamus O’Dowd, Volunteer Coordinator on 01328 856788 or email:

REF    356-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Training

We are seeking keen volunteers to joins us at Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service at County Hall. The required tasks vary throughout the year but will include; data collection and collation, GIS mapping, event preparation and attendance, research and helping with various other records centre activities. From half a day per fortnight to one day per week. Find out more from

REF    357-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    2/3/20

LOC    Office base is Melton, Suffolk with site work in Suffolk/north Essex
PAY    0

2 vacancies for 6-month, part-time Volunteer Placements with the Suffolk Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty team. Fantastic opportunities to work across two nationally important landscapes, rich in natural and cultural heritage.  From practical conservation tasks to taking on your own projects, our team are committed to supporting the development of your skills for a career in the environmental sector whilst conserving and enhancing these superb landscapes. If you’re a recent graduate looking to gain some experience or are seeking a career change, apply now to start April 2020. For more information see: and or contact Paula Booth via email: or call 07921 404693.

REF    358-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    0

Suffolk has a network of 106 Roadside Nature Reserves which support rare and unusual plants and fungi, and species rich grasslands unique to Suffolk. This is an exciting opportunity to help conserve these important sites and join a dedicated team of volunteer wardens. The role involves keeping a regular eye on your verge/s and letting us know if anything happens to them, as well as raking the cuttings off once a year, to remove nutrients. We would also welcome contributions to our regular newsletter. Equipment and training will be provided, and you will be supported in your role by the Ecology Team. You will need to live locally to your verge. For more details about the role and to see our interactive map of RNRs: please contact to register your interest.

REF    359-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    29/2/20

PAY    Travel expenses

Rangers love the countryside and being out in the fresh air. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife and stunning landscapes of West Runton, forever, for everyone. The role involves helping the Ranger team with practical work to keep the countryside in great condition. Tasks can include scrub clearance, coppicing & tree felling, survey work and path maintenance. Helping each visitor feel welcome, making suggestions so they have a safe and enjoyable day. Being flexible and adaptable as our Ranger/Estate team work across three sites so location may vary depending on work required. This role will suit you if you enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions and reasonably fit and healthy as most work undertaken is physical. Normally we work every Thursday from September to March, so as not to disturb the wildlife during the nesting/breeding season. For further information and to apply visit:

REF    360-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    29/2/20

PAY    Travel expenses

Rangers love the countryside and being out in the fresh air. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife and stunning landscapes of Sheringham Park, forever, for everyone. The role involves helping the Ranger team with practical work to keep the countryside in great condition. Tasks can include scrub clearance, coppicing & tree felling, survey work and path maintenance. Helping each visitor feel welcome, making suggestions so they have a safe and enjoyable day. Being flexible and adaptable as our Ranger/Estate team work across three sites so location may vary depending on work required. This role will suit you if you enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions and reasonably fit and healthy as most work undertaken is physical. Flexible - 1 day per week Ideally but can do more of less. For further information and to apply visit:

Logo: Norfolk Wildlife TrustREF    361-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    N / A
PAY    Training and expenses
On average one day per month. We are building a team of enthusiastic volunteers with excellent communication skills to represent the Trust at a variety of events throughout Norfolk. You will be supporting NWT and raising awareness of our work by providing friendly face to face contact and distributing information and events leaflets. For more information about this opportunity please visit the webpage where you will be able to download a role description and an application form or contact Alan Marchbank or on 01603 598360.

Conservation Volunteering with Natural England. Practical conservation work in the beautiful Norfolk Broads each Tuesday and Thursday. No experience required, training given. Own transport essential. Call John White 07899 901566.

Friends of Thetford Forest is a voluntary organisation set up to help increase understanding, knowledge and enjoyment of Thetford Forest and to encourage the involvement and support of the community in its development. We have a wide range of outdoor and conservation volunteering opportunities supporting Forestry England and are always looking for new volunteers. Visit: or

Once per month the Portal Woodlands Conservation Group meet to maintain a number of different areas within Portal Woodlands, Martlesham. We carry out tasks such as habitat creation, pruning, path maintenance, tree planting and host a number of events such as bat and glow worm walks within the woods. Further information can be found on or


FSC BioLinks – Structured ID training for biological recording volunteers

Logo: FSC Biolinks


Biological recording is the scientific study of the distribution of living organisms. It involves the collection of biological records that describe the presence, abundance and ecological associations of wildlife. These records provide the evidence that underpins our understanding of nature and are important for evidence-based conservation.

Fly fieldwork 6 (young adult) © Keiron Derek Brown
Fly fieldwork 6 (young adult) © Keiron Derek Brown


In the UK, biological records come from a wide variety of sources such as citizen science, dedicated recording volunteers, professional ecological surveyors and research projects. These records are collated into larger datasets through organisations such as Local Environmental Record Centres and National Recording Schemes & Societies, and may be publicly available for use through the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.


Tens of thousands of volunteer recorders contribute biological records each year[1]. This may be through involvement in focused monitoring projects (such as the RHS Cellar Slug Hunt), taxon-specific recording schemes (such as the Spider Recording Scheme) or recording in general (such as submitting ad hoc records through iRecord and BirdTrack).

Identifying bees © Keiron Derek Brown
Identifying bees © Keiron Derek Brown


In 2011, CIEEM reported that the UK has specialist skills gaps and skill shortages in species identification (especially of invertebrates, fish and lower plants) balanced against the specialist requirements for these taxa[2]. As one of the largest natural history training providers in the UK, the Field Studies Council has been working on addressing these skills gaps through a number of projects that aim to upskill volunteer recorders, including the current FSC BioLinks project.


The FSC BioLinks project highlighted a number of species groups that are data deficient and difficult to-identify[3], and produced a strategy for developing volunteers with the skills necessary to address these knowledge gaps[4].


Over the past 2 years the project has delivered over 240 training courses and events for new and existing biological recorders in South East England and the West Midlands. Each of the events is part of a structured development programme aimed to build knowledge, skill, motivation and confidence in biological recorders (Figure 1 illustrates the ID training pathway developed for soil invertebrates). Another 3 years of training are planned in order to tackle the skill shortages in invertebrate ID skills.

Soil Invertebrate ID Training Pathway (FSC)
Soil Invertebrate ID Training Pathway (FSC)

Figure 1: The Soil Invertebrate ID Training Pathway created by the FSC BioLinks project.

This structured training programme provides the participating volunteers with a range of benefits relevant to their professional development, including:

Worm search © Olga Vinduskova
Worm search © Olga Vinduskova

In return, FSC BioLinks project volunteers have began to give back to the biological recording community through the generation of new biological records and supporting local natural history groups and initiatives. At the beginning of 2019 London Natural History Society gained 6 new county recorders for a range of invertebrate groups. These county recorders have taken on the role of championing their chosen taxa and supporting others within London to go out and record these under-recorded groups. Typical responsibilities include organising field meetings to sites across London to record their groups, collating species records for their chosen group and submitting these to the relevant recording scheme and supporting other volunteer recorders with their identifications. Of the 6 new county recorders in London for 2019, three were volunteers trained on their respective group (true flies, centipedes and harvestmen) through the FSC BioLinks training programme.


Biological recording provides people with a flexible method of volunteering for the biodiversity sector. The work that is undertaken can be done so around work and family commitments, with volunteers able to organise their field recording at times convenient to them and the management/submission of the records undertaken at home. Biological recording also gives volunteers a range of transferable skills relevant to the conservation sector, such as seeking permissions from landowners, managing data and undertaking field work.


