Voluntary Opportunities
Regular or occasional requirements South West

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

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


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

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

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

36 pages in total, the lead article is from the Woodland Trust detailing how they aim to plant a quarter of a million trees in a mass youth engagement project to create the UK’s first Young People’s Forest. Student Volunteering Week runs from 11 – 17 February. It’s a fantastic way for charities to work with students. South Downs National Park has around 300 active volunteers; they discuss the different ways they get people involved. This year the Forestry Commission is celebrating 100 years of forestry, as part of the celebrations they are promoting staff a volunteering scheme. Until 2016 RSPCA didn’t involve volunteers in the work of their Inspectorate; following a successful pilot they now recruit Wildlife Casualty Volunteers – find out what’s involved. Volunteering isn’t all manual labour; find out what the Events & Publicity Volunteers get up to with the Mendip Hills AONB. Volunteers’ Week runs from 1-7 June every year, organised by NCVO it’s a chance for organisations to celebrate the millions of volunteers who give their time; find out how you can get involved. This edition also carries lots of voluntary vacancies and work day opportunities. Read it here http://c-js.co.uk/CJSFocus

JOB: Trainee Country Park Ranger/Gardener

BE4: 22/2/19 12 noon

IV: 28/2/19

LOC: Cockington Country Park, Torquay, Devon

PAY: Accommodation / £2000 training budget / on-site-training

FOR: Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust

You will be helping to deliver the Heritage Lottery funded Green Heart Project aimed at rejuvenating Cockington Country Park. Volunteering in Torbay’s largest & most renowned historic park is a fantastic opportunity for an individual looking to gain experience, learn & develop skills & further their knowledge in landscape maintenance, public engagement & working with volunteers. You will: use a range of machinery, incl; brushcutter, trimmer, mowers, chainsaw & leaf blower; assist with grass cutting, maintaining paths & park furniture; look after a collection of trees, lakeside plants & rose garden; help lead volunteer groups & engage with visitors.  Free shared accommodation is offered in the restored 16th century Gamekeepers Cottage in the heart of the park.  ASK: For further details & to apply; www.countryside-trust.org.uk/about-tcct/vacancies. Please contact: Mardie 01803 606858 / 07786388019 or mardie@countryside-trust.org.uk

JOB: Volunteer Wildlife Watchpoint Assitant (Full time)

BE4: 17/2/19 11pm

LOC: The Lizard, Cornwall

PAY: Accommodation can be provided if needed. ‘On the job’ training and (depending on work plans) access to more formal courses to further your career e.g. first aid, survey skills etc. We will cover any out of pocket expenses (agreed in advance).

FOR: National Trust

6-8 months, 28 hpw incl weekends. You will: help coordinate & collaborate with volunteers; assist with regular volunteer communications; help manage wildlife & disturbance data; monitor breeding choughs & helping prevent disturbance around nest site; providing educational activities; contribute to website, blogs & social media; work outdoors in all weathers; learn about The Lizard, its history, landscape, &  nature & sharing this with others; help everyone feel welcome, while thinking about the needs of all visitors; maintain good relationships with people who share the land; get to know health & safety & property procedures. You will be: outdoorsy, whatever the weather; keen to work with people & animals; good communicator & well organised; friendly, outgoing & enthusiastic about wildlife & conservation; enjoy sharing your enthusiasm with others; interested in data collection / management; team player; active, fit & healthy - you’ll do lots of walking, lifting & shifting & possibly cycling. ASK: Application: CV & covering letter to kathleen.trokethomas@nationaltrust.org.uk. https://c-js.co.uk/2TsyxI0

JOB: Volunteer Forum Members

BE4: 22/2/19

IV: 22/02/2019

LOC: Exeter

PAY: Generous mileage rate

FOR: Devon County Council

The Devon Countryside Access Forum is a statutory local access forum under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000. It has 17 members who advise on the ‘improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation & the enjoyment of the area’. We are currently appointing members to the Forum & would welcome applications from anyone with an interest in recreational access. Formal meetings are held 3 times a year. There are occasional small working groups & a yearly training day. All applications will be considered & we would love to hear from landowners & managers, access users & people with other relevant professional interests such as planning, education, sport, sustainable transport & business. Applications from walkers, horse riders, tourism providers & those with a knowledge of the definitive Map review process would be particularly welcome. ASK: For details & an application form please see www.devon.gov.uk/dcaf

JOB: Residential Visitor Experience Intern - Dorset

BE4: 31/5/19

LOC: RSPB Arne, Dorset

PAY: Training


The RSPB reserves in Dorset are looking for an enthusiastic, energetic individual to join the visitor experience team at the south west’s flagship reserve, RSPB Arne. This role is a unique opportunity to gain a valuable insight into the visitor operation on a busy nature reserve, and a perfect opportunity for someone looking towards a career in conservation. 37.5 hours per week. Regular weekend and evening working will be required. Good people and communication skills and an approachable personality are essential for this role, as is the ability to work as part of a small team. You will also be adaptable, self-motivated and ready to turn your hand to the multitude of different tasks required on a nature reserve. Specialist knowledge is not necessary, but an enthusiasm for wildlife and an interest in conservation is. ASK: Please send all enquiries to arne@rspb.org.uk

