Volunteering with Natural England: how to get involved

Find out how to become a volunteer to support nature conservation where you live or work.

Applies to England

Natural England’s volunteers come from many backgrounds and get involved in a wide variety of tasks - from scientific surveying to enthusing visitors on our National Nature Reserves (NNRs). There is no minimum time commitment - you choose how much you do.

Find volunteering opportunities

For sustainability and fairness, Natural England does not encourage you to travel a long distance to your place of volunteering.

When Natural England has volunteering opportunities, they’re advertised here. There is high demand for the limited number of places.

Advertised volunteer roles

No current vacancies

Student placements and work experience

No current vacancies

Base your Masters, undergraduate, diploma, BTEC or A-level dissertation project on one of our NNRs.

Volunteer bat roost visitor

Natural England has a network of trained and licensed volunteer bat roost visitors (VBRVs). They provide advice about bats in homes, places of worship and public buildings. Find out how to become a VBRV.

Corporate or employer supported volunteering and team building days

Depending on your location, Natural England may be able to offer team building volunteering opportunities in practical conservation tasks.

Email to explore possibilities. Include details of location, number of people and time of year you wish to volunteer.

How to register

For all roles except a volunteer bat roost visitor, complete the expression of interest form. Email it to Natural England will use this to find suitable opportunities near you so include as much information as possible.

See become a volunteer bat roost visitor for details on how to register for this role.

Overseas volunteers or students

You must check with UK Visas and Immigration that you’re eligible to volunteer in the UK. Natural England:

  • is not registered as an official sponsor for overseas volunteers or students
  • cannot cover travel expenses to the UK or accommodation expenses whilst in the UK

How Natural England treats your personal information

If Natural England cannot offer you a placement, it adds your details to a list of potential volunteers. It shares the list regularly with staff. They may contact you if a role becomes available. Natural England:

  • keeps your details for up to 6 months, unless you ask us not to
  • will only use your details to contact you about possible volunteering opportunities

The volunteers privacy notice gives more details.

Benefits and entitlements

By volunteering with Natural England you:

  • give valuable support to the conservation of special habitats and species
  • use your existing skills and learning new ones
  • keep active
  • work as part of a team with staff and other volunteers
  • add valuable work experience to your CV

Natural England provides:

  • information on your voluntary role and how it contributes to Natural England’s work
  • an induction to your role
  • information on health, safety and welfare
  • an identity card for use during your voluntary role
  • protective clothing or equipment required for your role (on loan)
  • a reference if you apply for another job or voluntary role
  • agreed out-of-pocket expenses

Updates to this page

Published 10 October 2014
Last updated 27 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added link to volunteers privacy notice.

  2. Added advert for 4 conservation assistants (volunteer) roles based at East Dartmoor NNR.

  3. Added advert for 4 Conservation Assistants (Volunteer) roles based at East Dartmoor NNR.

  4. East Dartmoor NNR: closed recruitment removed and new vacancy details added.

  5. Recruitment for volunteer conservation assistant has been extended.

  6. Details of vacancy for a conservation assistant (volunteer) at East Dartmoor NNR added.

  7. Advert added for conservation assistant (volunteer) vacancy at East Dartmoor NNR

  8. Advert for conservation volunteers removed as recruitment now closed.

  9. Closing date for advertised Conservation Assistant (volunteer) roles extended to 22 February 2016

  10. Advert added for 4 conservation assistant volunteer roles

  11. Advert for survey and monitoring placements removed as these are paid roles.

  12. Information added about recruitment for 3 month survey and monitoring training placements

  13. Advert for environmental conservation apprentice removed as recruitment now closed.

  14. Advert for 18 month diploma placements removed as recruitment has closed

  15. Information about the recruitment for an environmental conservation apprentice at Humberhead Peatlands NNR added.

  16. Recruitment opened for 8 trainee placements based on Natural England managed NNRs

  17. Advert for 3 month taster training placements (8 posts) removed: recruitment closed

  18. Updated Contact us section.

  19. 8 x 3 month training placement advert added

  20. Advert for butterfly surveyor at Lullington Heath removed as recruitment has closed

  21. EcoSkills advert removed as recruitment has closed. Advert for volunteer butterfly surveyor on Lullington Heath added

  22. Removal of 'Nurturing nature conservation skills' recruitment which has closed

  23. Information about recruitment for survey and monitoring training placements added Information about EcoSkills vacancy added

  24. Information about a volunteer training programme added

  25. First published.

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