Support Us Volunteer for us We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers – they make up a huge part of our team, from practical tasks to fundraising and awareness raising. Whether you care about the environment or local landscape and want to physically get involved in the creation of the Forest, or you have some spare time and want to give something back to your community – volunteering gives you the opportunity to get experience in things you’ve never tried before, meet new people and feel part of a team. Our practical volunteers do everything from regular gardening and manual tasks at the Millennium Country Park, to repairing benches and coppicing woodland at our other sites. We have regular weekend rangers at the Park, and are looking for Wood Wardens across all of our other sites. We also have a team of events and fundraising volunteers, who talk to people at all kinds of events about the work we do and how they can get involved, as well as helping at our own events throughout the year (from kids’ activities, to guided walks, to the Forest Family Fun Day). For general volunteering opportunities not listed below please contact [email protected] Current volunteer opportunities: Butterfly survey volunteers (multiple roles available) Why do you need me? Recording and monitoring carried out by volunteers is vital for the conservation of butterflies and moths. We're looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated volunteer to help us build up a good record of butterflies that visits sites within the Forest of Marston Vale so that we can contribute to regional recording efforts. Where would I be needed? Shocott Spring, Folly Wood, Ridgeway Wood (in Gateway Woods) When do you need me? The good thing about butterfly surveys is they can only be done in nice weather so there is no rainy day work required! This is a field-based role, and so would suit a volunteer who wants to be flexible with their time. Surveys need to be completed between April - September. Whilst training and contact with the Ranger team will be during office hours, your tasks could be carried out any day. You can give as much or as little time as you like, working in collaboration with other volunteers within the survey group - each transect needs to be walked weekly, but the group work on a rota system and no-one is expected to do the survey every week. What activities will I be involved in? The butterfly survey group are required to complete a transect - a walk along a set route, divided into separate sections. Each transect is approximately 1.6km (1mile) long (apart from the Shocott route which is 1.3 miles). Volunteers would be expected to walk the route and record any butterflies seen within 2.5m of the transect whilst walking. Results will need to be recorded on our paper monitoring forms, and will then need to be reported to the Ranger team. Volunteers will need to carry out a volunteer induction with our Volunteer Coordinator before starting. Is it right for me? A keen interest in wildlife (specifically butterflies) and willingness to learn is essential, but no expert knowledge or experience is required as all training and shared equipment will be provided. You'll be surveying with other volunteers within group, so this would suit a person with a can-do attitude who enjoys being part of a team. The transect may include a mixture surfaced and grass paths across uneven ground, so a good level of personal fitness and sturdy footwear is required along with a keen eye for detail. The ability to record and make accurate notes is important, and being able to update a digital spreadsheet would be helpful (but is not necessary). Interested? To find out more or register your interest contact our Ranger team. Event volunteers (multiple roles available) Why do you need me? The Forest Centre is a social enterprise that raises money for our charity and the work we do planting trees and caring for Community Woodlands around the Forest – and a lot of that important income comes from our events! We're looking for some outgoing and friendly volunteers to help deliver great experiences to families who come to visit the Forest Centre for our fundraising and commercial events. Where would I be needed? At the Forest Centre in Marston Moretaine. When do you need me? Our events run throughout the year, so there’s lots of opportunity if you’re looking for something that can be flexible to fit around your commitments. Event volunteers are required in “shifts” that usually last 3-4 hours – typically a morning or an afternoon – and you can sign up to as many or as few as you’d like. There’s the opportunity to sign up to a regular event (like our monthly tribute nights) or help with seasonal family activities that take place at weekends and in the school holidays. What activities will I be involved in? Our events volunteers probably do the most varied tasks within the whole charity, and there’s plenty to do! You might be helping a group of children who are pond dipping, running a craft activity over the school holidays or selling tickets and booking in guests for a family or live music event. And there’s always an opportunity to throw on a costume and do fancy dress for one of our themed event… dinosaurs, witches and elves always welcome! You might even be able get creative and get involved in the preparations: making decorations, helping with event set up and getting everything ready for our guests to arrive. Volunteers will need to carry out a volunteer induction with our Volunteer Coordinator before starting. Is it right for me? No customer service experience is necessary, but our events volunteers will need to enjoy talking to members of the public – especially little ones – and be a helpful and friendly representative of the Forest of Marston Vale at all times. You’ll need to be able to work as part of the team in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and be flexible and willing to get “stuck in” with whatever activity is happening on the day! It’s a great opportunity for someone looking for a really rewarding and fun way to volunteer! Interested? To find out more or register your interest contact our Community Engagement Officer. If you don't see a suitable opportunity listed above then be sure to sign up to our newsletter, where details of all future opportunities will be posted.