Volunteers by Adrian Wallington

Volunteering during COVID-19

Update December 2020

In line with government advice, and to play our part in not spreading Covid-19, we have made significant changes to the way volunteering takes place at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.

We are welcoming existing volunteers back, in smaller groups, as soon as it is safe to do so but there are many additional financial and practical constraints, so we are recruiting for a very limited number of roles at the moment. Whilst we are happy to take general enquires, please be aware that the majority of recruitment remains suspended. 

The number of people who have contacted us interested in volunteering has been heart-warming, so thank you to everyone who is looking to support our work.

Volunteering with BBOWT nourishes the soul and helps maintain a balance in my life
BBOWT volunteer

Whether you have just an hour, a day or a week to give, and whatever your skills, there’s an opportunity for you to volunteer with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) near where you live.

You will be joining hundreds of other people from all walks of life who volunteer with the Wildlife Trust.

As well as being a great way to meet people, learn new skills and gain valuable experience that could help you start a career in conservation, volunteering with the Wildlife Trust will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect and enhance your local environment to benefit wildlife and connect people with nature.

You don’t need lots of experience! BBOWT has practical volunteering opportunities at all levels, usually outdoors on our nature reserves although some of them are office-based, and relevant training is given before you start.

If you would like any more information about volunteering for BBOWT, please get in touch with volunteering@bbowt.org.uk.

Benefits of being a volunteer

You will help your local wildlife, have fun and possibly get fit too, learn new skills and meet other volunteers at social events.

If you have an email address you will receive Grapevine, our e-newsletter full of information about volunteering with BBOWT, and information about free training courses and other events.

You could win an award! Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Contribution Awards are presented every year at our AGM when we recognise and celebrate all that BBOWT volunteers are doing for wildlife.

Examples of practical volunteering

You can help your local wildlife in a number of ways – these are just a few of them:

  • As an occasional or regular ‘work party’ volunteer on a local reserve, you will carry out practical conservation tasks to help improve wildlife habitats on the reserve.
  • If you join one of BBOWT’s mid-week teams in Berks, Bucks or Oxon you will be doing practical tasks every week on several different nature reserves within the county.
  • You can help at our events, ‘meet and greet’ at Visitor Centres, or enjoy a walk around a reserve to check on our livestock.
  • Volunteers with ecological expertise carry out surveys of various species groups including birds, butterflies, plants and water voles.
  • Experienced volunteers who want more responsibility, and who are trained to use specific equipment, can join the county Field Teams. These teams carry out more complex tasks where specialist skills are needed, and use general maintenance and DIY skills to benefit our reserves and wildlife.
  • Some volunteers become reserve wardens, helping to manage, monitor and maintain specific nature reserves. 
  • Occasionally we recruit Wildlife Trainees who are able to make a commitment to join us three days a week for six to twelve months. BBOWT provides full training to help Wildlife Trainees develop their environmental careers. 

Regional groups

Regional groups in the Chilterns, East Berkshire and Mid-Berkshire play key roles in raising the profile of BBOWT in their area, helping to raise vital funds and increase membership by organising local events and work parties. Volunteers are needed to help run events such as guided walks and plant and produce sales, and serve on committees.

'Friends of' groups

‘Friends of’ groups are linked to specific nature reserves such as Letcombe Valley and Thatcham Community Orchard. Find out more about these groups by emailing the Community Wildlife Officer for each county.
Berkshire: Jone Ayres
Buckinghamshire: Kate Sheard
Oxfordshire: Andy Gunn

Information for all volunteers

We believe in the value of volunteering, and we have policies that guide our work in recruiting, supporting and managing volunteers. We also have a strong commitment to equal opportunities in volunteering. We have procedures to make sure you are fairly treated.

Information for Key Volunteers

BBOWT's Key Volunteers are responsible for making sure all our volunteers carry out their activities safely and use best practices at all times. Key Volunteers have password-protected access to the Codes of Practice and Procedures.

Read about what some of our volunteers get up to


Volunteer by Jess Gallagher


Opportunities for everyone

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BBOWT trainees by Adrian Wallington


Kick start your career in conservation as a Wildlife Trainee

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Aston Clinton Ragpits

Aston Clinton Ragpits by Phil Townsend


Volunteer with our Regional Groups

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Bowdown Woods

Bowdown Woods by Rob Appleby


The latest winners of our Volunteer Awards

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Would you like to support your local Wildlife Trust and supplement your income? We are looking for friendly, independent and self-motivated people of all ages to work with us and encourage members of the public to join the Wildlife Trust.

Find out more

Support us

Join the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust

Joining your local Wildlife Trust is the best thing you can do to help wildlife in your area. We rely on the support of people like you to help us protect the wildlife and wild places of our three counties.

Join today