Getting involved with biological recording is also very easy, due to the huge range of local natural history groups and national recording schemes that are active in the UK. So why not think about using your spare time to contribute to the growing number of biological records that help us produce the State of Nature report?

Logo: FSC


To find out more about the FSC BioLinks training opportunities for 2020 check out the project website:


To find out more about recording schemes dedicated to specific taxonomic groups check out the Biological Records Centre website:


Keiron Brown

Logo: Heritage Fund

FSC BioLinks Project Manager



[1] Hayhow DB et al. (2019) The State of Nature 2019. The State of Nature partnership.

[2] IEEM (2011). Closing the Gap: Rebuilding ecological skills in the 21st Century. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Chichester.

[3] Brown KD (2017) FSC BioLinks Consultation Report. Field Studies Council.

[4] Brown KD (2018) FSC BioLinks Development Plan For Training Provision. Field Studies Council.



REF    362-FOCUS-1/5

BE4    1/5/20

Marketing Intern for Land Based Project    1 - 2 months. We are looking for someone with marketing skills and good knowledge of social media, to help us develop our land based projects.
Wood Sculptor    1 - 6 months. A sculptor is wanted to design and carve roundwood oak posts - to create pillars for a neolithic longhouse. Both roles: PAY Board and lodging. Contact Fran Blockley or 01686 413857.

REF    363-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Expenses & accommodation available

If you have a passion to help protect our historic landscape and wild places and want to gain practical experience of countryside management at its roots, then join the Rangers in Brecon Beacons and Monmouthshire.  You’ll help our uplands ranger team with maintenance activities across our sites, including repairing footpaths, helping to preserve these special places for future generations. A great opportunity if you have an interest in the great outdoors, are physically active and can embrace the outdoor challenge in all elements. For more information, contact or 01874 625515 and apply by using the link

REF    364-FOCUS-1/5

BE4    1/5/20

Carpenter / Green Wood Worker    3 months. Reconstructing a stone age farming settlement in the uplands of Mid Wales.
Countryside Management Intern    3 months. Balancing production with management for wildlife. In this position you will learn livestock handling as well as grassland and woodland management on our upland organic farm in mid Wales.
Gardener    3 - 9 months. Growing organic vegetables on a Welsh upland farm, outside and in polytunnels. Training given from seed to harvest. All posts: PAY Training, board and lodging. Contact Fran Blockley or 01686 413857.

REF    365-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Travel expenses can be claimed Elan Links is a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure the heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future.
Oral History Transcriber    Making the stories and memories of people who live, work and visit this unique place accessible requires a hard copy of what was said during the oral history as well as the recording.   We need people who can use a word processor (not fast but accurately) to proof read, format and edit recordings to create an accurate record of what was said during interviews.  Training on the easy-to-use Speechmatics system and all necessary equipment is available.   This is an ongoing opportunity over the life of the project (Dec 2020) so it could take up as much or as little time as you can commit whenever you can do it.   
Oral History Recorder    Oral histories are a vital part of this project full of local social and historic interest and you get to meet some fascinating people.  We need to capture the stories and memories of people who love this unique place whether they live or work here, have a family connection or are just visiting.  In order to do this, we need help recording.  This isn’t as scary as it sounds as the equipment is easy to use and you will be fully trained to use it.   Time commitment is flexible and depends on how much you can spare to the project. For more information, contact Stephanie 01597 811527.

REF    366-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Accommodation can be provided

Elan Links is a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure the heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future. One week commitment. The Elan Valley is a special place with a unique landscape, story and history.  Elan Links is a Heritage Lottery funded scheme which aims to secure this heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future. An experienced archivist or curator is required to guide up to four volunteers to accurately document and archive historic and current material relating to the Elan Valley, the building of its dams and its natural and cultural heritage.  Items are scanned and/or photographed and information is input onto a MODES system.  Experience of assessing plans and maps, record books, photographs, objects and artefacts etc. and current museum standards and practices required. A week long residential with paid accommodation and expenses is offered but more flexible arrangements are open for discussion. Contact Stephanie 01597 811527.

REF    367-FOCUS-1/5

BE4    30/4/20

PAY    Expenses & accommodation available

Interested in volunteering for up to 12 months. Are you a newly qualified or existing chainsaw user looking to improve your saw skills? Join us and learn how we manage our woodlands for nature from seed to product as part of an active Woodland team. We work across the Brecon Beacons & Monmouthshire area, from veteran trees to full blown woodland restoration.  Planting, protecting, thinning, felling, milling and producing, you will experience all aspects of woodland work with the opportunity to practice your skills and learn new ones. A great opportunity if you have an interest in trees, are physically active and can embrace the outdoor challenge in all elements. For more information, contact or 01874 625515 and apply by using the link

REF    368-FOCUS-1/5

BE4    N/A

PAY    Expenses & accommodation available

If you have a passion to help protect our historic landscape and wild places and want to gain practical experience of estate maintenance, wildlife monitoring and visitor engagement, join the Brecon Beacons & Monmouthshire team as an immersive volunteer. An opportunity if you have an interest in the great outdoors, are physically active and can embrace the outdoor challenge in all elements. For more information, contact or 01874 625515 and apply by using the link

REF    369-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

PAY    Training & travel expenses

As a Schools Outreach Volunteer you'll be responsible for delivering or supporting outreach sessions in primary schools and nurseries across the city, helping children to discover and learn about the nature in their school grounds. You'll be an essential part of the Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project. Delivered in partnership with Cardiff Council and Buglife, the project aims to inspire and enable children and their families to spend more time, more regularly with nature. We also have Welsh speaking roles available. Ideally one day a fortnight, subject to school bookings. During school hours and school term time. * Full training and uniform will be provided and any travel expenses incurred whilst volunteering will be reimbursed. As this role involves working with children there is a requirement to complete two online Safeguarding training courses and provide referees. For more information: Contact: Community & Volunteer Development Officer, email: Tel: 029 2035 3000.

REF    370-FOCUS-6/3

BE4    ?

PAY    Accommodation can be provided

The Elan Links project, a Heritage Lottery supported scheme, based in the Elan Valley, Rhayader, Powys, Mid Wales is looking for volunteers wanting to get involved with natural heritage surveys. The role will focus on field work and surveying for botanical and upland bird monitoring during spring / summer 2020.  Ideally you will have some skills in this field and are looking to expand your experience/knowledge. We can tailor your activities to suit your expertise. The length of the placement is negotiable, probably up to a week.  We can provide accommodation if required.  If you are interested in becoming involved contact Matt 01597 811527 for more information.

REF    371-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Travel expenses possible

1 day/week. This volunteering opportunity is for the entry of biological records into spreadsheet formats. You will need a good basic knowledge of MS Excel and MS Word. A knowledge of biological nomenclature is helpful. If you are interested in applying for this volunteering position, please email, us at

REF    372-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    0

Becoming a volunteer on the pin badge scheme requires only a few hours every month, with the reward of raising hundreds of pounds for nature conservation in Wales every year. You will be visiting boxes / collection tins in shops and other sites in your local area to collect donations & replenish badges; bank donations, reporting individual box figures and order more badges. Work with the staff contact or Volunteer Area Co-ordinator to maximise funding raised from your boxes. You need to be someone with: an interest in fundraising to save nature; good general knowledge of your local area, especially suitable sites such as shops, cafes, garden centres and tourist attractions; friendly and personable manner; internet and email access. Support will be provided along with copies of our bi-annual volunteer newsletter and regular community fundraising updates. For further information or to discuss this role please call Robert Williams on 02920 353016 or

REF    373-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N  / A

PAY    Training & travel expenses*

As an Event Volunteer you'll be helping to run nature-based activities for families in Cardiff's parks, greenspaces and family-friendly indoor venues, from libraries to community centres. You'll be an essential part of the Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project. Delivered in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council and Buglife, the project aims to inspire and enable more children and families to spend more time, more regularly with nature. Time commitment: at least one event every month. *Full training and uniform will be provided and any travel expenses incurred whilst volunteering will be reimbursed. As this role involves working with children there is a requirement to complete two online Safeguarding training courses and provide referees. For more information: Contact: Community & Volunteer Development Officer, email: Tel: 029 2035 3000.

