Giving Back to Nature: How to Volunteer Outdoors

We all know getting out into nature is good for the body and mind. But what if there was a way to enjoy all the well-known benefits of being outdoors while actively contributing to its upkeep?

Well, there is! In many of the country's most popular locations, whether picturesque stately homes or wind-beaten mountainsides there are opportunities to maintain, improve, help teach others and protect nature. There are many well-known organisations up and down the UK that welcome volunteers who wish to donate their time and join their ranks to assist in any way they can in the preservation and improvement of the British countryside!


The Wildlife Trust

If you’re a lover of Britain's wildlife and want a chance to see it up close as you help protect its habitat, then the Wildlife Trust is the volunteering choice for you. The Wildlife Trust is responsible for safeguarding 2,300 nature reserves throughout the country. They accomplish this by managing and protecting special habitats of rare and uncommon wildlife, as well as defending them from damage. The trust is dedicated to supporting nature's recovery by partnering with volunteers to restore habitats across land, rivers and even at sea. They offer guidance and assistance to farmers, businesses, local councils, and schools in managing their land for the benefit of wildlife.

The trust is involved with looking after registers of Local Wildlife Sites - areas of wildlife-rich land given some protection through the planning system. This work is often in partnership with local councils, landowners, and local environmental record centres. They undertake vast surveys to monitor the ecosystem and the animals that make their home there and run targeted conservation programs which aim to protect water voles, red squirrels, barn owls, hedgehogs, and other rare wildlife.

If this sounds like the Wildlife Trust has a lot on its plate, it’s because it does. And that’s why volunteers are so important. If you choose to volunteer with them, you’ll be playing a vital role in community gardening, surveying different animal numbers, tending nature reserves, plant identification and GPS mapping. Currently, the trust has 39,000 frequent volunteers who play massively helpful roles all over the UK. Find out more on how you can join in with their conservation efforts here.

National Parks

Our national parks are some of the best-loved, and certainly most visually stunning places in the country. Beautiful, accessible, and well-maintained. But our national parks don’t maintain themselves and along with dedicated park rangers, over 5000 people yearly give up their free time and volunteer to keep these epic locations pristine. They welcome people of all ages in every national park for a huge variety of roles.

Snowdonia has everything from litter picking and maintaining walkways to monitoring the night sky for reports on the quality of stargazing for astronomers to use! Most national parks have youth projects that aim to inspire and teach the younger generation about the importance of caring for these locations. Tree and hedge planting is often on the agenda in the winter months and is a great way to help create a home for wildlife and leave your very own small mark in the park that’ll grow for years to come. Some parks, such as the Lake District offer more active volunteering such as fixing fell-running routes or being part of a boat crew. These are just some of the fantastic opportunities to get involved with our national parks, for more follow this link and help build our national parks.

National Trust

The National Trust manages over 500 sites up and down the country, its mission as guardians of these famous places is to conserve these sites of natural beauty and historical significance for future generations to continue to enjoy. This involves not only maintaining the properties and landscapes but also undertaking conservation projects to safeguard them for the future. Ensuring sites are well kept for wildlife to make its home there.

One well-known site managed by the National Trust is Sutton Hoo, a site of massive historical importance due to the Anglo-Saxon cemetery located on the grounds. This site was recently overgrown with bracken but with the help of people donating their time, it’s been transformed into a paradise for rare insects and a vulnerable species of sheep such as the White-faced Woodland, along with the Manx Loaghtan, Herdwick and Hebridean sheep. In Winter there are numerous chances to get involved in sprucing up National Trust sites ready for visitors to enjoy in the peak summer months.

Along with natural beauty and biodiversity, volunteers also play a role in preserving and showcasing the rich history of its sites by engaging in outdoor activities such as gardening, leading guided tours, and assisting with events. Along with this, there are numerous sites with collections of books and antiques that require cataloguing by dedicated volunteers! So, If you think lending a helping hand at a culturally rich site is for you, follow this link to find opportunities near you.

Forestry England

Volunteering with Forestry England is a great way to get close and personal with nature and contribute to conservation efforts in England's finest forests and woodlands. Volunteering offers opportunities to contribute to habitat restoration, wildlife monitoring, and visitor centre activities, and make a real difference in protecting and managing essential ecosystems. Site managers provide training to volunteers by allowing them to shadow Forestry England staff, who pass on knowledge about forest ecology and sustainable land management practices. These well-managed forests have a lot going on and to find more info on visiting check out our blog for some info on the best attractions they have.

But if it’s lending a helping hand that you’re after, removing and replacing fencing, improving bike trails, litter picking, and general maintenance volunteers play a crucial role at Forestry England in preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of our forests. for future generations to enjoy through their dedication and commitment. Not only this it’s a great way to learn new skills and meet people it’s good for the soul and gets you active. Another great aspect of Forestry England’s volunteering programme is its encouragement of corporate groups to sign up and volunteer as a form of team-building exercise! If you’d like to find out more about volunteering at Forestry England, follow the link here.

Millets Help

Sorry to hear that you are having an issue. For us to help you further please quote the following to our customer care team.

peopleCustomer Care Hub emailEmail phonePhone