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Volunteering Opportunities in West Yorkshire

Super Survey Volunteer (c) S. PetchSuper Survey Volunteer - Credit Stuart Petch

If you would like more info, or to get involved with any of these fantastic roles, please email: volunteering@ywt.org.uk

Current Opportunities in West Yorkshire

New Year New You! Find out more about volunteering at an open day near you...

Many of us look to a new year as a chance to do something a little different. Whether it's getting fitter or simply doing more of what you love. Perhaps you're on a promise to make time to catch up with friends and maybe make some new ones along the way. You could be wanting to do more for others, or, just as importantly, for yourself.

There's a multitude of New Year resolutions you could make...and you could cover them all off in one go through volunteering. The benefits are well documented, from boosting confidence and learning new skills, to meeting new people and feeling part of a wider community. Even simply having fun!

On the 4th and 13th February we'll be holding a volunteer open day at Stirley Community Farm with staff on hand to talk you through all our roles and answer your questions. Come along to find out more about how you can make a change for the better. Stop by and chat to us, just pop in any time between 10am and 1pm on the 4th and 11am and 3pm on the 13th. For more details email volunteering@ywt.org.uk.

► Stirley Community Farm

West Yorkshire Reserves 

► South East Leeds

► Livestock Checkers

► Clifton Beck Project

► Owler Beck Project

►Invasive Plant Species Surveyor

►People Engagement- Event and Ambassador opportunities

Stirley Community Farm

Stirley Community Farm, near Huddersfield, is Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s gateway site for West Yorkshire, set in 240 acres of beautiful Pennine farmland. The farm is being managed for the benefit of wildlife and is going from strength to strength! With the support of the local community and volunteers the aim is to create a self-sustaining local food enterprise.

Our volunteers do so much on the farm! From checking livestock at weekends, putting up fences and dry stone walls, teaching children about how food grows and getting out into the community to share the Stirley story.

We'd love more local people to get involved in our projects so whatever skills you have and whatever role you're interested in get in touch to find the perfect role for you! Email volunteering@ywt.org.uk for more details.

Below are some key summer roles we're looking for help with now:

Seasonal Garden Volunteer

At Stirley Farm there is a flourishing fruit and vegetable growing area which is widely used by schools and community groups. Produce from the garden is cooked and served at events on the farm. During our busy summer months extra pairs of hands make all the different with harvesting, watering and weeding. If you can spare a few hours each week to help in our garden we'd love to hear from you. Normally volunteer days are on Tuesday starting at 10am, but get in touch whenever you're free.

Our fruit and veg beds are really productive and your role will be to sow, grow, tend and harvest the food crops. This will involve:
• Seed sowing, weeding, mulching and planting out.
• Harvesting veg boxes for displays and community group use.
• Watering plants as needed throughout the season.

Email volunteering@ywt.org.uk for more details.

Inspiring People Volunteer

At Stirley Farm we run a range of events throughout the year to connect people with nature because it's amazing! Volunteers help to run these events from school group visits to activities for the public.We need passionate, inspiring volunteers to share the wonders of nature with others.

As an Inspiring People Volunteer you will help to deliver activities, representing Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and sharing your passion for nature with others providing a high quality visitor experience. This will involve:

• Activities such as harvesting vegetables, minibeast hunts and craft activities
• Prepare and pack away equipment, resources and room space before and after events
• Back mark groups so no one gets lost
• Assist with event admin such as registers and feedback forms
• Promote the Trust wherever possible

Email volunteering@ywt.org.uk for more details.

Infrastructure Surveyor

Since our work started at the farm back in 2011 a lot has changed. Across the 240 acre site there's lots to keep track of so this year we're going to do an infrastructure survey to update our records. If you have an eye for detail and enjoy being outdoors we'd love you're help. We need people to walk sections of our site and record key details such as fence condition, dry stone walls, stiles and branded interpretation. Full instructions will be provided so if you have a few hours free (at any time of the week) and enjoy walking through countryside get in touch!

Email volunteering@ywt.org.uk for more details.

