How can I volunteer?
The Parks Trust has a flexible and varied volunteering programme with many roles available to suit your interests and experience. Depending on your time and availability we can find an opportunity for you. We provide uniform, equipment, training and travel expenses to all our volunteers with several ‘thank you’ events throughout the year to socialise and meet other volunteers and staff. There is an initial general volunteer induction meeting with our Volunteer Coordinator to match your interests followed by site inductions, depending on your preferred volunteer role. For more information on our opportunities then please see the below FAQs or the relevant section for each volunteering role. To register your interest, please follow the link to our online form and you will be contacted within a week.
What can I do to volunteer?
There are a variety of roles to choose from according to your personal interests, skills and experience. As a registered Parks Trust Volunteer you are not just restricted to one role and many of our volunteers participate in several different activities and often new roles or request pop up occasionally. Please see below further details on each role.
Where can I volunteer?
The type of chosen volunteering activity will impact on the parkland you can volunteer at. Our Ranger role is the most flexible role should you want to visit different locations each time or keep to the same area. Please see the various volunteering roles and register your interest, we should be able to find something suitable for you.
When can I volunteer?
Although our roles are fairly flexible, it will depend on the type of activity you are interested in and what sessions and events are set for the year. Please see the various volunteering roles and register your interest, we should be able to find something suitable for you.
What are the benefits to volunteering?
- Keeping fit and being active, add to your 10,000 steps a day target or more.
- Being outdoors and getting close to nature
- Learning something new about Milton Keynes and/or natural history
- The feel-good factor: Giving your time back, sharing your knowledge, improving your environment and/or keeping the parks clean
- Uniform is provided
- Training and equipment supplied
- Travel expenses are available to claim should you have to travel further than your local park.
- Volunteer social events and meeting new people
- How can my organisation get involved?
We have various groups task from litter picking that can be undertaken all year round to Himalayan balsam bashing which takes place in a short summer window. Please see the Corporate Volunteering page for the types of activities we offer and how you can get involved. All equipment and PPE is provided by the Trust and we require a six week lead time to organise a group task with pre-task site visits and risk assessments to be completed. Please register your interest online.
- Corporate Team Building Days
The Parks Trust as a Charity also offers Corporate Team Building days, which differ to our volunteering opportunities. Please visit our Outdoor Learning page for more information.
Volunteering roles and opportunities:
- Become a Volunteer Park Ranger: This is the most flexible role with tasks from litter picking to stock watching, which can be done at any time and at numerous locations around Milton Keynes. Whether it be your regular patch or choosing a different park each visit, this volunteer role is vital to assisting our Community Ranger Team in keeping the parks safe and clean to use for residents of Milton Keynes. We require a weekly to fortnightly commitment with an initial site induction with your local Community Ranger before setting you off to patrol on your own. For more information please visit our dedicated Volunteer Park Ranger page.
- Outdoor Learning Ranger: As a volunteer you would be assisting our Outdoor Learning Team to deliver a wide range of educational activities in the parks or at our Centres. From toddlers group and school visits to youth ranger sessions or adult walk and talks there will be something to interest you. The volunteering times are more structured with regular sessions, including weekends and evenings but there can also be the occasional last minute or one-off activity arranged. Depending on your interest we would expect a regular commitment for certain activities to help support the team in delivering sessions such as Youth Rangers, Forest School and Tree Tots. For more information on what The Outdoor Learning Team do, please follow the link to their page before registering your interest.
- Events volunteering: We greatly value the help and support of our events volunteers throughout our busy events season. These volunteers are mainly at weekends, into evenings and during the school holiday period to help the Events team deliver our larger scale events in our parks. From World Picnic to Festival of Nature and walking events, check out our What’s On guide to see the kind of activities we require help for. This can be a physical role and manual handling training will be given alongside event site briefings for setting up gazebos, barriers and bins. The lighter roles include litter picking, stewarding, handing out leaflets, undertaking feedback surveys and public engagement at our information tent. In addition to this, we have volunteers who run regular monthly activities in our parks that often need support, such as the Women’s Walking Network, Parks and Run and Easy Riders. If you have some spare time and are interested in getting involved, please register your interest.
- Howe Park Wood Ambassador: We are looking for volunteers to help extend the opening hours of the education and visitor centre for the public at weekends and in school holidays during café opening hours. This role is to help the Trust with public and community engagement during the busy summer season, provide visitor information and help spread our key messages to parkland users. We require Howe Park Wood Ambassadors to really engage with visitors and educate the public on how special the wood is and how it should be respectfully enjoyed. All training, uniform and equipment is provided with refreshments available on site. This is a site-based role in and around the centre, for more information please visit the dedicated page.
- Practical Conservation Tasks: Our working for wildlife practical programme is organised on a quarterly basis to support the Biodiversity Action Plan and is very seasonal and weather dependant and therefore can be subject to change at the last minute. All tasks run 10am to 3pm on the first and third Wednesday and second Saturday of the month, unless stated otherwise, due to lack of on-site facilities. All tasks require teamwork and a certain level of fitness to carry out the landscape scale conservation tasks. Please wear suitable clothing, sturdy footwear, be prepared for all weathers and bring packed lunch and refreshments. To see the latest programme, please visit the dedicated page. You will need to be a registered volunteer prior to attending a practical task to be notified of changes the day before.
- Wildlife Surveys: As part of our Biodiversity Action Plan volunteers are essential to assist the Trust with keeping up to date records for monitoring the varied and special species we have within Milton Keynes on Parks Trust Land. These include: birds, bats, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals. Most of the surveying is carried out over the spring/summer season, depending on the species you are surveying, and is flexible to your availability. Training is provided but we welcome experienced surveyors too, for more information please visit the dedicated page.