Sign in

Get involved – volunteer!

Anyone can volunteer to help us. We rely heavily on volunteers and members, who generously share their time and knowledge to help us make a difference.

Society volunteers undertaking woodland management

Each year over 100 people volunteer to help the Society 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.

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, wanting to give something back to the Society, to help conserve nature or educate others about it.

If you are interested in volunteering to help us, please check 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:

Social Media Officer (Voluntary)

Deadline for applications: 5.00pm Thursday 3 January

NHSN aims to connect as many people as possible with nature in the North East. Simply put, we encourage individuals to study, appreciate and enjoy wildlife and wild spaces. We are looking for someone to join us as part of our ‘Towards 2029’ project and work alongside NHSN staff to plan and deliver exciting natural history content across our existing social media channels.

This is an exciting opportunity to work alongside one of the UK’s longest standing natural history societies and help us produce engaging content as we head towards our 200th birthday. This role should require no more than 5 hours of commitment per week and is fully flexible, able to be carried out from home, or from the NHSN office in the Great North Museum: Hancock. Content can also be published directly, or scheduled using Buffer to cover a set amount of time.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A sound knowledge of the natural world
  • Good organisational and planning skills
  • A proven written communicator
  • A flair for creativity
  • Familiarity with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • Strong IT skills
  • Self-motivation
  • A firm grasp of the type of content that appeals to different audiences

What’s in it for you?

  • Build on existing skills and gain further experience is social media curation
  • An excellent opportunity to play a role in inspiring others about nature, natural history, conservation and local wildlife
  • Support and guidance from NHSN staff
  • A chance to add a personal touch to NHSN communications and input further ideas for development
  • Enhanced CV by volunteering with a well-known and exciting conservation organisation
  • The opportunity to attend, and report from, NHSN events free of charge
  • The chance to get involved in other aspects of nature communications of interest to you, personally. I.e. editing, copywriting.

For those taking part in our Student Naturalist Award Scheme, this role will also count towards the achievement of each tier.

Should this role interest you, please email a CV and short introductory email (no need for a cover letter) to A drop-in session will be held on Wednesday 09 January to allow candidates to meet NHSN staff.

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  Please name the files using the following format: species.location©your name

You will be credited for your images.

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.


Help us to scan images and enter digital information onto our electronic cataloguing system so that it can be seen online.


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.

** We are currently fully staffed at the Library **


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).

Marketing, Publicity & Communications

  • Help write articles for the Society newsletter, e-newsletter and social media.
  • Attend events and promote the natural world and the work of the Society.
  • Take good quality photos that we could use on our website or in our publications.
  • Distribute leaflets and posters about the Society and our work.
  • If you have experience of working with the media we need help developing stories and writing press releases.

Project Development & Fundraising

  • Help research suitable funding bodies, grant-giving organisations and wealthy philanthropists.
  • Research ways that the Society could improve its ability to generate income and help to take these ideas forwards. For example we would like to benefit more from legacies, donations and fundraising campaigns.
  • Develop and carry out fundraising activities.

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.


  • Write papers for inclusion in our journal or newsletter.
  • Help to edit scientific papers for our Northumbrian Naturalist journal (Feb/March and Sept/Oct).

Charity Governance – become a trustee

The Society is run by our members through an elected Council of up to 21 people, who are also the trustees for the Society. The NHSN Council meets 3 times per year and is the key decision-making body. Following a review the Society is looking to broaden the skills and experience of its governing body and we are now seeking nominations from people with:

  • experience of charity fundraising or membership recruitment;
  • experience of financial investments.

If you are looking for an opportunity to help and have relevant experience then we would love to hear from you. Please contact our Director on 0191 208 2790 or via e-mail at:, and they can provide more details about the roles and how to apply.