Corporate report

Research opportunities on National Nature Reserves in England

Natural England provides a range of dissertation projects for further education students to study on selected reserves.

Applies to England




Natural England’s National Nature Reserves (NNRs) have been used for environmental research for decades and there are hundreds of reports and published papers based on them.

Dissertations and similar projects provide students with opportunities to work on high quality sites and to contribute to the research and management of Natural England’s NNRs.

There are 3 principles for studying on NNRs:

  • you should aim to provide some results of benefit to the reserve and/or the wider environment
  • the project will not adversely affect the reserve
  • you study safely

How to register an interest

If you are interested in any of the suggested topics as part of your studies, contact the reserve associated with your chosen project.

Natural England will contact you by telephone or email to discuss the project further.

If successful, you should agree with your supervisor to send a full proposal of your project to your Natural England project co-ordinator. This should include:

  • dates
  • background information you will need from us
  • equipment and methods to be used
  • logistics such as travel and accommodation
  • project outputs

Natural England will accept or refine your proposal, confirm what you will be doing by letter and send you a permit and a health and safety risk assessment.

Once you have completed your project, you should send Natural England an electronic copy of it.

Natural England cannot provide financial support or accommodation.

Published 31 July 2012
Last updated 22 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Added a new site in the north west: Moss Side Farm.

  2. 5 new topics added to list for Goss Moor NNR. Contact email address for Goss Moor and Golitha Falls has changed.

  3. Updated the contact point for Woodwalton Fen, Holme Fen, Monks Wood, Castor Hanglands, Barnack Hills and Holes, Hales Wood, and Colleyweston Great Wood and Easton Hornstocks.

  4. Updated the contact information for Kingley Vale NNR.

  5. Updated the entry for Martin Down NNR in the south east.

  6. Change of contact for Humberhead Peatlands NNR.

  7. Added Downton Gorge NNR and list of projects. Updated project list for Stiperstones NNR.

  8. Added topics for Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes NNR in the East Midlands.

  9. Updated the project lists for Castle Eden Dene, Teesmouth and Thrislington NNRs.

  10. Project lists updated for the South West, the East of England and Yorkshire and Humber regions.

  11. Updated the list of topic titles for East Dartmoor NNR

  12. New project title added for Monk's Wood in the East of England.

  13. New projects added for following NNRs: Caster Hanglands, Hales Wood, Holme Fen, Monks Wood, Woodwalton Fen , Colleyweston Great Wood and Easton Hornstocks

  14. More reserves added to the list: Barnack Hills and Holes, Castor Hanglands, Holme Fen, Monks Wood and Woodwalton Fen in the East of England. Also Colleyweston Great Wood and Easton Hornstocks in the East Midlands.

  15. New project title added for Castle Eden Dene

  16. Barnack Hills and Holes, Castor Hanglands, Collyweston Great Wood and Monks Wood NNRs in the East of England have been removed from the list.

  17. New titles added for Castle Eden Dene and Thrislington Plantation NNRs

  18. List of titles added for Kingley Vale NNR

  19. New topic added for Thrislington Plantation NNR in the north east.

  20. New titles added for East Dartmoor and Wistman's Wood

  21. New title added for Castle Eden Dene NNR

  22. First published.