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Volunteering Opportunities

Experienced carpenter? Avid gardener? Or just looking to put your spare time to good use? Consider joining our fantastic team of volunteers, without whom we simply couldn’t complete the work that we do on site and on our conservation projects!

We have a wide variety of volunteering opportunities available across the different teams here at the Trust.

Benefits include:

View our current volunteer opportunities below.

Work Experience with the Bird Team

If you’re a keen student looking to take up a career with animals, we can help you fly high! Each year we take on a number of students looking for work experience, aged 16 or over.

Applications should be made 8-10 months in advance, and should be for a minimum of two weeks.

You will have the opportunity to be involved in:

  • Husbandry work such as cleaning aviaries, bays and water bowls.
  • Everyday maintenance tasks such as raking leaves, cutting grass, sweeping paths and litter picking.
  • You may be asked to help with preparation of food for the flying demonstrations.
  • Gate duty for the demonstrations.
  • You will be able to work with our birds for a very limited amount of time during your placement and this will only be completed under staff supervision.
Find out more
Reception and Retail

We are looking for friendly people to help welcome our visitors to the Trust, and help keep our Trust Shop running smoothly.

You’ll be supporting our welcoming Reception and Retail team, ideally helping us out on a minimum of one day over Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and the weekends from 10am-4pm. It may also include occasional evening work for special events.

About the role:

  • To greet visitors and business associates warmly on arrival, representing the public face of the Trust
  • To assist with the running of the Trust shop including cleaning and maintenance of displays
  • To ensure the security of the shop contents, including money
  • To use EPOS (tills) potentially, after a period of time and with training
  • To contribute to effective teamwork within the Hawk Conservancy Trust as a whole and in particular within the Retail Team
  • To work to consistent professional standards in all aspects of the role

We’re looking for:

  • A friendly and welcoming attitude
  • Flexible approach to working hours
  • Customer service experience is beneficial but not essential
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Trustworthy and security conscious
  • Numerate and computer literate, EPOS experience will help but is not essential
  • Good communication skills
  • A Team player
  • Ability to work under pressure and with conflicting priorities
Enquire
Maintenance
If you have experience in building and handiwork, we are on the lookout for enthusiastic people willing to lend a hand with the maintenance and upkeep of our 22-acre grounds!
We’re looking for volunteers to help with our on-site maintenance work on our aviaries, buildings and more. There’s plenty of work that goes on behind-the-scenes, so if you’ve got a can-do attitude, are handy with a hammer and are looking for more time spent outdoors then get in touch.
If you think you’re able to help us out, please give our Head of Development, Andy Hinton, an email on andy@hawkconservancy.org.
Enquire
Gardening and Grounds Maintenance

Looking to spend more time getting hands-on in nature? We’re on the lookout for volunteers to help keep our grounds looking beautiful.

You’ll be helping to keep our pathways clear and in pristine condition by getting involved in strimming, mowing and leaf-blowing around our 22 acre woodland grounds. You’ll be working within a friendly team, and all tools, equipment and cups of coffee will be provided!

As you’ll be using machinery, ideally you will have training in this.

To find out more information and to enquire about getting involved, please email tina@hawkconservancy.org with your availability and we will be in touch.

Enquire
Kestrel Transects Volunteers

If you enjoy long walks in the countryside, and have a keen eye for birds then we want to connect!

Our passionate team of Kestrel Transect Volunteers are an invaluable help to our UK Conservation Projects. If you’d like to support us by volunteering, you’ll be carrying out regular surveys in spring and autumn across the south of England, walking pre-determined routes of approximately 9-12km and recording all sightings of birds of prey. Some routes may be across uneven ground and over styles.

Volunteers should be available for at least 5 transects per season. Spring season runs from February to May, Autumn season runs September to December.

We are currently recruiting in the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Surrey and East Sussex.

The ideal volunteer would have:

  • Very good bird identification skills.
  • Full driving license and access to own transport – we recommend checking with your insurance company in case business insurance is required
  • Able to commit to completing a minimum of 5 transects per season, between September and December and February to May.
  • Commitment to start before 10am, each transect will take 4-5 hours
  • A reasonable level of fitness as each transect will involve walking 9-12km
  • Your own binoculars

To apply please enquire, confirming your ability to meet all the requirements above, and the location(s) you are able to conduct surveys.

