Green space volunteering

Volunteers are an integral part of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council activities. The time, experience, knowledge and skills that they offer in support of our work is highly valued. If you enjoy being outdoors in nature and want to keep fit, meet like-minded people and learn new skills, then conservation volunteering could be for you!

Green space volunteering

There are several ways that you can volunteer to help look after council green spaces:

  • as part of a corporate volunteering session with your company or organisation
  • volunteering for a specific and regular role with the council
  • ad hoc volunteering at council-run work parties
  • joining one of the borough’s local green space volunteer groups.

These green space volunteering opportunities are explained in detail in our guide for green space volunteers and summarised below. You can find out more about practical conservation sessions and wildlife events on our conservation and wildlife events page.

Corporate volunteering

For organisations based in Basingstoke and Deane looking for volunteer opportunities for employees as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, the council can organise and deliver corporate volunteer days undertaking practical conservation work in one of the council’s green spaces.

Corporate volunteering

The main conservation season runs outside of bird nesting season, which means scrub and woodland management for the year needs to be within the six-month window from September to February. Some work can be undertaken into March, but only when surveys have proven there will be no disturbance to nesting. During these autumn and winter months, the council can offer a variety of enjoyable practical tasks, which not only help make the site better for both wildlife and local residents but also provide some great team bonding opportunities outside of the usual office environment.

Typical activities for your corporate volunteering day include using hand tools to clear scrub (small trees) off meadow areas, coppicing and thinning woodlands, clearing out and opening up watercourses and other hands-on practical conservation tasks. If you are interested in employee or corporate volunteering then please contact us at wildlifeconservation@basingstoke.gov.uk.

Volunteering with the council

The council recruits individual volunteers to fulfil specific roles, including park volunteers, volunteer rangers, community engagement volunteers and volunteer ecologists. These volunteer opportunities come with role profiles, available to download below, to help explain more about what is involved. Roles will be advertised when opportunities arise and offered subject to a successful application process and suitable references.

Volunteering with the council

For ad hoc volunteering opportunities, council staff run regular practical volunteer sessions throughout autumn and winter, when the bulk of habitat management work is undertaken outside of bird nesting season. In spring and summer, there are also opportunities to help deliver wildlife events and activities, for example pond-dipping as part of Love Parks Week. All upcoming practical conservation sessions and wildlife events can be found on our conservation and wildlife events page.

Community Engagement Volunteer Role

Job Role Community Engagement Volunteer
Directorate Borough Development and Implementation
Business Unit Community Wellbeing
Location Civic Offices and BDBC parks
Responsible to (job title) Community Development Officer – Green Spaces

Main purpose of role
To assist the Community Development Officer (Green Spaces) in planning, organising and delivering public wildlife events and activities.

Key tasks
1. Assisting with the delivery of wildlife-related events and activities, such as pond dipping, bug hunts and/or guided walks
2. Helping to set up and take down equipment before/after events, including gazebos, tables and wildlife identification equipment
3. Supporting the planning of events through helping with advertising and marketing

Experience/qualifications needed
Essential:
1. Passion for UK wildlife and conservation
2. Ability to interact with people from different backgrounds and to enthuse and inspire children
3. Comfortable working outdoors in all weather

Desirable:
1. Previous experience of assisting in the delivery of wildlife-related events
2. Some UK wildlife identification skills

Hours
Ad-hoc hours throughout spring/summer whenever events are scheduled.

What you can expect to gain from the role
The learning experience will enable Community Engagement Volunteers to become familiar with a wide variety of skills relating to public wildlife event management and delivery, as well as improving wildlife identification skills and learning surveying techniques. Volunteers will receive on-the-job training relating to the role. They may also be offered some formal courses, such as First Aid, as and when available.

Expenses
The nature of voluntary work is that it is unpaid and therefore in normal circumstances, no expenses are paid. In exceptional circumstances, reasonable travel expenses may be paid at the discretion of the individual service and in line with the council’s expenses policy.

Clothing/Personal Protective Equipment
You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing, including heavy duty/cargo full-length trousers and sturdy boots. A branded council volunteer t-shirt, badge and high-vis vest will be provided, as well as any PPE required for the tasks.

Other key information
Due to safeguarding, volunteers must be 18 years old or over and be comfortable and able to work outdoors in varying terrain and help with the loading and unloading of equipment.

Parks Volunteer Role

Job Role Parks Volunteer
Directorate Borough Development and Implementation
Business Unit Community Wellbeing
Location BDBC parks
Responsible to (job title) Community Development Officer – Green Spaces

Main purpose of role
To assist the Grounds Maintenance Team in managing and maintaining formal borders and habitats within public parks and helping to keep them free of litter.

Key tasks
1. Management of formal and informal plant borders
2. Habitat management
3. Litter picking
4. Informing the council of any issues observed within the park

Experience/qualifications needed
Essential:
1. Desire to work in parks and care for the environment
2. Ability to work outdoors in all weather

Desirable:
1. Previous experience of gardening or parks management

Hours
Ad-hoc hours during the day to suit the individual

What you can expect to gain from the role
The learning experience will enable Parks Volunteers to become familiar with a wide variety of skills relating to parks management, dependent upon their area of interest. Volunteers will receive on-the-job training relating to the role. They may also be offered some formal courses, such as First Aid, as and when available. This volunteer role would suit anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors in public parks, tending to formal flowerbeds, managing more natural areas of habitat and/or litter picking.

