Volunteering

Volunteering at Watchtree is fun and challenging and we always have a role for you. Many volunteers come for the open air and practical skills but we also require volunteers to help with visitor management and helping in the visitor centre.

We can provide suitable training courses and have in the past provided first aid, chipper, strimmer/brushcutter, disability awareness and customer care training courses. Interested? Read on…

You’ll meet lots of very friendly people – we are one big happy family here at Watchtree.

Our volunteers have a reputation for making everyone feel welcome – some have been here for years.

You’ll learn new skills and potentially gain new qualifications, and we don’t charge University fees for the privilege!

TRAIL RUN MARSHALS

The Watchtree 5k Trail run began in 2015 and is held on the last Sunday of every month. We have around 50 runners at this event so we need marshals to help direct our athletes around the course. This is a very easy task and anyone is welcome to help out – just contact Ryan to let him know you’d like to come along.

ADMINISTRATION – VISITOR CENTRE – WARDENS ROLES
Weekdays/Weekends (anytime – as little or as much time as you can give). We are always looking for sociable folk to help welcome visitors into the reserve and help keep our little cafe in working order. There are always administrative roles and other general reception tasks as well. This is a lovely role as you get to meet lots of new people and is a highly valued position to us – with only one full time member of staff, keeping an eye on everything at once can be tricky!

If the sun is shining visitors are often drawn to Watchtree’s open spaces and fantastic woodlands, so we need people to patrol the site and make sure things are running smoothly.

CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT

Wednesdays at 10:30am. Sessions usually last until the afternoon (depending on what needs doing or when you are available until). It is advisable to come in old clothes and practical, waterproof footwear. We do have a range of wellies, walking boots and high-vis jackets you can borrow.

We look after 205 acres of varying habitat at Watchtree so there is a huge range of tasks needed to keep the place ship shape and also manage the habitats for efficient British species conservation.Our volunteers get involved with tasks including footpath construction, pulling out excessive pond vegetation, coppicing, hedge laying, fencing and planting to name just a few. There are loads of other jobs to do including constructing bird viewing screens and replenishing bird feeders.

BIKE MAINTENANCE – COACHING – INSTRUCTING

We have various roles in and around our very successful all ability cycle hire venture. This side of the reserve has really taken off in the past few years and we could really do with several extra pairs of hands to help! Cycle hire is available Wednesdays-Sundays so this is when we need the most assistance. For more information on our award winning cycle facilities click here.

Due to the high number of people using our bikes, we have rather a long list of bikes needing basic repairs. If you know how to fix a puncture or change a brake block then you’re the one for us.

We also hold coaching sessions for different age groups and abilities so there is scope for volunteer coaching. If you have previous coaching experience of any kind then that is ideal, however not essential. We can also provide cycle coaching qualifications with British Cycling Coaching if you are really keen.

WORK PLACEMENT

We have been fortunate with some excellent long-term work placements, notably from Newton Rigg and Carlisle College. This year some of our visitors may also have bumped into Charlotte and Francesca – they are students from the University of Cumbria and Manchester Metropolitan University respectively, both studying Animal Conservation, and are on year-long placements with Watchtree. Feel free to get in touch with us to ask for more details on the kind of placements we can provide.

 

Please contact wnr@watchtree.co.uk to discuss any roles or if you would like more information.