Butterfly Conservation South Wales branch outdoor activities for volunteers - autumn, winter & early spring. Brown Hairstreak egg surveys in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion & Pembrokeshire. Blackthorn coppicing at Brown Hairstreak sites. Habitat management in the Alun Valley (Vale of Glamorgan) for High Brown Fritillary, manage sites for Brown Hairstreak, Marsh Fritillary, White letter Hairstreak or Drab Looper. 

Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) The Anglesey AONB has regular volunteer days to help protect the special qualities and outstanding landscape of the AONB. Tasks include dry-stone walling, clearing invasive species, footpath maintenance, scrub clearance, beach cleans and tree planting. For more information, contact us 01248 752472,

Could you inspire the next generation of nature lovers and conservationists? We need strong communicators to deliver our curriculum-linked nature-based sessions in primary schools in Cardiff. Ideally able to commit to one day per fortnight during term time. Training provided and expenses reimbursed. Contact

The Shared Earth Trust charity has a 40 acre nature reserve at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Lampeter, Ceredigion. Our project, Cadw Natur Mewn Cof/Keeping Nature in Mind, provides opportunities for volunteering to manage the various habitats on the reserve to improve them for biodiversity. A volunteer group meets twice a month, carrying out various conservation work.

Shared Earth Trust has a gardening volunteer group at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Lampeter, Ceredigion. The group gets involved with growing produce in the greenhouse and vegetable plots. Please contact us for further information.

Wild Ground run regular volunteer sessions on 15 reserves across north east Wales with practical tasks e.g. managing woodlands, grassland & ponds to improve habitats for wildlife. We have sessions 5 days a week at a variety of reserves. Contact Wild Ground on 01978 269568,


Join our friendly, dedicated team of woodland volunteers helping this exciting project to protect and promote Penllergare Valley Woods as an essential historic and recreational space for Swansea. Learn new outdoor practical skills, understand woodland conservation and heritage management, enjoy the great outdoors, get your hands dirty!



REF    374-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Open all year round

LOC    The Depot, Myatt's Fields Park, Cormont Road, London, SE5 9RA
PAY    Personal development plan, training, free online courses

Community gardening is a fun way to exercise and make new friends. It could be a great way to boost your fitness and wellbeing. In fact, gardening has been linked to a reduction in depression and anxiety. Here at Myatt's we provide lots of opportunities for you to volunteer on community gardening projects – around the park and in our fabulous greenhouse. What's more, regular volunteers get free trips to other beautiful green spaces in London. Our Horticultural Manager, Tony Danford, has big ideas for the park. Ideas that will create even more chances for volunteers to develop their skills alongside experts. His master plan involves: increasing wildlife; growing plants that are more resilient to climate change; and growing more edible plants to help the community. 2 - 4 hours per week. Find out more from Rajia Khan on

REF    375-FOCUS-13/3

BE4    14/3/20 IV 17/3/20

PAY    Workshops & on-the-job training

Wildlife For All is an environmental charity with a pioneering approach to conservation. We have beautiful nature reserves in the UK and in South Africa. We also provide important education for adults and young people. Our approach is highly practical and effective, with a "can do" attitude. We encourage our team to be the best they can be, with very positive results. We provide comprehensive ongoing training, which has helped our project successes over many years. Our reserve in South Africa is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by a small team using our unique approach. Conservation experience and qualifications are not necessary. If you care about nature, want to make a real difference, and are willing to learn - that's what counts! For more details about our work, please visit How to apply is explained on our "Interviews" page. We look forward to hearing from you.

REF    376-FOCUS-21/2

BE4    23/2/20

PAY    Training may be offered

Ideally one day a week. At WWT we use resources creatively to maximum effect, looking for new solutions to challenges. In line with our Environmental Statement and 5 year Sustainability Plan, we aim to continuously improve our sustainability and reduce environmental impacts through demonstrable actions across the organisation. We want to deliver key sustainability initiatives on the ground, and we are looking for an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Sustainability Volunteer to help us do this. During 2020/21, we will be introducing an Environmental Management System (EMS) initially at our Slimbridge site and HQ (based at Slimbridge) with the aim of achieving external certification to the Green Dragon standard.  We will then look to roll this EMS out to our other sites across the UK. We are seeking a sustainability volunteer with experience of implementing Environmental Management Systems to support the Head of Sustainability in this task. For more information and to apply, please go to:

REF    377-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Parking, refreshments, training

We are a local group committed to supporting Hampshire Countryside Service in the preservation & conservation of Staunton Country Park, incl. its buildings & other identified sites of interest. The projects that the group gets involved in seek to educate the public about the park’s history & draw attention to the diversity of flora & fauna present in the Park. The Friends of Staunton Country Park group are looking for new members. Duties would include; being available to attend and participate in meetings, taking up volunteer tasks as per availability and interest. There are opportunities to get involved with specific projects of interest to further personal development. Time commitment flexible, ongoing. Email to find out more. 


REF    378-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

PAY    Parking, refreshments, training

This role will work alongside other volunteers and Staunton Country Park Ranger staff to carry out a wide variety of conservation tasks. This is an exciting time for Staunton Country Park, which has been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to restore Staunton’s Regency heritage, enhance community facilities for visitors and to increase our volunteer offer. Dependent on the seasons, conservation tasks could include; clearing overgrowing vegetation over paths or fence lines, installing and maintaining gates, fences, signs and benches, coppicing, scrub management, wildlife surveying / monitoring and keeping the park tidy and litter free.  No specific skills are needed for this role, although, as most of the work is based outdoors, an interest in the countryside and a willingness to volunteer in all weathers is desirable. A basic level of fitness is needed, as conservation tasks require physical activity on uneven terrain. Volunteers must be able to follow instructions and comply with our health and safety procedures. Flexible time commitment. Email to find out more. 

REF    379-FOCUS-6/3

BE4    N / A

PAY    Training & travel expenses

The role is part-time Tues-Thurs every week. We work to improve our parks, ponds, ancient woodland and chalk grassland meadows. You will be working as part of a team to help volunteers engage with and improve their environment and enjoy healthier lifestyles. This role includes: Pre-project planning: risk assessments, site surveys, and liaising with clients; Practical wildlife and green space management: Leading groups of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds to complete conservation tasks; Administration & development: Supporting the day to day running of the project and helping to explore and develop new projects. An enthusiasm for the environment and working with people is our key requirement, however, acceptance is subject to satisfactory DBS clearance at the enhanced level. This opportunity is ideal for anyone wishing to gain the experience vital for working in the environmental and/or community sector. CV with a covering email to Peter Underwood 020 86864993. Contact Peter with any questions.

REF    380-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Training / expenses

Are you able to inspire people about nature? We are looking for people to chat, help and have fun! We want to make Farnham & Hazeley Heath reserves a wonderful place for everyone. Although we do not have a visitors centre we do attend local activities and are looking for people like you who can bring the personal touch to the world of nature and be able to enthuse people about wildlife and the RSPB locally. Your tasks will be varied but will include: assisting with guided walks; helping to set up, run a small event stand and pack away afterwards; chatting to people about our heathland reserves and the work of the RSPB; assisting with creating promotional work; creating information displays.   This is a seasonal role but we tend to be busier during the spring and summer. Time commitment: At least 1 day per month. Contact: Mary Braddock, RSPB, c/o Rural Life Centre, The Reeds, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2DL, 01252 795632, 07714 271024   

REF    381-FOCUS-OK6

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, surveying historic routes & much more. The range of activities are supported by 11 different partners to inspire a new generation to champion & care for the New Forest. Volunteers can give as much time as they would like. No previous exp or quals required, just a desire & passion to learn about, improve & enjoy the New Forest National Park. Contact Richard Austin, for more details.

REF    382-FOCUS-28/3

BE4     31/3/20

LOC    Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre, Colchester CO5 7DN
PAY    0

With a good basic knowledge of wildlife you must feel confident in engaging members of the public from all different backgrounds to foster an understanding and interest of the wildlife on the reserve. You must have an adequate level of fitness as you will need to walk across uneven terrain around the reserve. Whilst walking around the reserve you will also be responsible for ensuring that the site is clear of litter and dealing with any inappropriate activities and referring any issues to the Site Manager as necessary. You must be comfortable with recording your wildlife sightings on our Biological Records website and the sightings board in the visitor centre. Asking for 4 hours weekly. Find out more from Kelly Osborne on or call 01621 862940.

REF    383-FOCUS-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


Friday gardening club at Myatt’s Fields Park. Tucked away behind the Park Depot on Cormont Road you'll find our greenhouse – a hive of growing and greening activity in the heart of Camberwell. You'll be developing skills in gardening and horticulture; growing plants for local groups and greening the park. Fridays, 9.30am-1pm. Contact Volunteer Manager, Rajia

Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey. 160 current volunteers make is possible for Painshill to operate, open and continue the restoration. They are always looking for help in various roles including greeting visitors, stewarding, gardening and administration. Contact: Lucy Ward or 01932 868113.

Volunteer opportunities 4 days per week year round in north/north east Surrey and into south London, with the Lower Mole and Downlands Partnerships, wide variety of volunteer activities including practical conservation tasks, livestock management, habitat monitoring, admin.  Visit our webpages to find out more:

You are invited to join Thames21 to improve the River Brent for wildlife and for people. There will be many opportunities to volunteer which will be open anyone who wants to be part of river enhancement effort or to become a citizen scientist. Organiser: Carolina Pinto 07824 491166,

Want to get outdoors, meet like-minded people and get stuck in with some practical conservation? Come along to one of our volunteering days! We do coppicing, litter picking, removal of invasive species, tree planting and more. We provide light refreshments, as well as all gloves, tools and training.  Contact:

A 43 square mile Regional Park to the west of London, the Colne Valley is a unique, historic and beautiful landscape. Contact us on to join our Friends of the Colne Valley Park group. To find out more about the park please visit our website at

Based in Sussex and looking for countryside management experience? Contact the Steyning Downland Scheme. We manage 165 acres of the South Downs National Park near Steyning, West Sussex for wildlife and public access. Everything we do is through volunteers and there’s space for you. Email us at: More information:

Join one of Bromley's many Friends groups and help us manage the borough's nature reserves. Tasks include hedge laying, tree felling, scrub clearance, fence repairs etc. Range of training opportunities offered through the year with idverde for London Borough of Bromley. Contact Andrew Harby 01689 862815.

We are a Sussex green charity focusing on permaculture education and have weekly opportunities to help out in orchards and at our Permaculture plot, and sometimes need help with courses and events. For more information please check out our list of current opportunities here:

The Brixton Orchard: Come and learn how to maintain a community orchard. Thursdays, 13:00-14:30, fortnightly in winter (Oct - March) and weekly in summer, free. Brixton Orchard, Corner of St Matthews Road & Brixton Hill (across the road from the church), Brixton, London, SW2 1NE. More info at

Pop Brixton: Learn how to grow and care for edibles and ornamentals at this unique urban garden. Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30am weekly, free. Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PQ. More info at

The Jetty, North Greenwich:  Improve your gardening skills and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of growing food & flowers in a unique beautiful riverside location. Thursdays, 10:30 - 12:00, weekly, free. The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0FL. More info at

The National Trust’s Snuff Mill Learning Centre in Morden Hall Park runs educational sessions for local schools and families. We are recruiting for volunteers, including for the weekend role of Learning Parties Assistant, and are looking for leaders for weekday activities. To find out more visit: or email

The Wychwood Project works within the 41 Parishes of West Oxfordshire that historically made up the Wychwood Forest. Come along and take part in a variety of practical conservation and monitoring sessions. Visit to find out more.

Join Hampshire CC, Danebury Hill Fort Volunteers 10.30am-3.30pm, every third Sunday of the month. Tasks include fencing, surveys, scrub management and more. If you would like to help your countryside, be active outdoors or just meet like-minded people then come along and try a session. Tools, gloves and tea/coffee provided. Contact: 01962 860948 or

Volunteer and transform one of the most biodiverse reserves in the country at Chafford Gorges Nature Park. Join our team of volunteers. Meet at RM16 6RW 9:30am-3:30pm Tue-Fri and the first Sunday of every month. Email if you’re interested in lending a hand on work parties or biological recording.

Winter work parties - Brookes Reserve, Braintree, Essex, CM77 8BA with Essex Wildlife Trust covering general woodland maintenance i.e. scrub clearance, habitat generation, pathway maintenance and help with coppicing. The reserve can get very muddy paths during winter, so waterproof footwear is essential in wet weather. Contact: Kelly Osborne,, 01621 862940.

Work parties - Sawbridgeworth Marsh with Essex Wildlife Trust. Could you help preserve Sawbridgeworth Marsh for one of the UK's rarest mammals, the Water Vole? If so, our work parties are looking for extra help. Contact: Kelly Osborne,, 01621 862940.

Work Parties - Langdon Nature Reserve, Basildon, SS16 6EJ for Essex Wildlife Trust involving practical maintenance. Including removal of invasive species, fencing, litter picking, path clearance, pond maintenance, coppicing, hedge laying and more. 9.30am - 3pm, although this schedule can change, please contact the ranger before attending to confirm. Contact: Kelly Osborne,, 01621 862940.

Work Parties - Oliver Road Lagoons, Grays, Essex, RM20 3ED with Essex Wildlife Trust. A 40-hectare site home to a myriad of wildlife species – including the incredibly rare Distinguished jumping spider. The site contains Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA), which has been extremely beneficial for wildlife. 10 am- 4pm every Wednesday. Contact: Kelly Osborne,, 01621 862940.

Come and work on over 30 sites around Oxford City including SSSIs to carry out practical conservation including hedge laying coppicing and wetland management. We meet every Thursday between 09:00 and 13:00. All tools and training provided and we even have tea and biscuits. We welcome all ages and abilities. Carl Whitehead 07801 625245

The Thanet Coast offers free training & support for volunteer 'Coastal Wardens/Guardians' to help look after sections of coastline - monitoring activities, wildlife or joining practical tasks from non-native species control, beach cleans, school trips & educational events like 'Seashore Safaris'. Further information: Email:


South West:

REF    384-FOCUS-24/4

BE4    27/4/20

LOC    Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre and Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre
PAY    Training provided

Up to four days a week for 8 weeks between June and August 2020 - longer placements will be considered. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals to assist at our two popular visitor centres in Weymouth and Portland. You will be involved with supporting the day to day running of marine and terrestrial centres, engaging with and providing information to visitors and assisting with school groups, public events and activities. In addition there will be the opportunity to publicise events, assist with wildlife surveys and work with volunteers. There are also dissertation/thesis opportunities. This unpaid opportunity would suit a student of marine or environmental biology, ecology, conservation or similar with career aspirations in marine / environmental education and awareness. Availability to work occasional weekends is desirable, accommodation essential, own transport is preferable. All roles are subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service DBS check. To apply please email a CV and covering letter to Samantha Dallimore at To discuss this opportunity please phone 01305 206191.

REF    385-FOCUS-3/4

BE4    3/4/20

PAY    Training opportunities provided

This is a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to build their skills and experience in conservation. Durlston Country Park is set in the beautiful countryside of Purbeck. It is a 320 acre National Nature Reserve on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site that contains SSSI calcareous grassland, wildflower meadows, downland and woodland. During the week placement you will work alongside the Rangers and other volunteers on a variety of tasks across the park, including wildlife surveys, visitor engagement and habitat work. Dates are negotiable between May – August for 1 week. For further information or an informal discussion please contact Catherine Carter, 01929 424443

REF    386-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Access to some informal training opportunities

From 1 to 5 days per month. Neroche Woodlanders is a woodland-based social enterprise on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. We provide two types of volunteer opportunity: conservation volunteering, with a friendly group which meets 3 Wednesdays each month, to do woodland management, and work on other local nature reserves; and wellbeing volunteers, helping run our (generally weekly on Tuesdays) woodland sessions for disadvantaged adults. No training required for conservation volunteering (all tools provided) and full training provided for wellbeing volunteering.  Contact for more info.

REF    387-FOCUS-6/3

BE4    N/A

PAY    All training & accommodation

We are looking for an enthusiastic residential volunteer to join our high performing Devon Reserves Team, based at the Exminster Marshes. The Exe Estuary reserves are internationally recognised as important sites for thousands of ducks, geese and waders. You will gain knowledge and experience of managing nature reserves especially wet grassland sites. As a residential volunteer, you will play an integral role in surveying and maintaining the reserves so that they provide the perfect home for nature. You must be enthusiastic, have the ability to work as part of a team and a keen interest in wildlife and conservation. An ability to work outside in all weathers and undertake strenuous manual labour, as work can be physically demanding especially in winter. Minimum age 18 and a driving licence is essential. Commitment of 6 months. Please send CV & covering letter to

REF    388-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    RSPB Arne, Arne Rd, Wareham BH20 5BJ
PAY    Relevant training in machinery and equipment

RSPB Arne is a remarkable reserve, boasting an array of habitats, exciting visitor experience and a plethora of fascinating wildlife species. Famous for its nationally-threatened, lowland heath habitat, Arne is home to species such as: Dartford warbler, nightjar, woodlark, smooth snake, yellow centaury, heath tiger beetle, ladybird spider and many more… As a Volunteer Warden you will be assisting with the day-to-day operations of the warden team, which includes a broad variety of habitat management, equipment maintenance, infrastructure and estates work. There is opportunity to gain specific training in machinery and equipment, to lead tasks and work parties and to learn about conservation priorities across Dorset. This role is ideally suited to those who are physically fit, team players and looking to gain experience in practical conservation. One or more days per week, Monday - Friday. For more information, please contact Laura Shelbourn 07887 625107 or email

REF    389-FOCUS-31/7

BE4    Ongoing

LOC    RSPB West Sedgemoor, near Curry Rival, Langport, TA10 0PH
PAY    Full training will be given

2 days a month minimum November - February. Early and mid-morning. We are looking for friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about sharing wildlife experiences with visitors out on the reserve during guided walks to parts of the reserve, not usually open to the public! You will be a member of the guided walks team, telling visitors the story of RSPB West Sedgemoor and showing walk participants the wildlife spectacle the reserve has to offer, primarily during the winter season from November to February. You will be leading or backing up early and mid-morning guided walks during our Winter Walks programme. For more information:

REF    390-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    0

At Wildwood Escot in Devon, we thrive through generous volunteers donating their time and talents. We have a wide variety of opportunities including regular positions for individual volunteers, college work placements, university internships and special event days more suited to teams. We are looking for enthusiastic and friendly individuals who are happy to be outside in all weather conditions. Volunteers are welcome to apply to help in various areas of Escot within various teams such as the keeper team, education team, maintenance team and gardening team. We also have fantastic opportunities on various projects such as our wetland restoration project, our Anglo Saxon village experience, seasonal events and our gardening for wildlife project. Find out more from Charlotte Mead on

REF    391-FOCUS-28/2

BE4    28/2/20

PAY    Free 3 bedroom flat, bills inclusive

Longmead Community Farm (LCF) welcomes people as resident Volunteer Wardens for short or long periods of time. We currently have a vacancy for wardens or a warden to occupy a three bedroom flat in return for an agreed contribution of work for the community. We are a small rural charity based in Dorset that supports families in crisis. We have a small holding with a small amount of animals and a house and grounds in need of TLC. You can find out about us at We recognise that volunteering benefits the individual as well as LCF and we aim to provide an environment that is inclusive, stimulating, friendly and supportive. We wish to maintain and develop a creative and mutually beneficial relationship between volunteers and LCF, recognising that volunteers are a positive force in describing our work in the wider community. Full or part-time longer term volunteer placement working up to 37 hrs per week. Contact: Sarah Cooper,, 01258 837960.

REF    392-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N / A

PAY    Training

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

REF    393-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. 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 to request a volunteer application pack.

REF    394-FOCUS-OK6

BE4    Ongoing

PAY    0

Working closely with our Entertainments Wardens, our volunteers will provide information about the animals within the Sanctuary, entertaining and educating our guests and making their visit a memorable one! You could be talking to guests about seal rescue, the work we do and our history or assisting with the presentation of the site, every day will be an exciting one. You’ll need to have a genuine interest and love of animals and sea creatures and be comfortable talking about them and answering questions. If you are outgoing, flexible and passionate about education and are happy to work outdoors, or if you enjoy a variety of work, like meeting people, have a friendly, helpful nature, please join our team. Find out more from Bek Trehern on or call 01326 221361.

REF    395-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    Ongoing

LOC     Grand Western Canal Country Park, Tiverton, Devon
PAY    Training may be possible depending on circumstances

The Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve extends for 11 ¼ miles through beautiful Devon countryside, providing excellent habitat and a wildlife-rich corridor. Whilst some wildlife groups (such as wetland birds, dragonflies, butterflies and macrophytes) have been historically well-recorded by a few volunteers, several of these have had to give up in recent years for various reasons and new volunteers are sought to continue collating these records. Many wildlife groups have received very little survey or monitoring attention. The Canal Ranger Service is looking for volunteers who have reasonable ID skills and/or wildlife survey experience to undertake survey and/or monitoring of any wildlife groups. The findings of any survey or monitoring work will inform the ongoing management of the Country Park. Further training and development of skills can be discussed and provided as opportunities arise. Please contact Mark at for more information.