Expenses
The nature of voluntary work is that it is unpaid and therefore in normal circumstances, no expenses are paid. In exceptional circumstances, reasonable travel expenses may be paid at the discretion of the individual service and in line with the council’s expenses policy.

Clothing/Personal Protective Equipment
You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing, including heavy duty/cargo full-length trousers and sturdy boots. A branded council volunteer t-shirt, badge and high-vis vest will be provided. Steel toe-capped safety boots will also be provided, along with any other PPE required.

Other key information
Due to safeguarding, volunteers must be 18 years old or over and be comfortable and able to work outdoors in varying terrain and weather.

Volunteer Ecologist Role

Job Role Volunteer Ecologist
Directorate Borough Development and Implementation
Business Unit Community Wellbeing
Location Civic Offices and BDBC parks
Responsible to (job title) Community Development Officer – Green Spaces

Main purpose of role
To assist the Biodiversity Ranger and Natural Environment Team to undertake wildlife surveying and monitoring across the borough’s green spaces.

Key tasks
1. Wildlife surveying and monitoring
2. Inputting data from surveys and uploading to relevant websites/databases
3. Informing BDBC of notable and priority species found on site

Experience/qualifications needed
Essential:

1. Passion for UK wildlife and conservation
2. Wildlife identification skills and knowledge of surveying techniques
3. Comfortable working outdoors in all weather
4. Ability to use Microsoft Excel

Desirable:
1. Previous experience of wildlife surveying
2. Working knowledge of national wildlife databases/websites and record verification process

Hours
Ad-hoc hours throughout surveying season to suit the individual

What you can expect to gain from the role
The learning experience will enable Volunteer Ecologists to hone their identification and survey skills, as well as gaining knowledge about the UK wildlife recording process. Volunteers will receive on-the-job training relating to the role. They may also be offered some formal courses, such as First Aid, as and when available.

Expenses
The nature of voluntary work is that it is unpaid and therefore in normal circumstances, no expenses are paid. In exceptional circumstances, reasonable travel expenses may be paid at the discretion of the individual service and in line with the council’s expenses policy.

Clothing/Personal Protective Equipment
You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing, including heavy duty/cargo full-length trousers and sturdy boots. A branded council volunteer t-shirt, badge and high-vis vest will be provided. along with any PPE and equipment required for the task.

Other key information
Due to safeguarding, volunteers must be 18 years old or over and be comfortable and able to work outdoors in varying terrain and weather.

Volunteer Ranger Role

Job Role Volunteer Ranger
Directorate Borough Development and Implementation
Business Unit Community Wellbeing
Location Civic Offices and Wade Road depot
Responsible to (job title) Community Development Officer – Green Spaces

Main purpose of role
To assist the Community Development Officer (Green Spaces) and Biodiversity Ranger to undertake practical conservation tasks and support volunteering across the borough’s green spaces.

Key tasks
1. Practical habitat management, including of woodland, grassland, wetland and heathland
2. Assisting with volunteer and corporate work parties
3. Wildlife surveying and monitoring
4. Assisting with wildlife-related events and activities
5. Green space volunteer administration tasks, recording and monitoring

Experience/qualifications needed
Essential:

1. Desire to work in UK wildlife conservation
2. Ability to interact with a range of people
3. Willingness to supervise and lead others
4. Willingness to develop skills and high standards of workmanship
5. Ability to work outdoors in all weather, as well as in a more formal office environment
6. Ability to use Microsoft Office, Word and Excel

Desirable:
1. Previous experience of practical conservation
2. Some knowledge of countryside management/wildlife/ecology
3. Previous experience of assisting in the delivery of wildlife-related events

Hours
Regular hours/days to suit the individual, as detailed in Volunteer Agreement.

What you can expect to gain from the role
The learning experience will enable Volunteer Rangers to become familiar with a wide variety of skills relating to conservation, including land management, volunteer support and public engagement. Volunteers will receive on-the-job training relating to the role. They may also be offered some formal courses, such as First Aid, as and when available. This volunteer role would suit anyone at the beginning of a career in conservation or the environmental sector.

Expenses
The nature of voluntary work is that it is unpaid and therefore in normal circumstances, no expenses are paid. In exceptional circumstances, reasonable travel expenses may be paid at the discretion of the individual service and in line with the council’s expenses policy.

Clothing/Personal Protective Equipment
You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing, including heavy duty/cargo full-length trousers and sturdy boots. A branded council volunteer t-shirt, badge and high-vis vest will be provided. Steel toe-capped safety boots will also be provided, along with any other PPE required.

Other key information
Due to safeguarding, volunteers must be 18 years old or over and be comfortable and able to undertake physical work outdoors in varying terrain and weather.

Local green space groups

The council is fortunate to have many local conservation, wildlife and green space groups helping to maintain, conserve and improve public open spaces for the benefit of wildlife and residents. Details about these groups, the sites they work on and the activities they undertake can be found on our conservation groups page. You don’t have to have any previous practical experience; plenty of people are on hand to help! If outdoor physical work isn’t your thing, you can also get involved in other ways, such as supporting groups at events, undertaking wildlife surveys, or helping with social media and marketing, amongst other things.

If you are a volunteer with a local green space group, you can find support to help coordinate your group and activities on our conservation group support page.

For further information about any of the volunteer opportunities listed above, please contact wildlifeconservation@basingstoke.gov.uk

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    Fridays
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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