Owler Beck Project

The Veolia funded Owler Beck Watercourse Restoration project aims to improve water quality and biodiversity along the Owler Beck. The Beck is struggling to achieve the good ecological status needed in order to meet the European Water Framework Directive because of a large number of rural and urban pressures. We aim to improve approximately 25% of the entire Owler Beck watercourse by addressing a number of the pressures facing the river. The project will improve habitat along the watercourse, contributing to local and national biodiversity action plans and water management aspirations, all the while engaging and enthusing the local community.

We have two volunteer roles as part of this project:

Owler Beck Surveyor

Owler Beck survey volunteers will help to deliver the Veolia funded Owler Beck Watercourse Restoration project. You will be working with the Owler Beck Project Officer to deliver a range of surveys to monitor the water quality along the Owler Beck.

You will be involved in riverfly monitoring with training provided. This involves taking 3 minute kick samples from the beck and recording the presence and abundance of eight pollution sensitive invertebrate groups.

This will continue to allow us to monitor the water quality of Owler Beck long after the Owler Beck Project. Work will be in the water so wellington boots are ideal, with some waders available for use by volunteers.
For more information and an application form please email volunteering@ywt.org.uk .

Owler Beck Practical Conservation

Owler Beck practical volunteers will help to deliver the Veolia funded Owler Beck Restoration project. You will be working with the Owler Beck Project Assistant to deliver a range of habitat restoration and creation, and technical fieldwork along the Owler Beck waterways.

You will be involved in several aspects of the project including:
• Invasive species management through removing Himalayan balsam.
• Creating buffer zones by tree planting, willow spilling, etc.
• Installing in stream features such as flow deflectors, brash berms and coir rolls.

Full training will be provided for all of these activities and tasks.

For more information and details about task day dates please email volunteering@ywt.org.uk .

Clifton Beck Project

The HLF funded Improving Clifton Becks Water project aims to improve water quality and biodiversity along the Clifton Beck. The Beck has an overall classification of ‘moderate’, placing it among the some of the poorest functioning rivers in the UK. By improving 64 hectares of habitat on three sites along Clifton Beck we will be aiming to achieve ‘good’ ecological condition by 2017. To reach this goal we will perform a range of habitat improvement works, all the while engaging and enthusing the local community.

We have two volunteer roles as part of this project:

Clifton Beck Surveyor

Survey volunteers will help to deliver the HLF funded Improving Clifton Becks Water project.

You will be involved in riverfly monitoring with training provided. This involves taking 3 minute kick samples from the beck and recording the presence and abundance of eight pollution sensitive invertebrate groups.

This will continue to allow us to monitor the water quality of Clifton Beck long after the Clifton Beck Project. Work will be in the water so wellington boots are ideal, with some waders available for use by volunteers.

For more information and an application form please email volunteering@ywt.org.uk .

Clifton Beck Practical Conservation

Clifton Beck practical volunteers will help to deliver the HLF funded Improving Clifton Becks Water project. You will be working with the Clifton Beck Community Project Officer and Project trainee to deliver a range of habitat restoration and creation, and technical fieldwork along the Clifton Beck waterways.

You will be involved in several aspects of the project including:
- Invasive species management through removing Himalayan balsam, surveying for species and mapping locations.
- Creating buffer zones by tree planting, willow spilling, etc.

Full training will be provided for all of these activities and tasks.

For more information and details about task day dates please email volunteering@ywt.org.uk .
 

Livestock Checkers

We're looking for local volunteers to become part of our team of regular livestock checkers at several of our sites. If you enjoy walking in beautiful countryside and you have an eye for detail this could be for you.

As a stock checker you will visit a local site regularly (weekly or fortnightly)as part of a rota. Whilst walking around the site you will monitor animal numbers and on the animal’s welfare, then report any problems back to our reserves team. Each checking visit may take between fifteen minutes and an hour, depending on where the stock are on the site.

 If you can spare a couple of hours a week to help us please get in touch by emailing volunteering@ywt.org.uk for more information.

South East Leeds - Practical Conservation Volunteers

Volunteers work across the Lower Aire valley on a variety of reserves in partnership with  Leeds City Council. For more information about these task days please contact elspeth.robinson@ywt.org.uk
 

West Yorkshire Reserves - Practical Conservation Volunteer

Join our friendly team of staff and volunteers and get stuck in with our practical task days across West Yorkshire. Tasks include path maintenance, vegetation clearance, raking, fencing, planting and helping with tool maintenance.