Logo: A Touch of the WildREF    396-FOCUS-OK8
BE4    Ongoing
PAY    0
Would you like to help inspire children about the fabulous nature and wildlife that can be found in Devon and learn outdoor woodland skills at the same time? A Touch of the Wild run exciting activities for all ages at Grammarcombe woods on the edge of Exeter. Volunteers required weekdays & weekends to support our Forest School leaders delivering activities, packed with opportunities to take part and learn valuable woodland skills. Volunteers will need some experience of working with children or feel confident in supporting groups in nature based activities. If you are interested in delivering outdoor learning, have enthusiasm, dedication and excellent communication skills this is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience. In house training will be provided with opportunities to learn Bushcraft, green woodwork, plant ID and many more skills. A love of the great outdoors and own transport is essential! Contact Hannah Standen


Work Party Volunteer – RSPB Garston Wood. Tasks include coppicing, scrub management and fencing works. Suited to those who are willing to carry out light physical work, in all weathers and as part of a team.  Opportunities include developing new skills, learning about site ecology and experiencing wildlife in remarkable settings. For details, please contact

South Dorset Volunteers meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 10 am.  Join the Warden on a practical task and help to manage our South Dorset nature reserves. Booking is essential. For more details or to book please email the South Dorset Warden James Hitchen on

Gain experience in various practical woodland management tasks plus wildlife surveys at Volunteer Conservation Days at Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. Tasks include ride and glade maintenance, caring for planted trees and hedgelaying. Opportunity to take on more responsibility as an Assistant Conservation Volunteer Leader.

Dorset Countryside Volunteers. A charity organising a wide range of weekend tasks throughout Dorset. We help the National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Heritage Coast, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and more. Full details are on the website alternatively contact by text or answer-phone message on 07923 498760, or email

Love exploring south-west England’s woodlands? We are looking for people like you to carry out Rapid Woodland Assessments in the globally rare temperate rainforests of West Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Over 130 surveys have been carried out so far but there is much more to do. Email

We care for the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, offering practical conservation effort and educational events. Join us on the first Saturday each month or on Thursday mornings at Green Gym. Call 07497 006676, search the web or find us on Facebook /threebrooksncg/.

Carymoor is an environmental education and conservation charity that promotes sustainable living and caring for the environment. Our education and conservation programmes are supported by a dedicated team of volunteers and we're always looking for people to join the team. Contact or visit to see the volunteering opportunities on offer.

EuCAN Dorset Mid-week Volunteers go out every Wednesday and work includes hedgelaying, drystone walling, fencing, heathland restoration, habitat management and invasive species on NNRs and SSSIs within Dorset’s AONB, and occasionally just beyond. We fund brushcutter, chainsaw, and other courses where possible. Find out more on 07763 923545

Dorset Wildlife Trust offers a huge range of volunteering opportunities: office work, practical conservation, wildlife surveys, we have a volunteering opportunity for everyone. Volunteering for Dorset Wildlife Trust is an enjoyable and satisfying way of helping Dorset's wildlife.

Work Party Volunteer – RSPB Arne. Tasks include habitat work i.e. cutting and burning gorse and pine. Suited to those who enjoy conducting physical tasks in all weathers and as part of a team. Opportunities include developing new skills, learning about site ecology and experiencing wildlife in remarkable settings. For details, please contact

We are looking for volunteers to help maintain our wildlife garden, grounds and get involved with our survey work at Nettlecombe Court Field Centre on the edge of Exmoor. Volunteer days usually held on the last Friday of each month. To find out more email: or call 01984 640320.

Tamar Community Trust Valley Volunteers, working with Tamar Valley AONB team, carry out a range of tasks including managing trails and the built heritage of the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. There are opportunities to learn new practical skills and put them to use with the weekly outdoor work party.



Logo: Northumberland Wildlife TrustNorthumberland Wildlife Trust Volunteer Position - The Community Ambassador


The community ambassador role was launched by Northumberland Wildlife Trust in 2019, as part of a brand new initiative aimed at recruiting members of the public to become wildlife advocates in their local area. Created as part of the 2020 Heritage Lottery funded project, led by John Gibbon, NWT seeks to expand its brand awareness and bring in new communities to join the wildlife movement. The main aim of the role is to bring in individuals as volunteers who are happy to spread the word about the work of the Wildlife Trust in their local communities and influence others to do their bit for wildlife too.

Margaret Dove Volunteer – Credit Fiona Dryden
Margaret Dove Volunteer – Credit Fiona Dryden


So what does the role involve? An ambassador may simply hand out leaflets or put up posters in shops, community centres, at local group meetings or other locations in their area. This may not seem like a monumental or complex task, but it is incredibly helpful to build our brand awareness and spread the word about our work and activities across a fairly sizeable area - Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside. Other volunteers are happy to give talks to groups, which can be focused on a specific area the Trust manages, or perhaps a general run down of what we get up to. This way, new groups that we simply don’t have the capacity to reach currently, get to learn about our work. We also have a volunteer who is dedicated to our corporate programme. He works closely with John, investigating and trying to make contact with prospective new corporate partners with an aim to get them to support NWT through our membership scheme. We’ve been incredibly lucky to find someone who is very well connected across the corporate sector and he’s already been able to open up a number of discussions which we hope will lead to new, fruitful relationships.


The Community Ambassador role is perfect for someone who is happy talking to people and spending time trying to encourage others to support the Trust in whatever way they can. The emphasis is always on every little thing can help, be it displaying posters for an event or taking a collection box for the till, talking about our work at a local meeting or rallying the village or their place of work together to organise a fundraiser for us. There are so many possibilities!


This is a volunteer role which offers quite an element of freedom. We let the individual go out when they feel comfortable and only take on tasks they want to do. We don’t ask them to do everything, they can do as much or as little as they feel comfortable doing. John remains the main contact back in the office and will provide updates on all our work and communication materials as required.


Some people ask us what skills an ambassador gains throughout the role. We think it offers lots of opportunities for personal development if that’s what somebody is looking for. An obvious benefit is that the role can help build confidence with communication skills and actually is a great way to meet new people in their community. It also helps build an understanding of the work carried out by NWT, and for some it can help purely from a physical perspective, permitting them to be more active. And we hope it’s actually quite fun!

Tony Walton Volunteer – Credit Richard Clarke
Tony Walton Volunteer – Credit Richard Clarke


We have a number of Community Ambassadors already on board and they come from a range of backgrounds. For example, our Corporate Ambassador Tony has been volunteering with us for about 6 months now. He has a wealth of experience from working across the world in numerous charities and happily dedicates his Friday mornings to come into the Gosforth Office and help us. When asked why he chose to volunteer with us, Tony stated “This decision followed my years with Operation Raleigh where I worked in support of the Kakapo reintroduction project on Breaksea Island with the New Zealand Wildlife Service and in Guyana with Diane McTurk’s Giant Otter Conservation project. Those experiences and my local knowledge Northumberland and its business community made a ‘neat fit!’ Working with the NWT Team and in support of our wildlife and habitats is very rewarding.” As you can see, a wealth of experience which is helping us achieve one of our key 2020 project goals.


We also have Dorota, who runs a local stall selling crafted wildlife goods, and primarily works within the city centre area. In response to the same question she said “I had always been passionate about wildlife. I'm an artist and artisan, I frequently hold a stall on local market with my needle felted animals and I talk with people to raise awareness about declining populations and threats to wildlife”. For Darota, being able to chat to people about our work and the issues wildlife is facing really makes a difference. A perfect example of someone helping the Trust and feeling rewarded at the same time.


