Volunteering: make friends, get fit and 'Do Something Great' for nature!

Volunteering on a nature reserve (c) Matthew Roberts

We are very proud of our army of volunteers – more than 43,000 people of all ages and backgrounds – who care for and improve local wild places. Your positive action benefits us all.

Why not discover volunteering events near you - get involved and Do Something Great! 

Our volunteers - who each give an average of 16 days every year - are the foundation upon which The Wildlife Trusts movement has been built, and are an integral part of our success.

We’d like to thank every single person who gives their time because your vital work breathes life into the 2,300 nature reserves we care for.  It makes a huge contribution towards the activities and events which make it possible for a far greater number of people to enjoy closer encounters with the natural world.  In 2014 alone, there were 7.4 million visits to our nature reserves, 480,000 people attended our events and 300,000 pupils and students were given a wild encounter by Wildlife Trusts up and down the UK.

There's so much you can do close to home which will benefit nature and wild places in your area. You'll make loads of friends, you'll get fit and you'll have a warm sense of achievement at the end of the day that comes from physical exercise and seeing a good job done!

We know that active contact with nature can help prevent and cure health problems.  People who live near and experience green spaces have a 50% chance of being more healthy, both physically and mentally, and are 40% less likely to become overweight or obese.  Our volunteers are getting back in touch with the natural environment, helping it to recover, and this contact with nature is making a big difference to many people’s lives.

Volunteering opportunities range from community gardening, species surveying - such as looking for otters or water voles - caring for nature reserves, dry stone walling, hedge laying, habitat management, plant identification and GPS mapping to running Wildlife Watch groups which enable young people to discover and explore their local environment.

Our volunteers carry out a huge range of tasks but they don't all have to be outdoors. You might find yourself making great use of your organisational, IT, administrative or financial skills too.

How can you Do Something Great?

If you’re inspired by this short film, below, and would like to find out more about volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts, why not visit our volunteering pages where you can find out more about what people are doing, discover volunteering events near you, register your interest and #DoSomethingGreat!

And when you’re out and about volunteering, take some photos and tweet them using #Springwatch and #DoSomethingGreat  - you might just appear on the BBC Springwatch Do Something Great website!