CJS Professional

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

Published on the second Thursday every month

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

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

Featured Charity: Mammal Society

Find out more about our featured charity here.

Including how to join and donate.

CJS Professional: 13 February 2020


Click the headers to browse each section, or click on each item (or the [more] button)





Location (basis / contract details)

Visitor Centre Assistant

Colchester Borough Council

High Woods Country Park (Seasonal role – six-month fixed term contract)

Chesil Beach Tern Project Officer


Chesil Beach, Dorset (Full time. Fixed Term for 5 months)

Assistant Warden

RSPB Scotland

Falkirk (Part time, 18.5 hours per week. Permanent)

Visitor Experience Assistant

RSPB Cymru

Ynys-hir nature reserve, Eglwys Fach, Wales (Part time . Fixed Term – 6 months)

Seasonal Field Surveyors

Ecology Solutions

Offices in Worcestershire, Hertfordshire and Manchester (to start from mid-March or May-June until September / October)

Colne Valley Rivers and Wetlands Officer

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

based at the Trust's offices in St Albans and Denham Country Park, but will be working throughout the Colne Valley. (37.5 hours per week. Fixed term contract until 31 December 2021 (with possible extension).)

Boat Steward / Guide (Western Isles)

Hebridean Adventures

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (March until October)

Countryside Team Member

Johns Associates

Based at our offices in Bradford on Avon, this role is largely site-based across the UK. (Full time, permanent position)

Countryside Team – variable hours workers

Johns Associates

(work is offered on a casual basis)

Seasonal Ecological Survey Assistants

Johns Associates

Office in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire for onward travel to survey sites locally and across adjoining counties. (April – September inclusive)

Campsite Warden (Jerusalem Farm)

Calderdale Council

Jerusalem Farm Local Nature Reserve. (29.5 hours per week, Fixed Term Contract for 25 weeks)

Assistant Forester/Park Maintenance

Wellington Estate

(permanent position)

Seasonal Assistants - Ecology

Brindle & Green

work in Leicestershire, London and Kent. (Commencement - April 2020)

South East Suffolk & Trimley Warden

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Trimley Marshes, Trimley Marshes, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 0UD (Permanent Full time)

North East Suffolk Assistant Warden

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Church Farm Marshes Nature Reserve, Thorington Road, Thorington, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 9JG (Permanent Full time)

Traditional Housekeeper & Handyperson/Estate Worker

BH Sporting Ltd - On behalf of our clients

County Durham. (ideally commence mid March)


Bowland Ecology


Seasonal Field Assistant

West Sutherland Fisheries Trust

based in Scourie (6-month fixed term, 40 hours per week)

Hen Harrier Nest Protection Officers (4 posts)


Lancashire. (Fixed Term for 6 Months, Full time, Hourly paid as and when required)

Landscape Officer

East Sussex County Council

High Weald AONB, East Sussex and Kent border (22.2 to 37 hours per week. Part-time or full-time. Term-time contracts will be considered.)

Assistant Estate Worker

Wokingham Borough Council

based at Dinton Pastures Country Park. (Six Month Fixed Term Contract Full time)

Seasonal Warden - Foulney Island

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Foulney, near Barrow-in-Furness. (The contract will start on 6 April 2020 and run for approximately 16 weeks, depending on the breeding season. 42 hours per week.)

Seasonal Warden - Rockcliffe Marsh

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Rockcliffe Marsh on the Solway Firth. (The contract will start on 6 April 2020 and run for approximately 16 weeks, depending on the breeding season. 42 hours per week.)

Senior Ecologist

Ecosupport Ltd

Lee on the Solent, Hampshire


Ecosupport Ltd

Lee on the Solent, Hampshire

Landscape Operative


Based out of our Weston Super Mare depot (BS24 7TN) (Working hours are full time - 44 hours across Monday - Friday with optional overtime and weekend work in the busy periods.)

Summer Bat Surveyors


based in or near Hampshire and able to travel to our head office near Southampton. (regular basis on weeknights / early mornings during May to September)


Forestry England

The New Forest. (Term Appointment – 12 months initial contract)

Senior Ecologist

FOA Ecology Ltd

based in Surrey

Operations Coordinator (Eastern England)


Eastern Regional Office located just outside of Bury St Edmunds and will involve some travel throughout the region. (20 hours per week, preferably Monday to Friday with the occasional need to work weekends. )

Seasonal Assistant Ecologist

Aven Ecology Ltd

south/south-east of England. (available April-October 2020 (exact start dates flexible and subject to project needs))

Crew / Wildlife Guides (2 roles)

Seafari Adventures (Oban)

based Oban. (Contract starts Tuesday 5th May 2020, completion of contract end September 2020)

Vegetation Management Operative

Ecosupport Ltd

Office base Hampshire. (40 hour week worked 24 / 7 as required)

Ecologist & Seasonal Assistant Ecologists (x2)

Woolley Ecology Ltd

based near Melton Mowbray

(Assistant Ecologist x2 : seasonal, opportunities to become full time may arise. Ecologist: full time)

Freelance, Self-employed and contracts

Own a pioneering award winning outdoor franchise.

The Great Out-tours

Your home County / Country / Area

Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles

Traineeships in Conservation / Environmental Education (2 vacancies)

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

based at Margrove Heritage Centre, TS123BZ. (6 months starting week beginning 6th April 2020)

RHS Level 2 Trailblazer Apprenticeship in Horticulture

Royal Horticultural Society

RHS Gardens: Bridgewater, Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Wisley.(Full time, two years (fixed term) 37.5 hours per week)


Immersive Volunteer Ranger role

National Trust

Black Down Estate, Haslemere, Surrey (c.30 hours per week for a period of 6-12 months (maximum 12 months))



63 adverts for voluntary posts added to the website this month plus another 94 in CJS Focus

National Trust, Black Down Estate has an Immersive Volunteer Ranger role

Based at Black Down Estate, Haslemere, Surrey. c.30 hours per week for a period of 6-12 months (maximum 12 months). Includes free accomodation. [more]

Advertise your voluntary roles with CJS - it's free! Click here.


CJS Focus

Current edition, CJS Focus on Volunteering in association with TCV included in full here

40 pages in total, the lead article is from The Conservation Volunteers on how they are inspiring the conservation workforce of the future via traineeships. Keep Scotland Beautiful will launch Spring Clean 2020 soon, why not get involved. Denbighshire County Council talk about the wellbeing benefits of volunteering. Debs Carter on why the best Volunteer Managers were once volunteers themselves. Volunteering can and does make a difference – as evidenced by the Dry Stone Walling Association organised Wallathon in Reeth. We ask the latest Volunteer Ranger at North Norfolk District Council about his experience of the role. FSC Biolinks are keen to tell us about the project and their ID training for biological recording volunteers. A relatively new role, Community Ambassador with Northumberland Wildlife Trust, has proved a big hit. We round up with the reflections on 25 years of advertising volunteer roles and the changes that have occurred over that time from CJS Editor, Kerryn.

This edition also carries lots of voluntary vacancies and work day opportunities.

View it online here or download a pdf copy.

The next edition will be published on 11 May and is looking at: Environmental Education and Outdoor Activities. We will consider everything from bushcraft to bungee jumping; including a look at the practicalities and benefits of setting up and running your own environmental education programme. [more]


Surveys and Fieldwork

Three new and updated surveys.


Features and In Depth Articles

Awards, Youth Forum and UK wide events – the year that Social Farms & Gardens celebrate their 40th

This year, Social Farms & Gardens are celebrating their 40th anniversary - marking 40 years of farming, gardening and growing together by holding a series of events and activities. [more]

Ribble Rivers Trust launches 10-year campaign to plant half a million trees

Ribble Rivers Trust has launched a decade-long campaign to double the area of woodland across Lancashire to fight climate change, improve air quality and reduce flooding. [more]

Starry, starry nights by Mike Hawtin, Head of Polyhalite Projects and Catriona McLees, Head of Marketing & Communications at North York Moors National Park Authority

A star-filled sky is one of nature's most natural wonders but they’re become harder than ever to experience. Promoting The Yorkshire Dark Skies Festival runs from 14 February to 1 March 2020 at venues across the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, as well as Howardian Hills and Nidderdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.[more]

National Cycle Network – a haven for wildlife

Traffic-free paths on the National Cycle Network benefit over four million people each year. Jim Whiteford, Senior Ecologist at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity and the custodian of the National Cycle Network, highlights the walking and cycling paths on the Network are also an important green corridor for our flora and fauna. [more]

What was the Year of Green Action? a retrospective from defra.

The government’s 25 Year Environment Plan published in 2018 set out its ambition for a healthier, greener future, with action to crack down on plastic waste pollution, create richer wildlife habitats, improve air and water quality, and connect more people with nature.  [more]


CJS Information and other articles

CJS Photography Competition, the February suggested theme is: Green, one of the themes that is open to interpretation. This month the winner will be receive membership to The Orchards Project - the only national charity dedicated entirely to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards. [more]

Photography Competition winners: The January theme was Seasons, which seemed most appropriate for a new year.  As ever we had some fabulous entries and it was lovely on a cold, damp day to be looking at your images of high summer. But it was a winter view that ended up winning this month along some wonderful stormy seas which scooped a runners up place. [more]

Following on from their article last month: We need to talk about Hedgehogs our featured charity The Mammal Society published some very worrying research:  Hedgehog mortality on roads: Mammal charities identify worst areas for hedgehog road deaths [more]



Government Policy and announcements plus reactions

Defra publishes the Environment, Fisheries and Agriculture bills plus reactions


Land and Countryside Management


Funding and new partnerships


Pollution, sustainablity and climate


Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering


Scientific Research, Results and Publications


Animal and wildlife news



Calendar of events and short courses occuring in April.  15 pages

Plus additions to long courses and providers made over the past month.


Grants and sources of funding

Details 8 new and updated listings.


CJS Newsletters and updates:

CJS Weekly: subscription only weekly newsletter. Receive details of all vacancies and information advertised with CJS. Find out more here. Instant access here.

Daily email with details of latest vacancies, news and general information. Sign up free here.


Jobs: view all online jobs here


Logo: Colchester Borough CouncilColchester Borough Council

Visitor Centre Assistant

High Woods Country Park
(Seasonal role – six-month fixed term contract)
Salary range: £17,363 to £20,444 pro rata

Do you have a genuine interest in meeting the public and would like to help them get the most out of their visit to the award-winning High Woods Country Park? The 150 hectare park is owned and managed by Colchester Borough Council. We require an organised, hardworking and reliable person to join the team at our busy Visitor Centre between April and October.

You will work on average a 37-hour week, including alternate weekends and public holidays (a job share would be considered). Your duties will include creating a welcoming atmosphere for all our customers, dealing with enquiries, selling and ordering merchandise and cleaning the premises.

Candidates should have previous experience of providing face-to-face customer services ideally in a public, tourism or retail setting as well as handling cash and merchandise, and administration. An interest in and knowledge about High Woods Country Park is desirable.

For an informal chat about the job please contact the Visitor Centre on (01206) 853588 and ask for Sonya Lindsell.

Please go to to find out more about High Woods Country Park.

To download an application form for this vacancy, visit

Closing date for applications: Wednesday, 19 February 2020.

Interview date: To be confirmed.


Chesil Beach Tern Project Officer

Would you like to play a vital role in conserving one of the UK's special seabird colonies?

Chesil Beach Tern Project Officer
Reference number: A4960220
Location: Chesil Beach, Dorset
Salary starting at: £19,602 to £21,236 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Fixed Term for 5 months

We are looking for an enthusiastic, practical and highly dedicated person with good communication skills and experience of species protection and/or seabird monitoring to look after the growing little tern colony at Chesil Beach in Dorset.

Duties will include overseeing and delivering a range of activities including providing and maintaining fox proof fencing, monitoring tern numbers and breeding success, liaising with partner organisations and talking to members of the public, including giving talks and walks.

A key part of the role is managing a team of dedicated volunteers including many from the local community. We are looking for someone who can start in early April, who can work flexible hours including weekends where necessary and has a full driving licence.

Closing date: 28 February 2020

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, click here to be directed to our website.


Assistant Warden

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join the Forth Reserves team as Assistant Warden.

Assistant Warden
£19,602 to £21,236 per annum
Part time, 18.5 hours per week

The Forth Reserves team covers five reserves across central Scotland, and whether it is helping puffins on Fidra by controlling tree mallow, engaging with visitors at Black Devon Wetlands or monitoring numbers of Taiga Bean Geese (Scotland's only flock!) at Fannyside you will be an integral part in managing those reserves for wildlife.

Main roles and responsibilities will include:

The reserves team is small and the work varied so the successful candidate should be a team player who is willing to take on new challenges and with good organisational, communication, practical and inter-personal skills.

The successful candidate will be required to work weekends, bank holidays and the occasional evenings because of this and the part time nature of the role there will be a degree of flexibility in work pattern.

It would be beneficial for the post holder to hold a driving licence and have access to a car as there is no easy access to the reserve by public transport.

The RSPB is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This post is subject to the appropriate safeguarding checks upon appointment.

Closing: 25 February 2020

Interview: 10 March 2020

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

To apply please click here.


Visitor Experience Assistant

Would you like to work at one of RSPB Cymru's flagship reserves? Visitors come to our stunning Ynys-hir nature reserve in their droves every year to enjoy the vistas, wildlife and walks on offer.

Visitor Experience Assistant
Eglwys Fach, Wales
£16,010 to £16,252
Part time
Fixed Term – 6 months

Are you passionate about delivering the highest standards, a great communicator able to engage and inspire people, and motivated by achieving targets? Would you like to become part of a high performing team? Are you flexible and self motivated, and have a desire to succeed?

We welcome over 15,000 visitors and up to 1200 school children each year, have a busy Visitor Centre and run a programme of exciting events, carrying out important conservation work on our lowland wet grasslands, woodlands and other habitats such as peat bog and saltmarsh. Ynys-hir sits in the Dyfi estuary part of the only UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve in Wales.

We have a vacancy for a seasonal, part time Visitor Experience Assistant to work alongside the Visitor Experience Manager and wider face to face team to support and deliver our visitor experience vision. We are looking for someone with energy, enthusiasm and imagination to ensure that the reserve offers our visitors exceptional, inspiring and safe experiences and to help deliver the daily face-to-face welcome and engagement with visitors. Together you will take a lead in identifying opportunities for income generation within visitor experience and play a critical role in the delivery of the reserve membership recruitment target.

The Post holder will be required to work every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, occasional evenings and Saturdays, some flexibility is desirable. Driving licence desirable as is the ability to speak Welsh.
To apply please click here.
Closing: 8 March 2020
Interview: 20 March 2020

Logo: Ecology SolutionsEcology Solutions

Seasonal Field Surveyors

With offices in Worcestershire, Hertfordshire and Manchester, Ecology Solutions is a leading consultancy with an extensive range of expertise, specialising in ecology planning solutions for numerous, diverse high-profile clients within both the public and private sectors nationwide.

These offices are seeking to recruit Seasonal Field Surveyors to be involved in protected species survey and translocation work in various locations across the UK. Basic knowledge of these fauna is advantageous, although full training will be provided. Use of own car is essential, as is a willingness to travel long distances, work evenings and occasional weekends and stay away from home overnight for the majority of the week.

Initially we are looking for surveyors to start from mid-March but are also recruiting for surveyors to start later in the season during May to June. Work will be available until September/October in accordance with the needs of the business. Please clearly state in your application when you are available to start and where you are based.

You will receive a competitive salary plus expenses, to include a subsistence allowance, mileage costs and accommodation at B&B or hotel establishments when an overnight stay is required.

Please forward a copy of your CV together with a covering letter by email no later than Friday 28th February.

If you wish to be considered by the Worcestershire office then please email your application to:

If you wish to be considered by the Hertfordshire office then please email your application to:

If you wish to be considered by the Manchester office then please email your application to:

Kindly state in your email which offices you have applied to.

Initial telephone interviews will take place after the deadline.

CSCS card holder & previous experience desirable.

Sorry, we are unable to take telephone enquiries regarding the role.

No agencies please.

Logo: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife TrustHerts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Colne Valley Rivers and Wetlands Officer

Re-advertisement – previously applicants should not re-apply

£24,933 - £28,339 (SCP 24-28) plus 7% pension

37.5 hours per week

Fixed term contract until 31 December 2021 (with possible extension).

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is the leading local charity working to create a Living Landscape rich in wildlife, for everyone.

We are looking for someone to make the wetlands of the Colne Valley a better place for wildlife and to prevent water voles from becoming extinct.

By working with partners through the Colne Valley, this post offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the conservation of the Colne Valley and the wildlife that is dependent upon its habitats.

The post holder will be responsible for managing this project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and forms part of the wider project, “The Colne Valley – A Landscape on the Edge.”

The aims of this project are twofold:-

You’ll be an ambitious conservationist, educated to degree level or equivalent in a biological/environmental science and have significant experience of wetland habitat management, partnership working, volunteer development and community engagement.

The postholder will be based at the Trust's offices in St Albans and Denham Country Park, but will be working throughout the Colne Valley.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 2nd March.

Interviews will take place on Thursday 5th March.

For more information and to apply for this role please visit our website.

If you would like an informal discussion about this post, please call Tim Hill, the Trust’s Conservation Manager on 01727 858901.

Logo: Hebridean AdventuresHebridean Adventures

Boat Steward / Guide (Western Isles)

Hebridean Adventures Ltd is a dynamic new company exploring the sea and the land around the Scottish Islands and west Highlands. Hebridean Adventures provide adventure-based wildlife-watching trips and is located in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, offering day and overnight cruises on the MV Monadhliath, a specially converted fishing vessel. Hebridean Adventures also offers land-based wildlife tours on Lewis and Skye.

Job description – Boat steward including cooking, Deckhand, Naturalist Guide

The role will work closely in a small team with the vessel manager/skipper and naturalist guide of the vessel, a strong emphasis on ensuring guests are met in a timely and courteous fashion prior to their trip. You will be responsible for ensuring the passenger safety, cleanliness of the vessel and provisioning and cooking meals for up to 9 guests and 3 crew.

You will have the opportunity to be working on day excursions and 2 to 6 night cruises in the west coast of Scotland reaching as far west as St. Kilda.

Responsibilities & Duties


Closing date for the position is: Monday 24th February 2020.
Please send your CV and any covering letter to

For more information about our company please visit our website at

Logo: Johns AssociatesJohns Associates

Countryside Team Member

Full time, permanent position, working on exciting, innovative environmental and ecological mitigation/ management projects as part of our award-winning team. Based at our offices in Bradford on Avon, this role is largely site-based. Please note that whilst we have substantial local and regional work, our skills can be needed in different locations across the UK on a short-term basis.

Day-to-day tasks include:

The candidate

We offer a competitive salary, contributory pension and package of benefits (after three months), with the opportunity to be involved in a diverse range of interesting and relevant work. Johns Associates offers support to extend your skills and experience through internal and external training and development.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to Liz Johns at

Logo: Johns AssociatesJohns Associates

Countryside Team – variable hours workers

We are looking to expand our team of variable hours workers to support our in-house countryside service.
The role

Tasks will include:

The candidate

Rates of pay are hourly and subject to experience. Mileage (excluding commuting) and expenses are paid.

This is an opportunity to gain practical work experience across a range of projects. Please note that work is offered on a casual basis.

Health and safety training and PPE will be provided.

To be considered, please send a CV and covering letter to Liz Johns at

Logo: Johns AssociatesJohns Associates

Seasonal Ecological Survey Assistants

April – September inclusive

Looking for work experience in ecology for your CV? Are you an experienced/ licensed bat surveyor with availability?

Can you assist with surveys (including evenings/ early mornings) over the summer? If so, we would like to hear from you!

Each year, Johns Associates relies on a pool of survey assistants to help deliver our busy survey schedule. Ideally, you can commit to joining us on a regular basis, particularly on weeknights/ early mornings during April to September.

Full training from experienced ecologists will be provided. We expect a high standard of work and competence in producing clear and thorough results. Applications from licensed bat workers or experienced bat surveyors are particularly welcomed.

You should be able to commute to our offices in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire for onward travel to survey sites locally and across adjoining counties. You may be required to travel further afield and stay in accommodation overnight. Therefore, having your own transport and being a confident driver with a full driving licence is essential.

This role is ideal if you have a keen interest in ecology and are looking to increase your knowledge and gain valuable work experience in this field. No previous experience is required; however, this would be an advantage. Applications from graduates with a relevant degree, CIEEM membership and previous voluntary or work experience would be looked upon favourably.

Rates of pay are hourly and subject to experience. Mileage (excluding commuting) and expenses are paid.

We will hold a selection day in late February/ early March which will include an element of training in H&S, bat and GCN survey techniques, as well as group discussions and informal interviews with some members of the ecology team.

To apply, please send a CV to Liz Johns at

Calderdale Council

Campsite Warden (Jerusalem Farm)

Post Ref: CC152

Salary: Scale 4, SCP 7-11, £19,554 - £21,166 per annum, 29.5 hours per week, Fixed Term Contract for 25 weeks

Are you passionate about wildlife?

Do you enjoy being outdoors?

Calderdale Council are looking to fill the position of Campsite Warden at Jerusalem Farm Local Nature Reserve.

You would be responsible for ensuring the Campsite and Nature Reserve is run effectively, is clean, well maintained and secure. The site also includes a vast woodland and stream which the post holder will help maintain, a real passion for countryside management is a must.

The post holder will be a point of contact for site users and will be required to act on their own initiative when making decisions. On top of your responsibilities of running the campsite, and making each campers stay as enjoyable as possible, you will also assist in the management of the on-site holiday cottage. Liaising with contractors who provide routine maintenance to the onsite buildings will also be required. This diverse post is ideal for developing the skills for a future in management of local nature reserves.

A previous knowledge of machinery such as petrol powered strimmer/ride on mowers/ATV vehicle (Quad) is desirable but not necessary.


For further information about the role please contact Site Manager Philip Singh on or 07841784185

To apply click here

Closing Date: Tuesday 25th February 2020

Interviews: Wednesday 11th March 2020

Logo: Wellington EstateWellington Estate

Assistant Forester/Park Maintenance

A position has arisen for a well-motivated, energetic individual to work alongside the Head Forester in a small team on the Wellington Estates.

The Estate has 1000 acres of mixed woodland which is managed commercially but also for amenity and sporting purposes plus a private park of 900 acres. The successful candidate should have achieved relevant ground-based chainsaw qualifications. NPTC PA1 and 6 for the application of herbicide (mainly glyphosate) would be desirable, as would the ability to drive a tractor. Additional training will be provided by the Estate.

This is a permanent position and accommodation may be available for the right candidate.

Please apply by email with CV to

Closing date for applications: 29th February 2020

Brindle & Green

Seasonal Assistants - Ecology

Brindle & Green are keen to hear from individuals with a keen interest in ecology, most probably with a desire to gain experience before entering the ecology consultancy industry.
Brindle & Green deliver protected species surveys to our clients on wide range of projects across the UK.
In addition to our full time staff, we are keen to maintain a team of seasonal staff to undertake bat and great crested newt surveys.

Applicants from across the UK are welcome although a willingness to travel will ensure that you are included in more work. Particular areas of interest are individuals available for work in Leicestershire, London and Kent.

Due to the nature of the work you should expect to work until late at night and the early hours of the morning. Travel costs, accommodation and meals will be provided for you.

In addition to on-site training, Brindle & Green have developed a training program that all staff have the option to attend throughout the season. This programme seeks to provide those with a desire to enter the ecology consultancy with a good understanding of the industry and additional skills that would be considered valuable to any potential employer. Training in areas such as report writing, habitat assessments, development licences, bat surveys and sonogram analysis are provided throughout the season and attendance on this course is high recommended although not compulsory.

Seasonal assistants are paid per survey and rates are dependent on experience.

Interviews - March 2020.

Commencement - April 2020.

A full, clean driving licence is essential for this role as is a keen interest in the subject of ecology and nature conservation.

Previous experience would be desirable but is not considered essential.

Please email Rita Simcox with a covering letter and CV to

Logo: Suffolk Wildlife TrustSuffolk Wildlife Trust

South East Suffolk & Trimley Warden

Salary: £21,750 - £23,500 pa (according to level of experience)
Contract type: Permanent / Working hours: Full time
Location: Trimley Marshes, Trimley Marshes, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 0UD
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is the leading conservation organisation in Suffolk, committed to achieving the best outcomes for biodiversity on its reserves. The South East Suffolk and Trimley Warden is a key member of South East Suffolk team and will support the Sites Manager to achieve the successful delivery of conservation management at Trimley Marshes, the wider Trimley Estate, Levington Lagoon and other reserves in South East Suffolk.
You will be committed to recruit, develop and lead a team of volunteers in addition to regular internships to achieve excellent conservation management in accordance with the Trust’s conservation objectives.
You will ensure accessibility and a welcoming atmosphere at all our reserves. Your friendly and engaging manner will help ensure all reserve visitors have a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
You will be an ambassador for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, seeking opportunities to raise awareness of the Trust’s work across all your day-to-day activities.

