Celebrating our volunteers

Volunteer doing a survey

A big thank you

Put simply, the RSPB couldn't do what we do without our volunteers. Last year, they donated more than one million hours of precious free time to help us save nature, and every minute made a difference.

This Volunteers’ Week we want to thank all our volunteers for everything they do, and to showcase and celebrate their many and varied roles.

As communities have come together during the coronavirus crisis, volunteering has become more important and visible than ever. Many of our RSPB Local Groups have kept active during this time, and with nature providing a source of joy and comfort for many, we know their efforts have been appreciated.

If you’ve been inspired and want to join the fight for nature, then please read on!

Celebrating wildlife from front gardens

Residents of the village of Great Waldingfield in Suffolk found novel ways to use their gardens during the lockdown to celebrate wildlife, entertain local children, and raise money for the RSPB! Villagers created displays on their front lawns and driveways with information on a range of different wildlife, including foxes, owls, hedgehogs, woodpeckers, robins, butterflies, swifts, frogs and much more.

A map was created showing the locations of all the different gardens along with a fun tick list to help children find the various animals and insects during their daily exercise.  They also set up a Just Giving page and put out collection boxes, as well as offering RSPB pin badges. One resident even took orders for knitted owl and hedgehog soft toys. The activities were a huge success, and raised a fantastic £503 for the RSPB.

The lockdown situation has in many ways brought out the best in people and this is a great example of a village community coming together and creating something very positive, and raising funds into the bargain!

Fundraising poems from lockdown

RSPB volunteer and poet Colin Mitchell put pen to paper to raise funds for the RSPB as part of the 2.6 Challenge this April. Colin started volunteering for the RSPB in November 2014, and gained a great insight into both our conservation work, and the amazing contribution of our volunteers. He used the challenge as an inspiration to write 26 poems, and all of them can be read at www.cmpoetry.webs.com/poems. Here’s an extract from a poem called ‘Frogs’. Thank you Colin!

The bigger frogs eat even more
Like flies and little bugs
They help control these tiny pests
And also eat the slugs
So, happy is the gardener
To see amphibian friend
Who keeps an eye on harmful things
While he, the plants can tend

Virtual events during lockdown

RSPB Local Groups are known for their fun trips and events. But with the lockdown restrictions in place, some have managed to find innovative ways of staying connected and reaching out to other wildlife enthusiasts.

The RSPB Central London Local Group adapted its normal programme of activities, replacing planned dawn chorus walks with ‘virtual’ walks. This allowed members to watch and listen to live-streams and provide written comments and questions. To spread the benefit even further, they also created a YouTube channel so that two videos of these 'virtual' walks could be viewed by a much larger audience. Here’s the link if you’d like to take a peek:

RSPB Central London Local Group

Great work by a Local Group that’s been as busy as ever during this period!

Crucial contribution for nature

RSPB volunteers undertake a huge diversity of different roles. They get out on nature reserves tackling invasive species and building new paths; they help monitor nest sites and protect vulnerable species; they visit schools to inspire the next generation; they fundraise, answer phones, help with administration work, take photos, run events…

They are amazing.

This year, the immense contribution that volunteers make, not only to the RSPB, but to our society as a whole, has probably never been clearer.

But when we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we will still face a climate and ecological emergency, with the nature we love and depend on in very real danger of disappearing. Volunteers will be needed more than ever to help support the fight for nature.

Make a difference from home

Due to on-going restrictions, many volunteering roles are currently on hold. But you can still make a difference! Here are some ideas for how you can volunteer from home:

  • Join an RSPB Local Group
  • Map your local swifts
  • Join the pufferazzi and send in your puffin pics
  • Give nature a home where you live
  • Become a newsletter editor
  • Help us with bilingual publications

Try something new

100 Volunteering opportunities. Updated daily

Switch to Ecotricity (green energy)

Various locations
up to 15 minutes
I've got less than an hour

Become our facebook fan and follow us on twitter

Become a fan of RSPB Volunteering or Love Nature on Facebook. Share our posts and together we can go viral encouraging others to give nature a home.

Various locations
up to 15 minutes
I've got less than an hour

Feed wildlife in your garden

How to provide food to encourage wildlife to visit your garden (or even the car park where you work) so you can give nature a home.

Various locations
up to 15 minutes per action
I've got less than an hour

Give nature a home where you live

Sign up on our giving nature a home site to find out about easy ways to build homes for nature where you live.

Various locations
up to 15 minutes per action
I've got less than an hour

Green living at home and work

Quick and easy actions for a sustainable environment for our homes for nature.

Various locations
up to 15 minutes per action
I've got less than an hour