Volunteering

Not sure what volunteering is all about? Want to know what roles are available to you and what you can get out of it all?




Our Volunteer Roles

We understand that not everyone will want to do everything all the time. For that reason we have developed a number of volunteer roles  that will hopefully provide an opportunity for people from all walks of life to get involved in the project. Click the links below for more information about each role and how to apply.

  • Volunteer Ranger; join our volunteer coordinator on site as we look to manage, maintain and improve nature sites throughout NPT. Learn about habitat management and creation, wildlife and species identification
  • Litter Ambassador; become a member of our litter picking team and help clean up your local wild spaces, knowing that you are contributing to the wider conservation of our county
  • Citizen Scientist; become part of our survey team, learn about identifying different species and contribute to the growing need for data about our native species.
  • Events Assistant; work alongside our event's coordinator to help run engagement events for communities, groups and residents of NPT. Help promote the project and the positive impacts of nature. 
  • Historical Researcher; have you got an interest in history and want to use that to help develop a greater picture of understanding about our sites? Help research and put together information for interpretation boards throughout our sites. Speak to locals, use archives and learn about our fascinating history

 

When we do it


We run regular volunteer ranger days at key sites through NPT every month all year round alongside monthly litter pick events. Our engagement events are more sporadic and it is worth keeping tabs on our calendar and Facebook page for dates. Our citizen scientists have free reign and can contribute as and when they want to, though we will be running annual bioblitz events for organised data collection. Our regular volunteer ranger days are:

  • 1st Monday of the month - Countryside skills workshop, various
  • 1st Friday of the month – Craig Gwladus Country Park, Cadoxton
  • 2nd Wednesday of the month – Glanrhyd Plantation, Pontardawe
  • 2nd Saturday of the month - Craig Gwladus Country Park, Cadoxton
  • 3rd Monday of the Month - Countryside skills workshop, various
  • 3rd Thursday of the month – Cwm du Glen, Pontardawe
  • 4th Tuesday of the month – Coed Bach, Longford
  • 4th Friday of the month – Swansea Canal LNR, Ynysmeudwy


What's in it for you?

Being a volunteer isn’t just about giving up your time to help others, and volunteering with the council might sound boring but there is a whole bunch of amazing stuff you get out of it!

Feel good helping others and nature. Giving your time selflessly results in that feeling you get when you do something good for others. Our brains release a chemical concoction of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin which work to make you feel happy and good.

Getting out in nature has been scientifically proven to improve our health; reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and increasing concentration and clarity. Our volunteers spend their time surrounded by nature and doing practical tasks, so will find physical health improved as well as our mental health.

We pride ourselves on our social inclusion, and give everyone an opportunity to meet new people and socialise with like-minded people. Because we get people from a range of different backgrounds, it is a great opportunity to learn from others and hear their experiences.

When you volunteer locally, you know that the work you are doing is going straight back in to your community

All our volunteers get basic training to complete the tasks needed, for some, this is a case of re-learning skills they once had, for others it can be doing something they have never done before. We offer the opportunity to develop old and learn new skills through accredited and non-accredited training.

When you volunteer with us you will be faced with various challenges and tasks that will test and build your abilities. Volunteering is one of the best ways to develop your self-confidence as you may be asked to work outside of your comfort zone (helping look out for new volunteers or wading into the pond to dig out branches). As you grow and develop in your role as a volunteer you will find your confidence rising.

Whether you are new to the job market or and experienced professional looking to change direction, volunteering puts a big tick in the eyes of potential employers and helps to boost your CV. Getting a reference from the council is a great way to get a foot in the door for future jobs. Becoming a nature volunteer doesn’t just mean nature based skills, it gives you a chance to learn a variety of important job seeker skills such as teamwork, networking and problem solving.

And finally for your future. Volunteering with us can help keep you fit and get a foot in the door of countryside management and unleash a love for nature that will never be dampened. It can help you to hone your aspirations and focus your work towards achieving your goals.



Why we value our volunteers


As part of the Working with Nature project, we work across 17 different sites, covering woodlands, grasslands, meadows and wetlands. That’s a lot for us to get through and with only one of the team dedicated to management, we definitely need you.

The help, enthusiasm, knowledge and experience brought by our volunteers is amazing and we love learning as much from you as we hope you learn from us. We welcome and get so much enjoyment from spending our time with people with such a ranged background.

Nature benefits too. With your help we are able to maintain the nature sites to a higher level. Ensuring access is open to all and invasive species are kept in check. Your work allows nature to flourish and biodiversity to bloom.

Alongside supporting our staff, you support each other. Helping and working together to help manage our wild sites. With you at our side we can achieve so much more than on our own and, no matter  how much we wished it were otherwise, there just isn’t enough money invested in nature and the conservation of it to sustain projects indefinitely. As volunteers, you dedicate something more valuable than money, you give your time; to help us, but most importantly, to help nature.



Still not sure?

Are you concerned you won’t be physically able to contribute? Don’t think you have the necessary skills to do the job? Don’t have the time to commit to regular volunteering?

Fear not! We have a whole host of tasks and days you can get involved in. Whilst jobs will vary from day to day depending on the needs of the nature site, we always have some tasks that require a little more physical exertion and some that are a bit more relaxed and easy going. Some of our most regular volunteers struggle with heavy tasks and are happy tending to the fire and using loppers and shears to cut scrub and brash as needed.

Likewise, you need not worry if you aren’t confident in your nature knowledge or ability to use tools. We provide health and safety and tool use talks for all volunteers and even include Agored accredited training for volunteers wishing to enhance their knowledge, skills and CV’s! The training can be carried out over a number of volunteer days, or as part of a dedicated workshop for the unit.

Don’t have the time to commit regularly to volunteer days? No problem. We don’t expect our volunteers to attend every session, we just hope you can make it as often as you want and are available! We hold 6 regular task days each month, with additional days added in on weekends each month. You can come to as many or as few as you want. Similarly, only have 2 hours on the day to spare? That’s fine, just check in with us when you arrive and need to leave and we will make a note of it.

We pride ourselves on inclusion and make sure that every task day has something for everyone to get involved in. We work at a reasonable pace and have plenty of opportunities for tea and coffee around a fire. It is a great way to get outdoors, meet new people and learn about nature. 



Training opportunities


We are delighted to be able to offer our volunteers and regular participants the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and experience through a range of both accredited and non-accredited training.

Whilst some volunteer roles don’t require specialist knowledge, we have developed a range of training units that will help you to understand ecosystems, management processes and safe tool use that will make you a much more confident and effective volunteer whilst boosting your employability through job relevant skill building.

To date we are able to offer accredited training in 3 Agored units;

  • Woodland Life; an excellent level 1 introduction to woodland habitats, including wildlife, plants and trees, natural interactions and an introduction to management practices
  • General Tree Identification; we take you further than needed to pass this course and you will learn about a range of different trees growing in and around NPT, how to identify them, how to manage them and what they can be used for (by nature and by us)
  • Practical Conservation Skills; A great introduction course to practical conservation and habitat management. In this course you will be taught how to safely use a range of tools for conservation including storing and transporting them safely

To find out more about our courses and upcoming dates get in touch: