Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteers tell us what they love about volunteering

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteers tell us what they love about volunteering

It's National Volunteers' Week from 1st-7th June, a week in which the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you to them for the contribution they make. The week also raises awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer and the diverse volunteering roles that are available.

Here at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust we are fortunate enough to have a team of volunteers who contribute in many different ways and have a huge impact on our work to protect wildlife and wild places across Leicestershire and Rutland. We’d like to take this time to extend a huge thank you to all of our volunteers for everything that they do.

To celebrate Volunteers' Week, we asked some of our volunteers to share their story on why they choose to volunteer and what it means to them.

Volunteers Jean and George!

Lyndon Visitor Centre Volunteer Jean

I joined Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust as a volunteer in July 2020, I retired from the NHS in March and always wanted to volunteer in a role in nature. 

I live locally and loved the view from the Lyndon Visitor Centre, and thought it would be such a super spot to spend some time volunteering. I have not been disappointed, the permanent staff at the centre are so friendly and helpful, it has been an absolute pleasure to volunteer alongside them, no two shifts are the same, and there is always something happening. 

The osprey season is a really busy time, but it is so enjoyable and is a great privilege to be part of. All our visitors are so keen to hear how the birds and their chicks are doing. I have joined the Osprey Monitoring Team and love to do my very early shifts down in Waderscrape hide, having the real privilege of 3 hours watching these magnificent birds. During the winter season, I have also joined the Habitat Team and helped out clearing areas of the reserve that need a helping hand. I have learned a lot about the birds and nature, met some very motivated people, and have been able to do something that I enjoy and feel very satisfied doing, far different from the work I did before I retired.

I now bring along to my volunteering George, a cocker spaniel who joined me last October and loves his meet and greet role! He has generally been a hit with the public and definitely with the staff! He loves to join me! I would thoroughly recommend anyone to become a volunteer, it is very rewarding!

Volunteer Andrew using his bee revival kit

Mid-week Leicestershire Volunteer Andrew

I have been volunteering with Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust for over four years. I was very keen to use a chunk of my time freed up by switching to working part-time to help nature.

I see nature conservation as both a moral imperative and an Animal Rights issue in that as the so-called dominant species we should be doing all we can to enable all life forms to flourish as nature herself intended. 

Clearly, that isn't the way things are generally headed, but at least through volunteering for the Trust, I can try and do my bit in the face of the onslaught. Being amongst similarly-minded volunteers and staff is also good for the soul!

I enjoy meeting and greeting the visitors and taking in as much information as I can so that they enjoy their time with us, come back again and tell their friends about us too! It’s great to think that my enjoyment of volunteering is helping out the Trust too
LRWT Volunteer

Rutland Volunteers Garry and Candice Barker

We have been volunteering for 20 years with Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and are really enjoying being out and about in all the wonderful range of different habitats. 

We are both licensed British Trust for Ornithology ringers and members of Rutland Water Ringing Group (RWRG). This involves participation in a variety of ringing projects such as Sand Martins, Black-Headed Gulls, and general passerines mist-netting, to mention a few. 

Nest box monitoring also fills our time and we enjoy participating in habitat management at Lyndon during the winter months. 

The Osprey Project, with all its many phases, has been such a privilege to be involved with, we are passionate about nature and really enjoy the opportunities available at Rutland Water. The variety of activities boosts our learning and allows us to spend time with like-minded people of all ages.


Midweek reserves volunteer

I have been volunteering for almost 11 years, I've had a lifelong enjoyment of the great outdoors, a deep interest in all things biological, and fate finally giving me the time to do something about it.

The best part of volunteering is being with like-minded people and, despite the scale of the tasks, seeing the difference that can be made with a bit of hard work and perspiration.
I enjoy everything we’ve been asked to do, but there is something very satisfying about the fencing tasks. I really have learned a lot! I also really enjoy our sessions of ‘slash and burn’, or scrub clearance as it’s referred to on the weekly worksheets. 

If you’ve ever wondered about volunteering, don’t delay, come on out and join us today! 


Osprey Ambassador Harriet

My experience volunteering with the Wildlife Trust is great fun, everyone is very friendly and happy to teach me new things. I’ve learned a lot in the process, my wetland birding skills have improved, and I’ve met many interesting people. 

Volunteering has opened up doors for me and given me many opportunities, including attending and presenting at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust Youth Conference, being a spotter on an Osprey Cruise, and leading an education session for local school children (With the help of Ken from the Osprey Education Team.) 

A highlight of my volunteering has been work experience at the Lyndon Reserve where I wrote a blog post, spoke to visitors and generally helped around the reserve, which showed me more of what working in the Trust is like on a day-to-day basis. It also helped me get into the conservation field more and made me more aware of the available careers.

I decided to become a volunteer for the Trust after going to one of their Wildlife Watch groups when I was young and after their Osprey Education Team did an assembly at my school. I was inspired by what the Education Team and Wildlife Watch leaders were doing and decided I would like to do something similar. Now that I’m older, I have been back to my primary school and done an assembly with the Education Team, which motivated two other people to get involved with the Trust.

During the osprey season, every month, I go down to the bird hides at Lyndon with other Osprey Ambassadors and see how the ospreys are doing. We learn about the other animals at the reserve as well as the ospreys. The atmosphere in the hide is friendly and welcoming, there’s sometimes cake. In the hide, I help some of the younger Ambassadors identify birds and sometimes fill out the task that we are given each month.

How you can get involved in volunteering

Volunteers play a vital role in the work of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. They are the backbone of our organisation and without them, we simply could not deliver our essential work for wildlife.

If you would like to become a volunteer, visit our webpage where you can inquire.