Practical Volunteering

Practical Volunteering

Volunteering and COVID 19

Due to the impact of COVID 19, we are currently running a restricted programme of volunteering activities with small groups. Because of this, we unfortunately do not have the capacity to take on any new volunteers at this time. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, please email your details to volunteering@lrwt.org.uk. Thank you for your support. 

Volunteering on our Nature Reserves

Whether you want to learn some traditional countryside skills, such as coppicing, hedge laying and fencing, or just want to get out in the fresh air and burn up some energy through scrub clearance or path maintenance, our practical nature conservation programmes offer something for everyone. Conservation work is both interesting and varied, and every action you take will create a better environment for the wildlife of Leicestershire and Rutland.

It's great for getting out into the fresh air in some diverse countryside and at the end of the day you leave with a sense of achievement.

Volunteering on Wildlife Trust nature reserves

Our practical nature conservation work programmes provides great opportunities to develop new skills, make friends, learn about the countryside, and visit interesting nature reserves in your local area. No previous experience is needed. Existing volunteers vary from students looking to gain experience to residents wanting to get involved with looking after their local environment and the newly retired with time to spare. Volunteers must be aged 18 or over. Vulnerable individuals may only attend if accompanied by a responsible adult.  Please speak to the task leader before attending.

There are different ways that you can get involved:

  • Join the Midweek group 
  • Participate in the Sunday group 
  • Assist a Nature Reserve volunteer group focused on a specific nature reserve
  • Help with practical nature conservation tasks at Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Rutland Water Nature Reserve is one of the UK's leading nature reserves, and has one of the biggest conservation volunteer armies, too! Over 400 volunteers look after this beautiful site, help out in the visitor centres, assist with education and take part in monitoring.

Find out more

Ospreys Pandion Haliaetus nesting in Manton Bay Rutland Water July - David Tipling/2020VISION

I can’t think of a better way to get to visit and learn more about the reserves whilst making a positive contribution to their conservation.

Midweek volunteer group

Please note, this group is currently at full capacity 

The midweek volunteer group is run by our Reserves Officer, Andy Neilson, and undertakes practical nature conservation work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The group carries out a wide range of management work on Wildlife Trust nature reserves across Leicestershire and Rutland, including mowing and raking, fencing, coppicing and scrub cutting.

Days start on the reserve between 9.30am and 10.00am and finish around 3.00pm.

To find out more or to request your volunteer application pack, please e-mail  volunteering@lrwt.org.uk or call 0116 248 7360

The application pack gives you information about volunteering with the Midweek Group, and includes the volunteer registration form and how to book in for your first 'try out' day.

Sunday volunteer group

Please note, this group is currently at full capacity

The Charnwood Sunday group meets on the second Sunday of most months to undertake practical nature conservation tasks on the Trust's nature reserves in the Charnwood area. The group is run by our Reserves Officer, Andy Neilson, and tasks include cutting back along pathways, removing bracken and bramble encroachment, thinning gorse and removing Himalayan balsam.

Days start on the reserve at 10.00am and finish around 2.00pm. We have a break around 12 noon and will provide those hard-earned teas, coffees and biscuits, and you can bring your packed lunch if you'd prefer more sustenance!

To find out more or to request your volunteer application pack, please e-mail  volunteering@lrwt.org.uk or call 0116 248 7360

The pack gives you information about volunteering with the Sunday Group, and includes the volunteer registration form and how to book in for your first 'try out' day.

Nature reserve volunteer groups

Our Volunteer Reserve Managers are dedicated individuals who play a major role in helping the Trust care for our nature reserves. Not only do they act as the Trust's eyes and ears keeping a watch over our reserves but in many cases take an active role in the management of the sites.

A number of our Volunteer Reserve Managers run volunteer groups on their particular nature reserves. The groups carry out practical reserve management tasks - an enjoyable way to do your bit for wildlife in the company of like-minded people.  

The details below will tell you a little more about the individual nature reserve volunteer groups. No experience or tools are needed, nor do we expect "regular" attendance, but it is helpful to know in advance who is coming. Volunteers must be aged 18 or over. Vulnerable individuals may only attend if accompanied by a responsible adult; please contact the group leader to discuss this further before attending a task.

Charnwood Lodge Nature Reserve

Please note, this group is currently at full capacity
The Charnwood Lodge nature reserve group meets at the Bomb Rocks parking area every Thursday of the month.  The day starts at 9.30am and usually goes on until about 2pm depending on what work needs doing.    

Contact: Stuart Moffat (Volunteer Reserve Manager) at g.stuartmoffat@virginmedia.com

Holwell Nature Reserves

The Holwell nature reserves volunteer group look after Brown's Hill Quarry, North Quarry and Holwell Mineral Line, which are located just to the north of Melton Mowbray. The group meets most Sunday mornings throughout the year.

Contact: Peter Dawson (Volunteer Reserve Manager) on 01664 852119

Launde Park Wood Nature Reserve

The Launde Park Wood nature reserve group meets every Wednesday through the autumn and winter (September to April) to carry out various woodland management tasks. The group meets at 9.30am at the entrance to the wood – where parking is available. Tasks usually finish between 3.00 and 3.30 pm.

Contact: Andy Lear at Trust office tel: 0116 248 7359 or email: alear@lrwt.org.uk

The Limestone Team

Based in the Oakham/Melton area The Limestone Team meets every other Monday to carry out varied habitat management tasks including, fencing, vegetation control and hedge maintenance. The group meets at 9.30am and works until 3pm including breaks for tea and lunch with tea/coffee and biscuits provided.

Contact: John Bristow at Trust office tel: 0116 248 7365 or email jbristow@lrwt.org.uk

North West Nature Reserves

The North West nature reserves volunteer group meet group meet weekly on a Friday in the autumn, winter and spring. The group undertakes work on Trust reserves in North West Leicestershire mainly at Cloud Wood, and occasionally at Kelham Bridge, Dimminsdale and the Altar Stones.  

A variety of reserve management tasks are undertaken which help develop practical skills, including woodland coppicing, ride management, wetland reed bed management, fencing and hedge laying. Tasks begin at 9.30 a.m. and tools are provided. Volunteers are asked to come suitably dressed and bring their own refreshments. 

For more information, please contact David Maltby on 01530 222934.

Useful Information for volunteers

Useful information

  • You are assured of a warm welcome from staff and fellow volunteers
  • Tools, gloves and training are provided.  No previous experience is necessary.
  • Wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty and boots with a good grip, and it's always best to have waterproofs with you. Steel-toe-capped boots or wellies are advised, and we have a small supply (sizes 5 – 12) which may be borrowed from us; call in advance to check we have your size.
  • Bring a packed lunch, and we will provide those hard-earned teas, coffees and biscuits for elevenses! 
  • Volunteers must be aged 18 or over. Vulnerable adults may only attend if accompanied by a responsible adult; please contact us on the details below for more information.
  • Please make sure your tetanus booster is up to date.

Contact us

For more information or to request a Volunteer Application Pack, please contact:

Midweek group and Sunday group, volunteering@lrwt.org.uk or call 0116 248 7360

Nature Reserve groups, contacts available above for each group

Please note, our Midweek and Sunday groups are currently at full capacity