For more information and to apply click here

Closing date: Monday 24 February 2020

Logo: Suffolk Wildlife TrustSuffolk Wildlife Trust

North East Suffolk Assistant Warden

Salary: £19,500- £21,000 pa (according to level of experience)
Contract type: Permanent / Working hours: Full time
Location: Church Farm Marshes Nature Reserve, Thorington Road, Thorington, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 9JG

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is the county’s nature charity. Our goal is for Suffolk to be nature-friendly, with wildlife able to thrive across Suffolk because everyone is doing more for nature.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is committed to achieving the best outcomes for biodiversity on its reserves. In your role you will ensure excellent standards of conservation management and visitor access are maintained. You will ensure accessibility and a welcoming atmosphere to ensure visitors have an enjoyable experience.
You will be an ambassador for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, seeking opportunities to raise awareness of the Trust’s work through social media and events.
The nature of this role means a driving licence is essential.
The North East Suffolk Assistant Warden is a key member of the North East Suffolk team supporting the Sites Manager and the North East Suffolk Warden, helping them deliver the management requirements for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust nature reserves in North East Suffolk.

For more information and to apply click here

Closing date: Monday 24 February 2020

BH Sporting Ltd

Traditional Housekeeper & Handyperson/Estate Worker

On behalf of our clients in County Durham we are looking for a traditional housekeeper and handyperson / estate worker - two full time positions. Ideally we are looking to recruit a couple however this is not essential, individuals with interest in either position will be considered for the role(s).

The package will include salary, accommodation (2-3 bedroomed cottage) and bills paid. Employment would ideally commence mid March with initial interviews to be held as soon as possible.

The ideal candidates will have experience in working in similar roles and it is essential that they have experience in looking after the contents and interior of large heritage properties.

This role will require flexible working in accordance with the owners schedule, the applicants must be self motivated and trustworthy.

The principal objective of these roles is to recruit persons capable of looking after the principal residence, however duties may also include gardening, landscaping, chauffeuring, cooking and general estate and property maintenance.

If you have the relevant experience and this sounds of interest, please submit a CV and covering letter to

Logo: Bowland EcologyBowland Ecology


Bowland Ecology is seeking to employ an enthusiastic Ecologist. The company was established in 2004 and provides specialist ecological consultancy services across both the private and public sectors. We employ approximately 15 in house ecologists with a range of specialisms supported by long standing associates. Our projects portfolio is wide ranging in terms of both project type and location. Projects range from small planning applications through to national infrastructure projects, we also carry out research based commissions and public sector projects. Further information is available on our website

Prospective candidates will be expected to have:

We are therefore seeking to attract an initiative lead and enthusiastic individual. The post will ideally suit an ecologist who wishes to remain ‘hands on’ with their field skills but also progress their career.

Salary is negotiable depending on skills and experience. Other non-statutory benefits include but are not limited to: flexible working, an additional day of annual leave per year of service (to a maximum annual leave of 30 days) and all paid bank holidays.

We actively support and promote the technical and personal development of our staff and operate a flexible working culture. In addition, we believe that our mix of varied and interesting project work coupled with a supportive team provides a rewarding working environment.

Applications (your CV and a covering letter) must be received by Friday 6th of March and emailed to

West Sutherland Fisheries Trust

Seasonal Field Assistant

West Sutherland Fisheries Trust has a vacancy for a 6 month seasonal assistant. This role will cover the wide range of activities that WSFT will undertake during this time. Starting in April the successful candidate will assist with smolt trapping and estuarine sweep netting. They will also assist with the delivery of other projects that may arise. From July they will assist with the electrofishing programme, which for the past two years has included Marine Scotland’s “National Electrofishing Programme for Scotland” (NEPS). The assistant will also be required to help with the delivery of our role in the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative, including monitoring mink rafts, pulling Himalayan Balsam and treating Japanese Knotweed.

This role is based in Scourie. It would either suit someone with an interest in and some experience (either volunteering or employment) of the aquatic environment who wishes to progress further and develop their skills, or a recent graduate looking to gain some experience in the fisheries sector. This is a 6-month fixed term, 40 hours per week with competitive salary Accommodation is provided. Weekend working will occasionally be required.



The deadline for applications is 21 February 2020 with interviews to be held the week beginning 2 March. To apply please send a CV and covering letter, explaining why this position appeals to you and your suitability, to


Hen Harrier Nest Protection Officers

The RSPB is looking for seasonal flexible contract staff for the overnight nest protection of hen harriers in northern England.

Hen Harrier Nest Protection Officer - 4 Posts

Ref: A4700120
Location: Lancashire
Salary starting at: £8.46 to £9.17 Per Hour
Hours: Full time, Hourly paid as and when required
Contract: Fixed Term for 6 Months

The posts will most likely be based in Northumberland, Cumbria or Lancashire, but with the flexibility to move elsewhere dependent on the location of a nesting attempt. The main purpose of this team is to monitor nesting attempts to ensure the hen harrier nests have the best chance of success. This may involve carrying out overnight shifts, the time and length of these shifts to be coordinated by the line manager for the site.
Work will require long and unsociable hours in the field, often in adverse weather conditions. The nest monitoring team will need to work closely with volunteers, stakeholders, farmers and landowners on whose land part of the work may be carried out, as well as members of the general public. The nest monitoring team will need to ensure that this work is carried out in a safe manner which minimises any disturbance to the birds.
Successful applicants will have described in the application form how they meet the essential skills and experience that are detailed in the role profile, with particular emphasis on their experience of British upland conditions and terrain, and knowledge and experience of species protection work.
RSPB hen harrier work is supported by United Utilities.

Closing date: 27 February 2020

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, click here to be directed to our website.

Logo: High Weald AONB PartnershipEast Sussex County Council

Landscape Officer

East Sussex and Kent border

£28,802 - £31,112

22.2 to 37 hours per week

Part-time or full-time. Term-time contracts will be considered.

The High Weald AONB Partnership leads on the protection of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a wooded, medieval landscape at the heart of South East England. It has an exciting and rare opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to join its small, dynamic team at a time of significant change.

This permanent position is well suited to an individual that is looking to develop and broaden their landscape specialism and gain experience in a supportive workplace.

Sourcing and managing a range of landscape data and evidence you will undertake integrated landscape assessment and analysis, produce briefings and reports, and prepare guidance. You will take a lead on AONB research and consultation and, working in partnership, will have the opportunity to develop projects that deliver the objectives of the High Weald AONB Management Plan.

You will be educated to degree level and have an interest in landscape ecology and history, land use planning, landscape design, spatial analysis and land management, with a proven ability in at least one of these areas. Good written and IT skills are essential, and project management and GIS experience is desirable. Critically you will pay attention to detail and be thorough in all areas.

You will be working for the High Weald AONB Partnership which works nationally, regionally and locally to enable an integrated approach to managing change that respects the High Weald’s natural beauty.

Closing date: 23 February 2020.

Interview date: 18 March 2020.

East Sussex County Council is an equal opportunities employer. We welcome applications from all suitable candidates, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. All applications are treated on merit.

For further information and to apply, please click here.

Wokingham Borough Council

Assistant Estate Worker

Six Month Fixed Term Contract

Salary £18,065 - £18,426 per annum, Full time.

Closing date: 09 March 2020

An Assistant Estate Worker is required to join our friendly team based at Dinton Pastures Country Park.
Looking after 27 sites throughout Wokingham Borough, including Country Parks, Nature Reserves, SANGS and 143 miles of Public Rights of Way.
Whilst assisting the Estate Team, duties would include; operating power machinery, looking after workshops and equipment, maintaining footpaths, play areas and site furniture.
Applicants should have a keen interest in land management and working outdoors. A full driving license is essential. Experience of strimmer’s, mowers and DIY would be desirable. Training will be offered to the successful candidate.
Wokingham Borough Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and requires all staff, other workers and volunteers to share this commitment.
All successful candidates for this role will be subject to Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks along with other relevant employment checks.

To apply, please follow the link for the job description and the online application form. CVs are not accepted’. 

For an informal discussion, email

For any technical queries, please call 0118 974 6116 (answerphone outside office hours) quoting ref: 710436 / 30434
Wokingham Borough Council is an equal opportunities employer.

Logo: Cumbria Wildlife TrustCumbria Wildlife Trust

Seasonal Warden - Foulney Island

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is seeking to appoint a Seasonal Warden for Foulney Island, an important tern and sea bird colony near Barrow-in-Furness.

The contract will start on 6 April 2020 and run for approximately 16 weeks, depending on the breeding season.

Pay: £1,587.04 (gross pcm). Accommodation is provided.

42 hours per week.

This exciting role will see you responsible for one of the most important tern nesting colonies in the North West. Responsibilities of the post include monitoring breeding terns, waders and ducks, carrying out nest protection duties and producing an end of season report. Good communication skills and knowledge of coastal birds are therefore essential. Previous wardening experience is desirable but not essential.

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 24 February 2020. Interviews will be held on Thursday 5 March 2020 and Friday 6 March 2020 at Cumbria Wildlife Trust Head Office, Plumgarths, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8LX.

We are also recruiting for a Rockcliffe Marsh Seasonal Warden.

For further details on both roles and an application form visit our website, contact or 01539 816300.

Registered in England as Cumbria Wildlife Trust Limited, a Company limited by Guarantee No. 00724133. Registered Charity No. 218711.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is devoted to the conservation of the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria.

Logo: Cumbria Wildlife TrustCumbria Wildlife Trust

Seasonal Warden - Rockcliffe Marsh

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is seeking to appoint a Seasonal Warden for Rockcliffe Marsh, a highly important saltmarsh for its overwintering wildfowl, breeding waders, gulls and other birds, located on the Solway Firth .

The contract will start on 6 April 2020 and run for approximately 16 weeks, depending on the breeding season.

Pay: £1,587.04 (gross pcm). Accommodation is provided.

42 hours per week.

Responsibilities of the post include monitoring breeding gulls, waders and passerines, liaising with the Estate and producing an end of breeding season report. Good communication skills and knowledge of coastal birds are therefore essential. There will also be a requirement to assist in carrying out monitoring of recently created habitats on the marsh.

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 24 February 2020. Interviews will be held on Thursday 5 March 2020 and Friday 6 March 2020 at Cumbria Wildlife Trust Head Office, Plumgarths, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8LX.

We are also recruiting for a Foulney Island Seasonal Warden.

For further details on both roles and an application form visit our website, contact or 01539 816300.

Registered in England as Cumbria Wildlife Trust Limited, a Company limited by Guarantee No. 00724133. Registered Charity No. 218711.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is devoted to the conservation of the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria.

Logo: Ecosupport LtdEcosupport Ltd

Senior Ecologist

Ecosupport Ltd are excited to be expanding, with a Senior Ecologist position available! If you are an enthusiastic individual wanting to pursue and develop a career with our dedicated team of Ecologists on a variety of projects across both the private and commercial sectors, we want to hear from you!

The Role

Opportunity has arisen for a competent individual who may have already had experience or perhaps is ready to take on the challenge of overseeing their own team of Project and Assistant Ecologists. Our friendly team and office is situated near to the sea in Lee on the Solent, Hampshire overlooking Solent Airport.

The applicant will be competent and very well experienced in the following areas:

   ●   Protected species surveying   ●   Report writing   ●   Client and Stakeholder liaison   ●   Project and team management, including project tendering   ●   Preferably has at least 2 Protected Species Licences   ●   EPS mitigation license application experience   ●   EcIA   ●   Planning processes   ●   Biodiversity net gain.
Full UK driving licence, excellent work ethic and dedication to their work is essential.

This is a full time position. Please get in touch with with a copy of your CV.

Logo: Ecosupport LtdEcosupport Ltd


Ecosupport are looking for an Ecologist at their Lee on the Solent office.

Are you an enthusiastic, self-motivated and professional Ecologist looking for your next career move? If so our friendly team are ready to welcome you to our new offices.

You must have strong communication, organisation and team working skills as well as a positive attitude, self discipline and a desire to be challenged!

The applicant should have experience in the following:

   ●   Production of a range of technical reports including impact assessment and mitigation strategies   ●   Project coordination and management   ●   Client liaison   ●   Strong all round field skills   ●   Protected species licenses desirable, particularly bats   ●   Bat sound analysis using Analook   ●   Creative approach to problem solving   ●   Relevant BSc as a minimum   ●   Full UK driving licence

Ongoing training opportunities will be provided, alongside a competitive salary and a supportive, dynamic and friendly working environment.

Please apply to with covering letter and CV.

Logo: ATM LTdATM Ltd

Landscape Operative

Based out of our Weston Super Mare depot (BS24 7TN)

£ Competitive salary

ATM is one of the UK’s leading landscaping, highway maintenance, fencing and vegetation management and maintenance contractors. We are looking for organised, reliable individuals who are experienced with working in a team, also capable of working on their own initiative to carry out scheduled works on a variety of sites

Duties will include:

Carrying out a range of vegetation management tasks such as tree removal, grass cutting, site clearance, strimming, brush cutting, Chemical weeding, chipping and fencing.

A full driving licence is required and candidates applying without one will not be considered. ATM are committed to the training and development of all employees and therefore development and progression within the company is available. National recognised qualifications that would be an advantage are:

   ●   NPTC - Strimmer, Pedestrian Mower, Chainsaw and Chipper   ●   NPTC - Ped Mower   ●   PA1 & PA6 Spraying Certificate   ●   CSCS Card

Working hours are full time - 44 hours across Monday - Friday with optional overtime and weekend work in the busy periods.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome all applicants from all sections of the community.

For further information and to apply please email


Summer Bat Surveyors

Looking to gain work experience in ecology for your CV? Or are you an experienced or licensed bat surveyor?

Are you available to undertake bat surveys during evenings / early mornings during the summer? If so, ECOSA would like to hear from you!

Each year, ECOSA relies on a pool of skilled bat surveyors to help deliver our busy survey schedule. Ideally, you will be able to commit to joining us on a regular basis on weeknights / early mornings during May to September to undertake dusk and dawn bat survey work.

Full training from experienced ecologists will be provided. We look for a high standard of work and competence in producing clear and thorough results. Applications from licensed bat workers or experienced bat surveyors are particularly welcomed.

You will be based in Hampshire or the adjoining counties and ideally be able to travel to our head office near Southampton to meet up with other surveyors for onward travel to site.

We generally carry out survey works across the South; however, you may be required to travel further afield and stay in accommodation overnight. Having your own transport, being a confident driver and holding a full driving licence is therefore essential.

This role is ideal if you have a keen interest in ecology and are looking to increase your knowledge and gain valuable work experience in this field. Rates of pay are hourly and subject to experience. Mileage and expenses are paid, accruing from the time you leave our head office.

If you would like to apply or find out more about this position, please visit our website

Successful candidates must be able to attend an evening training session at our head office on Wednesday 22nd April 2020.

Closing date: Friday 10th April 2020.

Logo: Forestry EnglandForestry England


£20,752 - £21,956

Fixed Term Appointment – 12 months initial contract

Ref: 36080

Location: The New Forest.

Do you have chainsaw operating qualifications and experience?

Would you love to work in one of England’s most famous forests, in a dedicated team of forestry staff?

Read on as this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

Forestry England is the largest land manager and custodian of the nation’s public forests. We have around 1,000 committed staff looking after more land and more trees than any other organization. It’s a job that never stops growing.

We are looking for a dedicated Craftsperson to help us care, manage and enhance our woodlands and habitats in The New Forest. Using your previous work experience and machinery operating skills, you’ll work on a wide range of forest management and maintenance tasks including scrub clearance, pollarding and coppicing, tree planting and tree felling.

It’s essential that you have NPTC (or equivalent) certificates and experience in the use of chainsaws, clearing saw and brushcutters. You may also hold a qualification in FMOC (Forest Machine Operator Certification) for the use of tractor base unit, mulcher, scarifier, winch extraction and sprayer, although the FMOC qualification is desirable and not essential.

In return, we offer an attractive salary and benefits package including generous annual leave and a government pension scheme. We also provide a range of training and learning opportunities to help you develop your skills.

To apply, please click here or visit:

Closing date: 23 February 2020

Logo: FOA EcologyFOA Ecology Ltd

Senior Ecologist

FOA Ecology Ltd is a small team of ecologists primarily working in the south-east of England. We are based in Surrey. We operate a much more flexible approach to work than traditional employers – much of the time you will be able to work from home when not on site.

We are currently seeking a Senior Ecologist – candidates will need full CIEEM membership, several years ecological consultancy experience and at least 2 survey licences (one of which to be bats). The role will involve evening and night-time work and possibly ad hoc weekend work.

Should working with our team be of interest, please e-mail your C.V. to:


Operations Coordinator (Eastern England)

Starting salary: £13,427 (20 hrs per week)

BASC is the largest sporting shooting organisation in the UK, serving a growing membership of over 155,000 and a wide variety of stakeholder and public interests. It acts as a representative body for sporting shooting - fostering opportunity, safety, high standards and wildlife conservation.

BASC is looking for an individual to assist the Eastern Regional Team while working alongside other BASC teams, to provide coordination, administrative and organisational services in support of the Director and Regional Officers at the regional centre and at shows, training courses and other events. We are looking for an individual to work 20 hours per week, preferably Monday to Friday with the occasional need to work weekends.

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

Working within a small team and reporting to the Regional Director the position is based at the Eastern Regional Office located just outside of Bury St Edmunds and will involve some travel throughout the region.

Further information and an application form can be downloaded from our website.

Alternatively, please contact the HR department, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL. Telephone: 01244 573000. E-mail: Please quote reference OPS/EAST/2020.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 20 February 2020. Interviews are scheduled to take place at the regional office on either 05 March 2020 or 06 March 2020.

Aven Ecology Ltd

Seasonal Assistant Ecologist

Aven Ecology is a small, independent ecological consultancy, with a combined experience of over 30 years. We carry out protected species surveys and mitigation, with bats, reptiles and amphibians being our particular focus. We primarily service projects based in the south/south-east of England.

We are looking for an Seasonal Assistant Ecologist to work with us during the 2020 survey season. You would have an interest in wildlife and biodiversity, and be someone who is keen to work in the field and learn to assist us with surveys relating to a range of protected species, including bats, reptiles and amphibians (and their habitats).

You would have a degree in an Ecological discipline (including Ecology, Zoology, Environmental Biology or related) with interest in Consultancy; Ecological Impact Assessment; and Protected Species Survey.

You would also ideally have membership of CIEEM, or eligibility to apply for membership. Protected species licences and CSCS accreditation would also be advantageous, but not essential.

You would need to be available April-October 2020 (exact start dates flexible and subject to project needs), ideally have your own car/clean driving licence, and must be willing to travel and stay overnight at short notice. Bat surveys and amphibian surveys would necessarily involve an element of night work.

We are offering experience/training/support in field of Professional Ecological Consultancy; opportunities and support to work towards professional certifications and qualifications, including (where appropriate) Protected Species licences, CIEEM accreditation, CSCS; opportunities for further employment beyond the advertised period, subject to workload. Salary would be negotiable and subject to experience.

Please send an email to to introduce yourself, and provide a copy of your CV.

Seafari Adventures (Oban)

Crew / Wildlife Guides

Seafari Adventures (Oban) are Scotland’s foremost Marine Tourism specialists. A Visit Scotland Quality Assured 5* Wildlife Experience with a fleet of RIBs, we seek 2 recent graduates in marine biology or similar to join our team for the 2020 season. The core element of the role is to deliver exceptional and memorable wildlife tours. You will also be required to assist with various practical and physical projects during quieter periods.

The successful candidates must have an outgoing personality and the willingness to work flexible hours. After training, all crew must be able to work in the ticket office and assist with boat preparation and maintenance. The ability to speak a foreign language and/or have customer service experience in a commercial leisure environment would be an advantage but not essential. We will be prioritising those candidates with an ability to provide high quality content (photos and videos) and those with experience of managing social media accounts. Experience of physically demanding work outdoors in all weathers would be beneficial. Remuneration includes free accommodation plus monthly wage.

Contract starts Tuesday 5th May 2020, completion of contract end September 2020.

For full information please email - If, after reading the information we send you, you wish to apply, please send CV with covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 12th March 2020.

Logo: Ecosupport LtdEcosupport Ltd

Vegetation Management Operative

Office base Hampshire, GB

We currently have an opportunity for general vegetation management operatives.

Ecosupport are looking to expand their team and several positions have become available. This role could suit a newly qualified arborist / landscaper /vegetation operative with an interest in ecology looking to gain experience across a variety of vegetation management activities, ecological restoration and mitigation.

Please note you must have

   ●   a full UK driving licence   ●   vegetation clearance/management experience

One or more of the following would be an advantage

   ●   LANTRA Brush cutter trimmer   ●   minimum NPTC CS 30 / 31 equivalent)   ●   CSCS   ●   Trailer licence   ●   PTS

To satisfy both the company and its clients’ requirement for this role is subject to employment medicals and drugs & alcohol screenings.

Package Includes

   ●   40 hour week worked 24 / 7 as required   ●   annual salary   ●   28 days holiday (inc. public holidays)   ●   contributory workplace pension scheme

If you meet the basic requirements above please forward an up to date CV to

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community 

Woolley Ecology

Ecologist & Seasonal Assistant Ecologists (x2)

Due to ongoing success, Woolley Ecology Ltd is changing name, increasing staff numbers and diversifying. Pioneer Environment Ltd will launch in February/March 2020. Over the last 4 years the practice has grown, developing a network of clients working on small and large-scale projects.

The Roles:

We are seeking enthusiastic Assistant Ecologists (2x seasonal) and an Ecologist (full time) to join our small team based near Melton Mowbray.

All roles require:

Assistant Ecologist (Seasonal)

Assistant Ecologist duties include client liaison, assisting in habitat and protected species surveys, deputising to the Ecologist and Principal Ecologist. Although these roles are seasonal, opportunities to become full time may arise.

Experience of UK botanical / faunal identification and survey work; Background in natural history Ability to work under pressure, effective teamwork and excellent communication skills


You will provide technical support on a range of projects including planning applications, biodiversity offsetting and mitigation projects. You will lead projects, manage assistants and sub-contractors to deliver a high-quality service.

Minimum 3 years of experience, within an ecological consultancy role; managing projects and as an ecological clerk of works Broad understanding of UK wildlife legislation, CIEEM and BCT Guidelines; Familiarity with biodiversity survey/monitoring methods including Phase 1 habitat survey and the EIA/EcIA processes; Ability to work independently, take initiative, make robust, defensible decisions and work to tight deadlines to meet client needs; GIS skills and protected species licence(s): Desirable

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter, explaining why this opportunity is right for you, to

More information:

Application closes 21/02/2020. Interviews held 25-26/02/2020.


Freelance, Self-employed and contracts.

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Logo: Great Out-ToursThe Great Out-tours

New Year, New You! Own a pioneering award winning outdoor franchise.

The Great Out-tours - New Year, New You! Own a pioneering award winning outdoor franchise.
Become an owner of an award winning, pioneering outdoor franchise.
A business opportunity to inspire children in the countryside within your own County/Country

A special Franchise business opportunity offer ONLY VALID for Countryside Job Service members: A three-month ‘franchise trading trial’ with 80% income royalty returns guaranteed but without the tie of paying the franchise license engagement fee’. *See website for T&C’s

Great Out-tours Franchise

A franchise business opportunity to inspire children in the countryside within your own County/Country.
Closing date: 29 February 2020
Salary: Up to £100 per hour
Location: Your home County / Country / Area

The Great Out-tours Limited are looking for people who are passionate about the great outdoors and inspiring the imaginative minds of children, using the school countryside stage.

Our very first ‘pioneering’ West Sussex franchise is run by Forest School Leader/Business Owner Samantha Cross who quotes “Via the Great Out-tours after school club product children get access to the outdoors through its seasonally themed activities. The club sessions we run offer opportunities for education, practical skills development, teamwork and a whole heap of fun! The schools love it, as it is a great complement to their offering, giving support to the curriculum and after-school care. I have found that rather than conflicting with my Forest School business, it has dovetailed beautifully. The two businesses complement each other. More to the point, the children love it.”

Job description:

Are you at a stage of your life and career where you are reflecting on what the next steps in your professional journey should/might be?

Would you like the opportunity to create the same joy and inspiration within children\’s lives as we do?

Are you currently running an outdoor business (such as a Forest School, care farm or environmental business) & would like to increase your earning potential, whilst maintaining your existing product delivery?

Via an exciting & curriculum supporting ‘Four Seasons Activity learning programme’, The Great Out-tours specialise in running after-school clubs, in-school workshops (complementing any existing countryside activities), weekend clubs and parties.

The Great Out-tours are expanding and looking to engage franchise partners throughout the United Kingdom.

For a full introduction to this exciting and hugely rewarding franchise business opportunity, click here.
Person specification:

For further information and to apply, please click here 

Interested applicants are invited to complete a contact form which starts the exciting franchise journey! The Great Out-tours contact for all franchise application enquiries is Becky Sear.

Logo: East Sussex Support with Confidence Scheme MemberLogo: Great Out-Tours Medals


Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles.

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Logo: Tees Valley Wildlife TrustTees Valley Wildlife Trust

Traineeships in Conservation / Environmental Education

Do you love wildlife and working outdoors? Are you practically minded and want to learn new skills? Have you thought about a career in nature conservation or environmental education?

As part of the Our Bright Future “One Planet Pioneers” project, we have a unique opportunity for two paid Traineeships (6 months) for young people aged 16-25 funded through the National Lottery Community Fund.

These Traineeships offer a unique opportunity for young people aged between 16-25 to undertake a vocational traineeship based with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust team, learning valuable practical skills in urban nature conservation, community engagement and communications. You’ll also have the chance to shape and influence how the Trust works with young people in the future.

As an Environmental Education / Conservation Trainee you would spend three days a week assisting members of staff delivering activities on a range of environmental projects. You will also receive training in environmental education or conservation management on nature reserves and green spaces. Project staff will work with you to create a personal training and development plan customised to your needs and interests.

As the role involves working with children you will be required to undergo a Disclosure Barring Check.

Logo: Community Fund Our Bright FutureFor more information and application forms visit

Closing date 28th February 2020, interview date will be Monday 9th March and if successful you will be expected to start your traineeship based at Margrove Heritage Centre, TS123BZ week beginning 6th April 2020.

Trainees will receive £250 per month bursary, a training allowance of £600 and a completion bonus of £300.

Logo: Royal Horticultural SocietyRoyal Horticultural Society

RHS Level 2 Trailblazer Apprenticeship in Horticulture

Full time, two years (fixed term) 37.5 hours per week

Are you interested in plants, gardening and horticulture, but new to the industry?

We are delighted to be able to offer horticultural apprenticeships at all of our world-class RHS Gardens: Bridgewater, Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Wisley.

This apprenticeship will enable you to learn about the science, art and practice of horticulture in the setting of an RHS Garden and in doing so, work within its departments and with its teams and individuals to gain knowledge, skills, training and experiences in and of horticulture.

You will work alongside our knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff in an RHS Garden, whilst studying at college to develop, enhance and deepen your understanding of horticulture. Throughout the apprenticeship, you will establish, cultivate and maintain formal and informal garden areas, and learn how to be environmentally aware, and use tools, techniques and machinery that will equip you for life in the industry.

Salary: £15,154 (those under 25) £16,010 (those over 25) per annum

Start Date: August 2020. Applications close: 1 March 2020

For further information and to apply, please click here





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Volunteers: 63 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at:

Plus another 94 in CJS Focus (below)


Logo: National TrustNational Trust, Black Down Estate

Immersive Volunteer Ranger role

Black Down Estate, Haslemere, Surrey.

c.30 hours per week for a period of 6-12 months (maximum 12 months).

The role involves, for example, spending time with the Ranger team across the Black Down Estate, assisting with our events programme, helping to look after the basecamp and the volunteer groups which stay there, maintaining the biomass boiler, coordinating our small-scale sustainable food production by looking after the basecamp vegetable garden and chicken run. The successful candidate would get an opportunity to develop their experience of countryside conservation on an estate with a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland and heathland as well dealing with small herds of in-hand cattle.

Our team of immersive volunteer rangers are offered free accommodation in our Speckled Wood Building. They help us to run the estate in a more sustainable way, whilst living in a house constructed from materials that were produced in the woodlands within which they will be living and volunteering.

This role will suit people who are looking to develop a career in the countryside management or conservation sector and want to gain practical experience on the ground in a variety of areas.

We are looking for people who enjoy being part of a team but are also able to self-manage when on their own.

Ideally applicants will have some previous experience and knowledge of countryside management.

Appropriate practical qualifications or skills would be an advantage.

Detailed job specification available from

Applications: covering letter and CV please to
Application Deadline: 5p.m. 26 February, 2020 Interview Date: tentatively scheduled for 5 March, 2020

Advertise your voluntary roles with CJS - it's free! Click here.


CJS Focus The most recent edition: Volunteering is below.

view the most recent edition here or download a pdf copy.


The next edition will be published on 11 May

And is looking at: Environmental Education and Outdoor Activities. We will consider everything from bushcraft to bungee jumping; including a look at the practicalities and benefits of setting up and running your own environmental education programme. 


Logo: TCV - The Conservation VolunteersCJS Focus on Volunteering

In association with The Conservation Volunteers

Published on 10 February 2020


Download this edition as a PDF 



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 Yorkshire 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.





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Citizen Science, Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in January

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

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



Star Count 2020

Help us reclaim our dark skies 21-28 February. Dark, starry skies are one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer. But light pollution means many of us can’t see the stars. You can take part in #StarCount2020 and help us map people’s views of the night sky.



National Bat Monitoring Programme

Bat numbers in the UK have declined dramatically over the last century. You can help to monitor the UK's bats by taking part in our surveys and observing these fascinating mammals in your local area. Anyone can take part, from beginners to experts.



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 – read on to find out how you can take part and help us track changes in pollinator numbers


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

Please see the full listings online at:  



CJS Announcements and articles of interest.


logo: CJS Photo CompetitionThe February suggested theme is: Green

Green is one of the themes that is open to interpretation. You could take it at face value and pick something that is coloured green or an image of lovely green foliage but then again you might be literal and chose a 'greenhorn' learning a new skills or look to the Green Party for inspiration and select an image of the environment in any of its many guises, or perhaps doing something green for the environment. We're looking forward to seeing what you decide.



logo: The Orchard Proejct

This month the winner will be receive membership to The Orchards Project - the only national charity dedicated entirely to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards. Our vision is for every urban citizen to be within walking distance of an orchard. Orchards are excellent habitats for wildlife, welcoming more biodiversity than other urban green spaces. They can transform communities by uniting people around a common purpose: free, locally-grown fruit!

We work with disadvantaged communities, where access to good quality, local green space is often limited, as well as restoring old, forgotten and neglected orchards to their former glory.

As a Member, you’ll receive:

  • A membership welcome pack with factsheets, postcards, a fridge magnet, and unique logo pin badge;
  • Regular member news and updates;
  • Invites to our events;
  • And of course, the feel good factor that comes with supporting community orchards!

As well as the monthly prizes there are four over all prizes.

The winner will receive an invitation to the gala opening of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2020. We have runners up prizes of a year's membership of Society of International Nature & Wildlife Photographers a bundle of birdwatching books.  These are chosen by the CJS Team however we are also going to open the floor to readers with a Readers Choice photo which will win a year's subscription to BBC Wildlife magazine. More about the prizes here.


Simply email your photo (jpegs please) to along with your name and any information you want to include about your photo: what it shows, where it was taken and a caption for a funny one would be welcome too. If you'd like us to tag you (or site / project) if we share your photo to social media please include the relevant handles and details.  You can enter as many photos as you like, but each image may only be entered once.

Full rules are here - please read them before sending your photos, we'll assume you have. 



winter in the lakes by Sam Feaster a snowy view from the top of Crag HillThe January theme was Seasons, which seemed most appropriate for a new year.  As ever we had some fabulous entries and it was lovely on a cold, damp day to be looking at your images of high summer. But it was a winter view that ended up winning this month.  This incredible photo of "Winter in the Lakes", taken on the top Crag Hill by Sam Feaster.




There was 'just something about' this one that caught every one's eye.  The person silhouetted on the edge of the plateau gives the image perspective whilst the billowing cloud in the valley below gives it an otherworldly feel.  Capturing the glittering, coldness of snow, especially in bright sunshine without flattening or bleaching the photo takes practice and Sam's managed this and kept the blue, high pressure, winter's sky.


Full size image here. 



waves battering at Seaton Lighthouse by Adrian Button 

Once again it  was an impossible decision and this shot by Adrian Button of the waves battering Seaham Lighthouse in the early spring gales would have been our winner this month but we felt that it wasn't quite as sharp Sam's Lakes photo. Katie said, "The slight fuzziness does enhance the ferociousness of the storm".  So despite that we all agreed it was a highly evocative image, and almost (but not quite) our clear winner so we've given second place and a runner's prize to Adrian.  


Full size image here.





Logo: The Mammal Society   

Following on from their article last month: We need to talk about Hedgehogs our featured charity published some very worrying research:

Hedgehog mortality on roads: Mammal charities identify worst areas for hedgehog road deaths

If you are driving in the suburbs of Leeds, Manchester, Stoke on Trent or Birmingham this year, look out for one of Britain’s iconic and most threatened mammals.

In research just published, the Mammal Society details when, where and why hedgehog roadkill is most likely to occur, with the outskirts of cities in central Britain emerging as particular blackspots. The charity intends to use the results of the project as the first step towards determining whether measures such as reducing speed in hotspot areas would help to reduce the number of hedgehog road deaths.

Hedgehogs (image: Mammal Society/Zoe Shreeve)

Hedgehogs (image: Mammal Society/Zoe Shreeve)

The research, funded by the Mammal Society, People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), analysed more than 12,500 hedgehog roadkill records. The data were collected over 18 years by members of the public taking part in a range of citizen science projects, including PTES’ Mammals on Roads survey, Cardiff University’s Project Splatter, Hedgehog Street’s the BIG Hedgehog Map and the Mammal Society’s Mammal Mapper.

Britain’s hedgehog numbers are in severe decline. According to the Mammal Society’s latest population review, estimates have reduced from 1.5 million individuals in 1995 to a mere 500,000 in 2018. The most recent State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report, published by PTES & BHPS in 2018, estimated hedgehogs in rural areas have declined by a half, and in urban areas by a third since 2000. Possible reasons for this include: loss of habitat and food sources; increased predation and competition with other mammals; and deaths caused by road collisions.

The latest study found that around 9% of the 400,000km of road in Britain is particularly perilous for hedgehogs. Grassland areas, and the outskirts of urban areas, have the highest risk, and major roads are particularly hazardous, despite forming a relatively small proportion of the total road network. Many of the high-risk locations were in central Britain, southern Wales, the outskirts of London, north-east England, and the Central-Belt of Scotland.

Are hedgehogs at risk in your area?

Zoom in on the Society's hedgehog roadkill map, here, to find out if there are any high risk roads near you. You can then tick the Hedgehog Roadkill Probability box, in the top right corner of the map, to find out more detail about the likelihood of hedgehog road deaths occurring in your area.

How you can help:

All three charities are calling on the general public for help to pinpoint casualties in future. The Mammal Mapper, Project Splatter and Mammals on Roads free apps enable people to record sightings on the go and Hedgehog Street’s BIG Hedgehog Map and PTES’ Mammals on Roads websites collect records online. For more information visit and

You can find out if your area is a hedgehog roadkill hotspot by visiting the map on the Mammal Society website at If you would like to help fund work to reduce hedgehog road deaths you can donate to the Mammal Society’s #HogsOnRoads appeal at

To view a copy of Predicting hedgehog mortality risks on British roads using habitat suitability modelling Patrick G R Wright, Frazer G Coomber, Chloe C Bellamy , Sarah E Perkins, Fiona Mathews here (pdf).


Features and In Depth Articles.


Awards, Youth Forum and UK wide events – the year that Social Farms & Gardens celebrate their 40th

Logo: Social Farms & Gardens - celebrating 40 years

This year, Social Farms & Gardens are celebrating their 40th anniversary - marking 40 years of farming, gardening and growing together by holding a series of events and activities.

Who we are and what we do:

Wheelbarrows at Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol (Social Farms & Gardens)

Wheelbarrows at Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol

(Social Farms & Gardens)

Social Farms & Gardens are a UK wide charity on a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment through nature-based activities.

Our members are at the heart of our work and right now we are supporting over 1500 groups – with the number growing stronger every day. They are made up of grass root organisations - from small fruit and veg plots on urban housing estates to large-scale rural care farms and we have been proudly supporting their work in transforming lives and connecting people for 40 years.

Our key areas of work are:

Advocacy - we advocate and campaign for greater recognition, funding and opportunities for nature-based activities; presenting a united voice for organisations and groups delivering these opportunities on the ground.

Membership - we provide expert advice, support and a FREE membership scheme offering a range of discounts on training, equipment and services - supporting communities to grow in sustainable ways.

Herding cows on a care farm (Social Farms & Gardens)

Herding cows on a care farm (Social Farms & Gardens)

Training - we design and deliver innovative training programmes which empower and enable communities to thrive and grow; providing practical support and training UK wide to thousands.

Building for the future - we forge pathways for our members to access commissioned services and demonstrate that they deliver high quality provision. We promote income generating opportunities for organisations and groups to ensure they can sustain their activities.

Our Story:

The 1960s saw community managed gardens taking control of many derelict and under-used sites in London, leading to the first city farm, Kentish Town City Farm, being set up in 1972 shortly followed by other sites. The National Federation of City Farms was launched in 1980 to provide support and advocate on their behalf.

This was the birth of the charity, which later merged with Care Farming UK, and is now known as Social Farms & Gardens. HRH The Prince of Wales became our Patron in 2001, and we are also very lucky to have Lord Curry of Kirkharle as our president. These days we have offices in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

Why we exist

Pigs on a community farm (Social Farms & Gardens)

Pigs on a community farm (Social Farms & Gardens)

Connection to the natural world is proven to benefit wellbeing and mental health. Being outdoors and engaging in activities such as gardening, or farm work has significant benefits including reduced anxiety, improved mood and self-esteem. But it’s not just about being outside; it’s about taking part in meaningful activity and having a social network which has such a massive positive impact on reducing isolation - a major risk factor in terms of mental health.

A programme in Birmingham, delivering new community gardens recently surveyed those taking part - and 87% of respondents said they had made new friends by being part of the programme.

Green community spaces are a vital lifeline for so many people. This quote from Tom, an 18-year-old apprentice and part of Greenmeadow Community Farm, one of our members in Wales, really gets this across –

“If I hadn't come to a community farm, I'd probably be in a jail cell - these places give kids an opportunity in life”.

Tom’s experience gives a flavour of how important these services are to people – we so frequently hear these stories from our members, so it is vital that we are able to support them to do their work.

Since our formation in 1980 to current day, we have led a vast number of diverse high-profile farming, growing and gardening projects on a local, UK wide and EU level.

Our current work ranges from: educational initiatives which connect children with food, farming and the natural environment (UK wide Julia Donaldson Stick Man trails for families, School Farms Network); vocational education and training for adults which support community and urban gardens to thrive (Gardeniser Pro); services to make more land available for community growing (Community Land Advisory Service) plus a wide range of country specific projects that work to support and promote community growing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our EU partnership project (UGAIN) is supporting the social integration of migrants and refugees through community and intercultural gardens; and we are transforming the scale of care farming (the therapeutic use of farming and gardening) to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through our Growing Care Farming project, which is part of the Government’s Children and Nature Programme, supported by Defra.

The 40th celebrations:

2020 will be packed full of 40th celebrations and activities that everyone can get involved with. Highlights include:

  • Monthly events UK wide including the European Federation of City Farms Conference and Growing Care Farming Conference
  • 40th Anniversary SF&G Awards – open to any group that is improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment through nature-based activities. Award categories include everything from best response to climate change, to recognition for innovation and involvement of young people, and much more, with winners receiving their awards at the House of Lords.
  • From February there will be a new chance for younger people to get involved, through the launch of our Youth Forum - an exciting opportunity for young people to help direct and shape our plans going forwards.
  • We will also be shining a spotlight on the inspiring initiatives that are increasing sustainability, biodiversity and the wellbeing of people and communities through 40 years, 40 stories – on our social media and website.
Bee on an allotment (Social Farms & Gardens)

Bee on an allotment (Social Farms & Gardens)

Details on all of these activities can be found on our 40th Anniversary website page and on Facebook and Twitter


For other ways to connect with Social Farms & Gardens you can:

Become a member for free - open to any organisation delivering nature-based activities that improve people’s lives. Member benefits include a range of services, discounts on training, tools, seeds and much more.

Book training or consultancy - with over 50 years’ experience supporting a diverse high-profile farming, growing and gardening projects on a local, UK wide and EU level; we can support organisations with the very best consultancy and training.

Corporate enquiries - businesses can help communities grow well together. If you want to help us improve lives and communities, as well as getting some great PR, benefiting your employees and enhancing your working environment then get in contact.

Make a donation - help support an organisation improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment every day of the year.

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Ribble Rivers Trust launches 10-year campaign to plant half a million trees

Logo: Ribble Rivers Trust

Ribble Rivers Trust has launched a decade-long campaign to double the area of woodland across Lancashire to fight climate change, improve air quality and reduce flooding.

(Ribble River Trust)

(Ribble River Trust)

Working with private and public sector supporters together with community-based groups and conservation charities, the Rivers Trust is aiming to create 100 kilometres of new or restored woodland alongside the Rivers Ribble, Lune and Wyre together with their network of tributaries.

The Trust’s ambitious 10-year Lancashire Woodland Connect initiative will create an expanding network of connected woodlands for the benefit of communities across the entire county.

Lancashire is one of the least wooded areas in the UK and a huge programme of tree-planting is critical if the county is to meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gases and slow climate change.

According to the National Forest Inventory, less than six per cent of Lancashire has tree cover – less than half the national average and one of the lowest of any counties in the UK. Increasing the proportion of woodland cover has been shown to contribute to reduced flood risk and soil loss and keeps rivers cooler and more oxygen-rich to benefit fish and wildlife.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) calculates that the UK as a whole needs to plant at least 100 square miles of new woodland EVERY YEAR. According to Forest Research, last year, the UK struggled to plant half this number of trees, with the overwhelming majority of those planted in Scotland.

Tree planting near Downham under the slopes of Pendle Hill (Ribble Rivers Trust)

Tree planting near Downham under the slopes of Pendle Hill

(Ribble Rivers Trust)

The Lancashire Woodland Connect project will bring a host of direct benefits in terms of:

  • Flood relief
  • Improved air quality
  • Enhanced water quality
  • A county-wide network of ‘Wildlife Corridors’
  • Improved recreational access for health and wellbeing
  • Job creation
  • Outdoor education

The initiative aims to raise £500,000 per year of funding from public and private sector partners, grants, and the general public in order to raise £5 million. Progress has already been made towards this year’s target and this exciting initiative will continue to engage thousands of sponsors, volunteers, schools and community groups.

Coordinated and managed by the Ribble Rivers Trust, by 2030 the new waterside woodlands will extend across some 350 hectares of Lancashire – stretching from the Yorkshire Border to the coast beyond Preston.

The project will:

  • Plant more than half a million trees over the next decade
  • Create a minimum of 50 full and part time jobs
  • Involve more than 3,500 volunteers across the county
  • Extract more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • Add in excess of £100 million of value to Lancashire’s Natural Asset Base

And the wider benefits will extend across Lancashire in terms of cleaner air, better water quality, recreational opportunities, education, upskilling and job creation.

Checking progress on new planting with a local farmer in the Hodder Valley (Forestry Commission)

Checking progress on new planting with a local farmer in the

Hodder Valley (Forestry Commission)

Ribble Rivers Trust Director Jack Spees said:

“There is huge appetite from communities across the Ribble catchment to do their bit to tackle climate change, increase biodiversity and contribute to natural flood risk management.

“Ribble Rivers Trust has planted more than 150,000 trees across Lancashire over the last five years through the delivery of multiple woodland creation projects. The Trust believes it has the skills, knowledge and experience to lead a concerted effort to achieve significant woodland creation at a catchment scale.”

Keith Ashcroft, Environment Agency Area Director for Cumbria and Lancashire

"Half a million new trees across these catchments will have an enormous impact on the quality, the health of the landscape – and how people interact with it. This ambitious scheme will improve the county's natural ability to slow water through the catchments, which in turn will reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and improve the resilience to climate change."

For further information, please call Jack Spees on 01200 444452. You can find further details on the RRT website, or Twitter @RibbleTrust

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Starry, starry nights

Logo: North York Moors National Park

A star-filled sky is one of nature's most natural wonders but they’re become harder than ever to experience.

Luckily the UK’s National Parks remain some of the best places in the country to see stars because of the low light pollution levels and clear horizons; the North York Moors is no exception. From a town or city, you'll be lucky to spot more than a handful of stars but the further away you get from street lights, the better the view. In the darkest areas of the National Park you can see up to 2,000 stars at any one time. But like any of our special landscapes, we need to understand potential threats to our Dark Skies and consider ways of protecting them wherever possible.

The benefits of reducing light pollution are much wider than just stargazing. They include tourism, education, wildlife habitats, human health and in reduced carbon emissions. As well as having a negative impact on nightscapes there is also the nuisance element of light extending into neighbouring properties.

Excessive lighting causes sky glow, which significantly impacts on the ability to see stars at night (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)
Excessive lighting causes sky glow, which significantly impacts on the ability to see stars at night (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)

Excess lighting can be reduced whilst maintaining safety and security (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)
Excess lighting can be reduced whilst maintaining safety and security (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)

What we’re doing to protect our nightscapes

A significant amount of work has already been undertaken by the North York Moors National Park to understand where the darkest areas are and what challenges are faced to stop or even reverse the spread of artificial light at night. This includes taking night sky readings to identify the darkest areas, auditing lighting types and creating a lighting management plan to improve lighting across the National Park.

North Yorkshire County Council has also committed to ensuring that all new street lighting in the National Park will be installed with a warmer colour temperature known to be more dark skies friendly. This has been supported by a European funded project and also through section 106 contributions from the Woodsmith Mine to compensate and mitigate for the negative impacts of the development.

More recently, we have launched a Dark Skies Friendly Lighting scheme, with grants available to groups and communities to improve lighting in neighbourhoods or clusters where a discernible difference can be made. Initially this will focus in and around the areas we have identified as our core (darkest) zone. The scheme will initially last for two years and £100,000 has been allocated, with grants up to £2,500 (50% of costs) available for lighting design services, new lighting and installation with the following criteria:

  • All lighting installed or modified will be considered ‘dark skies friendly’ as advised by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), including being fully shielded and positioned to cause zero upward light spill
  • All lights will be controlled by motion sensors and will not permanently lit
  • In exceptional circumstances, where need can be demonstrated, timers will be accepted where additional shielding measures have been taken but not if lit all night
  • All lights will be 500 lumens or less (unless an exceptional need can be demonstrated and that extra measures have been taken to prevent light spill)
  • All lights will be of a colour temperature of 3000 kelvin or preferably below.

The key message is not that all lighting should be removed but that it should be used only where required and when needed, with a warmer colour temperature that scatters less readily.

Help protect our dark skies by using light responsibly (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)
Help protect our dark skies by using light responsibly (Courtesy: International Dark-Sky Association)

Dark Skies Festivals - a celebration of dark skies around National Parks

As well as the work to conserve and enhance our night skies, we’re also keen for people to enjoy, discover and understand more about why our dark skies need protecting. And what better way to celebrate our star-studded skies than at an annual Dark Skies Festival?

Since 2016's inaugural event in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales, with a handful of events across nine days, Dark Skies Festivals have quickly become an unmissable fixture in the calendar. This year the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales (with our neighbouring Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and South Downs National Parks are celebrating the jewels of the night sky over 17 days, with more than 150 events during February and March; Exmoor National Park also organises an October Festival.

Mountain Biking at Sutton Bank Credit Steve Bell/NYMNPA

Mountain Biking at Sutton Bank Credit Steve Bell/NYMNPA

There are events for families, first-time stargazers and those wishing to expand their knowledge with talks from leading UK astronomers or astrophotography workshops. For the more active, enjoy after-dark walks, runs and bike rides as well as night zips or how about a mindfulness session? We work with local astronomy clubs and other star loving organisations to help you discover the wonder of the night skies and spark your imagination. The Festival also encourages out of season visits and overnight stays, giving an early boost to the tourism sector.

We look forward to welcoming you to experience our dark skies soon.

Dark Skies Festival 2020

The Yorkshire Dark Skies Festival runs from 14 February to 1 March 2020 at venues across the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, as well as Howardian Hills and Nidderdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Logo: Dark Skies Festival

Most events require advanced booking. For more information and the full Festival programme, go to 


Mike Hawtin, Head of Polyhalite Projects

Catriona McLees, Head of Marketing & Communications

North York Moors National Park Authority

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National Cycle Network – a haven for wildlife

Logo: Sustrans 

Traffic-free paths on the National Cycle Network benefit over four million people each year. Jim Whiteford, Senior Ecologist at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity and the custodian of the National Cycle Network, highlights the walking and cycling paths on the Network are also an important green corridor for our flora and fauna.

If you’ve walked or cycled anywhere in the UK, the chances are that you were on the National Cycle Network.

The Network, with its little blue signs, spans the length and breadth of the UK from the Shetland Islands to Land’s End and from East Anglia to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. It’s a vital part of the UK’s infrastructure strategy. It’s a national asset.

Fallowfield volunteers (Credit Ian Barker) 

Fallowfield volunteers (Credit Ian Barker)


Paths for everyone

The 16,575-mile Network is enjoyed by a multitude of people of all ages and abilities, and for a variety of reasons, including leisure, commuting to work and school, getting to the shops or visiting the local park. Over 4,000 miles on the Network comprises traffic-free paths that pass through a wide range of terrain including urban greenways, forest tracks and quiet country lanes.

The car-free paths are an especially important escape for those with mobility issues, the elderly and young families. Many of the routes follow canals or riversides, offering users the additional calming and restorative benefits of being close to water.

In many locations the traffic-free sections have become a real community hub, acting as a linear park, a stretch of wild nature in the midst of urban or suburban sprawl that offer an attractive place to walk the dog, get outside, breathe some fresh air, well away from traffic noise, exhaust fumes and pavement bustle.

But these green corridors aren’t just great for humans – they’re essential for wildlife too.

Greener Greenway Routes shown in red around Manchester (Credit Ian Barker)Greener Greenways

Wildlife on the traffic-free paths can thrive all year round, providing valuable niches and habitat for anything from hedgehogs to stag beetles.

UK’s single pockets of woodland or grassland surrounded by roads, towns and cities, changing climate and air pollution mean that it’s important to provide habitat connectivity to allow species to disperse, respond to changing environmental conditions, exchange genes and move around safely.

And paths on the Network can do just that – improve the connectivity between nature reserves and other important habitats.

Sustrans, with the support of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation (in England and Wales) and Scottish Natural Heritage (in Scotland), has been running conservation projects along sections of the National Cycle Network since 2013, called ‘Greener Greenways’.

