Watchtree Nature Reserve is the perfect place for university students to further their learning and experience.

There are a number of ways in which students can get involved here whilst furthering their education. We offer both short and long term placements, numerous volunteer positions and a wide variety of dissertation and research opportunities. The experience we provide can be beneficial to many different styles of courses, not just environmental and nature based degrees, and we can cater to all levels of higher and further education, right through from college to PhD.

Watchtree Can Provide Opportunities For All Course Types

Watchtree consists of 205 acres of land which contains a wide variety of habitats including wetlands, woodlands and hay meadow. This variation in habitats means we support many different species of both flora and fauna, with several red listed species such as the Great Crested Newt. All of the paths on the reserve are flat and are made of old runway, tarmac or hard packed gravel making all of the reserve accessible for people of all ages and abilities. We are also a Wheels For All Cycle Center with a fleet of over 70 bikes covering all ages and ability levels. This means that we attract visitors from all walks of life and we are especially well liked by disability groups and groups for the elderly such as Amys Care and James Renny School. With the variety of visitors and facilities which Watchtree provides we are the perfect base for almost any course. The most obvious areas being enviroment and nature, sports and health and social care related degrees but that does not mean to say that they are the only students we could help, we could prove the perfect place for you to further your education and career regardless of what you are studying.


In 2015/16 we had 2 students complete 30 week placements with us. This is something we would love to continue to provide for students. We offer a range of both short and long term placements and can cater our placements to the area most relevant to your education and interests. Placements can be short term, starting from a few weeks, or long term, up to 30 weeks and can be part or full time.


We also provide long term volunteer positions. These are most suitable for students who are based in the surrounding areas as they are a permanent position over a longer period of time than placements. There are lots of different ways in which you can volunteer and again this can be catered towards your personal interests. The two main areas to volunteer are within the visitor center and the cycle center however there are also our Wednesday volunteers who meet every Wednesday and do practical conservation and maintenance work. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain essential experience which you can fit around your other commitments.

Research and Dissertation

There is also huge potential for students to carry out their own research or dissertations based at Watchtree.  This is much more catered towards nature or enviromental based students. Any dissertation or research project carried out at Watchtree would be hugely useful to us and could be used by us in things such as future management plans.

Group Visits

Groups are also more than welcome to come along and visit. University group visits are run the same way as school group visits and are self led.

If you would like any more information or are interested in taking part in any of our oportunities get in contact either by calling us on 01228712539 or email wnr@watchtree.co.uk