Volunteering, home and away
Get experience: that’s the advice regularly repeated to anyone wanting to work with wildlife. And the best – often the only – way to gain it is by volunteering.
OPPORTUNITIES CLOSER TO HOME
National and local wildlife and conservation groups rely heavily on volunteers, and often repay them with specialist training. As well as contributing to conservation efforts, such work can bolster your CV and reap other benefits: regular BBC Wildlife contributor Amy-Jane Beer observes that “these are a great way to begin establishing a network of useful contacts and potential mentors.”
Volunteer opportunities with the RSPB ( www.rspb.org.uk/
get-involved/community-and-advice/volunteer), for example, range from welcoming visitors and checking bird boxes to fixing fences and conducting conservation surveys. RSPB also offers longer internships on conservation projects, and there are overseas opportunities. Volunteering with your local Wildlife Trust ( www.wildlifetrusts.org/
volunteer) might see you looking for otters one day, laying a hedge the next and then GPS mapping after that, before taking on various administrative tasks. With more than 43,000 volunteers across the UK, your options are diverse.
Getting experience means getting your hands dirty and there a plenty of ways to do that by helping out at your local wildlife trust.