Greener Greenway Routes shown in red around Manchester (Credit Ian Barker)

This biodiversity conservation project focuses on 66 traffic-free walking and cycling routes owned or managed by Sustrans across England, Wales and Scotland and helps manage the verges of off-road cycle paths in conjunction with internal land management teams and volunteers to create more species-rich linear habitats.

In order to improve levels of knowledge about the nature along its greenways, we identify what flora and fauna inhabit them through an expert survey, volunteer surveys, data searches and consultation with conservation organisations.

Using the data from England and Wales, we have also studied the current and potential role of the routes in reducing habitat fragmentation in collaboration with the University of York.

All this information informs the development of habitat management plans and helps us protect and enhance habitats and species populations, and increase biodiversity along the route and habitat connectivity.

The Greener Greenways routes total 418km in length and link with over 5,000km of additional greenways across the UK. The initial pilot in England and Wales ran for three and a half years, between May 2013 and Nov 2016, and has being rolled out across the UK between 2017 and 2019.

Much of the National Cycle Network is owned and managed by local councils, charities or individuals. The next stage of the Greener Greenways project is to partner with these landowners, share the lessons learned from the project, incorporate more areas into the project and work towards a more diverse conservation network nationwide.

Get involved

You can be involved in looking after and learning about nature along your local greenway. Read about becoming a Sustrans wildlife volunteer. We are also setting up ‘friends of’ groups to act as guardians and advocates of each greenway.

If you'd like to know more about designing and maintaining biodiverse paths, download our Greenway Management Handbook.

Case study: Butterfly Conservation’s Small Blue Butterfly Project – Warwickshire

Lias Line Signage (Sustrans)The small blue butterfly Cupido minimus is one of the rarest butterflies in the West Midlands Region with only three colonies surviving in 2008. It has vanished from Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands County. Although it just survives in Warwickshire, it has declined by 87% since the 1960s.

Lias Line Signage (Sustrans)

Butterfly Conservation has worked in partnership with Sustrans to restore and improve calcareous grasslands on the Lias Line greenway. Thanks to this partnership, including work by local volunteers, habitats along the greenway now supports 22% of the small blue butterfly colonies in Warwickshire, with overall butterfly diversity along the line growing from 17 in 2012 to 21 in 2016.

Case study (Scotland): Species-rich meadow creation in West Lothian

Meadow prep workday in May 2015 (Greener Greenways Scotland)

Meadow prep workday in May 2015 (Greener Greenways Scotland)


Site visit in July 2017 (Greener Greenways Scotland)This case study shows the transformation of species-poor grassland resulting from major infrastructure creation project to a colourful species-rich meadow attracting pollinators and visually pleasing to the users of the NCN 75 near Blackridge, West Lothian.


Site visit in July 2017 (Greener Greenways Scotland)


 Sustrans volunteers have started working on this site in 2015 after it was established through site survey and habitat management planning process that the site has a potential for biodiversity enhancement to provide a species-rich habitat requiring very little habitat management intervention in the long run.

The ground was prepared and sown with a seed mix of native wildflowers and grasses of Scottish provenance and the site gets cut by volunteers every autumn with traditional scythes. The benefits are manifold, the volunteers learn new skills or improve their scything technique, meet other likeminded people and spend the day outdoors, and above all throughout the year the site is a carpet of flowers and buzzing insects.

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What was the Year of Green Action?

Logo: Year of Green Action 2019

The government’s 25 Year Environment Plan published in 2018 set out its ambition for a healthier, greener future, with action to crack down on plastic waste pollution, create richer wildlife habitats, improve air and water quality, and connect more people with nature. This could not be delivered by government alone, and making 2019 a year of action for the environment showed how we all have a role to play to ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we found it. Children and young people were to be at the heart of the year, and we partnered with the youth social action charity, Step Up To Serve, to engage the younger generation in practical action for the environment.

The Year of Green Action (YoGA) was launched by Defra’s Secretary of State, Michael Gove, at the end of January, alongside the launch of Step Up To Serve’s #iwill4nature campaign, designed to involve more young people in social action to improve the environment. Throughout the year, a host of events run by partner organisations promoted the three themes of YoGA – connecting with nature, protecting nature and enhancing nature.

Year of Green Action Impact

The YoGA’s impact has been far-reaching and stimulated green actions across the whole country, including:

  • 4,000 pledges made at events and on our website for individual behaviour change, to live more lightly on the earth
  • 18,000 visits to the YoGA website where we are promoting 70 top tips for sustainable living and advertising events and green volunteering opportunities
  • 10,400 followers to our Twitter account with over 12,000 #YearOfGreenAction tweets from stakeholders, spreading our sustainability messages far and wide
  • 1,000 public pledges at our silver-medal winning YoGA garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. The Festival attracted over 40,000 visitors and the YoGA garden, designed by the Sensory Trust to show how to connect children of all abilities to nature through their senses, was featured on the BBC coverage
  • 6,500 participants and supporters at the Army’s YoGA-themed Ten Tors event, connecting young people of all abilities with nature in the magnificent Dartmoor National Park
  • Public sector partnerships – including in Kent, Liverpool, Birmingham and across the National Park family – engaging thousands of local people through running their own Years of Green Action in 2019
  • 50 #iwill4nature youth ambassadors recruited through our partnership with Step Up To Serve to engage and inspire change
  • Over 100 individual events promoting access to nature and environmental action, supported by the YoGA team and captured in an end of year review. They included a Boardroom in the Forest, which brought together young ambassadors and influential business leaders to drive corporate pledges for shifts towards more sustainable working practices
  • A series of sponsored awards which recognised stellar examples of green action. These included the Park Protectors Awards for NGOs, the Social Prescribing Awards for nature based health interventions, the Bees Needs Awards for primary schools, Groundwork Awards for community groups, the Brilliant Civil Service Awards for Government Departments, Advancing Healthcare Awards for healthcare providers and IEMA awards for businesses
  • Increased uptake of environmental volunteering in the Civil Service and developing green staff networks across government

The year stimulated lots of green action, which we hope will continue to grow and grow – please visit our website to read more!


Some highlights from the year [with photos]

Year of Green Action garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

Year of Green Action garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
Year of Green Action garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival


Go Wild Week in Kettering

Go Wild Week in Kettering

YoGA award runners-up: Butterfly Conservation’s All The Moor butterflies project staff with Defra Minister Rebecca Pow


Defra Director General, Sonia Phippard, at the launch of the Youth ForestDefra Director General, Sonia Phippard, at the launch of the Youth Forest


Launch of the Kew children’s garden

Launch of Kew children's garden

Launch of Kew children's garden


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We collate together news from across the internet; sent out in real time via twitter and each day we pick a handful of stories of interest which are included on the Headlines page, the daily email update and here grouped according to subject.


Click on the headline to read more.


Government Policy and announcements plus reactions.

Environment Bill sets out vision for a greener future - Defra

Landmark Bill will better protect our natural environment for generations to come.

Our precious natural environment will be better protected for generations to come with today’s (Thursday 30 January) introduction of a far-reaching Environment Bill.

The speedy return of the Bill to Parliament following the General Election underlines the government’s commitment to tackling climate change and to protecting and restoring our natural environment for future generations.

For the first time, the enhanced Bill will create new powers to stop the exports of polluting plastic waste to developing countries, which could prevent harmful waste from being shipped out of sight whilst boosting the UK’s domestic recycling system.

Tackling plastic pollution is just one example of where our commitments to the environment will go beyond the EU’s level of ambition and – by freeing ourselves from future changes to EU law – we will be able to lead the way at home and abroad to deliver global environmental change.

More broadly, the ground-breaking Bill will enshrine environmental principles in law and introduce measures to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.


Reaction: Environment and Fisheries Bills published today - an important first step towards wildlife recovery - The Wildlife Trusts

But, several crucial improvements are needed to save wildlife, say The Wildlife Trusts.

Today, the Government’s landmark Environment Bill finally returns to Parliament – an important first step towards wildlife recovery. Also published today is the Government’s Fisheries Bill. You can read our response to this a href=""> here.

With one in seven species in the UK now at risk of extinction and 58% of species in decline[1], The Wildlife Trusts have long called for ambitious new laws to allow nature to recover. Ensuring a healthy natural environment is vital to reversing the massive loss of nature as well as combating climate change and achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The Environment Bill, the first of its kind for over 20 years, will establish a new structure for managing the environment and will aim to strengthen environmental protections to reverse nature’s decline.

Joan Edwards, Director of Public Affairs for The Wildlife Trusts, says: “This much needed Bill is a crucial step in ensuring we halt the rapid decline of wildlife and the Government delivers on its pledge to develop the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth. We know that nature reserves alone are not enough for wildlife’s recovery."

Response: National Trust response to the new Environment Bill - National Trust

Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust, said: “This new Environment Bill will help close the gap left in our laws by our departure from the EU. We welcome the Government’s ambition, and are thankful for its ongoing commitment to this essential legislation. However, there is still much more work to do for the UK to be a leader on the world stage in 2020 and address the ongoing declines set out by the State of Nature report last October. The Bill is currently not strong enough to fulfil the Government’s promise of there being no drop in environmental standards once we leave the EU. For example, the new watchdog - the Office for Environmental Protection - needs to be completely independent from Government. Otherwise it won’t be able to deter future governments from breaking environmental laws or take meaningful action when they do. Nature is in serious trouble, and the Bill itself doesn’t currently set the ambitious targets we need to improve it. It also doesn’t put the historic environment on a level playing field with the natural environment and only applies to England. We need to see a clear commitment to a shared approach to the environment across the UK. If we end up with different environmental legal structures the biggest loser could be the environment itself. We will keep working constructively with Government for these key improvements as the Bill goes through Parliament.”


Time to step up and save our ocean - Defra

In the ‘super year’ for the ocean, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow issues urgent call for global action to halt damage to marine habitats.

Environment Minster Rebecca Pow has called for governments around the world to join the UK-led 30by30 initiative to protect at least 30% of the planet’s ocean by 2030.

2020 is a critical year for ocean protection, with the UK government pressing for higher marine protection targets, currently set at 10%, to be agreed as part of a new global biodiversity framework in October 2020.

Speaking at the Greenpeace launch later today (15 January) of an animated film depicting endangered marine life, the Minister is expected to say: Climate change is ocean change. The blue lungs that cover our planet underpin all health and wealth worldwide – yet we’re on track to lose the coral reefs that support over a quarter of marine species. In my lifetime we’ve lost a shocking half the population of our marine species, half our coastal wetlands, and half our Arctic ice, imperilling hundreds of millions of people living less than 10 meters above current sea levels. So those of us who can help must step up to support the ocean to adapt to climate change. Our government is already rolling out nature-based solutions to tackle it, for example our work to maintain and enhance 20,000 hectares of mighty mangroves in Madagascar, Indonesia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. But change requires collective effort. That’s why we’re calling for at least 30% of the world’s ocean to be safeguarded by Marine Protected Areas in the course of this decade.”


Agriculture Bill to boost environment and food production - Defra

A future where farmers are properly supported to farm more innovatively and protect the environment is a step closer today following the introduction of the Agriculture Bill.

The landmark legislation introduced today (16/1) will provide a boost to the industry after years of inefficient and overly bureaucratic policy dictated to farmers by the EU.

It sets out how farmers and land managers in England will in the future be rewarded with public money for “public goods” – such as better air and water quality, higher animal welfare standards, improved access to the countryside or measures to reduce flooding. This will contribute to the government’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, while at the same time, helping to boost farmers’ productivity.

This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments which pays farmers for the total amount of land farmed, skewing payments towards the largest landowners rather than those farmers delivering specific public benefits.

Instead, the new measures will provide a better future for agriculture in this country, maximising the potential of the land for food production and for delivering public goods.

The reforms set out in the Bill are supported by the manifesto commitment to maintain overall annual funding for farm support at current levels for the duration of this Parliament.

Landmark legislation to boost productivity and reward environmental improvements in the farming sector for decades to come.


Flagship Agriculture Bill moves a step forward - Defra

Agriculture Bill moves forward as Environment Secretary leads Second Reading in Parliament

Legislation that will transform British farming moves a step forward today (3/2), with Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers leading the Second Reading of the Agriculture Bill in the House of Commons.

The Bill was introduced on 16 January and will replace the EU’s flawed Common Agriculture Policy with a system where farmers are rewarded with public money for public goods, such as cleaner air and water or improved animal welfare standards. At the same time, it will help to boost productivity and maximise the potential of land for sustainable food production.

Today, just under three weeks after the Bill was introduced, the primary legislation is being brought forward for Second Reading in the House of Commons. This is the first opportunity for the new Bill to be debated by MPs.

The Environment Secretary will open the session with a speech setting out how the Bill will help safeguard nature in England and protect our countryside, with the future Environmental Land Management scheme already being tested and trialled with farmers in many parts of the country.


Land and Countryside Management.

Consultation: Connecting people and places - a draft policy statement on rangering in Scotland - Scottish Natural Heritage

SNH initiated this review in 2019 to update the existing 2008 SNH policy statement - Rangers in Scotland. The Ranger Development Partnership, a group with representatives from several key partners, has provided comments on earlier drafts. Views were also sought at the Ranger Managers’ Forum on 27th January 2020. We are now ready to consult more widely.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) pre-screening notification has agreed that carrying out an SEA for this policy review will not raise new environmental impacts that were not addressed in the 2008 Rangers in Scotland policy SEA, and therefore a new SEA is not required.

Responding to this consultation: In addition to general comments on the draft policy, views are specifically sought on a number of elements of the policy statement detailed in the consultation pro-forma available to download.

Written responses are sought by 13 March 2020.

More information here.


Have your say on measures to mitigate the impact of new development on protected New Forest habitats - New Forest National Park

Have your say on measures to mitigate the impact of new development on protected New Forest habitats

People are invited to have their say on measures to mitigate the potential recreational impact of building new homes and visitor accommodation within the National Park on the protected New Forest habitats.

Over half the New Forest National Park is internationally protected because of its rare habitats and wildlife, the highest proportion of land of any planning authority in England.

To help protect these areas the New Forest National Park Authority established a Habitat Mitigation Scheme in 2012, which sets out how new developments can mitigate the impacts of additional people using the Forest for recreation. The scheme now needs to be updated to reflect the new Local Plan for the National Park which was adopted in August 2019.

The proposed new scheme ensures that any new residential or visitor accommodation development will contribute towards identified mitigation projects to ensure these internationally protected areas are not adversely affected.

The consultation into the revised draft Habitat Mitigation Scheme runs for six weeks from Wednesday 8 January until Wednesday 19 February 2020.


Farmers urged to have say towards ‘revolutionary’ new land management scheme - North York Moors National Park

Working alongside Defra, the North York Moors National Park Authority is calling on farmers and land managers to assist in the creation of a brand new land management scheme that will deliver positive outcomes for both the environment and those whose livelihoods depend on the sustainable management of the land.

Defra aims to create a new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) that would deliver flexible long-term environmental objectives over the next 25 years, such as thriving plants and wildlife, clean air as well as mitigation/adaptation to climate change.

To support the development of this new scheme, staff from the North York Moors National Park Authority are urging farmers and land managers within the National Park to have their say through the completion of a questionnaire that will be released in early January 2020.

Rebecca Thompson, Future Farming Policy Officer for the National Park said: “This is the first time that farmers and land managers have had the opportunity to help co-design a revolutionary new approach towards land management. We do not underestimate the need to develop a plan that benefits both land managers as well as the environment and so it is vital that farmers come forward. At such a critical time for the environment it is vital that we all play our part towards a sustainable future.”

As part of the programme, farmers and land managers will have a contract to deliver environmental outcomes alongside their primary business supplying market products. ELMs will provide farmers, foresters and land managers with the opportunity to derive an income in return for delivering environmental benefits, fostering a more business led partnership approach between farmers, land managers and Defra.

The National Park Authority’s role is to identify which environmental benefits farmers and land managers within the National Park want to deliver as well as developing a tool to model the economic impact of a proposed scheme and the impact this has on different farming sectors within the National Park. There will also be focus groups and 1-2-1 interviews to collate more information.


New waste crime taskforce will tackle 'blight on our countryside' - NFU

A new taskforce has been created which is dedicated to tackling serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries.

The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) will bring together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.

Serious and organised waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy at least £600 million a year and a 2018 Home Office review found that perpetrators are often involved in other serious criminal activity, including large scale fraud and in some cases modern slavery.

Meanwhile, the last fly-tipping statistics for the year 2018/19 revealed that local authorities in England dealt with just over one million incidents, an increase of 8% from the 998,000 incidents reported in 2017/18.

Read the 2019 article from CLA on the changing nature of fly-tipping on our in-depth section



HS2 – new report reveals exorbitant cost to nature - The Wildlife Trusts

A new report published by The Wildlife Trusts today reveals, for the first time, the vast scale of the destruction and impact that HS2 will cause to nature. 'What’s the damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ is the most comprehensive assessment Drawing on data from 14 Wildlife Trusts affected by the current plans, other charities and landowners* along the route, the report shows that HS2 will divide and destroy huge swathes of irreplaceable natural habitat and important protected wildlife sites up the length of England.

This will cause permanent loss of nature, increased fragmentation of wild places, and the local extinction of endangered species.

The report finds that HS2’s current proposals will risk the loss of, or significantly impact:

  • 5 Wildlife refuges of international importance, protected by UK law

  • 33 Sites of Special Scientific Interest which are protected by UK law

  • 693 Classified Local Wildlife Sites

  • 21 Designated Local Nature Reserves

  • 26 Large landscape-scale initiatives, including:

    • 4 Nature Improvement Areas awarded £1.7 million of public money

    • 22 Living Landscapes – partnership schemes to restore nature

  • 18 Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves – many are also designated wildlife sites

  • 108 Ancient woodlands, an irreplaceable habitat

  • Other irreplaceable habitats such as veteran trees, wood pasture, old meadows

  • Extensive further areas of wider natural habitat

  • Barn owls and endangered wildlife such white-clawed crayfish, willow tit and lizard orchid. Rarities like dingy skipper may become locally extinct.

Nikki Williams, The Wildlife Trusts’ director of campaigns and policy says: “The figures are grim and the reality is worse. The potential loss of so many really important wild places and the wildlife that depends on them has never been revealed before – nor has the damage that will be done to taxpayer-funded, nature recovery projects. HS2 will destroy precious carbon-capturing habitats if it’s allowed to continue in its current form – it will damage the very ecosystems that provide a natural solution to the climate emergency."


Thousands ask Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS, high speed rail plans risk devastating environmental damage. - The Wildlife Trusts and Woodland Trust

Today (4/2) a letter from The Wildlife Trusts, signed by over 66,000 people will be delivered to 10 Downing Street highlighting the huge risks that HS2 poses to the environment, and asking the Prime Minister to ensure that the impact on nature is properly assessed as a matter of urgency.

The Woodland Trust is also handing over 42,000 comments, including 7,000 handwritten responses condemning the potential loss of ancient woodlands and thousands of trees which will be impacted or felled to make way for the line.

Nikki Williams, The Wildlife Trusts’ director of campaigns and policy says: “People want a commitment to ensure that nature does not pay the price for HS2. In only three weeks over 66,000 people have signed our letter to the Prime Minister showing that they care deeply about the risks to wildlife such as barn owls, and precious plants like the endangered lizard orchid. Current plans could devastate irreplaceable meadows, designated ancient woodlands and internationally important wetlands, creating an environmental scar that will not heal. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to stop and re-think HS2; the fate of hundreds of treasured wild places and the wildlife that depend on them, is in his hands.”

Head of Campaigning at the Woodland Trust, Adam Cormack says: “Government needs to realise that HS2 will cost far more than money, and that destroying our precious ancient woodlands is a grave mistake that will be looked back on in shock by future generations. “Our ancient woodlands and the unique species they support are on borrowed time. We need the Prime Minister to stop the clocks and listen to the views of thousands before it’s too late to save these sites from destruction. It’s time to rethink HS2.”

A recent report published by The Wildlife Trusts, including data from the Woodland Trust, revealed evidence of the vast scale of destruction and impact that HS2 could cause to nature. ‘What’s the damage? Why HS2 will cost nature too much’ is the most comprehensive assessment of potential environmental damage.

The letter that over 66,000 people have signed to the Prime Minister is here.


Oxford-Cambridge rail scheme’s “net gain” commitment shows HS2 failing nature - RSPB

Transport Secretary’s announcement of preferred route for East West Rail timely reminder of HS2’s failure to protect environment

Responding to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapp’s announcement on 30 January of the preferred route for the proposed East West Rail connection between Oxford and Cambridge, the RSPB has said the scheme highlights the environmental shortcomings of its more (in)famous peer, High Speed 2.

In publishing it’s preferred route option for the section of the line between Bedford and Cambridge, East West Rail Co. restated its commitment to achieving “biodiversity net gain” from the project – something HS2 Ltd has so far failed to adopt.

Notwithstanding concerns about the potential impact of the final alignment of the line, and the “unfathomable decision” not to electrify the route, the RSPB claims East West Rail’s net gain ambition marks a line in the sand for large national infrastructure projects to protect and restore nature.

RSPB Operations Director Jeff Knott: “Given the very negative response of HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport to the numerous concerns that have been raised about the scheme’s impacts on wildlife, it is something of a revelation that another national rail scheme right next door is making such positive noises about its intent towards nature. Everything we understand about HS2’s likely environmental impacts points to the high price it will exact from nature. Given the enormous challenges we are facing with the loss of wildlife and habitats, climate change and the threat to ecosystems, it’s not a price we should even be considering making nature pay.”

HS2 Ltd, the public company responsible for building HS2, has never subscribed to biodiversity net gain, instead opting for the less beneficial goal of “no net loss”.

The consensus among conservation organisations is that it is likely to fail to achieve even this target, with impacts on irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland and birds like the barn owl a major concern.


Arboriculture, Forestry, Woodland and Trees

Number of threatened ancient woodlands tops the thousand mark - Woodland Trust

The number of ancient woods under threat in the UK from built development has topped the thousand mark for the first time since records began.

Protection for our irreplaceable ancient woods and trees must be given high priority. Credit: Ben Lee / WTMLProtection for our irreplaceable ancient woods and trees must be given high priority. Credit: Ben Lee / WTML

Figures released today by the Woodland Trust show it is aware of 1,064 ancient woodlands at risk of damage or destruction - the highest number since it started compiling the data in 1999. But this may just be the tip of the iceberg as there may well be others it has not been notified of.

Of these cases 801 are live planning applications while the remaining 263 are included in various council site allocation plans – areas outlined for future development such as housing, business use or leisure facilities.

Site allocations are the main nature of threat, followed by housing (175), utilities (148), railways (112), roads (91), agriculture (78) and leisure or sport (49). The biggest single development project threatening ancient woods is HS2. At least 108 ancient woodlands will be lost or damaged by the project in its current form.

As well as development, our ancient woodlands are facing threats like deposition of nitrogen from poultry farms near ancient woods and there’s an alarming growth in threats of tree disease from imported plants and wood.

The charity is calling on the new Government to ensure protection for our irreplaceable ancient woods and trees is a high priority.


Ash dieback project launches International Year of Plant Health - Defra

The Ash Archive initiative is a major step towards maintaining and restoring ash in the British landscape.

Three thousand trees have been planted in Hampshire as part of a pioneering project to tackle the devastating tree disease, Ash Dieback.

Ash tree leaves. Credit: Forestry Commission.Ash tree leaves. Credit: Forestry Commission.

The UK’s first Ash Archive has been established using £1.9 million of government funding and is the culmination of projects spanning 5 years to identify ash with a high tolerance to the disease.

The archive is a major step towards maintaining and restoring ash in the British landscape. It is intended that it will provide the basis for a breeding programme of tolerant ash over time and will enable the development of orchards producing commercially available seed.

Today (17 January 2020), the government’s Chief Plant Health Officer will visit the project to plant one of the last trees in the archive. The ceremony marked the beginning of the International Year of Plant Health – a global initiative to raise awareness on the importance of healthy plants and trees to protecting nature, the environment and boosting economic development.

Ash dieback is a highly destructive disease which was first identified in the UK in 2012. The fungus penetrates the leaves of ash trees, before growing inside the tree eventually blocking its water transport systems and causing it to die. Spores of the fungus travel in the wind, meaning the disease spreads easily and making it difficult to limit its impact. However, projects to identify trees which are tolerant to the disease mean that the population could recover over time.


Woodland Trust chief delivers stark warning as charity publishes emergency tree plan for the UK - Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust today publishes its Emergency Tree Plan – the first of its kind and a challenge to governments. It sets out how the UK can rapidly increase tree cover to help reach net zero carbon emissions and tackle the declines in wildlife.

Emergency Tree Plan for the UK (Woodland Trust)Key points include:

  • Design and fund an approach to woodland creation that addresses both the climate and nature crises together

  • Annual rates of woodland creation need to be more than doubled, starting in 2020

  • New targets for quality of woodland creation as well as quantity

  • New grants should be provided for natural regeneration of trees

  • An emergency increase in resources is required to help national and local government deliver on Government tree pledges across the UK.

Emergency Tree Plan for the UK (Woodland Trust)

Dr Darren Moorcroft, CEO of the Woodland Trust said: “As the chief executive of the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity I’m acutely aware that we start 2020 with more woods under threat from destruction than any other time in history. Tree planting rates are the lowest in decades, and 1 in 10 wildlife and plant species is under threat from extinction. Disease and pests have taken hold and risk wiping out millions of our native trees. Never has the picture appeared bleaker. We’ve seen a lot of talk about trees and that is welcome but we’ve yet to see the action that is required. We’ve left ourselves a phenomenal amount to do in a very short space of time. The moment of crisis has come and action needs to be taken this year. Today we launch our Emergency Tree Plan, which outlines what needs to be done to increase our tree cover to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies and to help the UK reach its targets for net zero carbon emissions. Government needs bold policies and local authorities and landowners need the support to act swiftly and of a scale to expand tree cover across the UK. I can’t stress enough that we can’t be here, in the same position next year for all our sakes.”