As you can see, this role is open to people regardless of background. We see people of all different ages, careers and genders who’re united by a common purpose, doing their part for wildlife. It might be a new position that the Trust hasn’t experimented with before, but it is already seeing great results. If you think you would be interested in the role and would like to find out more, feel free to contact John on 0191 2669689 or email We’d be delighted to have you join our 2020 Community Ambassador team. No matter who you’re, everyone can stand up for wildlife!



REF    397-FOCUS-13/3

BE4    15/3/20

PAY    Gain design experience

NewNature Magazine is excited to announce that we are recruiting a Creative Director to join our team. This is a voluntary position that will require a significant time commitment from the applicant, (50 page magazine to be created four times a year), however there is a great flexibility for the applicant as they can set their own schedule. Requirements: Good knowledge of adobe InDesign; Ability to understand copyright laws and photography usage; Experience using google drive; A keen eye for design; Experience using brand guidelines; Interest in wildlife and British nature. Desirable: Some knowledge of adobe Photoshop; Ability to understand copyright laws and photography usage. Benefits: Gain valuable design experience; Working with a small team; Great experience for your CV; Opportunity to contribute content to the magazine. To apply: Send a cover letter outlining your experience, along with a copy of your CV to

REF    398-FOCUS-OK8

BE4     Ongoing

LOC    Various across England, Wales and Northern Ireland*
PAY    Travel expenses

One day a fortnight. Do you remember the thrill of finding your first ladybird? We're looking for volunteers with a real passion for enthusing children about the natural world to play a key part in our Schools Outreach Project.  Following training and with ongoing support you will be given the opportunity to lead structured sessions with classes of children (aged 3-12 years). These workshops are aimed at inspiring children to get close up to what creeps, crawls and flies in their school grounds. Teachers will always be present. The sessions are fun and interactive, allowing plenty of opportunities for first-hand experiences of nature whether it be bug hunting, birdwatching or finding daisies. You’ll enjoy this role if you have bags of enthusiasm, are a great communicator and have a keen interest in wildlife. *We have opportunities in Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Manchester and Belfast.

REF    399-FOCUS-OK8

BE4    N/A

LOC    S Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Cornwall, the Southern Uplands & Wales
PAY    0

Calling all bat lovers in South Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Cornwall, the Southern Uplands and Wales! The Bat Conservation Trust’s UK Bat Care Network has a critical shortage of volunteers to refer callers who find grounded and injured bats to in your areas. Volunteers on our Network save at least 1,500 bats a year and help turn over 60% of negative bat finders into fellow bat lovers. Volunteers from elsewhere in the UK are welcome too! To find out how to get involved in bat care and the benefits of joining the Network, please visit

British Dragonfly Society - Freshwater wetlands are some of the most valuable and threatened ecosystems in the UK, and are home to an abundance of insect life, including dragonflies, many of which are becoming scarce. If you are interested in dragonflies and would like to do your bit for their conservation, we have a range of volunteer opportunities for you to get involved with including recording projects, practical work parties, outreach and communications. There are a variety of roles to suit your experience and availability. With your help we can truly make a difference by protecting and properly managing the wetland habitats our British dragonflies depend on, advancing our understanding of dragonfly ecology through citizen science, and by spreading the word about the importance of dragonflies and their freshwater ecosystems. To find out more please visit the BDS website:

Take part in the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme! UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) aims to establish how insect pollinator populations are changing across Great Britain. Spend 10 minutes in the sunshine doing a Flower-Insect Timed count (FIT count) or volunteer to help with repeated surveys of 1km squares across England, Scotland and Wales

Find projects that match your interests in helping nature. We advertise free opportunities from conservation organisations, and everyone can take part. Projects can be anything from a one-off morning beach clean to a weekly butterfly survey and can be based anywhere in the UK. Head to for more information.

Volunteering opportunities are available in BIAZA member zoos and aquariums across the UK and Ireland. Roles include volunteering with animals and gardens, field conservation, and visitor engagement, inspiring people to conserve the natural world. You can find a full list of opportunities and contact details on our website

Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet like-minded people, enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise - all whilst helping local wildlife. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer for ARC, on our nature reserves and through our regional projects. Visit or for more information.

If you enjoy watching the seasons change, you can become a Nature’s Calendar recorder. You can record 69 species including: trees, shrubs, flowers, insects, birds, amphibians and fungi. The records are used by scientists to investigate how weather and climate change are affecting our wildlife.

Join the Great British Hedgerow survey to health-check our nation’s hedgerows. Each survey takes 20-30 minutes, automatically generates feedback about the health of each hedge, and generates free bespoke management advice. The data adds to a national dataset that helps guide future conservation work. Find out more at

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 at

WWOOF is a network of organic farms, gardens and smallholdings offering food and accommodation in exchange for your help. It is a great way to get your hands dirty and learn new skills by working alongside others. You organise where and when, children are welcome at some farms by arrangement. Further information: Web: International contacts:

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme gathers data on UK wild plants and habitats. Whether new to wild flowers or an experienced botanist, if you are interested in joining thousands of volunteers nationwide to gather evidence of which plants are increasing or declining and the health of our habitats, visit

Interested in moths? The Garden Moth Scheme is a citizen science project devoted to recording moths in our gardens. Moths are vital indicators of biodiversity, the health of our cities and countryside. Join a group of 400+ recorders who have contributed to several peer-reviewed research articles. web: email:

Volunteers are what make Sustrans special. 3,500 across the UK are grounded in communities and make a real difference in their area. From sprucing up the National Cycle Network, to empowering people to walk and cycle, improving wildlife along greenways to inspiring young people in schools to get active.


Changes in volunteering over CJS's 25 years

Logo: CJS

By Kerryn Humphreys, Owner, Editor


In the many years that Countryside Jobs Service (CJS) has been advertising jobs we've seen many changes not least to the voluntary opportunities.

Initially CJS was only published as a paper edition - there was no internet (gasp, horror, I know how did we ever manage?) so space was limited and in other publications very expensive which meant that only the jobs that absolutely had to be advertised appeared in the mainstream, traditional press. Voluntary roles were more usually advertised locally, often by posters on notice boards which would be seen by people visiting the reserve or site and come back to offer a helping hand. Details of longer term placements were circulated through the careers services of schools and colleges. As word spread that CJS offered free advertising many more unpaid vacancies were sent our way. Initially only the full time, long term, (six month or longer) placements but over the years many more roles in many different guises.

So, what changes have we seen in our 25 years (so far and counting!).


More vacancies in general

When people contacted us asking how to get a job in the countryside we used to advise them to see which organisations were in their area and then go to ask (politely) if they needed any help or request a shadow day, which is still good advice. Now many more organisations are advertising their volunteer requirements and recently this has included some private companies offering training in return for 'bodies on the ground'.

Some well-known popular larger organisations like our local National Park, the North York Moors, used to have waiting lists for people to join their volunteer ranger teams, however as budgets are cut and the volume of work required increases more volunteers are needed to ensure these bodies meet their statutory duties and as a direct result there are more countryside and similar roles available.

In the early days volunteering used to be limited to certain organisations. We always used to refer people to BTCV (TCV now) or Groundwork but now virtually all charities have voluntary opportunities and lots have volunteer co-ordinators suggesting they can pay for (or get grants for) a post to recruit and oversee volunteering and community involvement but don't have enough cash to pay for the jobs to be done on a paid post basis - or sometimes that the tasks are short term / limited and change frequently.