Please see our latest Practical Conservation Calendar which contains a calendar of  task days, contacts, and more details of how you can get involved.

West Yorkshire Sites with practical task days in the next 2 months:

Commitment: Workdays run throughout the month on weekdays and weekends. There is no obligation to come every week/month.
Duration: On-going.

Invasive Non Native Species Surveyor

Invasive Non-Native Species (or INNS) are one of the major challenges for the conservationists of today because they are the second largest driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. They out-compete our native species, contribute to erosion and flooding and cost our government £1.7 billion each year.


Join our team of survey volunteers between April and October to help monitor the spread of Invasive Non-Native Species across Yorkshire’s river network. Using the innovative Plant Tracker app (link to the YWT webpage - http://www.ywt.org.uk/planttracker) or the Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts own INNS Mapper (link to the YWT webpage - http://ywt-data.org/inns-mapper/home) you’ll be helping to collect data to feed into a national project fighting the spread of these problematic plants. We are currently looking for surveyors in South and West Yorkshire in the Don & Rother and Aire & Calder catchment. It can all be done in your local patch while out for a stroll or walking your dog, or on a river of your choice.


As an INNS Surveyor you will receive all the necessary training to recognise the invasive non-native species and record your sightings, so there’s no experience required.


If you are interested in becoming an INNS surveyor, please contact invasives@ywt.org.uk

People Engagement- Event and Ambassador opportunities

Wildlife Event Volunteer

Nature is amazing and we want to tell everyone! Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is creating a county rich in wildlife and we want passionate, creative volunteers to help assist in running fun nature themed drop in events on nature reserves across Yorkshire. If you take delight in sharing your passion and seeing the wonder of nature ignite the imagination of children, you will certainly enjoy this role.

You’ll be involved in lots of fun educational and creative activities such as; pond dipping- catching freshwater invertebrates with families to show what lies beneath the water, sweeping netting for beautiful butterflies and grasshoppers to getting arty and crafty. There’s so many fun ways to reach people, so new ideas and activities are a great way to make our events even better. We’d welcome you to come with your own creative ideas about how we can share the wonder of nature and how we can protect it for generations to come. The role will be based from for York for training and your staff contact, however we want volunteers based across Yorkshire. The events will be taking place at Staveley, Askham Bog, Pearson Wildlife Garden, Moorlands, Adel Dam and North Cave.

Commitment: 1-2 days a month, we can be flexible to suit volunteer. There are some weekend and midweek sessions planned for school holidays.

Duration: This role is ongoing – Our event period is mainly between May and end of September, however we have events and shows outside of this period where we need help running activities to support the work of the membership recruiters.

Wildlife Ambassadors

Our habitats for wildlife in Yorkshire are diverse, though many species face threats from many things including; development and intensive agriculture. We’re working hard ensure nature stands a chance. We do this in this in many ways from frontline conservations works, campaigning and lobbying for change. One of our strongest lobbying tools is our amazing members, who stand by our side when we fight to save Yorkshire’s wildlife.

Our Wildlife Supporter Officers are usually the first point of contact for all our members, they are tasked with engaging with the public to make them aware of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, our work and encourage them to support us through membership. They work all across Yorkshire at our gateway sites, nature reserves and at events such as the Yorkshire Show and country fairs.

As a Wildlife Ambassador you would be assisting the WSO by talking to visitors at our sites and going to events with them, or you could fly solo and attend events local to you. You will be helping to spread the word in your ambassadorial role by raising awareness of the Trust and telling our stories that will inspire people to take action for wildlife.

We’d like to hear from you if; you enjoy being part of a team of passionate individuals, enjoy talking to people about the importance of nature conservation, would like telling our stories and be able to actively encourage people to join up should the moment arise. The role will be based from for York for training and your staff contact, however we want volunteers based across Yorkshire.

Commitment: Weekly/once a fortnight /once a month- the role can be flexible to suit volunteer. Volunteers will be emailed a diary with future event dates each month and you can choose which dates to volunteer. You can also find and book events near to where they live.

Duration: All year round