Outdoor Learning Ranger
As the Trust’s environmental education programme has expanded, so too has the need for volunteer support and volunteers are asked to help out our Outdoor Learning staff with certain education sessions, and if and when comfortable, to lead aspects of them.
Most of our education sessions take place in term time, usually between 9.15am and 3pm during the week but there are also community groups (e.g. Cubs and Brownies) which take place in the early evening 6-8pm. In addition we also have our monthly adult education courses which take place in both weekend and weekday slots (see below). Evening sessions usually last between one and two hours and never exceed two and a half hours. Some adult education sessions can last for a whole or half day. You will be asked to arrive before the start of the session in order to help set up.
All sessions have detailed plans and part of the volunteer training is to initially come along and observe sessions and gradually take a more active role until you feel comfortable to lead part of a session. However, if you wish only to help set up and assist the education sessions, that is still a great help to our Outdoor Learning Team.
We have a number of activities for school groups, covering all key stages from Early Years to GCSE and A-Level. These run during the school term, with morning sessions starting at 9:30 and afternoon starting at 12:30 or 1pm. Depending on the key stage worked with, sessions will last for 1 or 1.5 hours in the parkland. If the session is taking place at one of our education centres, it may run for a whole day (9:30-14:30).
It is helpful to have volunteer support with these activities, as for certain sessions, such as pond dipping, we may split a class of 30 in half in order to ensure the safety of the participants at the water's edge. As such, we require support in order to be able to facilitate two groups during the course of the activity. You will be given training for all school activities.
The Trust have also developed a popular adult education programme, which are sessions generally run in evenings and at weekends. Often these sessions are run by an external leader and volunteers may be asked to go along and facilitate such sessions (e.g. registration of attendees, equipment and room set up). We are also looking for volunteers who would be willing to give community talks on behalf of The Parks Trust, for which full training would be provided. With all our environmental education work, we don’t expect you to have any specialist knowledge but you will need to have interest and enthusiasm for the natural world.
We run a weekly toddler group at Howe Park Wood every Thursday. The session is for two hours from 10am - 12.00. Volunteers help with the set up and take down of the equipment in the woods, reading a story, making hot chocolate and engaging with the children and their families who attend.
Youth Explorers is a group for young people aged 11-14 years old to help them gain experience and valuable practical skills in various outdoor topics including Wildlife Identification, Bushcraft and Conservation. These topics are taught partially outdoors and partially in our outdoor learning centre through our six-week courses. The courses run in the spring, summer and autumn, on a Tuesday evening from 5.30pm - 7.30pm at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve. As a volunteer, this is a great way to learn about our parks and improve your natural history skills with the potential to help deliver future Outdoor Learning sessions. The children are unaccompanied, so we require a DBS check to be undertaken by the volunteers which we provide for you.
Youth Rangers is a volunteer group for young people aged 15-17 interested in gaining hands-on skills and experience in environmental work. The programme provides outdoor learning opportunities and challenges that will help prepare participants, both professionally and personally, for future studies and careers within the environmental sector. Monthly weekend meetings, led by a member of The Parks Trust staff, cover a variety of interesting and engaging topics which include practical conservation work, wildlife monitoring and surveying, bush craft skills, traditional crafts, working with the community, adventure activities, and much more. The session runs from 10:00-12:00 and the volunteer role would be to support the ranger in the delivery of the session.
Howe Park Wood Education Centre and Ambassadors - during school holidays in 2019
We would like to be able to have the centre open for people to come and find out more about the work of The Parks Trust and the wood during weekends and holiday periods. A team of volunteers would be required to help man the building, hand out activity sheets and talk to the public about our work. Full training would be given.
To register your interest, please apply by emailing volunteering@theparkstrustcom.
- Howe Park Wood AmbassadorsInterested in becoming a volunteer at Howe Park Wood centre? Click here to find out more:
- Meet The Outdoor Learning TeamClick here to meet The Outdoor Learning Team
- Outdoor LearningClick here to find out more about our Outdoor Learning Team
- Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Education CentreLinford Lakes Nature reserve Education Centre main page