Regular volunteering with the Ranger service - Lancashire County Council and Wyre Borough Council
Rangers are generally based at information centres and country parks - Beacon Fell, Wyre estuary park and the like. Volunteer rangers have many roles - visitor management, practical work, leading walks, surveying rights of way etc.
The volunteer hub at Lancashire County Council can also help with a whole range of volunteering opportunities.
For information about becoming a Countryside Volunteer in Wyre follow this link to the Wyre Countryside Service website and download their excellent ‘Volunteer Opportunities Booklet’.
Gisburn Forest Trail Building
If you are interested in mountain biking (or digging!) the Pennine Mountain Bike Association have regular work parties in Gisburn Forest between Slaidburn and Tosside. You can email them on email@example.com and they have a website here http://www.pmba.org.uk/gisburnvols.htm
Regular or casual volunteering with other organisations
- LESS is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company based in Lancaster set up to provide practical support to help the residents of Lancashire live more sustainably. They have volunteering information on their website at http://www.lessuk.org/contact.php
- Ribble River's Trust - The Trust was established in order to enhance the water environments of the Ribble catchment and carries out a variety of volunteer activities, including tasks within the Forest of Bowland AONB. To find out about volunteer opportunities go to http://ribbletrust.org.uk/volunteering/
- The RSPB is active in Bowland and has many volunteers. Details of volunteering opportunities can be found on the RSPB website at www.rspb.org.uk/volunteering
- Lancashire Wildlife Trust works on sites in and near the Forest of Bowland. You'll find information about a range of volunteering opportunities at the Trust on their website at http://www.lancswt.org.uk/volunteer
- The Countryside Jobs Service www.countryside-jobs.com produces an excellent publication with details of paid and volunteer jobs in the countryside, conservation and environmental sector. They also feature relevant training courses.
- The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) - Conservation Volunteers is the country’s largest practical conservation charity. They run practical tasks every week of the year throughout the country called ‘mid week tasks’. Some of these run by their Preston project office are in or around Bowland.
Volunteer Case Study
Pat Barlow - Lancashire Countryside Service
'Before I became a volunteer I worked in education so have been on a timetable for most of my working life. It was a job I loved and one of the best parts was when I took students into the various National Parks for outdoor activities.
I am now in my 3rd year of volunteering with Lancashire Countryside Service as a Countryside Ranger. I also work as an Information Assistant at the Bowland Visitor Centre. I really enjoy it and as well as giving some structure to my week it has given me the opportunity to sample what would have been my alternate job!
As volunteers we have the opportunity to go on various courses, not just the basic training but First Aid, drystone walling and hedge laying and so on. There are always different and new skills to be learnt and it is good to know that we are doing jobs that help conserve and help others enjoy the countryside.
Volunteering is both sociable and rewarding and is appreciated by the full time rangers and members of the public. It is a great way to develop interests and be active in society and can be beneficial to anyone regardless of age. Highly recommended for anyone with a few hours to spare!'