Getting everyone involved
Do you want to be part of the Chilterns’ future? Our work’s not just for experts, everyone can get involved!
Whether you want to care for our nature reserves, have a special interest in the wildlife or heritage of the area, or you want to share a passion for an outdoor hobby, you can help to enhance the Chilterns’ special landscapes for future generations.
Behind every protected landscape is an army of people who care for its special habitats, landscapes and heritage sites. Many nature, heritage and voluntary organisations in the Chilterns are always on the lookout for new volunteers to get involved with their work. Volunteering can be a great way to make a positive difference while gaining new skills, knowledge and experience and meeting new people.
Below, we’ve highlighted some ways that you can get involved in projects run by us, the Chilterns Conservation Board (CCB). If you’re an experienced walk leader you could also help with our Chilterns Walking Festival.
If you’re looking for something different, you can see the range of opportunities that other organisations offer by visiting our Volunteering hub.
Tracking the Impact
Tracking the Impact is a citizen science project monitoring the state of nature and wildlife in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns. Each volunteer is allocated a one kilometre survey ‘square’, in which they regularly record the numbers of butterflies, breeding birds or plant species they find. If you join you are offered free training on species identification, survey methods and data entry – a fantastic learning opportunity. The data gathered will help inform and back up wildlife conservation decisions.
Chalk Streams Citizen Science
Our precious Chilterns chalk streams are under threat from pollution and climate change. But you can help! If you volunteer with one of our River Chess citizen science projects, you can get involved in monitoring the health of this threatened river habitat. Activities include spotting sediment inputs to the river, surveying insect numbers, and measuring river flows and water quality. You could also help monitor water vole populations. If you don’t live near the River Chess, there are opportunities to take part citizen science activities for other Chilterns chalk streams. Alternatively, get involved in practical conservation work, such as clearing invasive species from the river.
Heritage and history volunteering
Become a Volunteer Researcher with our Woodlanders Lives and Landscapes project and join a friendly team uncovering the stories of the men, women and children who once worked in the Chilterns. Find out about the rural and domestic industries in the villages and woods of the AONB, including chairmaking, lacemaking, plaiting straw (for hats), and tambour beading (for fashion). Gain training and experience in archive research, recording oral histories and more.
If your organisation would like to organise a Festival walk, we’d love to partner with you! If you already organise walks, then we can also promote an existing walk as part of our Festival, allocating a certain number of places to walking festival bookers.
We are keen to expand our offer of Access for All walks. These include wheelchair routes, walks suitable for those with limited mobility, stile-free walks, walks for visually impaired people, or walks suitable for pushchairs. Do get in touch if this is something you can help us with.
If you want to volunteer with us, but have little or no experience of leading walks, don’t let that stop you! We can offer training, and may be able to run a pilot with you.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Volunteering Hub
Many other organisations offer a diverse range of volunteering opportunities across the Chilterns. Don’t assume it’s all hands-on physical work and getting muddy! There are opportunities to suit a wide range of interests, experience levels and physical abilities.
From helping out at a nature reserve to volunteering at a museum, maintaining an arboretum to managing environmental data for a records centre, there is so much to get involved with. Visit our Volunteering Hub to find out more and get in touch with each organisation directly for an informal chat.