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Volunteer with NHSN

Anyone can volunteer with NHSN. As a small charity, we rely on our volunteers and members who generously share their time and knowledge to help us make a difference.

Each year over 100 people volunteer to help NHSN in some way. By giving anything from a few hours a year to several days a week, these volunteers help with a variety of tasks and together, form the backbone of our organisation.

People of all ages and backgrounds volunteer their time to learn new skills, gain work experience, meet new people or simply because of personal interest and a passion for conservation and education.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please check out our current volunteering opportunities below and then get in contact with us by phone or e-mail. We will then discuss with you in more detail the types of activities you are interested in and the best way for you to help us. You can then come along and have a go and see if it’s for you-you don’t need to make a commitment straight away.

Current opportunities include:

Helping at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

We have regular friendly volunteer work parties at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve, meeting on a weekly basis on a Wednesday morning all year, and on a monthly basis on the last Saturday of the month from October to March.

All volunteer sessions are from 10am-1pm, meeting at the reserve entrance (click for directions). Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and suitable footwear (we recommend wellies), and bring with you any drinks/snacks to keep you going. Everyone is welcome, including friends and family, as long as you are able to carry out light physical work. No need to book, just turn up. We will go ahead in rain but not heavy snow!

Volunteer Warden. We need help protecting the reserve and its wildlife (click here for details). We have an annual recruitment and training session for this role before Easter each year, so please contact us before mid-March.

Photos and videos of the reserve. We welcome hi-resolution photos of the reserve and its flora and fauna for the NHSN image library to help promote wildlife and our work. If you would like to add to our library, please email them to us at nhsn@ncl.ac.uk.  Please name the files using the following format: species.location©your name

You will be credited for your images.

Event leads wanted

Could you lead a guided walk, deliver a talk or run a targeted field trip to show NHSN members the very best of North East nature? If this is the case, we’d love to hear from you. Contact james.common@newcastle.ac.uk for more information, or to propose an idea.

Voluntary Officer

We have a 6-month volunteer placement to help us with our work. Next placement opportunity is April-Sept. Click for details of what this involves.

Nature Writers wanted

Whether you wish to extol the virtues of your local patch and its wildlife, or garner support for a new conservation initiative, project or research scheme, we’re always on the lookout for bloggers for the NHSN website. If you’re interested in writing for NHSN, please email james.common@newcastle.ac.uk

Archives

If you are interested in the history of natural history and feel you could dedicate one day or half a day a week researching in our archives then volunteering with us will be a rewarding experience for you. We are currently looking for dedicated volunteers to research the life histories of local naturalists, assist with cataloguing collections and to transcribe the many fascinating manuscript letters and documents held in our archive.

Events support

Could you help us ensure that NHSN events, field trips and talks run smoothly? Perhaps you would be happy to welcome guests, distribute promotional materials or take photographs to document the occasion. If so, please consider joining us as an events support volunteer. Please email nhsn.director@newcastle.ac.uk for further information.

Library

Help us open and run the library in the Great North Museum: Hancock on the first Saturday in the month from 11am-3pm. Training provided.

Charity administration and support

  • Investments Committee. We are looking for people who have some knowledge or experience of financial investments to join our committee overseeing the Society’s investments.
  • Work with staff to run day-to-day Society affairs: processing memberships, dealing with enquiries from members and the general public, etc.
  • Delivery of our publications in the area where you live (April, Sept & Dec).
  • Helping to label and fill envelopes, sort for delivery and frank postage (March, Aug & Nov).

Nature Conservation & Research

  • Input records of flora and fauna into the North East Environmental Records Centre.
  • Train to be a qualified bird ringer (April-Sept). (See Bird ringing section here)
  • Help us with our butterfly transect survey at Gosforth Park (April-Sept) – you need to be competent at identifying local butterfly species.
  • Carry out surveys of amphibians or invertebrates at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve (you will need to be qualified to do this).
  • Carry out your own surveys or research using Society resources such as our nature reserve, library, archives and museum collection.