Ecology Group Volunteers
Our Ecology Groups have been established to demonstrate the effect of our reserve management work and to assess the quality of the habitats we manage. You’ll be working as part of a team within our Conservation & Policy Team and you’ll be in the field surveying and collecting data on plants and habitats. Typical tasks include identifying and recording plants in various habitats using industry-standard methods.
Many of our Ecology Group surveys look at habitat condition. The condition of our reserves is fundamental to their ability to support wildlife – get the habitat right and you are much of the way there in terms of species conservation. Whether it is woodland, grassland, sand dune or fen, there are a selection of key plants and habitat features we look for, and anyone can help us with this regardless of experience. We make it easy with picture 'cheat sheets' and it’s a great way to start learning plant identification. As well as habitat surveys there are opportunities to get involved in surveys for water voles, counting some of Kent's rare orchids, looking for reptiles, monitoring butterflies and moths or learning to identify and survey bees with the making a buzz for the coast project.
You’ll learn a huge amount through this work, gaining skills to identify plants, provide valuable data and see it used to assist with conservation preservation in your area. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced botanists who will help to develop your plant identification skills.
We’ll need you to have an interest in botany and wildlife, although you don’t need a background or any prior knowledge in this, but you’ll want to grow your skills and help us to make a difference to wildlife in Kent.
We encourage our Ecology Group volunteers to participate in our Wildlife Study Day programme of activities, there is a charge for these, but a discount is offered on many of these for active volunteers. Volunteers will also benefit from getting involved with our Practical Conservation task days.
This is a great role for students and those wishing to gain experience in the Conservation sector as well as anyone wanting to learn more about plants and habitats.
How much time do I need to give?
Our Ecology Groups work primarily between spring and late summer, and we’re looking for volunteers who can commit to participating in a day long activity with us, usually starting from around 9am and finishing at 4pm – our activity programme will be available on our website. You can attend as many sessions as you would like.
What do I need to bring with me?
It’s essential that you wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy, sensible footwear. You should bring your lunch and a drink with you. Not all of our sites are fully accessible and you will often be working on uneven ground, please check the accessibility details of the site you are visiting on our website.
Where will activities take place?
Activities are taking place all over Kent. The survey programme for 2020 will be available soon.