Volunteer with us

Would you like to get involved with a local wildlife project? Are you keen to learn more about British wildlife and are you passionate about sharing your enthusiasm for the natural world with others?

We are looking for volunteers to work with the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project education team. Most of our volunteers help us deliver education sessions to schools, play schemes and youth groups out on the Downs. You can even get creative and help with the preparation and delivery of our children’s events, family days and community activities such as the Bristol Festival of Nature! Or, if you’re not so keen on the face-to-face delivery we also need volunteers to help us, behind the scenes, with office work and the development of educational resources.

You would be volunteering with the Project’s Biodiversity Education Manager and Education Officer. They are based in the Learning Department at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

It really depends on what you are looking to get out of volunteering, the time of year and what you’re interested in. April to October tend to be the busiest times with plenty of events, schools and holiday playscheme visits, as well as children’s holiday activities. However there are some opportunities to volunteer in the low season as well. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of things that you might get involved with:
  • Supporting school and holiday playscheme visits to the Downs including pre-session preparation (ie, making resources used during the sessions) and volunteering with small groups of children helping them to focus on their studies.
  • Supporting children’s holiday events. We run these throughout the school holidays. Each event normally consists of a morning of games and activities focused on a particular wildlife theme and an afternoon craft session.
  • Helping with the events programme. We run a range of walks, talks and courses looking at all aspects of the wildlife and landscape of the Gorge and Downs. Help is needed with administrative tasks relating to the events programme including setting up for events, meeting and greeting and supporting the walk, talk or course leader.
  • Helping with the preparation of classrooms for talks, courses and children’s events (you can get creative with the latter!)
  • Supporting with our community projects. We are currently working to develop and widen our audience to welcome people who might not normally access the Avon Gorge and Downs including those from some of the more deprived areas of Bristol.
  • Helping to promote the work of the project through public community events such as the Bristol Festival of Nature (every year in June), the Downs Festival and Cycle Sunday.

It depends entirely on your circumstances. We send out a timetable of up-coming education sessions and events that we need help with, and you sign up to the ones you are interested in and have time for. We also have a limited availability for university student placements and people looking for work experience.

For more information, contact:

Mandy Leivers
Avon Gorge and Downs Biodiversity Education Manager
E: mleivers@bristolzoo.org.uk

T: 0117 903 0609 / 0117 4285460

Photographs: Meadow on the Downs (© Denice Stout). All other photos © Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project.