Enquire
Conservation, Research and Education Internships
Looking to gain experience working in conservation, research and education? Join us on a voluntary internship!
Supported by our partners Investec, we are offering a unique opportunity to work alongside our team at the forefront of our conservation, research and education work. You’ll gain valuable skills that will help you kickstart your career in this exciting field.
To find out more information about the roles, be sure to find out more on our internship pages. Applications open each spring.
Find out more
Biodiversity Monitoring Volunteers at the Trust

From moths and butterflies to deer and hares, the Hawk Conservancy Trust grounds are brimming with wildlife! We’re looking for a long-term volunteer to help us survey this vast onsite biodiversity.

Ideally we’d like you to come onsite throughout the year or longer with the main survey season occurring from April to September. You’ll be supporting the different species and habitat surveys we carry out, including:

  • Birds– point counts and nest box surveys,
  • Mammals– camera trapping, bat surveys, small mammal traps and small mammal tunnels,
  • Herpetofauna– reptile and amphibian surveys,
  • Invertebrates– moth trapping, butterfly transects, aquatic surveys, sweep netting, pitfall trapping and pollinator surveys,
  • Plants– hedgerow and vegetation surveys.

Some prior experience of wildlife surveys and species identification would be ideal to keep the information gathered as accurate as possible.

Enquire to apply, stating any previous experience in wildlife surveying you may have.

Enquire
Nest Box Builders

If you have expeiurence in woodworking and are looking for a new project, why not put your skills towards supporting our conservation work?

We’re looking for volunteers to help build nest boxes for Tawny Owls, Barn Owls, Little Owls and Kestrels as part of our Raptor Nest Box Project. The boxes will be put up by our UK Conservation Biologist Dr Matt Stevens across survey areas in the South of England, and then monitored for any birds using them to roost or nest.

As these boxes will be made under certain specifications and using machinery, a small amount of training will be necessary to ensure nest boxes are made correctly and safely.

To find out more or apply please enquire.

Enquire
Kestrel Colour Ring Spotters

Spotting a Kestrel hovering above their prey is an incredible sight to see. But did you know by simply watching them, you could be supporting our conservation work?

If you spot a Kestrel wearing a blue ring on it’s legs around the British countryside, we’d like to know! This is part of our Kestrel Colour Ring Project which relies heavily on observations from the public in the South of England.

If you spot a Kestrel with a coloured ring, please record the unique code (located on the ring itself, using binoculars), an accurate location of where it was spotted and the date and time. Additional information about the sex of the bird is also useful (females have a brown head whilst males have a slate grey head).

If you spot any blue coloured rings on wild Kestrels, please get in touch.

Enquire
Researchers

Let us help support your research projects!

We are always happy to hear from researchers with suggestions for projects from colleges, universities as well as professional researchers.

We carry out research in the fields of conservation, behavioural and physiological research in birds of prey as well as social science topics, and our esteemed Conservation, Research and Education team will be happy to support your work.

Projects we have been involved in previously include measuring the strength and speed of Secretary Bird’s kick, studying the visual fields of African Harrier-Hawks, and the wellbeing benefits of being in close proximity to our birds.

Get in touch with your ideas!

Enquire

FAQs

How far in advance do we need to book for voluntary placements?

Some positions are ongoing whilst some are more seasonal and need advanced notice. Please email in to find out more information.

What happens next?

We will aim to be back in touch as soon as we can regarding your enquiry. For certain roles, on selected dates throughout the year we hold informal meetings for anyone wishing to volunteer with us. These are simply a discussion as we really just want to find out a bit more about you and the sorts of tasks you are interested in getting involved with.

If you are successful, you will be asked for a contribution (£10.00) towards a Disclosure and Barring Service (previously CRB) check. Once this check has been carried out, we will be thrilled to welcome you into our team as one of our valued volunteers.

When and how often can I volunteer?

We are very flexible with when and how often you would like to volunteer although we do ask that you notify us when you plan to be in so that we can coordinate tasks accordingly. Some volunteers develop a regular, weekly schedule while others come on an ad hoc basis, so it is really up to you. Voluntary hours are dependant on the role, but roles on-site will normally be between 9am and 5:30pm although with some roles we will occasionally ask for some extra help at evening events.

Did you know?
When threatened, vultures sometimes vomit. This is used to lighten their body weight for an easier getaway.
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