Read the Emergency Tree Plan here



Help Our Kelp - Byelaw Update - Sussex Wildlife Trust

The pioneering campaign to restore a vast underwater kelp forest off the Sussex coast achieved its first major milestone yesterday, when the introduction of a critical new byelaw was agreed.

The new byelaw, which will see trawling excluded from a vast 304 km2 of Sussex coastline year-round, was agreed by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Sussex IFCA) on 23 January. The decision was made following an extensive consultation period, which saw overwhelming support demonstrated by almost 2,500 people in response to the Help Our Kelp campaign.

Sussex IFCA’s decision brings the first ever UK kelp rewilding initiative one step closer, and aims to give the kelp the breathing space it needs to recover. Over time, repeated passes by trawling vessels have torn kelp from the sea floor and prevented natural regeneration, so the alleviation of this major pressure is the critical first step towards recovery.

Sir David Attenborough lent his support to the campaign in October 2019 when he voiced the Help Our Kelp campaign film,, showcasing the wealth of wildlife to be found in this diverse habitat.

The new byelaw must now be passed to the Secretary of State at Defra for approval before it can be implemented, so the Help Our Kelp Partnership now wish to see it signed off quickly before another year of trawling damages the seabed in this vulnerable in-shore zone.


New £2.5 million project launched to restore fragile marine habitats - Natural England

Natural England’s ‘Recreation ReMEDIES’ project is launched today with £2.5 million of funding.

The future of England’s most important underwater habitats have today (29 January) received an important boost after a marine restoration project received £2.5 million funding.

Spiny Seahorse in seagrass. Mark Parry, Natural England.The LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project, led by Natural England, will protect seagrass meadows - a critically endangered EU red listed habitat which are easily damaged and slow to recover. They are threatened by anchoring, mooring and launching of recreational boats, as well as trampling from walkers and bait collectors. The project will provide environmentally friendly moorings, voluntary codes, targeted training and habitat restoration, in five areas across southern England.

Spiny Seahorse in seagrass. Mark Parry, Natural England.

Seagrass meadows stabilise the seabed, clean surrounding seawater and absorb carbon, helping to prevent climate change. It has been estimated that seagrass around our shores can absorb and store at least as much carbon per hectare as trees in UK woodland. These plants are havens for many marine animals including rare seahorses, stalked jellyfish, and rare seaweeds. These habitats are also perfect for fish nurseries, including commercially valuable flatfish such as plaice and flounder.

The five Marine Protected Areas, set to benefit from the funded project are: the Isles of Scilly, Fal & Helford, Plymouth Sound & Estuaries, Solent Maritime and Essex Estuaries Special Areas of Conservation.


Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

Study predicts non native invasions in Antarctica - UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

A new study identifies the most damaging invasive non-native species likely to arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula region over the next decade.

Mussels can spread easily, threatening marine life on the seabed Picture: David Barnes, BASMussels can spread easily, threatening marine life on the seabed Picture: David Barnes, BAS

The work by an international research team, led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), will inform measures to prevent and mitigate future invasions. Of the 103 species considered in detail, 13 were identified as most likely to arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula region from other parts of the world and potentially have a devastating impact on the fragile polar biological communities in marine and terrestrial Antarctic habitats.

Marine invertebrates such as mussels and crabs are top of the list of invasive species expected to arrive over the next decade, though button weed and mites were also identified as imminent threats. Mussels, for example, can survive in polar waters and spread easily, threatening marine life on the seabed; their water filtering alters the marine food chain and also the chemistry of the water around them

The research was overseen by Professor Helen Roy, a UKCEH ecologist who is also co-chair of a major global assessment into invasive non-native species by IPBES (the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

The study was part of a wider UK government-funded research programme predicting the threat from invasive non-native species that includes all the UK Overseas Territories. The researchers analysed hundreds of academic papers, reports and databases to find the species most likely to invade the Antarctic Peninsula.

Dr Kevin Hughes of BAS, lead author of the study, which has been published in Global Change Biology, says: “The Antarctic Peninsula region is by far the busiest and most visited part of Antarctica due to growing tourism and scientific research activities. Non-native species can be transported to Antarctica by many different means. Visitors can carry seeds and non-sterile soil attached to their clothing and footwear. Imported cargo, vehicles and fresh food supplies can hide species, including insects, plants and even rats and mice. Marine species present a particular problem as they can be transported to Antarctica attached to ship hulls. They can be very difficult to remove once established.”


Benefits of conservation efforts may not yet be fully visible - Newcastle University

The time it takes for species to respond to conservation measures – known as an ‘ecological time lag’ – could be partly masking any real progress that is being made, experts have warned.

Global conservation targets to reverse declines in biodiversity and halt species extinctions are not being met, despite decades of conservation action.

Last year, a UN report on global biodiversity warned one million species are at risk of extinction within decades, putting the world’s natural life-support systems in jeopardy.

The report also revealed we were on track to miss almost all the 2020 nature targets that had been agreed a decade earlier by the global Convention on Biological Diversity.

But work published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution offers new hope that in some cases, conservation measures may not necessarily be failing, it is just too early to see the progress that is being made.

Led by Forest Research together with the University of Stirling, Natural England, and Newcastle University, the study authors highlight the need for ‘smarter’ biodiversity targets which account for ecological time-lags to help us better distinguish between cases where conservation interventions are on track to achieve success but need more time for the conservation benefits to be realised, and those where current conservation actions are simply insufficient or inappropriate.

Improving the way we evaluate 'success'

Lead researcher Dr Kevin Watts of Forest Research said: “We don’t have time to wait and see which conservation measures are working and which ones will fail. But the picture is complicated and we fear that some conservation actions that will ultimately be successful may be negatively reviewed, reduced or even abandoned simply due to the unappreciated delay between actions and species’ response.


Assessing risk of chemicals to wildlife is huge challenge that requires a new approach - UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH)

Computer modelling and long-term ecological monitoring will be essential to assess the environmental risks of the rapidly growing number of chemicals across the world, according to a new review paper in the journal Science.

The analysis, led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), says the sheer number of chemicals and substances is making it increasingly challenging to carry out the risk assessments required to check all products are completely safe for wildlife.

The EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation 2006 set an important precedent – that the onus to demonstrate a chemical was safe for humans and the environment should lie with the manufacturer. However, out of more than 100,000 chemicals on the market in Europe, only a small fraction have been thoroughly evaluated for their potential harmful impacts on humans and the environment.

Professor Andrew Johnson of UKCEH, lead author of the paper, explains that, for example, there has been a lot of evaluation of the effects of pesticides on the environment but not washing detergents, despite their widespread use. He adds pharmaceuticals do not need an environmental risk assessment, and there has been little research into the potential impacts of several key classes of drugs on wildlife.

The paper’s authors say this approach requires greater co-operation between scientists across different disciplines, and are calling on ecotoxicologists and environmental chemists to collaborate with ecologists. One example of best practice of retrospective risk assessment and multidisciplinary collaboration, cited in the paper, is the investigative research carried out after declines were noted in bee populations. Several global studies, including UKCEH’s pan-European field trial in 2014/15, showed that exposure to certain neonicotinoids had a negative impact on bees, resulting in EU bans on those pesticides.

Professor Johnson explains: “Our current system of chemical risk assessment is based on prospective rather than both prospective and retrospective analysis. Long-term environmental monitoring is not normally at the front of the queue for receiving funding, but it’s cost effective and can provide the most compelling evidence of whether our use of chemicals is sustainable.”

Access the paper: Andrew C. Johnson, Xiaowei Jin, Norihide Nakada, John P. Sumpter. 2020. Learning from the past and considering the future of chemicals in the environment. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aay6637


Scotland in world first for genetic diversity - Scottish Natural Heritage

Scientists have developed a world-first method to help understand and conserve genetic diversity in some of our most iconic wild species.

Heather, red squirrel, golden eagle, Scottish bluebell and Scots pine are among those assessed in a new report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Genetic diversity is the differences among individuals due to variation in their DNA.

Red Squirrel © Lorne Gill/SNHRed Squirrel © Lorne Gill/SNH

Conserving the genetic diversity of plants, animals and wild species is the focus of one of the 20 international Aichi biodiversity targets.

But while there are strategies in place to assess and report on genetic diversity in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, there is a gap when it comes to wild species.

Researchers identified a list of target species of particular importance for Scotland and developed a “genetic scorecard” for each, assessing their genetic diversity and any associated risks.

The species were chosen for their conservation or cultural value, importance for food and medicines or because they provide crucial ecosystem services such as carbon storage.

The research found that four of the assessed species - wildcat, ash, great yellow bumblebee and freshwater pearl mussel - were classed as being at risk of severe genetic problems as a result of factors including non-native species, disease, habitat loss and pollution.

Harebell (Scots bluebell) ©Lorne Gil / SNH 

Harebell (Scots bluebell) ©Lorne Gil / SNH

David O'Brien, SNH Biodiversity Evidence and Reporting Manager, said: “Often when we talk about biodiversity the focus is on species and ecosystems, but genetic diversity is also essential for nature to be resilient in the face of pressures such as climate change, and it’s great that Scotland is leading the way in this field. For the first time, this report sets out a clear ‘scorecard’ method for assessing the genetic diversity of wild species and applies this to some of our most important plants, animals and birds. Not only does it fill a major gap in addressing the international target for genetic biodiversity conservation but importantly it can be expanded to cover many more species, and adapted for use in any country in the world.”



Small predators lose out from human land use - University College London (UCL)

Predators, especially small invertebrates like spiders and ladybirds, are the most likely to be lost when natural habitats are converted to agricultural land or towns and cities, finds a new UCL-led study.

A Malaysian spider, one of the small predators found in the study to be most affected by habitat loss. Credit: Dr Tim NewboldThe first of its kind, global study on the impacts of human land use on different groups of animals is published in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology.

“Normally when we think of predators, we think of big animals like lions or tigers. These large predators did not decline as much as we expected with habitat loss, which we think may be because they have already declined because of human actions in the past (such as hunting)” said lead author Dr Tim Newbold (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment)

A Malaysian spider, one of the small predators found in the study to be most affected by habitat loss. Credit: Dr Tim Newbold

“We find small predators – such as spiders and ladybirds – to show the biggest declines.”

Small ectotherms (cold blooded animals such as invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians), large endotherms (mammals and birds) and fungivores (animals that eat fungi) were also disproportionally affected, with reductions in abundance of 25-50% compared to natural habitats.

The researchers analysed over one million records of animal abundance at sites ranging from primary forest to intensively managed farmland and cities. The data represented over 25,000 species across 80 countries. Species were grouped by size, whether they were warm or cold blooded and by what they eat. Species ranged from the oribatid mite weighing only 2x10-6 g, to an African elephant weighing 3,825 kg.

The results indicate that the world’s ecosystems are being restructured with disproportionate losses at the highest trophic levels (top of the food chain). Knowing how different animal groups are impacted by changing land-use could help us better understand how these ecosystems function and the consequences of biodiversity change.


Brilliant iridescence can conceal as well as attract - University of Bristol

A new study shows for the first time that the striking iridescent colours seen in some animals increase their chances of survival against predators by acting as a means of camouflage. Rather than reveal it seems these dynamically changing shades are used to conceal, according to the University of Bristol study published today [23 January] in Current Biology.

rosemary beetleUntil now, it was assumed that the iridescent colours seen in nature have two main purposes: they can help animals find mates, or act as a warning to predators that a prey item may be poisonous.

Researchers at Bristol’s Camo Lab wanted to find out why this vivid metallic coloration has evolved in so many different species of animals by investigating its biological function. They chose to test this theory on the vividly coloured jewel beetle (Sternocera aequisignata) because both sexes of this species are iridescent which makes sexual signalling somewhat less likely as a function of the colour.

rosemary beetle (pixabay)

They tested the idea of iridescence-as-camouflage by placing iridescent and non-iridescent beetle models on leaves in the forest and noted their survival against attacks by wild birds. They found that the models with biological iridescence, survived best against birds, providing evidence that iridescence can increase prey survival and that these bright metallic colours could have evolved in beetles to confuse birds – their primary predator.

Dr Karin Kjernsmo, the study’s lead author at the University of Bristol School of Biological Sciences, said: “Iridescent colours are most likely familiar to you from everyday objects such as soap bubbles and CDs, but this striking form of structural colour is also very common in nature. Iridescence has evolved independently in everything from jewel-like insects to shimmering birds and can even be spotted in your garden in insects such as Rose Chafers and Rosemary beetles.

Read: Iridescence as Camouflage by Karin Kjernsmo, Heather M. Whitney, Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel, Joanna R. Hall, Henry Knowles, Laszlo Talas and Innes C. Cuthill in Current Biology.


Zoo improvements should benefit all animals - University of Exeter

Zoo improvements should benefit all animals and include a wide range of “enrichment” techniques, researchers say. Zoos have made great advances in “environmental enrichment” – making changes to encourage natural behaviour and improve animal wellbeing. But researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Winchester say efforts disproportionally focus on large, “popular” animals – with less focus on creatures such as invertebrates, fish and reptiles.

Clown fish enrichment - a mix of corals and anemones provides a dynamic environment for fish to interact with (credit Paul Rose)The study, based on interviews with zoo professionals, revealed support for enrichment – but a lack of evaluation and evidence to measure the effectiveness of changes.

Clown fish enrichment - a mix of corals and anemones provides a dynamic environment for fish to interact with (credit Paul Rose)

“There are a range of different types of enrichment, and it seems that only certain types are used for certain species,” said Dr Paul Rose, of the University of Exeter. “For example, enrichment for large predators will often focus on the way they are fed. But nutrition is only one of the five categories of enrichment – along with the physical environment, sensory stimulation, occupation (activities) and social structure.”

Previous Exeter research showed that research carried out in zoos focusses disproportionately on animals that are popular with zoo visitors – and a similar pattern exists in enrichment.

“It’s common to see a lot of effort devoted to enriching the environment for lions or tigers,” said Dr Rose. “But who considers giving enrichment to invertebrates? We wanted to investigate what enrichment is out there for the ‘less exciting’ species we house in the zoo. Invertebrates, birds, reptiles and fish are all complex beings, and each species has evolved for a particular niche – so it’s possible to enrich their environments to reflect their natural habitats and social structures.”

The paper, published in the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, is entitled: “Concepts, applications, uses and evaluation of environmental enrichment: Perceptions of zoo professionals.”


Building for bats in an urban world - British Trust for Ornithology

A new study by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the University of Turin shows how to minimise impacts of urban growth on bats at a time when the need for new housing often hits the headlines.

Urbanisation is amongst the most ecologically damaging changes in land use, posing significant threats to global biodiversity. Most bat species are threatened by urbanisation, although urban areas can also offer important roosting and foraging opportunities. Could developers consider how bats are likely to respond to urbanisation, and take steps to minimise negative impacts?

Whiskered Bat by Jan Svetlik (via BTO)In a paper just published in the international journal Biological Conservation, scientists used bat calls collected by volunteer citizen scientists taking part in the Norfolk Bat Survey to address this question. The huge acoustic dataset, consisting of over one million recordings gathered between 2013 and 2016, was used to show the importance of habitat features, including buildings and roads, waterbodies and trees, to bats in urban areas. This is especially important given that parts of the study region have been identified as target areas to create new, affordable housing. The researchers also considered possible future scenarios of urban development, assuming an increase in either urban habitat or woodland.

Whiskered Bat by Jan Svetlik (via BTO)

Barbastelle, Brown Long-eared Bat and Myotis species emerged as the species most vulnerable to urbanisation. Overall, lakes and woodland patches were the most important habitat types for bats, while urban areas were often avoided. The results suggest that to build for bats, urban growth should expand on existing urban blocks, rather than create new urban patches. This would minimise impacts on areas that bats use for commuting or foraging. The study also showed that creating bat-friendly habitats of an area at least equal to any new urban settlement could provide mitigation for the negative effects of urbanisation. New patches of woodland should also be encouraged, while preserving unmanaged areas within large commercial coniferous plantations would support their use by bats.

Read the paper: Fabrizio Gili, Stuart E. Newson, Simon Gillings, Dan E. Chamberlain, Jennifier A. Border, Bats in urbanising landscapes: habitat selection and recommendations for a sustainable future, Biological Conservation, Volume 241, 2020, 108343, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108343. (open access)


Size matters! What drives zoo attendance and how does footfall impact conservation? - Trinity College Dublin

Scientists from Trinity, Species360 and NUI Galway have quantified what drives attendance to zoos by assessing how variations in animal collections affect footfall.

(image: Trinity College Dublin)(image: Trinity College Dublin)

Crucially, they link their findings to the contributions made to conservation efforts in situ (in the wild), and find that zoos are making significant, positive impacts on our attempts to conserve biodiversity as our planet enters its sixth mass extinction.

Among the headline findings are that zoos with lots of animals, lots of different species (particularly mammals), and with large animals such as elephants, tigers and pandas attract higher numbers of visitors. It is difficult for zoos to fulfil all of these requirements simultaneously however as large animals take up a lot of space and resources meaning relatively few can be accommodated.

The research found that instead of a “one size fits all” approach to a zoo collection there are several different strategies that can be used to encourage attendance, including the inclusion of unusual animals.

This research used a global data-set for 458 zoos in 58 countries, including species holdings data from the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) managed by Species360. More than 1,200 wildlife institutions curate and share animal data as members of Species360, contributing real-time demographic, medical, genetic, and population insights for more than 22,000 species and 10,000,000 individual animals, both living and historic.

Read the paper: Mooney, A., Conde, D.A., Healy, K. et al. A system wide approach to managing zoo collections for visitor attendance and in situ conservation. Nat Commun 11, 584 (2020).


Fish and Chips - Tracking Salmon - Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is delighted to be involved in an independent, ground-breaking project tracking Atlantic salmon in the River Derwent, starting in April 2020.

Atlantic salmon are in decline internationally meaning fewer and fewer of these iconic fish are returning to rivers to reproduce than have done previously. This cutting edge project is the first of its kind for Cumbria and will uncover more about the movement of fish from the River Derwent to the Irish Sea as well as the issues they face along the way. Through partnership with the University of Glasgow the project aims to open avenues to improve the declining salmon stocks on the Derwent.

Phil Ramsden from the Environment Agency said “We are very excited about this project. This is a huge opportunity for the River Derwent salmon population, and all those who are interested in it. Using special tracking technology, this project aims to shed light on the journey our salmon make through the River Derwent and into the Irish Sea as well as highlighting the issues they face along the way. This is a pioneering project for Cumbria, and one of only a few ever conducted worldwide.”

The Environment Agency have formed a strong partnership with the University of Glasgow, who will be leading this study, through a PHD studentship. With strong links to other key salmon tracking projects, such as “The Missing Salmon Project” this is a huge opportunity for the River Derwent to be on the forefront of scientific understanding in this area.


Land Management 

Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests - Cambridge University

River flow is reduced in areas where forests have been planted and does not recover over time, a new study has shown. Rivers in some regions can completely disappear within a decade. This highlights the need to consider the impact on regional water availability, as well as the wider climate benefit, of tree-planting plans.

Shallow river bed in Buderim Forest Park, Queensland, Australia. Credit: Laura Bentley“Reforestation is an important part of tackling climate change, but we need to carefully consider the best places for it. In some places, changes to water availability will completely change the local cost-benefits of tree-planting programmes,” said Laura Bentley, a plant scientist in the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, and first author of the report.

Shallow river bed in Buderim Forest Park, Queensland, Australia. Credit: Laura Bentley

Planting large areas of trees has been suggested as one of the best ways of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, since trees absorb and store this greenhouse gas as they grow. While it has long been known that planting trees reduces the amount of water flowing into nearby rivers, there has previously been no understanding of how this effect changes as forests age.

The study looked at 43 sites across the world where forests have been established, and used river flow as a measure of water availability in the region. It found that within five years of planting trees, river flow had reduced by an average of 25%. By 25 years, rivers had gone down by an average of 40% and in a few cases had dried up entirely. The biggest percentage reductions in water availability were in regions in Australia and South Africa.


Climate change

Rewilding can help mitigate climate change, researchers highlight after conducting global assessment - University of Sussex

A new study has shown that rewilding can help to mitigate climate change, delivering a diverse range of benefits to the environment with varied regional impacts.

Research led by the University of Sussex and published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, provides a global assessment of the potential for trophic rewilding to help mitigate climate change.

(image: University of Sussex)Trophic rewilding restores lost species to ecosystems, which can have cascading influences over the whole food web. This typically means reintroducing large herbivores (e.g. elephants) and top predators (e.g. wolves), or species known to engineer more diverse and complex habitats and benefit biodiversity (e.g. beavers).

(image: University of Sussex)

But reintroducing species not only influences the local environment, it can also influence the climate. Animals, particularly megaherbivores (like elephants) and large ruminants (like bison and cattle) produce methane - a greenhouse gas. Big herbivores also eat large quantities of vegetation which can prevent trees growing. This stops trees capturing carbon, but on the other hand, it can also prevent trees from reducing albedo in the far north and so mitigate warming. Big herbivores also distribute large seeded trees that are particularly good at capturing carbon.

The influence big herbivores have is also partly dependent on the effects of big predators. The larger the predators present, the bigger the herbivore species regularly on the menu. But because of past extinctions the surviving species that can be reintroduced is limited and this changes the number and type of large herbivores that are more likely to reach relatively high densities and so have bigger impact on their environment.

According to this new research, all of these interacting relationships mean applying trophic rewilding in different parts of the world will have different outcomes for climate mitigation.

Read the paper: Christopher J. Sandom, Owen Middleton, Erick Lundgren, John Rowan, Simon D. Schowanek, Jens-Christian Svenning and Søren Faurby Trophic rewilding presents regionally specific opportunities for mitigating climate change. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B


Climate change increases the risk of wildfires confirms new review - University of East Anglia

Human-induced climate change promotes the conditions on which wildfires depend, increasing their likelihood - according to a review of research on global climate change and wildfire risk published today.

In light of the Australian fires, scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA), Met Office Hadley Centre, University of Exeter, Imperial College London, and CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, have conducted a Rapid Response Review of 57 peer-reviewed papers published since the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report in 2013.

All the studies show links between climate change and increased frequency or severity of fire weather - periods with a high fire risk due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and often high winds - though some note anomalies in a few regions.

Rising global temperatures, more frequent heatwaves and associated droughts in some regions increase the likelihood of wildfires by stimulating hot and dry conditions, promoting fire weather, which can be used as an overall measure of the impact of climate change on the risk of fires occurring.

Observational data shows that fire weather seasons have lengthened across approximately 25 per cent of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in about a 20 per cent increase in global mean length of the fire weather season.

The literature review was carried out using the new online platform, set up by UEA and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. ScienceBrief is written by scientists and aims to share scientific insights with the world and keep up with science, by making sense of peer-reviewed publications in a rapid and transparent way.


Rising sea-levels and increased storms pose threat to coastal communities - University of Plymouth

The report was written for the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership by world-leading researchers from the University of Plymouth

The rate of coastal erosion around the UK is expected to increase substantially in the future, according to a new study by the University of Plymouth.

The report, prepared for the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), highlights that 17% of coastlines in the UK and 19.9% in Ireland are being affected by a range of issues including sea-level rises and the increased frequency and intensity of extreme storms.

England and Wales are the worst affected UK regions, with 28% of their 3700km of coast experiencing erosion greater than 10 cm per year, while more than three-quarters of Scotland’s coast is unlikely to erode at perceptible rates.

The report was written by world-leading researchers from the University of Plymouth, Scottish Natural Heritage, Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Cambridge.

As well as reference to studies by scientists in Plymouth, it includes forecasts based on the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) report which suggests sea levels could increase by as much as 80cm by 2100 with wave height rises of up to 20%, particularly in the south-west of the UK and Ireland.

However, it emphasises that while climate change and sea-level rise are both gradual and global events, coastal erosion and flooding are highly episodic and short-term processes and normally very localised in terms of impact.


Cutting road transport pollution could help plants grow - University of Exeter

Cutting emissions of particular gases could improve conditions for plants, allowing them to grow faster and capture more carbon, new research suggests.

A cocktail of gases – including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and methane – combines in the atmosphere to form ozone.

Ozone at the Earth’s surface limits photosynthesis, reducing plants’ ability to grow.

University of Exeter researchers say cutting emissions of ozone-forming gases offers a“unique opportunity” to create a “natural climate solution”.

A 50% cut in emissions of these gases from the seven largest human-made sources – including road transport (the largest emitter) and energy production – would help plants contribute to “negative carbon emissions”, the study says.

“Ecosystems on land currently slow global warming by storing about 30% of our carbon dioxide emissions every year,” said Professor Nadine Unger, of the University of Exeter. “This carbon capture is being undermined by ozone pollution. Our findings suggest the largest losses of plant productivity are in the eastern United States, Europe and eastern China, which all have high levels of surface ozone pollution. The impact on plant growth in these areas is estimated to be 5-20% annually.”