JOB: Animal Care Voluntary Student Work Experience Placement

BE4: 31/3/19

IV: 31/03/2019

LOC: Devon

PAY: Training

FOR: Shaldon Wildlife Trust

Shaldon Wildlife Trust is able to offer a number of work experience placements which will give you a unique understanding of working for a conservation organisation. There is the chance to develop your skills across a variety of departments at Shaldon, incl the animal keeping, education, conservation and administration departments. There is the opportunity to complete research projects and dissertations during your placement. Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a small zoo on the Devon coast. Set in an acre of woodland, we are the smallest member of BIAZA and EAZA. Despite this we are active members of the zoo community and support conservation projects all over the word. Skills required: enrolment on an animal science related course; previous animal-related work exp; good communication skills; adaptable to different working environments; able to work in a team and independently; physically fit for the demands of the post. ASK: Please send a CV and covering letter to: Carly Murray, Head Keeper, Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Ness Drive, Devon TQ14 0HP or email carly@shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk

JOB: Garden Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Totnes, South Devon

PAY: Expenses paid and lunch provided

FOR: The Sharpham Trust

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

JOB: Conservation Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Totnes, South Devon

PAY: Expenses paid

FOR: The Sharpham Trust

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

JOB: Assistant Ranger & Estate Assistant

BE4: 18/2/19

IV: 18/02/2019

LOC: Lundy Island

PAY: Accommodation & training

FOR: Landmark Trust

Would you like experience in practical conservation? Could you live within a small community off the coast of North Devon? Are you a hard worker, ready to help out wherever needed?  Then this could be the one for you. We’re posting for two positions to assist the full time Ranger on Lundy island- a stunning and unique island, designated a SSSI it also supports the UK’s first Marine Conservation Zone. This position provides a great opportunity to gain hands on experience and join the Lundy team over the summer. Work includes a wide range of practical conservation and estate management tasks including; grounds maintenance, dry-stone walling, rhododendron eradication, bracken management, vegetation control, stock fencing, footpath maintenance, volunteer supervision and tree maintenance, and assisting with general island duties. The positions run from 4 April through to the end of October 2019, it’s a volunteer role but with provided accommodation, food and a suitable training course provided at the end of the season. ASK: For an application form and job description call 01237 423233 or email: admin@lundyisland.co.uk Job description: https://c-js.co.uk/2Sff1Oe

JOB: Adopt a Path Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Somerset County Wide


FOR: Somerset County Council

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

JOB: Trail Watcher: England Coast Path

BE4: N / A

LOC: Somerset County Wide


FOR: Somerset County Council

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

JOB: Arundel Welcome Team

BE4: N / A

LOC: WWT Arundel Wetland Centre, Mill Rd, Arundel BN18 9PB

PAY: Uniform and training provided where necessary. Free entry to all WWT centres, and a discount in the cafe and shop on volunteering days.


At WWT Arundel Wetland Centre we want to ensure that our visitors receive a warm, friendly welcome to ensure they have a comfortable and enjoyable visit. In this role you’ll be part of the team providing a helping hand to ensuring that our visitors have a great day to remember from start to finish. You’ll also be a key representative and champion of WWT actively engaging our visitors, providing them with information and advising them on our latest conservation initiatives and the benefits of our membership scheme. You receive free entry to all WWT centres, and a discount in the cafe and shop on volunteering days. Time commitment: one day per week, between 10am & 3pm, with breaks. ASK: For more information and to apply, please visit: https://c-js.co.uk/2RHq96q

JOB: Practical Volunteer

BE4: N / A

LOC: Across Penwith, Cornwall.

PAY: Travel expenses and training available

FOR: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

First & Last - Our Living Working Landscape. Come & learn more about the work we do across Penwith in practical conservation, archaeology, ecology & footpaths. We run volunteer sessions Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10am - 3pm, to clear vegetation, uncover some of Penwith’s archaeological treasures, restore Cornish hedges & improve access along trails connecting ancient sites.  We need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves & get stuck in, embrace learning new skills & enjoy working outside in all weathers. The sessions are fascinating days out with friendly people - a great way to boost your health & wellbeing. Bring sturdy footwear, lunch & waterproof / outdoor clothing.  All training, tools, equipment & refreshments (tea / coffee & biscuits!) provided. Other volunteering opportunities are available for a range of different tasks. ASK: Contact Holly for more information & to register: holly.berwick@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk, 01736 805306, www.penwithlandscape.com.

JOB: Forest School Volunteer Assistant

BE4: N / A

LOC: Exeter, Devon

PAY: Travel expenses & in house training

FOR: A Touch of the Wild

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

JOB: Urban Buzz Volunteer

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: Bristol

PAY: Expenses and some training

FOR: Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust

Seeking volunteers to assist in the creation of pollinator friendly habitats in parks & green spaces across Bristol. Tasks will incl practical habitat management, plug planting, meadow creation, tree planting & bulb planting. Seeking help on Wednesdays & some Mondays too. Time Commitment: Urban Buzz project ends March 2019. ASK: Contact: hayley.herridge@buglife.org.uk

JOB: Volunteer Fundraiser (Pin Badges)

BE4: Ongoing

LOC: South West - Home Based

PAY: Training / equipment


Do you want to do something rewarding for nature? It only takes a couple of hours a month! It doesn't matter if you are retired, employed, unemployed or just looking for something to do by becoming a pin badge volunteer in your area, looking after our pin badge boxes you will be able to raise vital funds for nature. Managing the boxes is easy & flexible working around your lifestyle giving you the chance to get out & about in your area, developing your fundraising & communication skills which can be added to your CV. Gaining you useful skills while being part of the movement to save nature. Everything you need will be provided & you will have the support of the area community fundraiser to guide you on your volunteering experience.    ASK: Contact: Anna Canvin 01392 453753 anna.canvin@rspb.org.uk

Details believed correct but given without prejudice. Ends.