Type of work

There's been a change in types of role on offer as well. We see a lot more requirement for administrative support in part-time voluntary roles. Often placement type vacancies include some element of managing social media - which we envisage is making use of the younger volunteers to bring in skills either lacking or not current in existing paid (frequently older) staff.

Environmental Education is a slightly unusual one, risk assessments and health and safety have decreased the child (participant) to adult ratio therefore more responsible adults are needed which has increased the number of roles, however child safeguarding, DBS and similar safety check schemes mean, quite rightly, that organisations need to be sure volunteers are suitable to be working with children or vulnerable adults and consequently organisers are keen to keep already checked volunteers. We have noticed a slight reduction in the numbers of these roles in the last year or two which we think may be down to the DBS requirement, getting your DBS can be time consuming and costly.

There have always been 'odd' jobs advertised, when certain unusual skills are needed on an occasional basis, every year we advertise for canoe safari guides for Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust which involves taking visitors out in canoes and kayaks around the bodies of water to see the waterfowl in their natural habitat. Many sites need photographs for publications, notice boards, press releases and of course social media and frequently now advertise for an occasional photographer, either to document a specific project or to call in occasionally to create a record of the changing seasons; one Wildlife Trust asked for an underwater photographer - now that's a real specialism and a great one to add to your CV.


One really big change we've witnessed is the increase in occasional volunteering either on a regular or one off basis. National Trust properties often need gardeners to help keep them looking spic and span, no experience necessary just a willingness to help and pull up the weeds, or trim the edges. Many places need friendly faces to welcome visitors and guide them around pointing out all the highlights. Sometimes charitable organisations, like RSPB, advertise for people to distribute and check collection boxes. Previously there was no need to advertise other than at the site itself or in their own promotional material.


Changes to volunteer offer

There has been a significant increase in the support offered to people on longer / full time placements to help get paid work and start their careers. Adverts carry more details of training packages offered and more are paying for full certification courses not just in-house training.

Some are quite specific in level of expenses offered (I assume someone's tried it on at some point!). Conversely we are seeing fewer adverts that say "any other tasks that may be requested" I think organisations are having to be more specific, having to create a full job profile, job description and consequently advert. We're not sure if that's to do with H&S, insurance or that volunteers are more 'demanding' probably a combination of all three.


Volunteer numbers

CJS run regular surveys to keep tabs on how things are going, both for us and across the sector in general. The last couple of advertisers surveys have both reported a decrease in number of applicants and a decrease in interest - that goes for paid posts too. There are many possible reasons for this but the most likely are: people can't afford to volunteer, there are more posts so the same numbers are now spread across more vacancies, people are being more picky.


Type of volunteers

There does seem to be a bit more recruitment of retired people - less chance of them moving on perhaps, in the early days all volunteer roles were aimed at those looking to get started in the sector (either graduates or career changers) also a change in slant to things that can be done alongside another job elsewhere - the pay it back / forward, work-life balance perhaps? Microvolunteering is a series of easy tasks that can be done anytime, anywhere, on your own terms, it can involve anything from signing a petition or retweeting a message a few seconds each to helping out with citizen science by reporting sightings (5-10 minutes) or taking an hour to count birds in your garden in activities such as the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. None of these represent a long term commitment beyond completing the task in hand but all add to the wealth of volunteering carried on everyday across the country, in all sectors not just the countryside and wildlife ones. In 1994 microvolunteering had never been dreamt of and there were very few part time roles, what 'time off' was permitted was for DSS interviews or similar.


All in all volunteering has changed hugely over our 25 years, it is still one of the best ways to start a life-time career in the countryside sector and today our volunteers, full time, part time and occasional helping hands are all ever more needed and provide vital support.


To see volunteer opportunities with CJS click through to 




VSO is the world’s leading international development charity that works through volunteers to create a fair world for everyone. Our programmes focus on the areas of health, education and livelihoods. Duration of volunteering placements ranges from 6 months to up to 2 years. VSO covers all travel, medical, and accommodation expenses.

The Alta Verapaz spikethumb frog is one of the most endangered frogs in Central America. Join this expedition to contribute to the conservation of critically endangered amphibians in Guatemala. This expedition offers you the opportunity to get involved with wildlife surveying and practical habitat conservation activities. More info:

Every year populations of endangered sea turtles return to lay their eggs at hatcheries on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Join this expedition to contribute to the conservation of endangered sea turtles, and get involved with releasing hatchlings, looking after eggs, and helping with beach patrols. More info:


DATE    Start January, April, July & October

COST    2 wks: £795, 4 wks: £1395, 6 wks: £1795, 8 wks: £2195, 10 wks: £2495

Our conservation programme is based in the beautiful coastal region of Sainte Luce, surrounded by extremely rare & threatened fragments of littoral (coastal) forest. You will combine hands-on conservation fieldwork on endangered species incl lemurs, reptiles & amphibians, with community initiatives & environmental education. The southern littoral forest in Sainte Luce is one of only three significant areas of this forest type remaining in Madagascar, having been reduced by over 90%. As the forest has both high biodiversity & a heavily reliant local population, the SEED Madagascar Conservation Research Programme works to integrate scientific research with community conservation to build knowledge & capacity for sustainable conservation efforts. Currently research focuses on biodiversity, collecting data about species present, their distribution, density, behaviour & habitats. The data is then used to better manage forests, support the local community & protect the species concerned. Volunteers also run environmental education classes for local children. Find out more or


BE4    Ongoing

PAY    Free accommodation and food

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


BE4    ?

PAY    The intern receives free accommodation and meals

This project is looking for long-term interns to help with the daily feeding and care of many animals, including sloths and macaws. Duties range from providing enrichment for the animals to training new volunteers. Interns are provided with a unique experience and will gain an in-depth understanding of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation work. Interns work 5 days per week from 7am to 3pm. Students seeking to earn credit with their university are welcome. A full project description is provided on the Volunteer Abroad section of our website, including contact details and web address.

REF    F402-FOCUS-13/3

BE4    11/3/20

PAY    Training, free board & lodging   

Help needed for green sea turtle monitoring programme. Research Assistants will be trained in sea turtle monitoring techniques and work under the supervision of field coordinators. Research Assistants are responsible for tagging nesting turtles, collecting biometric data from females, recording nesting activity during track surveys, and other pertinent data collection. Past Research Assistants have gone on to work for conservation organizations, universities and government agencies worldwide. Research Assistants are needed from June to August, 2020 (Group 1) or August to November, 2020 (Group 2). You can view further information and apply directly from the VLA website.


BE4    Year round assistants accepted

PAY    Training*

The placement is for 6 months or longer. The majority of your time will involve working with samango monkeys. You will spend lots of time out in the field, alongside an experienced and passionate team of field biologists, and it’s likely that you’ll be involved in tasks such as: Behavioural observations of habituated primates through full day follows and collection of standardised behavioural and demographic data from our study troops; Experimental titrations of predation risk based on giving-up densities or predator detection experiments using predator models; Habituation of new groups; Phenological transects and vegetation plots to estimate primate food availability; General data entry; Assisting PhD students based at PPP with their data collection as required; Volunteers may also have the opportunity to work on the predator element of the project and engage in camera trapping and community engagement. *in primate behavioural observations, the use of scientific equipment and the possibility of publishing papers.


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

Next edition will feature Environmental Education and Outdoor Activities, published 11 May 2020.


A4 sides this CJS Focus: 40    Adverts: 94        -           Details believed correct but given without prejudice, Ends.