Ozone is not emitted directly but forms in the atmosphere during complex chemical reactions of carbon monoxide, methane, non-methane volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

The seven areas of human activity that emit the largest amounts of these gases are agriculture, residential, energy, industry, road transportation, waste/landfill and shipping.

The study says a target of cutting these specific emissions by 50% is “large but plausible”, citing examples of cuts already made in some industries.

Read the paper: Unger, N., Zheng, Y., Yue, X & Harper, K. L. Mitigation of ozone damage to the world’s land ecosystems by source sector. Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/s41558-019-0678-3


Losing coastal plant communities to climate change will weaken sea defences - University of Plymouth

The research was led by the University of Plymouth and is published in a special edition of the journal Annals of Botany

Coastal plant communities are a crucial element of global sea defences but are increasingly threatened by the human-induced effects of climate change, according to new research.

Rising sea levels and the increased frequency and intensity of extreme storm events are having a visible, global impact on beaches, cliff faces and coastal infrastructure.

But a new report suggests their impact on coastal plants, an integral part of shoreline defences, needs to be placed in greater focus.

The research was led by the University of Plymouth, in conjunction with scientists at Utrecht University and Manchester Metropolitan University, and is published in a special edition of the journal Annals of Botany.

It follows a recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2019), which asserted that anthropogenically-driven climate change poses a severe environmental threat to estuarine and coastal ecosystems.

This report not only reviews how the flood and erosion threats posed by a combination of sea level rise and storms can affect coastal sub-, inter- and supra-tidal plant communities, but also highlights the contribution that habitats like saltmarshes, mangrove forests, sand dunes and kelp beds make to coastal protection.

As well as highlighting that the threats posed by extreme weather to coastal plant communities are undoubtedly severe, the study calls for biologists and ecologists to work alongside coastal scientists, environment agencies and land managers to identify the key species and habitats for coastal defence and how they can be both promoted and protected in the future.

Central to that objective, the authors argue, is the need to develop and combine long-term monitoring with flood risk models to better predict where and how storms and other climate change-driven phenomenon influence coastal ecosystems and services.

The full study – The gathering storm: optimizing management of coastal ecosystems in the face of a climate-driven threat by Hanley et al – is published in a special edition of Annals of Botany, doi: 10.1093/aob/mcz204.



New maps reveal hotspots of seabird activity during breeding season - RSPB Scotland

  • The RSPB has used hotspot mapping techniques to learn more about the life of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and shags as they forage at sea during the breeding season.

  • Seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of birds globally and many seabird species are declining at an alarming rate in Scotland. Conservation efforts are needed to halt declines and restore our internationally important populations of seabirds.

  • The new maps will be hugely important as they identify the most important areas at sea for seabirds, providing the vital information needed to make informed decisions on how we can best protect them.

Scientists at the RSPB have produced new maps identifying, for the first time, the location of marine hotspots for some of our most threatened seabirds, based on tracking data.

Razorbills and a Puffin (image: Nicolas DC on unsplash)A five-year RSPB project previously tracked the movements of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills and shags from colonies around the UK during the breeding season. This is an important time for seabird colonies as parents search for food to feed their young. The RSPB has now applied hotspot mapping techniques to these data to identify the most important areas used during this crucial time.

Razorbills and a Puffin (image: Nicolas DC on unsplash)

The four seabird species are all classed as Birds of Conservation Concern; guillemots and razorbill are Amber-listed while shag and kittiwake are both Red-listed due to their serious population declines. These seabirds are found in internationally important numbers in Scotland but are under threat from climate change, which is causing a reduction in the availability of their food, and also from human activity.

The new research, published in the journal Biological Conservation, demonstrates the large areas of sea used by seabirds and comes at a time when there is a vital need to understand more about them as decisions are being made relating to fishing, offshore wind farms and how we can best protect our seas.

The mapping reveals that for kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills, the importance of the Scottish coast (particularly the East coast) was apparent. For shags, hotspots were smaller than observed in the other three species and were typically found in inshore coastal waters centred on the locations of their breeding colonies.

The results highlight the importance of large areas of Scottish waters for breeding seabirds demonstrating the urgent need, alongside effectively managed protected areas, for strategic, spatial marine planning and standardised industry-level regulations, to protect wide-ranging seabird species particularly in the context of increased efforts to decarbonise energy generation in Scottish waters.


The 2019 breeding season; a year to remember for Blackcaps and Blue Tits - British Trust for Ornithology

Information collected by British Trust for Ornithology volunteer bird ringers and nest recorders provides an insight into how some of our resident and migratory birds fared during the 2019 breeding season.

Blue Tit by Liz CuttingResults show that 2019 was an early breeding season, with many species laying eggs significantly earlier than average, possibly thanks to record-breaking February temperatures; research has shown that many birds produce eggs earlier during warmer springs to ensure that their young hatch when the insects on which they are fed are most abundant.

Blue Tit by Liz Cutting

The biggest winners were the tits. Numbers of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits at the start of the breeding season were higher than average; the most likely explanation for this increase is the very successful breeding season of 2018, as many of the birds encountered by ringers in 2019 were juveniles nesting for the first time. Not only were more birds present, but evidence from BTO volunteers monitoring nests shows that each pair that bred also produced a higher-than-average number of chicks. Whether this results in another bumper year in 2020 remains to be seen – the weather over winter has been relatively mild, which bodes well, but it has also been wet and this can be a challenge, especially for younger, less experienced birds.
Conversely, 2019 was a poor year for several of our other common garden visitors. Numbers of Blackbirds and Dunnocks encountered by ringers were the lowest since the use of ringing to monitor abundance began nearly 40 years ago, and Robins were also less numerous than in recent years. The contrasting fortunes of these birds relative to the tits is likely to result from a much less successful breeding season in the previous year as the proportion of adult birds surviving the winter seemed fairly typical.

Read the full report here

Scientific Publications

Prabhat Kumar Rai, J.S. Singh, Invasive alien plant species: Their impact on environment, ecosystem services and human health, Ecological Indicators, Volume 111, 2020, 106020, ISSN 1470-160X, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.106020.


Daria Sikorska, Sylwia Macegoniuk, Edyta Łaszkiewicz, Piotr Sikorski, Energy crops in urban parks as a promising alternative to traditional lawns –perceptions and a cost-benefit analysis, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2020, 126579, ISSN 1618-8667, doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2019.126579. Open Access


Jönsson, M. and Snäll, T. (2020), Ecosystem service multifunctionality of low‐productivity forests and implications for conservation and management. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13569

Soga Masashi and Gaston Kevin J. The ecology of human–nature interactions Proc. R. Soc. B

Smart Ioan E., Cuthill Innes C. and Scott-Samuel Nicholas E. In the corner of the eye: camouflaging motion in the peripheral visual field Proc. R. Soc. B doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.2537

Tidbury, H, Taylor, N, van der Molen, J, et al. Social network analysis as a tool for marine spatial planning: Impacts of decommissioning on connectivity in the North Sea. J Appl Ecol. 2020; 00: 1– 12.


Pattrick Jonathan G., Symington Hamish A., Federle Walter and Glover Beverley J. The mechanics of nectar offloading in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and implications for optimal concentrations during nectar foraging. R. Soc. Interface

Roel van Klink, Jitske van Laar-Wiersma, Oscar Vorst, Christian Smit. Rewilding with large herbivores: Positive direct and delayed effects of carrion on plant and arthropod communities. PLOS

Garibaldi, L.A., Sáez, A., Aizen, M.A., Fijen, T. and Bartomeus, I. (2020), Crop pollination management needs flower visitor monitoring and target values. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13574

Martin, A.R. and Lea, V.J. (2020), A mink-free GB: perspectives on eradicating American mink Neovison vison from Great Britain and its islands. Mam Rev. doi:10.1111/mam.12178


Lincoln R. Larson, Caren B. Cooper, Sara Futch, Devyani Singh, Nathan J. Shipley, Kathy Dale, Geoffrey S. LeBaron, John Y. Takekawa, The diverse motivations of citizen scientists: Does conservation emphasis grow as volunteer participation progresses?, Biological Conservation, Volume 242, 2020, 108428, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108428.


Rikke Reisner Hansen, Knud Erik Nielsen, Joachim Offenberg, Christian Damgaard, David Bille Byriel, Inger Kappel Schmidt, Peter Borgen Sørensen, Christian Kjær, Morten Tune Strandberg, Implications of heathland management for ant species composition and diversity – Is heathland management causing biotic homogenization?, Biological Conservation, Volume 242, 2020, 108422, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108422.

Alexandre Génin, Steven R. Lee, Eric L. Berlow, Steven M. Ostoja, Sonia Kéfi, Mapping hotspots of potential ecosystem fragility using commonly available spatial data, Biological Conservation, Volume 241,2020, 108388, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108388. Open Access


Madalena Vaz Monteiro, Phillip Handley, Kieron J Doick, An insight to the current state and sustainability of urban forests across Great Britain based on i-Tree Eco surveys, Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, , cpz054, doi:10.1093/forestry/cpz054 (open access)


Sonja Vospernik, Arne Nothdurft, Lauri Mehtätalo, Seasonal, medium-term and daily patterns of tree diameter growth in response to climate, Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, , cpz059, doi: 10.1093/foresj/cpz059

Billard Pauline, Schnell Alexandra K., Clayton Nicola S. and Jozet-Alves Christelle Cuttlefish show flexible and future-dependent foraging cognition Biol. Lett.

Carneiro, APB, Pearmain, EJ, Oppel, S, et al. A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology. J Appl Ecol. 2020; 00: 1– 12.


Richardson, S., Mill, A.C., Davis, D., Jam, D. and Ward, A.I. (2020), A systematic review of adaptive wildlife management for the control of invasive, non‐native mammals, and other human–wildlife conflicts. Mam Rev. doi:10.1111/mam.12182

Carlos Abrahams, Matthew Geary Combining bioacoustics and occupancy modelling for improved monitoring of rare breeding bird populations. Ecological Indicators.

Gagné TO, Reygondeau G, Jenkins CN, Sexton JO, Bograd SJ, Hazen EL, et al. (2020) Towards a global understanding of the drivers of marine and terrestrial biodiversity. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228065.


Wildlife News.

Police Scotland launches new wildlife crime investigators course - Police Scotland

Police Scotland has today (Monday 20 January) launched a new wildlife crime investigators course to enhance capability in this complex area of local policing.

Wildlife crime covers a wide range of offending from badger baiting, to raptor persecution, freshwater pearl mussel theft, to hare coursing and salmon poaching.  Reports of wildlife crime are increasing and also include cruelty to wild animals, crimes involving deer and hunting with dogs.

While wildlife crime poses significant harm to the species targeted by criminals, it also impacts on the communities who rely on wildlife for employment and tourism.

Every division across Scotland is represented on the inaugural course, which was launched by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, at the Scottish Police College.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan Sloan, Major Crime and Public Protection, said: “Investigating wildlife crime can be demanding, difficult and complex. Scotland’s wildlife habitats cover vast tracts of land, often in remote areas, where the discovery of a suspected offence can be made days or weeks after the event. This new course is designed to build on our current capability, to enhance the skills and knowledge of our officers in what is a specialist area of criminal investigation. We want to ensure that we have officers who are experts in the investigation of the wildlife crime in all of its forms. Scotland’s wildlife is one of its greatest attractions. Our officers will be trained to the highest level to ensure thorough investigation of wildlife crime. We will continue to work with our partners to prevent crime and to ensure that Scotland’s wildlife is protected.”


NRW river projects set to boost fish habitats - Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is starting the new year by celebrating the completion of several river projects aiming to improve fish habitats and bring a boost to their populations.

The projects were carried out across Wales and focus on repairing damaged assets and improving natural river structures.

Ogwen fish pass after completion (Natural Resources Wales)One project was carried out on the Ogwen bank weir, Snowdonia, and focused on improving and repairing a fish pass.

The fish pass, which was built in the 1930’s, had been deteriorating over recent years. NRW repaired and modified the asset allowing more fish to access the upstream habitat.

Ogwen fish pass after completion (Natural Resources Wales)

NRW have also improved fish migration on the Nant Clwyd. A weir which controlled water levels had been partially damaged, making it more difficult for fish to get upstream. This meant that no salmon had been recorded in the upstream electro-fishing site since 2009. A boulder barrage was installed to replace the lower weir, raising water levels and making the river much more accessible to fish traveling upstream.

As well as improving the channels that fish can travel through, some projects focused on improving fish spawning sites.

Work on the Afon Wen, a tributary of the river Mawddach, included reinstalling spawning beds that had been washed away by a flooding event in 2001 and damaged by historic gold panning.

NRW reinstated 12 gravel traps that act as spawning sites for fish and within 2 weeks sea trout were sighted spawning in the area.

Traps like these will help boost the local trout population, as they have done in several other sites in Wales in recent years.


New report reveals hedgehogs, yellowhammers and dragonflies at risk post-EU Exit - The Wildlife Trusts with RSPB & WWF

New report reveals that there are no clear plans on how regulation gaps will be plugged to protect nature.

A new report published today (3/2/2020) - commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and WWF - highlights big gaps in environmental protections post-EU Exit and argues that a new system of regulation is needed to maintain and improve farming and environmental standards.

The Agriculture Bill, which will be debated in the House of Commons on Monday 3rd February, presents a welcome transformative vision for agriculture in which payments will be made to farmers to tackle the climate and nature crisis. However, it misses the need to improve the way Government will ensure farmers meet minimum environmental standards post-EU Exit. This puts the natural world – from hedgerows and soils, to ponds and the wildlife that depends on them, at risk.

The three wildlife charities are calling on the Government to close the gaps in regulation and include a power in the Agriculture Bill to introduce and enforce a new regulatory framework for agriculture which addresses the gaps.

Risks and opportunities of a post-EU environmental regulatory regime for agriculture in England, the new report by the Institute of European Environmental Policy (IEEP), examines the risks to nature of losing the current conditions that are attached to farming support. It also reveals the gaps in domestic legislation which need filling. Without additional legislation, we stand to lose regulations which ensure that:

  • Hedgerows are not cut during the bird nesting season, protecting birds like yellowhammers and small mammals such as hedgehogs

  • Wild ‘buffer’ strips alongside hedgerows are not ploughed or sprayed with pesticides, protecting bees and other pollinating insects

  • Bare soils are protected from blowing away or draining into rivers, preserving our ability to grow crops in future and locking in carbon

  • Ponds are safeguarded, providing important stepping-stones for wildlife including frogs and dragonflies

Read the report in full: Risks and opportunities of a post-EU environmental regulatory regime for agriculture in England, (PDF)


Survey reveals nature concern - Scottish Natural Heritage

Bumblebee (c) Lorne Gill/SNHPublic concern about biodiversity may be on the rise, a new survey suggests. The 2019 Scottish Nature Omnibus survey found that 65% of people agree there will be less variety of life in Scotland over the next 50 years, compared to 63% in 2017. Over the same period, the proportion of adults concerned about Scotland’s biodiversity has increased from 68% to 71%.

Bumblebee (c) Lorne Gill/SNH

In 2019 just over half of respondents (54%) said they felt nature was personally relevant to them, compared to 52% two years ago. The online survey of 1,101 people reveals a rise in the proportion of people gardening for wildlife (from 42% to 46%) and volunteering (from 21% to 23%). However there was a slight drop in the percentage saying they were taking action to be a green consumer (72% to 70%) and a green traveller (66% compared to 65%).

The survey found that while a majority of people have heard of SNH, awareness of the organisation’s remit remains relatively low with respondents most likely to associate it with protecting or looking after Scotland’s heritage, culture or history. From May 1 SNH will rebrand to NatureScot to be more recognisable to the general public as Scotland’s nature agency and the organisation responsible for restoring and enriching our biodiversity.



Cross-sector coalition of 18 groups calls for deer management to meet the needs of the 2020s - Scottish Environment Link

A coalition of environmental, community, wildlife, forestry, and outdoor recreational groups is urging the Scottish Government to bring in enhanced statutory regulation to ensure the nation’s deer population is managed effectively and sustainably for the benefit of communities and the natural environment. This is especially urgent, says the coalition, in the light of the accelerating climate and biodiversity crisis.

Eighteen organisations representing over half a million members – seven directly involved in land and deer management across thousands of square kilometres of Scotland’s uplands – have published a joint paper, Managing Deer for Climate, Communities and Conservation, setting out the case for a new approach to deer management that prioritises public interest objectives, such as reducing carbon emissions, supporting local communities, and improving biodiversity.

The wide and heterogeneous range of organisations – from the community-run North Harris Trust to Ramblers Scotland; from the RSPB to Nourish Scotland – have come together to call for a reduction in deer densities, an end to over-reliance on deer fencing, and the broadening out of deer stalking beyond its traditional core of participants.

The paper has been issued ahead of the publication of a report to the Scottish Government by the independent Deer Working Group which is expected any day now. The report is likely to trigger a national debate about current and future deer management practices.

Mike Daniels of the John Muir Trust, one of the key authors of the paper, said: “We believe that there is a growing appetite for change in how Scotland’s uplands are managed into the 2020s and beyond, and delivering sustainable deer management is a critical component. This large and diverse group of organisations believes that we can achieve far greater national and community benefit from our uplands by doing things differently. For many decades, there has been a scientific consensus that unsustainably high deer densities have a destructive impact on vast areas of our land. We welcome recent steps by the Scottish Government to start addressing the problem, and we have launched this paper to set out the reasons why our politicians should now make some fundamental changes to the way we manage our deer population.”


Environmental groups welcome Deer Working Group report as a potential catalyst to bring deer management into the 2020s - Scottish Environment LINK

Scottish Environment LINK - a coalition of organisations involved in land and deer management, forestry, wildlife conservation, cultural heritage community, land partnerships, nature education and outdoor recreation – has welcomed the findings in the report published today by the independent Deer Working Group (DWG).

The independent expert body that was appointed by Scottish Ministers in 2017 has set out nearly a hundred recommendations in its 374-page report which if implemented in full, would go a long way to improving the ecological state of Scotland’s uplands by changing the culture of deer management in Scotland.

Mike Daniels Head of Land Management at the John Muir Trust said: “First we want to praise the authors of this report including the late Simon Pepper who chaired the Deer Working Group until his tragic death in 2018 – for their thoroughness and professionalism. We welcome the courage and clarity of the report which confirms that Scotland’s existing deer management procedures and practices need major reform. If we were designing a new system of deer management today in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss and the depopulation of fragile rural areas it would bear little resemblance to the ‘traditional sporting estate’ model found in large parts of the Highlands.”

Duncan Orr-Ewing, Chair of LINK Deer Task Force said “We welcome the publication today of this independent review of deer management in Scotland. We note and support proposals to update deer legislation to ensure modern and transparent systems of deer management, and proposed improvements to SNH powers to enable changes in practice on the ground.”


Beavers return to Holnicote - The National Trust

Beaver release at Holnicote, Exmoor. (© National Trust, Steve Haywood)An adult pair of Eurasian beavers were released yesterday, (Thursday 30 January), on the Holnicote Estate on the edge of Exmoor in Somerset to help with flood management and to improve biodiversity.

Beavers are currently only present in a handful of sites across the country. Having once been an important part of the natural environment, beavers became extinct on mainland Britain in the 16th century due to hunting for their fur, meat and scent glands.

The enclosed beaver release is the first to be made by the conservation charity, as part of its ambition to create priority habitats for nature and to increase the diversity of species and wildlife numbers on the land in its care. As nature’s engineers, they are also a natural solution to help tackle climate change. The two beavers – a male and a female - will be released into a 2.7 hectare fenced area of unmanaged woodland on the estate. The beavers have been relocated from wild populations on the River Tay catchment in Scotland, under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage, to England under licence from Natural England.

Beaver release at Holnicote, Exmoor. (© National Trust, Steve Haywood

Ben Eardley, Project Manager for the National Trust at Holnicote says: “As ecosystem engineers the beavers will develop wetland habitat, increasing the variety and richness of wildlife in the local landscape. Their presence in our river catchments is a sustainable way to help make our landscape more resilient to climate change and the extremes of weather it will bring. The dams the beavers create will slow the flow, holding water in dry periods which will reduce the impact of drought. They will help to lessen flash-flooding downstream, reducing erosion and improving water quality by holding silt and pollutants. Although we are introducing a species that used to live here in the wild, this project is all about developing our landscapes of the future, helping us respond to the challenges the landscape and communities now face.”

The releases will be carefully monitored by National Trust staff and volunteers with help from Exeter University and others, to document ecological and hydrological changes to the habitat.

Read more.


Beaver back in Sussex - Sussex Wildlife Trust

After an absence of over 400 years, the beaver is coming back to Sussex.

These natural ecosystem engineers, which help so much with natural flood management and water quality, were hunted to extinction in the UK in the 16th Century.

beaver swimming (©David Plummer/Sussex Wildlife Trust)But, thanks to The Sussex Beaver Trial, a partnership led by Sussex Wildlife Trust and the rewilding project at the Knepp Estate near Horsham, there will be a re-introduction of two pairs of beaver in either late spring 2020 or in the autumn, in Knepp’s Southern Block.

beaver swimming (©David Plummer/Sussex Wildlife Trust)

The beavers will be released under Natural England licence in two locations within a large enclosed area for a five-year period to see how they settle into and adapt to their new environment. The beavers will have over 250 hectares of land, including extensive swathes of willow, available to them, where they can roam and do what they do best – natural coppicing and natural flood management.

Beavers are extraordinary hydrological engineers, able to build leaky dams and lodges, and create channels and deep pools. This activity will provide natural flood management benefits within the Adur catchment, as well as maintaining a base flow of water in drought conditions.

Isabella Tree, co-owner of Knepp Estate said ‘This is a dream come true for us. We know beavers are one of the biggest influences missing from our landscape. Not only are they masters of water management, they’re hugely beneficial to biodiversity. Insects, birds, aquatic plants, fish will all gain from the intricate habitats they create. I am longing for the day when I hear a beaver tail slapping on Hammer Pond.’


Grey seals discovered clapping underwater to communicate - Newcastle University

A grey seal has been captured on camera clapping its flippers underwater for the very first time.

Dr Ben Burville, a researcher at Newcastle University, UK, has been trying for 17 years to film a seal producing the gunshot-like ‘Crack!’ sound which they make underwater during the breeding season.

Seal diver Ben Burville with one of his dive buddies - a wild grey seal off the Farne Islands, UK. Photo by Ben Burville.Used by bull seals as a sign of strength to ward off competitors and attract potential mates, the loud high-frequency noise cuts through background noise, sending out a clear signal to any other seals in the area. Previously believed to be a vocal sound – like the calls and whistles produced by many marine mammals – this new underwater footage clearly shows a male grey seal repeatedly clapping its flippers to produce the loud noise.

Seal diver Ben Burville with one of his dive buddies - a wild grey seal off the Farne Islands, UK. Photo by Ben Burville.

Newcastle University’s Dr Burville – explains: “I was diving off the Farne Islands when I first saw a large male clap underwater. The effect of the clap was instant and the rival males rapidly dispersed. The clap was incredibly loud and at first I found it hard to believe what I had seen. How could a seal make such a loud clap underwater with no air to compress between its flippers? I’ve heard the distinctive shotgun-like cracks! many times over the years and I felt sure this clapping behaviour was the source, but filming the seals in action has eluded me for 17 years."



New protections for thousands of seabirds - Natural England

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, announces new protections for the breeding and foraging grounds of rare and vulnerable seabirds.

Ambitious plans to help protect England’s rare and vulnerable seabirds will today (16 January 2019) be announced by Environment Minister Rebecca Pow.

New and extended special protection areas, designated to protect rare and vulnerable seabirds from human activity, such as fishing or outdoor recreation, will be designated in the Solent and near Middlesbrough.

common ternClose to 1,000 pairs of three species of tern will benefit from a new Solent and Dorset Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) which will span more than 891 km2, equivalent to more than 125,000 football pitches. The area is the fifth most important foraging site in the UK for little tern and seventh most important for common tern during their breeding season.

common tern

The Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SPA will also be extended by 109 km2, bringing the total area size to more than 122 km2, which equals more than 17,000 football pitches. With the extension in place, more than 35,000 individual birds such as pied avocet, ruff and migratory red knot will be protected.

The new and extended locations join 47 existing sites in English waters.

The Environment Minister will also confirm a comprehensive Seabird Conservation Strategy, which will be published in December 2020. This will assess the vulnerability of each species in light of the pressures they are facing and will propose actions to address them.


Buzzard poisoned in Peak District National Park - RSPB

A protected bird of prey has been illegally poisoned in one of the UK’s worst raptor persecution blackspots.

In April 2019 a member of the public found a buzzard freshly dead in woodland near Tintwistle, just north of Valehouse Reservoir, in the Peak District National Park. Close by were the remains of a red-legged partridge.

A post-mortem and toxicology tests under taken by Natural England showed that the buzzard and partridge both contained the pesticide Alphachloralose.

Natural England concluded that ‘abuse of chloralose, using a bird bait, has occurred at this location and at least one buzzard has been poisoned’.

All birds of prey are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. To kill or injure one is a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail. Derbyshire Police were made aware at the time of the discovery and informed of the toxicology result in August.

Alphachloralose is one of the most commonly abused pesticides for illegally targeting birds of prey.

The northern Dark Peak has been the scene of many crimes involving the poisoning, trapping and shooting of birds of prey, making it one of the UK’s worst blackspots, according to the RSPB’s recent Birdcrime report. A scientific article, Raptor persecution in the Peak District National Park, cemented the link between raptor persecution and land managed for driven grouse shooting in the Peak District National Park.


