Volunteer

Volunteer for wildlife

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(c) Lawrence Davenhill

What can you give to help wildlife?

Incredible wild spaces, working alongside inspiring friends and supporting your local wildlife - that’s why our volunteers keep coming back.

All across Yorkshire people give us their spare minutes, hours and days on beaches, under trees, amongst meadows and in communities, schools and offices.

Over 1000 volunteers are working together to create a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone and you can be a part of it too. However much time you have and whatever skills and experience you bring there are many ways in which you can help the wildlife living on your doorstep. 

With so much to get involved in, we’re sure we’ve got something for you; raking hay meadows, leading rockpooling, keeping watch over our sheep and cattle or supporting us in the office. Our opportunities can fit around the rest of your life, from one-off practical conservation days to regular commitments on our reserves or from home.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be part of a fantastic team helping to protect and share the amazing wildlife that calls Yorkshire home.

Find opportunities near you

Coronavirus (Covid-19)


Due to the pandemic we are only offering a limited number of opportunities at the moment. If you'd like to register your interest in volunteering, please fill in the form below, send it to volunteering@ywt.org.uk and we'll be in touch if anything comes up! We're very much looking forward to a time when we can safely welcome everyone who wants to volunteer with us, and thank you for your support so far!

Emma Dawber, volunteer

Emma's story

"I was involved in health from the age of 18 to 50, a GP for more than 20 years. Now I am involved in health in a different way as a volunteer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Flamborough. If people have a healthy attitude to Mother Nature and to life, are being active and it makes them feel good, that’s better than drugs!"

Read more volunteer stories
I love working with my fellow volunteers and staff. Sometimes, when I wake up and don't feel like getting out of bed to do some work (I am retired), it is the thought of seeing, interacting and working with everyone else that jolts me out of my short-period apathy. Plus, I have the end-of-day pleasure of having done something worthwhile.
Neil Doherty, Volunteer

Your volunteering journey starts here...

Watch our video for an introduction to volunteering at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

(c) Simon Collins, York Filming and Editing and Helen Leavey, writer and journalist

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about volunteering with us.

What is a volunteer?

The term volunteer means slightly different things to different people. At Yorkshire Wildlife Trust we mean any person who freely chooses to carry out a task or role that we have specifically agreed for them to do, which contributes to the aims and objectives of the Trust and for which they do not receive any financial or material reward.

What do volunteers do?

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust volunteers do a range of roles, from serving cake in our cafes, counting butterflies in our meadows, pulling up invasive plants on our nature reserves, checking on our cows, teaching children a lifelong love of flowers, showing visitors where to get great views of grass snakes, raising money to buy new tools and pond dipping nets and so much more.

Who can volunteer?

We have volunteers of all ages and abilities from five year olds planting seeds to 85 year olds identifying trees. Our volunteers are from all over Yorkshire (and sometimes beyond) and they come from all walks of life, bringing a variety of skills and experience. If you are interested in wildlife, helping people or the great outdoors we probably have something for you.

Do volunteers have to be members?

Some people give donations of money or join YWT as members; some people offer their time as volunteers. Whichever you do, we are extremely grateful. Being a member of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust does have additional benefits including free access to  some nature reserves and a quarterly member’s magazine. 

More information on membership.

Do you need prior experience to become a volunteer?

No. We encourage people from all walks of life, with a variety of life experiences to become involved. Some roles require specific skills or experience but most allow you to learn as you go along, sometimes after receiving appropriate training. You will always be fully briefed about your role and the tasks you will be involved in. We will make training available as and when it is needed by a volunteer in order for them to undertake their role or enhance their skills relevant to their volunteering.

What if I am in receipt of state benefits?

You can still volunteer. There is no type of state benefit that automatically stops you from volunteering but we’d suggest you speak to your Job Centre about volunteering first.

What about young volunteers?

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust encourages volunteers of all ages as long as they are able to take part safely. For young people under 16 we will require parents or guardians to supervise them. Young people aged 16 or 17 can volunteer without the need for an accompanying adult but we would require parental consent (a signed form) for this to happen.

Can volunteers claim expenses?

Volunteer travel expenses are available when the cost of attending would otherwise mean that people could not volunteer with us. We will provide expenses for travel up to 10 miles from the place of volunteering.

Want to get involved?

Current opportunities