Help to care for the Cotswolds
Volunteering with us is a rewarding way of giving back and caring for the landscape we all love. We have over 400 volunteer wardens, and that’s the main way to volunteer with us, but occasionally, we need volunteers for our other work too. It’s always worth keeping an ear to the ground for new opportunities as they come up.
Cotswold Voluntary Wardens
The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were established in 1968 and have continued to grow into the 400-strong membership of today. The wardens are our network of dedicated, skilled, and enthusiastic volunteers – helping us in the work we do across the Cotswolds National Landscape. Anyone can join, and everyone is welcome – all you need is enthusiasm for the Cotswolds and a willingness to offer your time and skills to help keep this designated AONB special.
In 2018, the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
What do our voluntary wardens do?
Volunteering opportunities with the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens vary. There is something for everyone: from walling to walks, and talks to tree planting.
- Work parties – helping to conserve and enhance the Cotswolds National Landscape, taking part in a range of projects from drystone walling, hedge laying, and tree planting, to installing kissing gates and pond restoration. Our work parties are also a key part of looking after the Cotswold Way National Trail – all the maintenance along the 102 mile route is done by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens working with the Cotswold Way Association. From scrub clearance, to way marking, to route repair and maintenance – it’s all essential work to keep the route in peak condition for local and visiting walkers.
- Parish wardening – Working with parish councils, farmers, and local residents to help keep footpaths open and identify local features in need of restoration.
- Guided walks – Leading guided walks, promoting the Cotswolds National Landscape to a wider audience.
- Education – Helping with school assemblies and days out exploring the Cotswolds.
- Shows and talks – Promoting the value of the Cotswolds and what makes it so special.
- Admin support – Helping update the warden website, promoting guided walks online etc.
You can find out more about what our Wardens do on their Facebook page Cotswold Voluntary Wardens & Friends.
In return for your commitment, we offer support, training, equipment, travel expenses, and a huge sense of community and achievement.
Interested in Volunteering? Then please …
- complete the application form at Cotswolds Volunteer Wardens Application, GDPR & Image Consent Form May 2023
- If you have any queries email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Becky Jones on 07738040456
Glorious Cotswold Grasslands Volunteers
Can you spare a few hours to help our wildflowers and other wildlife?
Our Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands team are always looking for volunteers to help with our work.
- Do you have a love for wildflowers? During the spring and summer we are always looking for help with botanical surveys of our sites.
- Or would you prefer to help at one of our seed harvesting days in July and August?
- Or want to keep fit? Join our autumn/winter Wednesday habitat management group.
No experience required, and all essentials (including tea and cake!) will be provided.
To find out more please complete our enquiry form here.
Just some of the work undertaken by our wonderful grasslands volunteers
Other Volunteering Opportunities in the Cotswolds AONB
Stroud Valleys Project
The project has a long track record of working with volunteers on environmental initiatives around Stroud. Visit www.StroudValleysProject.org
The Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common (FOLK)
FOLK was formed in the year 2000 to represent local interest in the conservation, recreation, history & land management of this Site of Special Scientific Interest. They have regular conservation work parties on the second Thursday and fourth Sunday of every month. www.leckhamptonhill.org.uk
Cleeve Common Trust
Carry out a diverse range of conservation work to maintain and improve the Common. If you are looking for a volunteering role, enjoy being outdoors in all weather and spending time with people of all ages and backgrounds please get in touch for more information. https://www.cleevecommon.org.uk/get-involved
The Conservation Volunteers
Volunteering opportunities with TCV include the midweek conservation group, training in conservation skills (e.g. drystone walling), tree warden training, and assistance for community groups. For further information visit www.tcv.org.uk
Gloucester Vale Conservation Volunteers
GVCV carry out practical conservation projects throughout Gloucestershire such as hedgelaying, drystone walling and construction work. Visit www.gvcv.org.uk
Painswick Beacon Conservation Group
The Conservation Group exists to promote the interests of precious plants and wildlife on the Beacon. This includes birds, butterflies, orchids and grasses, and unexpected plants like junipers. Please call the Work Party Organiser Paul Baxter on 07971 633242 or see their Facebook page for more details.
Stinchcombe Hill Conservation Group
The group promotes the history, archaeology, geology and nature conservation of the site. Volunteers are mainly from the surrounding parishes and always need more help. Visit www.stinchcombehill.org.uk, email email@example.com or call 07729 481728.
The Ramblers’ Association welcome volunteers to lead walks, carry out practical footpath protection work including clearing undergrowth and overgrowth, repair stiles and bridges and to monitor planning applications that include public rights of way. For further details of a local opportunity contact www.ramblers.org.uk or your local group.
Royal Society of the Protection of Birds
The RSPB works for a healthy environment rich in birds and wildlife. It depends on the support and generosity of others to make a difference. You too can join over 9,000 volunteers in helping the RSPB with campaigns, raising awareness at local events, fundraising, farmland bird survey work, planting reeds, feeding garden birds and carrying out garden bird surveys. You do not need to be a bird expert to be involved. Please see the RSPB website for more information: www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering-fundraising/.
The National Trust
Looking for an exciting and interesting way to make a difference in conserving the environment and the UK’s heritage? Whatever your interests or skills, we would love to hear from you. From gardeners to stewards there are so many ways to help the Trust. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts are the largest grouping of charitable organisations in the UK concerned with the conservation of the UK’s natural world. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
The GWT is a county-based charity working to secure a better future for the wildlife of Gloucestershire. There are many ways you can help the trust in its mission – by joining as a member & by helping out with various voluntary tasks. Without the support of members & volunteers the trust cannot carry out its vital work to protect the wildlife & countryside of the county. Visit the website www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
The Broadway Gravel Pit nature reserve lies within the Cotswolds AONB. Volunteers meet regularly to look after the reserve and monitor its wildlife. Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk
The Wychwood Project
The Wychwood Project works with local communities to conserve and restore the landscape and habitats within the former Royal Hunting Forest of Wychwood. Volunteers can join our practical conservation tasks, training courses, help with fundraising,publicity or walks, talks and events. For more details please contact Wychwood Project Manager Tel: 01993 814143 e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.wychwoodforesttrust.co.uk
The Cotswold Friends’ mission is to combat loneliness and isolation and support independent living. With seven different services operating across the North Cotswolds, we have a wide variety of volunteering options! If you would like to drive, befriend, support full-time carers with respite, help at lunch clubs or set up a new social group, just let us know. For more details contact the Volunteer Manager, on 01608 697007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. Website: https://www.cotswoldfriends.org/