‘Zero Tolerance’ for raptor persecution: A joint statement - Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance (CA), British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Moorland Association (MA) and National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) – four of the largest organisations representing shooting in England and Wales – have been joined by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in issuing the following joint statement condemning all forms of raptor persecution:

“There is no excuse for the illegal killing of any bird of prey, and we unreservedly condemn all such acts. The shooting community has been tarnished with a reputation for persecuting raptors, and while many reports of such persecution have proven to be false and confirmed cases are decreasing year-on-year, the illegal killing of birds of prey continues to be carried out by a small minority of irresponsible individuals. We strongly condemn their actions and have a zero tolerance policy towards any such incident. These people have no place in a sector that is otherwise overwhelmingly positive; one that is the economic driver for many of our more remote communities, and the largest contributor to conservation schemes in England and Wales. Our countryside is a managed landscape and it is an environment in which there can be instances of some species coming into clear conflict with land managers. But two developments should serve to emphasise that the illegal killing of birds of prey is unjustified and self-destructive. Firstly, after the successful Judicial Review brought by Ricky McMorn against Natural England in 2015, farmers, gamekeepers and others working to create an environment that balances human and ecological interests should be reassured that Natural England will treat applications for wildlife licences – including those to control buzzards – more consistently. Secondly, the trial brood management scheme for hen harriers provides relief for land managers suffering high predation losses during the nesting season in the uplands”.


Changes to licensing of the lethal control of herring gull and lesser black-backed gull - Natural England

Natural England has today [Thursday 30 January] set out changes to licences for the lethal control of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls in England to protect these declining species.

Owing to their poor conservation status, herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls were not included in Defra’s general licences issued last year. The breeding population of herring gull has fallen by 60% in recent decades, with lesser black-backed gulls declining by an estimated 48%.

Herring gull (Ellis / pixabay)

Assessment carried out by Natural England has since indicated that the scale of activity carried out under licences in recent years is above a sustainable level. Continued activity at these levels is likely to have a harmful impact on the population levels of both species.

For this reason, it is necessary to scale back the lethal control of these gull species. In rural areas, where populations overall are known to be in decline, Natural England will set upper ‘safe’ number of birds that could be killed. Upper ‘safe’ levels have not been identified for lethal control in urban populations of gulls, as these are faring better.


Response: Moorland Association responds to new gull licences - The Moorland Association

The Moorland Association responds to the announcement by Natural England of new arrangements for licensing the control of Herring Gulls (HG) and Lesser-Black-Backed Gulls (LBBG). Two species removed from the 2019 General Licences.

These arrangements include the introduction of a maximum threshold for the total number of these gulls that they will allow to be culled in England under Individual Licences.

Considering the gull control currently undertaken for non-conservation purposes – significantly by UK airports, this has the potential to restrict gull control on our uplands by over 70%.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association commented: “We are dismayed by this action by Natural England which has the potential to devastate the endangered bird populations that we are all committed to preserving. Most targeted gull control by gamekeepers occurs on upland estates, many of which are European protected sites. This is not done for fun; indeed, it is hard work, but it is vital for protecting endangered species of birds which have seen their populations decline dramatically over recent decades. Gulls feast on a whole range of endangered smaller birds including Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover. City dwellers may view gulls as scavengers and pests going through human rubbish and stealing food, those who have seen them in action in the countryside recognise them as the ruthless predators that they are - devouring new-born chicks and decimating populations of endangered species”.


It’s official – the Wren is our most common bird. - British Trust for Ornithology

In the latest report looking at the size of our bird populations the Wren tops the list with 11 million pairs across the UK

The latest report, Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom shows that the Wren continues to hold the title of our commonest bird – the last report in 2013 also had Wren at the top of the list but with a population of just over 8.5 million pairs. Wren numbers are known to fluctuate according to environmental conditions and it may be that generally milder winters are benefitting one of our smallest birds.
The top five are made up of Wren, Robin (7,350,000 pairs), House Sparrow (5,300,000), Woodpigeon (5,150,000) and Chaffinch and Blackbird share the number five spot at 5,050,000 territories each.

Wren by Alan Drewitt

It is estimated that there are around 85 million breeding pairs of birds in the UK altogether, just over one and a quarter pairs for each of us. This is similar to the last estimate calculated in 2013. There are also 20 species whose populations are more than 1 million pairs.

Wren by Alan Drewitt

As always there have been winners and losers. One of the most shocking falls in numbers is that seen by the Turtle Dove, down from 75,000 pairs in 1997 to an estimate of just 3,600 pairs in the latest report, and, there are now no breeding waders in the UK that have a breeding population greater than 100,000 pairs, with Lapwing and Oystercatcher falling below this for the first time.

Almost as surprising is the fall in number for one of our most familiar of birds, the Chaffinch. Since the last report, seven years ago, the Chaffinch breeding population has fallen by 1.15 million pairs - the drivers of which are unclear and need further investigation.

The full report is published in the journal British Birds but a summary of the report, containing the core information on population sizes, is available on the BTO website here. 


Sustainability, Pollution and climate change.

We are declaring a planetary emergency - Natural History Museum

The Museum has declared a planetary emergency, in recognition of humanity's failure to combat our destructive impact on the planet's survival systems.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, pollution and deforestation are just some of the crises caused by unsustainable human activity. These add up to an emergency on a planetary scale.

Prof Andy Purvis, a Research Leader at the Museum on the effects of the biodiversity crisis, says, 'All the warning lights are flashing: hottest years on record, coral bleaching, rising sea levels, loss of tropical forests, wild populations declining, and a million species threatened with extinction. We would be failing in our duty to society if we didn't pass these warnings on.'

Earth's natural systems are groaning under the weight of climate change and biodiversity loss.

The world is already 1.1°C above pre-industrial temperatures. This rise is driven by greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat in the atmosphere. We produce greenhouse gasses when we burn oil, coal and gas, and through meat and dairy production.

It is generally agreed that the world needs to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

We are not on track to reach that target. There is still a 2% annual growth in emissions, and they are not expected to peak until after 2030, even if we do everything we can to clean up our act right now. To reverse the damage, action needs to be taken immediately to get global emissions down to zero.

Researchers including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been warning us for years that humanity is heading towards a tipping point. Soon, we will have affected nature so much that it will be too late to control the consequences, no matter what we do, and climate change will continue to spiral.


Major shift in UK land use needed to deliver Net Zero emissions - The Committee on Climate Change

The UK has committed to becoming a Net Zero economy by 2050. Meeting that goal requires a transformation in land use across the UK. Government must confront the rapid changes that are now needed, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says in its first ever in-depth advice on UK agricultural policies.

In 2017, land use – including agriculture, forestry and peatland – accounted for 12% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, with the right support, farmers and land-managers can reduce these emissions by almost two thirds. This transition is necessary for Net Zero, it will create net benefits for the UK and leave our land more resilient to the changing climate.

The Committee’s new report, Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK, presents a detailed range of options to drive emissions reductions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is published at a time of significant change, as the UK leaves the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy. In Westminster, new Agriculture and Environment Bills are being introduced this month. Similar legislation is planned in Scotland and Wales – opening the way to the steps recommended by the Committee.

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “Changing the way we use our land is critical to delivering the UK’s Net Zero target. The options we are proposing would see farmers and land managers – the stewards of the land – delivering actions to reduce emissions. Doing so can provide new revenue opportunities for farmers, better air quality and improved biodiversity, and more green spaces for us all to enjoy. But major changes are required and action from government is needed quickly if we are to reap the rewards.”

The Committee’s in-depth analysis shows that emissions from UK land use can be reduced by 64% to around 21 MtCO2e by 2050. The report demonstrates that this can be achieved without producing less food in the UK or increasing imports from elsewhere.

Read the report: Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK 

Response:  Change how we use land, says new climate change report: our response - CPRE

A report released by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) calls for fundamental changes to land use in order to address the climate crisis – and we at CPRE agree.

The CCC, an independent body set up to advise the government around the climate emergency, has been assessing different ways that land is used and the impact that this might have on our climate.

(image: CPRE)Its findings are clear: the current UK target for net-zero carbon emissions can’t be met unless we make big changes to land use.

(image: CPRE)

The report suggests various ways that the way we use land (which can include farming and land management) can be adjusted to lower carbon emissions and, even more than that, actually increase the ability of land to actually lock carbon away. These proposals include planting more trees (including on farmland), increasing the areas covered by forests and therefore increasing the number of trees that can capture carbon, and restoring peatlands – an area on which CPRE has long been active.

You can read more about our work considering land use in our report, Landlines: why we need a strategic approach to land and our thinking about the need for peatland to be restored – also called for in the CCC report – in our Back to the land: rethinking our approach to soil proposals.


Environmental bodies set joint vision to tackle climate change - Natural England

Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, and Natural England outline a shared vision to use nature-based solutions to tackle the climate emergency.

The chairs of England’s three environmental bodies have today (23 January 2020) responded to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) land use report by outlining a shared vision and practical actions to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Credit: Natural England/Jenny Wheeldon Credit: Natural England/Jenny Wheeldon

In a landmark commitment, Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency; Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England; and Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the Forestry Commission; have pledged to work together to deliver nature-based solutions to climate change, helping the government meet its ambition to reach net zero by 2050.

This comes as the CCC publishes its Land Use: Policies for a Net Zero UK report, presenting a range of options to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, including through nature-based solutions such as tree planting, peatland restoration, and low-carbon farming practices.

With the planet in the grip of a climate emergency, the UK is rightly taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both at home and abroad. The protection and restoration of nature is a vital part of how we must do this, delivering benefits not only for climate change, but also solutions to the parallel and closely linked crisis seen in the rapid decline of nature.


National Trust calls on Government to back natural climate solutions, as charity ramps up efforts to tackle the ‘greatest threat to its places' - National Trust

One of the nation’s biggest landowners, the National Trust, is urging the Government to invest in natural climate solutions, following an audit of the effects of climate change on its best places for nature. The conservation charity is calling for ‘immediate and common-sense actions’ that can cut emissions, restore nature and provide benefits to wildlife and people, including banning horticultural peat and increasing tree cover.

On Thursday, the Committee on Climate Change said transformation in land use is needed if the Government is to reach its net zero goal by 2050. The Trust is today (Friday 24/1) warning that three quarters of its priority habitats are under threat and already showing signs of the impacts of rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events such as drought and flooding.

On analysing 101,000 hectares of priority habitat across England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Trust discovered that 73 per cent of the land, ranging from upland oak woods to globally-rare peatland, was deemed sensitive or highly sensitive to increasingly turbulent weather events, rising seas and accelerating temperatures.

Half of all National Trust properties have habitats that are sensitive to climate change, according to the report. The worst affected habitats were those on the coast, but also included rivers, lakes, lowland fens and upland habitats like heathlands.


Food waste falls by 7% per person in three years - WRAP

New data shows almost half a million tonne reduction in total UK food waste in just three years – enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall ten times.

Reducing food waste has saved citizens over £1 billion per year compared to 2015./p>

WRAP calls for further action to reduce food waste to help tackle climate change.

The UK is making significant steps in reducing its food waste, with total food waste levels falling by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018 – a 7% reduction per person and equivalent of filling London’s Royal Albert Hall ten times.

The new data comes from sustainability not-for-profit WRAP’s latest Courtauld Commitment 2025 Milestone Progress Report, which sets our progress in food waste reduction since 2007. It reveals that households and businesses are now tackling the problem at an accelerated rate, with a greater rate of progress from 2015 to 2018 than over the preceding five years.

Looking back to when WRAP began work on household food waste, a total of 1.4 million tonnes of food has been saved from going to waste each year in our homes compared to 2007 levels - enough each year to fill 150,000 food collection trucks which, if placed end to end, would stretch from London to Prague.


Fishing for Litter project helps fishermen to clean our seas - Isle of Man Government

Isle of Man fishermen are being encouraged to collect rubbish from the sea and bring it ashore in a project to help clean the marine environment.
The Fishing for Litter (FFL) initiative will see the Isle of Man Government provide fishermen with reusable marine litter sacks to collect rubbish that is caught in nets during normal fishing activities.
Filled bags are emptied into designated quayside bins before the waste is safely taken away. Buckets will also be made available from harbour offices so crews can prevent any plastic from blowing into the sea when undertaking tasks such as net mending.
Each Isle of Man port will be paired with a local school and information from the marine litter collected will be used to educate children about the issue.
Children will learn all about the range of waste items found at sea, and the issues that they cause. They will gain a better understanding of the vital work that fishermen are doing to protect the sea from litter.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said: ‘Fishing for Litter is part of our national commitment to help reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our seas; a healthy marine environment is vital for everyone, especially the fishing industry as their livelihoods depend on it.’


Evidence on options for transformative change needed to sustain people and the planet - Natural Resources Wales

A report by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) starts to scope out the potential for transformative changes to the way we live, to ensure that our natural environment will be able to sustain us in the future.

NRW is gathering evidence for its second State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR), due to be published in December 2020. The report is Wales’ national evidence base for natural resources, ecosystem resilience and wellbeing.

Caerfai Bay (image: NRW)Caerfai Bay (image: NRW)

It will be used to inform action and decisions by a range of decision makes across Wales and through such routes as Area Statements and the Natural Resources policy.

An interim report has been published, which outlines the evidence from the United Nations on the linked nature and climate emergencies. The UN are calling for ‘transformative changes’ to society and the economy to deal with these emergencies. The report describes some examples of the type of action which could be taken.

We need your help this year to gather together the evidence for Wales around these two emergencies and the options we have to address them. We need your views on what we have set out in terms of the challenges Wales faces and how we measure progress.

NRW is actively looking for individuals and organisations to help contribute to the next report. If you think you can help NRW with information needed to assess the sustainable management of natural resources, please get in touch

Details are published in the State of Natural Resources Interim Report 2019 on NRW’s website here.


Growing not planting trees is the key to unlock climate change benefits - Royal Forestry Society

Recent calls to plant millions more trees are missing a raft of opportunities to maximise impact on climate change, warns the Royal Forestry Society (RFS).

Forestry and Climate Change policyThe charity fears planting millions of trees risks being a short-term indulgence if we don’t then commit to long term sustainable management. And it says this must start with recognising timber as a carbon store.

As it publishes its Forestry and Climate Change policy, RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd says: “Climate change is now a national priority and should rightly be at the core of governments’ forestry policies. Such a policy focus will drive real change while delivering multiple environmental benefits of trees, woods and forests. But to be truly successful, climate change policies for forestry must not overlook the enormous carbon capture potential in developing markets such as switching to more timber-based construction. Planting millions of trees risks being a short-term indulgence if we don’t then commit to long term sustainable management. For many land managers, the costs of planting and maintaining trees and woodland will generate income from timber and woodfuel in 50 or 100 years’ time to re-invest in more trees. We need to be developing markets geared to this growth in home grown production.”

Forestry and Climate Change policy (cover)

The charity emphasises the need for a clearer policy focus which underlines the cumulative benefit of planting resilient species, maintaining newly created woodland and sustainably managing woodland that already exists.

Managing climate adapted woodland for the future, it says, will require greater flexibility in choice in tree species, including site-suitable productive timber species. With so much uncertainty, those choices will need to be supported by research-based evidence and decision support tools.

To reach the target to grow 50 million trees every year for the next 30 years, and to adapt existing woods to be more resilient to climate change requires considerable investment in people, training and knowledge sharing. There is already a skills shortage in forestry at all levels which is exacerbated by lack of teaching provision in schools and colleges which must be reversed.

Read the full Forestry and Climate Change policy here.


Secret report exposes 'toxic cocktail' found in sewage spread on farmland - Greenpeace

Government-commissioned report finds fertiliser contaminated with pollutants that could “pose a risk to human health”

The UK government’s environment watchdog has failed to take action on a still-unpublished report, submitted to it over two years ago, which warns of a cocktail of contaminants found at potentially harmful levels in sewage sludge used as fertiliser on farmland.

The report, which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Greenpeace UK’s investigative journalism unit, Unearthed, details the results of an investigation into the “landspreading” industry - the use of sewage sludge, mainly human waste, as fertiliser on farmland - carried out on behalf of the Environment Agency.

As part of the investigation, sewage sludge and soil samples were tested at more than 54 farms and eight sludge treatment sites across the UK. Results found evidence of widespread contamination from plastics and microplastics that could ultimately leave the soil “unsuitable for agriculture”, as well as pollutants such as dioxins, furans, benzo(a)pyrene, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels that could “pose a risk to human health” in a number of the samples. The tests also found salmonella and “high concentrations of e-coli” - both bacteria can cause serious or even fatal infections.

This report can only now be made public after it was obtained by Unearthed under freedom of information laws. Unearthed has shared the document with the Telegraph newspaper and the BBC’s File on 4, which will air a documentary on the sludge spreading industry tonight (4/2).

Read the full story here.

Read The Telegraph's report here.

Telegraph coverage of sewage sludge being used as fertiliser - defra response on the Defra in the media blog

The Environment Agency is currently working on a sludge strategy which is due to be published later this year, looking to find solutions to sludge pollution and how toxins can be removed from our natural environment.

Our sludge strategy will also assess how the EA can continue to find waste recovery activities that work as an alternative to manufactured fertilisers whilst counteracting the damaging pollutants that have been introduced.


Grants, funding and awards.

National Trust set to fund ‘biggest ever conservation spend’ of £3m a week in its 125th year - National Trust

The National Trust is set to spend an average of £3m every week this year on conservation for the first time as it continues to invest more in houses, collections, coastline and countryside.

The news comes as Europe’s biggest conservation charity lays out plans for its biggest ever sustained investment in protecting nature and the environment as it continues to tackle the “crisis caused by climate change which is leaving nature in peril”.

Last month, Director General Hilary McGrady announced in a landmark speech that by 2030 the Trust will become carbon net zero. To achieve this, the Trust has outlined several major steps, including: planting and establishing 20 million trees, moving its heating and electricity entirely to renewable energy, continuing to spend millions on improving rivers and greatly improving the energy efficiency of many of its historic buildings.

To help fund this ongoing commitment to protecting the environment, and the Trust’s increasing investment in houses, collections and gardens, the charity has announced that from March its membership fees will increase by a maximum of 65p per month.

During 2018/19 the National Trust spent £148.4m on conservation - £10m more than the previous year. This included £112.7m looking after historic buildings, collections and gardens, plus £35.7m on coast and countryside.


Entries open for the 'Oscars of the waterways' - Canal and River Trust

Categories range from construction and environment to culture, education and community

The search is on for the best schemes, projects and initiatives that are helping to make life better by water. Now in our seventeenth year, our Living Waterways Awards celebrate the most exciting and inspiring waterway-based projects across the UK.

Getting the recognition you deserve

Sue Wilkinson, chair of the Awards and one of our trustees, said: “We know there are hundreds of brilliant projects taking place along our waterways and we want to shine a light on the incredible contribution that those involved are making to the lives of many thousands of people living near these canals, rivers, lakes and lochs. We urge those involved in these initiatives to enter the Awards and get the recognition they rightly deserve.”

The Awards

The Living Waterways Awards are judged by an independent panel of experts from the heritage, arts, environment, community and engineering sectors and are sponsored by Amco Geffen, CPC Civils, Fountains and Land & Water.

From inspirational education programmes and innovative construction projects, to exciting community-binding environmental initiatives, these awards have celebrated hundreds of organisations and individuals over the years.


Environmental Education, Recreation and Volunteering.

Virtual field trips to inspire the next generation of forest workers - Forestry England

The Forestry Commission is working with Google Expeditions to take schoolchildren on virtual tours of working forests.

Image: Forestry EnglandImage: Forestry England

The Commission, which celebrated its centenary in 2019, is using the immersive platform to inform the next generation about sustainable timber production, the importance of plant health and how woodlands are designed to create habitats for wildlife.

The free Expeditions were made using a 360 degree camera and can be viewed on mobile devices and tablets. Users can heighten their experience with a virtual reality (VR) headset.

Pupils will visit a tree nursery to find out which species could make up forests of the future. They will explore machines used in forestry, study woodland habitats and wildlife, and learn about the importance of trees in the face of the climate emergency.

Students will also hear from people working in the forest about a range of possible careers. They include forest planners, ecologists, arborists, tree health officers and machine operators.


New project aims to supersize our understanding of Sheffield and Rotherham’s wildlife - Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce the launch of a new project, ‘More Data for Nature’, aimed at understanding biodiversity trends across a landscape scale, addressing one of the key recommendations of the Sheffield State of Nature report: to close gaps in the city’s ecological data.

Following on from the successful ‘Data for Nature’ project, which focussed on developing a robust monitoring scheme for the Trust’s nature reserves, this new project will work to expand Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trusts monitoring scheme to measure biodiversity at a landscape scale.

Thanks to a £127,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a further £15,000 from the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, the ‘More Data for Nature’ project will work with local groups to monitor their wildlife sites, and collaborate with other Wildlife Trusts from around the country to develop a framework for assessing biodiversity across a landscape scale.

The Trust will be working to identify potential local sites for inclusion in the project and would be interested in hearing from organisations such as ‘friends of’ groups or local land owners who are keen to develop monitoring for their area.


Trust pledges to support 20,000 young Scots to connect with wildness - John Muir Trust

Trust backs Scottish #iwill4nature campaign to ensure young people are empowered to take action for our planet in 2020

The John Muir Trust has pledged to inspire 20,000 young people across Scotland during 2020 to get involved in social action by connecting with, enjoying and caring for wild places through its John Muir Award as part of the recently launched #iwill4nature campaign.

Launched in November 2019, #iwill4nature is set to increase opportunities for young people to act on behalf of our natural environment, and encourage commitment from organisations to embed youth social action into their work and long-term strategies. The Trust has supported the #iwill UK campaign since 2013 that makes volunteering and social action a part of everyday life for young people aged 10-20.

Toby Clark, John Muir Award Scotland Manager at the John Muir Trust says, “We want to continue to showcase the positive impacts young people are having on their communities, our wild places and the planet by supporting thousands to continue to get involved in the John Muir Award and other engagement activities we will run across Scotland this year.”


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Browse the Training Directory online here for short courses (up to 10 days long), or here for longer courses, distance learning and centres and providers

The Directory includes a wide range of courses providing certification in practical skills such as chainsaw use, need to learn how to identify dragonflies, or want to find out the best way to get the community involved in your project then this is the section to read.    We include details of many professional courses in the online short courses pages. There are also sections for longer courses, training centres and other events (eg conferences).

Search for your next CPD course here.


Calendar of short courses and professional events happening in: April 2020



02/04/2020 BES Invasion Science SIG Meeting 2020 2 Days
Northumbria University, British Ecological Society Invasion Science Group. Contact:
16/04/2020 ZSL Animal Careers Conference 1 Day
ZSL London Zoo - Huxley Lecture Theatre, ZSL. Contact:
20/04/2020 Data Science Festival - London 2020 6 Days
London, The Data Science Festival. Contact:
21/04/2020 2020 Irish Conference: Conservation Approaches to Benefit Biodiversity: Big Ideas for Big Challenges 2 Days
National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, H91 TK33, CIEEM. Contact:
22/04/2020 Trees, People and the Built Environment 4 International Urban Trees Reseach Conference 2 Days
University of Birmingham, Institute for Chartered Foresters. Contact:
23/04/2020 Invigorating Interpretation - new ideas for engaging your audience 1 Day
Paignton Zoo, BGEN. Contact:
30/04/2020 Outside the Honeypot: wildlife recording in the urban world 3 Days
World Museum Liverpool, National Forum for Biological Recording. Contact:


Administrative and Office Skills

03/04/2020 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environmental Audits 3 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This course introduces and gives practical field experience in carrying out habitat surveys of sites as part of an environmental audit to assess their character and wildlife interest. Good fieldwork practices are emphasised throughout the course, in which participants will conduct a survey of the habitats in the landscape around the field centre.

04/04/2020 Self-Build Project Management 2 Days
Machynlleth, Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology. Contact:
This course covers how to create a project plan, a budget, and a health and safety plan, as well as the basics of planning permissions, building inspections and site management. The whole course will be wrapped within the ethos of sustainable and ethical building principles.

07/04/2020 Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of Plans (England & Wales) 1 Day
Birmingham, CIEEM. Contact:
This training has been designed to give delegates a thorough understanding of the overall purpose, process and methodology of the HRA of plans. As well as covering relevant policy and legislation, the course also explores the key stages of the HRA process, with professional tips on compliance and best practice.

08/04/2020 The Importance of Evidence in Conservation Decision-making 1 Day
Webinar, CIEEM. Contact:
The importance of using evidence in decision making is becoming widely recognised, particularly in fields that are resource limited such as conservation. Despite this, evidence is still not widely used in many areas of conservation decision-making. This is partly because it is often difficult to know where to find and how to incorporate the evidence.

08/04/2020 Demystifying Map Projections 1 Days
Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact:
The course is designed to provide GIS professionals with practical training in handling coordinate systems (map projections and datums) within industry standard GIS packages (MapInfo and ArcGIS). It is focussed on practicalities such as knowing when a dataset is correctly projected or which projection to choose in a given situation.

09/04/2020 Biodiversity Net Gain Through Development 1 Day
Leeds, CIEEM. Contact:
This course provides training on designing biodiversity net gain for development projects. It is based on the UK's good practice principles for biodiversity net gain (CIEEM/IEMA/CIRIA, 2016) and the associated practical guidance (CIEEM/IEMA/CIRIA, 2019).

