Practical Land Management on South London Nature Reserves
As part of the Conservation Land Team we are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of over 40 nature reserves around London. In south London the primary reserves we manage are Hutchinson's Bank, Chapel Bank, Salt Box HIll SSSI, Riddlesdown SSSI, West Kent Golf Course and Bramley Bank. These reserves are predominately on a chalk substrate, making for interesting ecological assemblages that are not found in other parts of London.
We are constantly looking for volunteers to come and give us a hand managing these special nature reserves on the fringes on London. If you want to get involved in their management we undertake various conservation activities including scrub clearance, small tree felling, chalk grassland restoration and infrastructure repairs. No previous experience is necessary, and full training will be given. Other aspects of the work will include carrying out risk assessments, tools maintenance, species and habitat surveying, condition monitoring, and learning how to organise and run practical workdays. All you need is enthusiasm, the ability to team work with people from diverse backgrounds and to wear suitable outdoor clothing, sturdy outdoor footwear and to bring a packed lunch. .
Travel: We are based at Camley Street Natural Park (near kings Cross station) and can provide transport to the site as well as tools and PPE. Task days are usually held on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays/2nd & 3rd Sundays in the month.
Contact Shaun Marriott, Back to Chalk Volunteer Development Officer on 0771 019 4268
Venues may change at short notice so getting in touch before you come along is highly recomended.
Growing Out Volunteers
Growing Out is London Wildlife Trust’s exciting new project which works with young adults with mild learning disabilities.
Each week we work with a group of around 10 young adults to build their skills in gardening and practical conservation work. Volunteers will help 2 London Wildlife Trust staff members to support participants throughout the project.
Day to day this will be:
- Supporting participants to complete tasks in food growing, and practical conservation.
- Encouraging participants to fill their learning journals which log work and skills gained.
- Accompanying the group on visits to nature reserves, parks and gardens in London.
- Motivating participants.
Volunteers need no previous experience in any area of this project. All we are looking for is an open mind, lots of energy and a willingness to engage with the group.
Special Requirements: Volunteers will undergo a Criminal Record Bureaux check.
Expenses: We are able to offer local travel reimbursement to Growing Out volunteers.
Where: Centre for Wildlife Gardening 10mins walk from East Dulwich train staition.
When: Every Monday 10.00am to 4pm
Contact: Georgie Mavrakis 07837578166
Potted History - Gardening and Reminiscence
Are you easy going, empathetic and like working with people in a natural setting? Our Elders Gardening Club promotes mental and physical wellbeing through food-growing, arts, crafts and the making of natural remedies, together with laughter, tea and biscuits. We are looking for volunteers to help support and engage with the group and bring ideas and lots of energy. No gardening experience is required - just bring enthusiasm and the will to develop a beautiful garden. Training will be provided
Where: Centre for Wildlife Gardening, Peckham
Special requirements: A friendly and patient manner and the ability to team work with people from diverse backgrounds.
Contact: The Centre for Wildlife Gardening on 020 7252 9186
Volunteer education assistants
We need volunteers to assist with the delivery of formal and informal onsite and outreach environmental education sessions and events, mainly aimed at primary schools.
The role will provide excellent work experience for anyone wanting a career in the environmental education sector. Volunteers will learn how to prepare and deliver environmental education programmes with a view to eventually leading sessions themselves, and receive hands on training in how to run successful outdoor events and activities.
Special Requirements: A desire to work with children, basic wildlife knowledge and an enthusiasm for nature. Applicants will be CRB checked
Where: Centre for Wildlife Gardening, Sydenham Hill Woods and other sites in Southwark
When: Flexible - sessions take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays over the spring, summer and autumn, with occasional weekends all year round.
Contact: Lorna Fox at email@example.com for more information, or on 020 7252 9186
Centre for Wildlife Gardening – volunteer programme
The Centre for Wildlife Gardening is an idyllic Green Pennant award winning site in East Dulwich. It has a series of pocket habitats (such as a chalk slope, pond and meadow) and demonstration planting and vegetables. There is an award winning visitors centre with green roof where educational classes and courses are held. We are looking for volunteers to take part in practical gardening activities such as general garden maintenance, potting up and planting out of plants, pond maintenance, clearance of invasive plants and the creation of log piles (to provide habitats for insects & reptiles). Sessions will be led by the centres experienced wildlife gardeners and volunteers will gain practical skills in gardening, plant and wildlife identification and habitat management. What skills and experience do I need? As much or as little as you can bring but full training is provided. However, enthusiasm, common sense and the ability to team work with people from diverse backgrounds is essential.
Where: Centre for Wildlife Gardening
When: Wednesday and Thursday 10.30am – 4.40pm. Volunteer inductions take place every other Wednesday. Please call to book. We will show you around, take your details and get you gardening! Please wear suitable clothing and sturdy footwear. Refreshments & protective clothing (e.g. gloves) will be provided.
Contact: Centre for Wildlife Gardening or call 020 7252 9186
Volunteer Conservation Task Leader, Croydon
We're looking for a responsible volunteer to lead volunteer workdays at Hutchinson’s Bank Nature Reserve in New Addington. You will be leading a small group of experienced volunteers to cut scrub, small trees and help manage this beautiful chalk grassland site. The role will suit someone looking to gain work experience in the conservation field.
Where: Hutchinson’s Bank Nature Reserve, close to New Addington tram terminus.
Special requirements: You must be able to demonstrate knowledge of practical conservation techniques, be reliable and responsible and have excellent communication skills. You must be available two Sundays per month from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Ideally you will be able to commit for at least 4 months.
Training: London Wildlife Trust will provide all necessary training and re-imburse within London travel expenses for each time you lead a session.
Contact: Please email Jane Clarke with a brief outline about your suitability for this volunteer role.
Pony Patrol Volunteers
Saltbox Hill Nature Reserve has two new residents – Dartmoor ponies that help to maintain this rare chalk grassland by eating scrubby vegetation. We are looking for up to seven reliable volunteers to check the ponies every day, come rain or shine. You can visit at any time during the day. You would check that the ponies look healthy, have enough water, are safely inside their paddock and that fences and gates are secure. The role would suit an active, practical person who is confident around animals. You will be given full training before you start and have access to a 24 hour back up should problems arise.
The ponies are occasionally moved off-site to graze at other reserves not far way as the need arises, so you will be told when they're due on site or being moved away.
Contact: Evelin Illyes at The Downlands Project on 01737 733933.
Thursday in the Woods
We now have a new volunteering day at Sydenham Hill Wood every Thursday. Activities vary according to the season but include practical habitat management including pond clearance, coppicing and management of invasive plant species, path maintenance, fencing, and wildlife surveys.
If you fancy a woodland workout contact Daniel Greenwood, Conservation Project Officer, Sydenham Hill Wood. 0207 252 9186
Practical Conservation Volunteers at New Cross Gate Cutting, Brockley
There are a wide range of habitat management tasks to be done at this interesting site adjoining a railway embankment, including meadow enhancement, selective tree removal and woodland management, as well as step construction and footpath maintenance. This is a valuable community asset in need of regular management and it is hoped to provide more public access over the coming months. No previous experience is necessary as full training will be given. All you need is enthusiasm, the ability to team work with people from diverse backgrounds and to wear suitable outdoor clothing, sturdy outdoor footwear and bring a packed lunch.
Where: Meet at the Vesta Road entrance gates
Contact: Shaun Marriott, Conservation Land Officer (South) 0771 019 4268
Venues may change at short notice so getting in touch before you come along is highly recommended.