11/04/2020 Arc Intermediate Training - 2 day course 2 Days
Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

17/04/2020 Arc Foundation Training - 2 day course 2 Days
Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

Above two courses with exeGeSIS SDM Ltd, Talgarth, South Wales. Contact:

17/04/2020 Biological Recording 4 Days
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This three-day course is designed to give you a skills base for biological recording in the UK. It is a stand-alone unit which will focus on the skills needed to plan and carry out biological recording in the field and how to present your findings.

21/04/2020 ArcGIS: Introduction to Coastal and Marine GIS 3 Days
Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact:
This course introduces GIS concepts and techniques using ArcGIS 10 and provides you with the background and skills necessary to utilise powerful GIS tools tailored to the coastal and marine environment. You will learn about available coastal and marine GIS datasets, which also form the basis for the course exercises.

23/04/2020 MapInfo Foundation Training - 2 day course 2 Days
Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact:
Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

23/04/2020 Biodiversity Net Gain Through Development 1 Day
Manchester, CIEEM. Contact:
This course provides training on designing biodiversity net gain for development projects. It is based on the UK's good practice principles for biodiversity net gain (CIEEM/IEMA/CIRIA, 2016) and the associated practical guidance (CIEEM/IEMA/CIRIA, 2019).

23/04/2020 Introduction to QGIS for Ecological Consultants and Wildlife Surveyors 2 Days
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
The course is aimed at ecological consultants who need to produce professional looking phase 1 habitat maps and import, manipulate and display other ecological data, such as bat activity transect maps.

24/04/2020 A Holistic and Practical introduction to QGIS 3 Days
FSC Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact:
QGIS is a freely available open-source Geographical Information System (GIS) that matches the functionality and usability of commercial products like MapInfo and ArcGIS. It has been adopted by governments, businesses and NGOs around the world. The course is suitable for beginners to GIS, those looking to refresh their skills or those looking to migrate to QGIS software.

24/04/2020 Habitat Surveys for Site Assessments and Environmental Audits 3 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This course introduces and gives practical field experience in carrying out habitat surveys of sites as part of an environmental audit to assess their character and wildlife interest. Good fieldwork practices are emphasised throughout the course, in which participants will conduct a survey of the habitats in the landscape around the field centre.

27/04/2020 An Introduction to the NVC 2 Days in Birnam
This course is designed as an introduction to vegetation identification at the broad community level. This will involve excursions to a range of habitats within the NVC manuals on Woodlands, Mires and Heaths and Grasslands, where the most common habitats are found.

29/04/2020 Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units with Metric 2.0 1 Day in London
This course is based on the Biodiversity Metric 2.0 (Natural England, 2019). It provides training on undertaking biodiversity unit calculations for a development and its impacts on biodiversity. It also provides training on utilising biodiversity unit calculations to support designs of BNG, and on good practice when using Metric 2.0.

Above two courses with CIEEM. Contact:

29/04/2020 Zero Carbon Britain 2 Days
Machynlleth, Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology. Contact:
This course offers an in-depth look at Centre for Alternative Technology's flagship research project, Zero Carbon Britain, exploring the radical changes needed to rise to the climate challenge. This course is ideal for educators, policymakers and campaigners.


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

21/04/2020 Social Forestry OCN Level 3 4 Days
Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Small Woods Association. Contact:
Explores the physical, emotional and physiological benefits woodlands have on people. Practical and theory is split between class room and woodland. Designed for people wishing to run social forestry projects and explores the link between human and woodland wellbeing and covers the main aspects Social Forestry principles and practice

22/04/2020 Advanced Facilitation Training - Edinburgh 1 Day
The Melting Pot, Edinburgh, Talk Action. Contact:
An exciting and challenging day that looks?deeply at group dynamics and the role you play as a facilitator. This course helps facilitators to deal with power, conflct and big personalities.

23/04/2020 Outdoor Learning Practitioner 2 Days
Forge Farm, Cropredy, Banbury, Oxfordshire, Wild Learning. Contact:
An accredited (level 2) training course designed to show you how to make the most of outdoor learning opportunities using local outdoor spaces. £225, includes all training and accreditation, certification and workbook support. £125, includes all training. Does not include accreditation.

27/04/2020 Level 2 Award for Forest School Assistants 4 Days
Pucks Oak Barn, The Street, Compton, nr Guildford, GU3 1EG, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Train with us to become a qualified Level 2 Forest School Assistant accredited by the Open College Network West Midlands


Countryside Management Techniques

05/04/2020 Ancient Woodlands of Britain 6 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact:
The course will look at woodland management and how native woods are managed and perpetuated. It will include studies of: shade, the reproduction of trees, soils, coppicing and other management practices as well as tree diseases. This course will be of interest to woodland managers, foresters, contractors, historians, biologist and anyone concerned with the management and conservation of woodlands as well as those with a general interest.

22/04/2020 Ancient Woodland Indicators 1 Day
Bristol, CIEEM. Contact:
This one-day course focuses on ancient woodland indicators. This includes indicator plant species and a range of other features that can be used to establish whether a woodland is ancient or secondary. It will also outline threats to and the management of ancient woodlands.


First Aid, Risk Assessment and other Health & Safety Related Courses

23/04/2020 Outdoor First Aid 2 Days 2 Days in Lochgelly, Fife,
Outdoor First Aid Course, 2 Days, 16 Hours. For all types of outdoor practitioner and featuring multiple outdoor scenarios. Covers all National Governing Body requirements for First Aid.

25/04/2020 Outdoor First Aid 2 Days 2 Days in Inverness
Outdoor First Aid Course, 2 Days, 16 Hours. For all types of outdoor practitioner and featuring multiple outdoor scenarios. Covers all National Governing Body requirements for First Aid.

25/04/2020 Outdoor First Aid 2 Days 2 Days in Edinburgh
Outdoor First Aid Course, 2 Days, 16 Hours. For all types of outdoor practitioner and featuring multiple outdoor scenarios. Covers all National Governing Body requirements for First Aid.

Above courses with First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact:


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

01/04/2020 ARC Great Crested Newts and Licensing for Surveys 1 Day
Rixton Claypits, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This course has been designed for ecologists, rangers or land managers who are looking to undertake professional great crested newt surveys. It will cover species identification and ecology, survey techniques, the Habitat Suitability Index (HIS) and include opportunities to practice netting, bottle trapping, torch and egg searching.

03/04/2020 Slug Identification 1 Day
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
07/04/2020 Reptiles: Ecology, Surveys & Mitigation 1 Day
London, CIEEM. Contact:
This one day course will cover: Identification of the six native UK reptile species; The ecology, including habitat requirements of reptiles in the UK; The legislation and guidance documents pertaining to reptiles in England and Wales; Designing and undertaking a reptile survey; Mitigation/enhancement measures.

07/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Gartcosh, Scotland
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

08/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Peterborough
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

Above two courses with Froglife. Contact:

08/04/2020 Identification of Dragonfly Exuviae 1 Day
Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Learn how to identify dragonflies from their final larval cast skins. For anyone who wishes to learn how to identify dragonflies to species level.

10/04/2020 Practical Microscopy: Go It Alone Weekend: Freshwater Biology 4 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Enjoy a microscopists weekend at Flatford. An opportunity to share, swap or learn new techniques with fellow enthusiasts, do your own thing and use the excellent facilities of the centre to investigate the microscopic freshwater life of the River Stour and other local aquatic habitats.

14/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in York
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

14/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Epping Forest
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

15/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Peterborough
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

Above three courses with Froglife. Contact:

16/04/2020 ARC Working with Natterjacks 1 Day
Millom Network Centre, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This course is specifically aimed at Environmental Consultants, Planners and FEP agents (working with DEFRA's Environmental Stewardship scheme) but everyone with an interest in natterjack toads is welcome to attend. Please note this course is not based at an FSC Centre but will be held at Millom Network Centre, Salthouse Road, Millom, Cumbria LA18 5AB.

17/04/2020 Introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates 4 Days
FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Whether you're a fisherman who wants to develop their knowledge of riverflies, or you're keen to pursue an interest in entomology more generally, this course provides a great start. Visiting examples of both running and still water environments, we'll see a representative range of organisms, introduce their ecology and the value such animals have as indicators of water quality.

18/04/2020 Learn to Love Earthworms 1 Day
Beckenham Place Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
If you're interested in earthworms, then this day is for you! It's a day for people who are fascinated by earthworms but don't know where to start with them. It's a very gentle introduction to the world of earthworms and the art (and science!) of telling one kind from another. Based in Bushy Park.

21/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Gartcosh, Scotland
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

22/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Peterborough
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

Above two courses with Froglife. Contact:

23/04/2020 Great Crested Newts with Froglife 1 Day
FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact:
An introduction to identification, surveying and conservation of great crested newts. The day will consist of a combination of outside and indoor workshop sessions aimed at improving participants' knowledge and understanding of this species. The course will be a useful foundation for those wishing to carry out surveys and eventually acquire a great crested newt licence. Course fee includes FSC fold out chart: Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Ireland.

24/04/2020 Wildlife Tracking 4 Days
Glenmore Lodge, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This tracks and signs workshops is designed to both introduce a prospective new tracker to the general concepts involved in interpreting tracks and signs and add to the knowledge of the more experienced naturalist. Although we can't import wildlife to the area and therefore give a definitive list of the signs we will find, anything that makes a track on the ground is fair game for our attention.

24/04/2020 Introduction to Freshwater Invertebrates 3 Days
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
24/04/2020 Identifying Bees 3 Days
FSC Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact:
An opportunity to learn how to record and critically identify bees with Liams Olds. The course will provide an introduction to bees, then a chance to identify them under the microscope using the dichotomous keys and images in the new field guide. A field trip (weather dependent) will allow you to see living bees and develop basic collecting, field identification skills and better understand their ecology and conservation.

24/04/2020 Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates 4 Days
FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council. Contact:
A course for both beginners and those who wish to improve their freshwater macroinvertebrate identification skills. It includes field collection techniques, preservation and curation of specimens, use of identification keys and information on life histories. The Malham estate has a range of aquatic habitats supporting a wide variety of aquatic macroinvertebrates and you will have the opportunity to examine specimens from other locations.

25/04/2020 Sustainable Beekeeping 2 Days
Ragmans Farm, Forest of Dean, GL17 9PA, Bees for Development. Contact:
This is a practical course with a particular focus on natural methods. We cover the management of bees, and natural ways to take care of them. This course is suitable for those with or without previous knowledge of beekeeping.

25/04/2020 Pond dipping for Adults 0.5 Days
High Elms, Bromley, idverde. Contact:
A short introduction to freshwater pond ecology followed by a pond dipping session at High Elms Country Park. Learn about common pond flora and fauna in a practical session. Led by Helen Cassidy, Environmental Education Manager for idverde Bromley.

27/04/2020 Reptile Ecology, Survey, Mitigation, including Adder handling 1 Day
Exeter , Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
This course is designed to enable you to identify UK reptile species, identify suitable reptile habitat, undertake reptile survey and develop reptile mitigation strategies. The course is part classroom and part field based to provide practical survey and handling experience.

28/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Epping Forest, London
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

29/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence 1.5 Days in Peterborough
Covers identification, ecology, distribution and surveying for the great crested newt. Participants are able to obtain a reference for a licence on successful completion of the course.

Above two courses with Froglife. Contact:

29/04/2020 Great Crested Newt Ecology and Survey Techniques 3 Days
Exeter , Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
This is introductory course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to undertake GCN surveys and is aimed at those working in consultancy or conservation. This course is part classroom and part field based.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

02/04/2020 Bats for Building Professionals 1 Day
Richmond Park,, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact:
This awareness course is for anyone responsible for buildings and their renovation/development/maintenance (builders, surveyors, architects and pest controllers). The course will ensure that participants are aware of their responsibilities with regard to bats and are able to recognise the basic signs of potential roosts. No prior knowledge required.

03/04/2020 Bat Ecology at Crystal Palace 1 Day
Crystal Palace Park, London, idverde. Contact:
An excellent introduction the UK's bat species with bat walk at Crystal Palace Park. Led by Sue Holland, Senior Community Manager for idverde Bromley. Sue is heavily involved in managing conservation in the borough including carrying out surveys to monitor the health of our bat population.

04/04/2020 Mammal Monitoring 1 Day
Cumbernauld, TCV Scotland. Contact:
This workshop will introduce you to the mammals you are most likely to come across in your local area and woodlands. We will look at how to read tracks, trails and signs, camera trapping, surveying and recording.

07/04/2020 Surveying for bats 2 Days
Tyntesfield, north Somerset, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact:
This 2-day course gives you the knowledge and skills to plan professional bat surveys. You?ll learn practical survey skills and field sign identification through classroom sessions and practical sessions. The course covers survey objectives, desktop and scoping surveys, identifying appropriate survey techniques, survey skills, field signs and assessment of roosts.

15/04/2020 Field Signs of British Protected Mammals. 2 Days
Near Midhurst, John Rhyder and Richard Andrews. Contact:
We will explore the sign of mammals in general but focus attention on protected species including otters, polecat, dormouse, water vole & those animals most easily confused with them. These include sign of cats, dogs, foxes & badgers commonly confused with otters. Rats, hedgehogs and smaller rodents commonly confused with water vole.

16/04/2020 Bat Ecology 1 Day
Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Spend an enjoyable evening learning about bats before tracking them in the woods.

21/04/2020 Introduction to Bat Ecology & Survey Techniques 1 Day
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
This course provides an introduction to key skills, experience and knowledge necessary for undertaking professional bat work in the UK. The course is a mix of class, practical and fieldwork, taught by an expert bat ecologist.

21/04/2020 CyberTracker Track & Sign Evaluation 2 Days
Near Midhurst, John Rhyder. Contact:
A two-day practical field test that emphasise open, honest dialogue and real learning. The tracks and sign of any and all species encountered in the field may be asked, whether big or small, clear or obscure. After participants give their answers, a dialogue ensues between the evaluator and participants to provide the opportunity for everyone involved to learn and for each of us to internalise the field marks used for identification.

22/04/2020 Introduction to Bat Ecology and Bat Surveys 1 Day
Wareham, CIEEM. Contact:
The course provides an introduction to key skills, experience and knowledge necessary for undertaking professional bat work in the UK.

22/04/2020 Bat Call Analysis using AnalookW, Anabat Insight, Bat Explorer and Kaleidoscope Software Packages 1 Days
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
This one-day classroom-based course focuses on the analysis of bat calls recorded on full spectrum, broadband time expansion or frequency division bat detectors.

23/04/2020 Bats: Impact Assessment and Mitigation 1 Day
Wareham, CIEEM. Contact:
This course will cover the impacts on bats of development, roads, tree surgery and single wind turbines and the requirement for appropriate bat mitigation and enhancement in line with current legislative requirements.

25/04/2020 Bat Roost Survey Training Weekend 2 Days
FSC Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact:
The course will be of interest to the keen amateur as well as those training towards roost licenses and consultants and professionals in wildlife fields. It is suitable for those at beginner to intermediate level. Participants will require a certificate of vaccination against rabies and suitable gloves if they are to take part in any aspect of the course involving bat handling.

27/04/2020 Arboriculture and bats - scoping surveys for arborists 1 Day
Richmond Park,, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact:
One day awareness course?for arborists to help them carry out?tree works with consideration for the potential impacts on bats and their habitat. The course?is Lantra registered, counts towards?Arboricultural Association CPD and is in line with British Standard 8596 - Surveying for bats in trees and woodland.

28/04/2020 Bat Ecology 1 Day
Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Spend an enjoyable evening learning about bats before tracking them in the woods.

28/04/2020 Secondary Roost Surveys for arborists 1 Day
Richmond Park,, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact:
Follow-on arborist course, it teaches participants how to undertake a secondary roost survey. You will explore the practical skills and methods that can be used to rule out bat potential, learn the appropriate use of endoscopes and receive guidance on what can and cannot be done without a bat licence.

28/04/2020 Badger Ecology & Survey 1 Day
This introductory course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to undertake badger surveys and provide reports in accordance with best practice guidance. Attendees should be comfortable with walking outdoors on rough terrain, as the course will include a visit to a badger sett.

 29/04/2020 Badgers and Development, Licences & Mitigation 1 Day
This course is aimed at people who have attended our 'Badger ecology and surveying' course or are already experienced in undertaking badger surveys and have a good understanding of badger ecology.

Above two courses in Exeter with Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact:

29/04/2020 Dormice - Ecology, Survey and Habitat Management 1 Day
Micheldever, Hampshire, Species Recovery Trust. Contact:
A one day course giving participants an introduction to: The ecology of dormice - including habitat requirements; Survey techniques and standards (boxes, tubes, footprint tunnels, nuts); Handling and identification of age classes/sexes; Interpretation and application of survey results.

29/04/2020 Hedgehog Ecology and Surveying 1 Day
Newton Abbot, Wild Ideas. Contact:
This training course provides a guide to hedgehog ecology and surveying for anyone interested in knowing more about the UK’s only spiny mammal.

30/04/2020 Hazel Dormouse Ecology and Survey Techniques 1 Day
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd . Contact:
This introductory course will provide the skills and knowledge to undertake surveys for hazel dormouse. The course is part classroom and part field based.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

03/04/2020 Woodland Birds 1 Day
Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Enjoy an early morning walk listening to the local birdsong before learning more about woodland birds in the classroom.

06/04/2020 Early Spring Birds 5 Days
FSC Dale Fort, Field Studies Council. Contact:
The aim of the course is to build confidence in bird identification, in an easy going and digestible way, starting with resident and common migrants. The focus will be on watching and identifying birds 'in the field', getting to grips with birds typical of the West Wales coast, and hopefully through this finding and identifying scarcer migrants and possibly something even rarer.

06/04/2020 Bird Identification 1 Day
Course covers identification tips, using keys and guides and includes a field visit.

07/04/2020 Bird Surveying Techniques 1 Day
Course covers bird survey techniques, data collection and presentation and a field visit.

Above two courses in Farnham, Surrey with Ecology Training UK. Contact:

17/04/2020 Birds of the North Wales Coast, Woodlands and Uplands 3 Days
FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council. Contact:
With the breeding season well underway, this is an ideal long weekend for birdwatching in the dramatic landscapes of North Wales. We will explore the coastal cliffs and estuaries, visiting seabird colonies on Anglesey and the RSPB Reserve at Conwy, walk through glaciated valleys for open country and woodland birds and take in higher ground for upland and moorland specialities.

18/04/2020 Birdwatching in Bushy Park 1 Day
Bushy Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Bushy Park is a great location to spot resident and migrant birds. Spend the day in the Park observing and identifying birds and learning how to watch birds successfully. We will visit the open parkland, the woodland and the Brewhouse fields, not usually accessible to the public. Course fee includes FSC fold out chart: Top 50 Garden Birds. Based in Bushy Park.

18/04/2020 Woodland Birds of Epping Forest 1 Day
FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Get to grips with woodland birds identification and learn how to watch them successfully on a relaxed late spring walk around Epping Forest. Our day will incorporate bird identification, bird vocalisations and bird behaviour as we explore this beautiful location. Course fee includes FSC fold out chart: Top 50 Garden Birds.

24/04/2020 Bird Identification: An introduction 3 Days
Machynlleth, Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology. Contact:
Spend three days in beautiful surroundings learning how to identify a wide range of different birds, from warblers to waders and everything in between. Your expert guide will help you see and hear the subtle differences between species, and you?ll explore a range of habitats, including woodland, grassland and wetlands.

24/04/2020 Birds in the Shropshire Springtime 3 Days
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Shropshire in springtime is a delightful place in which to develop your bird identification skills. This course will visit a variety of different habitats within the county, such as farmland, heathland, wetland and woodland, which should enable a wide range of species to be encountered and give an indication of where to find different birds. The course is aimed at anyone who watches birds, but would like to improve their identification skills by sight and sound.

24/04/2020 Spring Birdwatching 3 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Visiting a range of locations around Suffolk and Essex, as well making use of sites around FSC Flatford Mill, participants will explore woods, heathlands or marshes as the group make best use of local weather conditions to watch and discover more about the local birdlife. The emphasis will be on helping everyone feel more confident about identifying birds and understanding behaviour.

25/04/2020 Bird Ringing Day 1 Day
Preston Montford Field Centre, Shrewsbury, Growing Confidence Project. Contact:
Whixall Moss, Shropshire. Free event for ages 15-25.  Why do we ring birds? The Shropshire Ringing Group will show you some exciting birds in the hand, many fresh from their migration north from Africa.

28/04/2020 Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound 2 Days
The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Whether you're new to birding or have some previous experience, join DWT’s Hamish Murray on a birding exploration around Powerstock Common and Kingcombe Meadows nature reserves.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/04/2020 Lichen Identification 1 Day
Porlock, CIEEM. Contact:
Lichens are under-recorded in many woodlands yet can form a significant component of species richness. The course will focus on identifying thallus morphology that aid the identification of type, genus & species in the field

03/04/2020 Plant Identification for Field Surveyors 1 Day
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Most botanists start out identifying plants by comparing their specimens to photographs or illustrations in books. This course is aimed at those people wanting to progress from picture book identification onto proper 'Floras'. This course will introduce simple techniques and the use of keys to enable identification of a wide variety of plant families and species.

04/04/2020 Introduction to Plant Morphology 1 Day
The Regent's Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
When trying to identify plants using keys are you confused by botanical terms and can't quite understand what terms like ligule, phyllary or stipule mean? Worse still, you can't even find them on your specimen! You will use hand lenses to examine 'simple' flowers such as buttercups right through to the 'dreaded' grasses.

04/04/2020 Learn to Love Mosses 1 Day
Bushy Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
If you're interested in mosses, then this day is for you! It's a day for people who are fascinated by mosses but don't know where to start with them. It's a very gentle introduction to the world of mosses and the art (and science!) of telling one kind from another. Course fee includes FSC fold-out chart: Guide to mosses and liverworts of Towns and Gardens.

04/04/2020 Botany For Improvers 1 Day
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact:
The plant kingdom is hugely varied and it can be very difficult and daunting to start to identify specimens, especially for families and species that you have never seen before. Most botanists and ecologists start out identifying plants by comparing their specimens to photographs or illustrations in books. This course is aimed at professional and amateur botanists that want to progress from picture book identification onto proper 'Floras'.

06/04/2020 Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey 1 Day
Woodah Farm Rural Skills Centre, Nr Exeter, Devon Wildlife Consultants. Contact:
The most essential skill for a career in ecological consultancy is the ability to undertake an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey. This classroom/field-based course provides the knowledge and skills required to achieve this. The course will include methodology, survey, mapping and report writing and is taught by practicing, professional ecologists.

07/04/2020 Botany for Artists and Wildlife Gardeners 3 Days
The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact:
Learn to recognise, classify and describe plant functions and features through illustration. This course is suitable for botanical artists wishing to understand their subjects better, and wildlife painters and gardeners.

15/04/2020 Lichens of Pembrokeshire 6 Days
FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Enjoy exploring the local area and discovering the wonderous array of lichens in Pembrokeshire. There will be opportunities to visit habitats such as rocky shores, coastal cliff, sandy grassland, ancient woodland, a cathedral and memorials. We will identify key species in the field, use microscopes to study samples more closely, and use spot tests to identify a few of the lichen compounds which enable them to live in the harshest environments.

17/04/2020 Sphagnum 3 Days
FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council. Contact:
This course will develop field and laboratory skills to enable a high level of competence in identifying species of sphagnum. We will fully utilise field sites in the area, where it will be possible to become familiar with most of the 30 or so British species. Suitable for beginners in this field and others wishing to extend their knowledge.

20/04/2020 Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey 1 Day
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact:
This part classroom, part field work course will show you how to use the JNCC phase 1 habitat codes to identify a range of habitats and provide the skills to carry out a phase habitat 1 survey, relevant to both consultancy and conservation work.

23/04/2020 Nature for our Wellbeing - Mindfulness walk NEW 0.5 Days
Oare Marshes, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact:
A mindful walk around Oare Marshes, noticing the nature of this beautiful reserve and practising some mindfulness techniques.

25/04/2020 How to Use Plant Identification Keys 1 Day
The Regent's Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
Picture guides are really useful when identifying wild plants. However, to get the most out of botanising, learning how to use keys is an essential tool. This course will take the fear out of 'keying out'. You will be introduced to a range of different keys and their strengths and weaknesses will be explored.

25/04/2020 Learn to Love Lichens 1 Day
Greenwich Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact:
If you're interested in lichens, then this day is for you! It's a day for people who are fascinated by lichens but don't know where to start with them. It's a very gentle introduction to the world of lichens and the art (and science!) of telling one kind from another. Course fee includes FSC fold out charts: Key to Lichens on Twigs. Based in Greenwich Park.

27/04/2020 Introduction to Schedule 9 Invasive Plant Species 1 Day
Exeter, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact:
This course introduces invasive plant species found in the UK and their legal status. This course includes identification of commonly occurring invasive plants, information on early recognition, and their control.


Practical Countryside Skills

18/04/2020 Dry Stone Walling 1 Day
Pensychnant Conservation Centre near Conwy in North Wales, Wales Branch of Dry Stone Walling Association . Contact:
Aimed at beginners and content varies and includes some or all of dismantling a section of wall and rebuilding it to the coping (top) stones


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

23/04/2020 Practical Wasp Control 1 Day
This is a one-day course aimed at those who want to wasp control to their portfolio.

30/04/2020 RSPH Level 2 Award in the safe use of Rodenticides 1 Day
The RSPH Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Rodenticides provides learners with an understanding of why the purchase and use of rodenticides is controlled and why other rodent control methods should be considered before rodenticides are used.

Above two courses with Pest Solution, Bury St Edmunds. Contact: 


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