We are keen to build partnerships with businesses and their employees to work together to provide exciting and rewarding team building Volunteer Conservation Days - days which will have a real impact in improving and protecting Scotland’s iconic natural heritage, biodiversity and wildlife.
Our staff are experienced and skilled in working with volunteers and leading conservation work parties.
To share this exciting opportunity with your manager or employers you can download the information on this page as a pdf
Volunteer as a Team
We offer opportunities for your team to carry out practical conservation and environmental work to remove invasive species from the countryside in our Volunteer Conservation Days. These days connect your team with the local environment and are ideal for building team working skills and enhancing staff morale.
Your staff will experience something completely different as a group. They will have fun, maybe get a bit muddy, and gain a sense of achievement through doing something worthwhile and knowing they are making a real difference to help Scotland’s wildlife and secure the future survival of our iconic native species.
Our staff will share their knowledge, understanding and passion of and for the natural world around us. This will engage with and inspire your team and connect them with their surroundings and natural environment.
What’s involved in a Volunteer Conservation Day?
Of course, we can work with you to tailor a specific programme for your group or team – get in touch if you’d like to do that or have something specific in mind.
A normal day or session could include:
- Removing invasive plant species e.g. hand pulling Himalayan balsam or undertaking important site restoration work e.g. tree or wildflower planting or bank stabilisation, at a site carefully selected by us or by you
- Getting involved in the setting up of a mink raft -a key tool in our work to monitor and then remove American mink from our rivers. You can even adopt and monitor one yourself after the day is done!
- Doing some river invertebrate sampling or helping in an electrofishing survey with our partner fishery trust
- Learning some new tracks, trails or bushcraft skills to help brew up the tea and erect a rain (or sun!) shelter
Obviously, tea breaks and lunch are important parts of the day and we can make them more interesting by introducing team challenges with a real purpose e.g. learn to light the fire to make the tea or put up the shelter.
Our team also welcome individuals or small groups of 2-3 who want to volunteer and help our project. We would be happy to discuss this further with you.
When and where?
Project seasonality means that opportunities are mostly available between April – October. However, there may be some winter tree planting opportunities or the chance to get involved in our mink monitoring work outside this time.
Our project stretches from the River Tay area (Perth) in the south to the remote catchments of North West Sutherland. We can offer opportunities throughout this area, including Tayside, Angus, Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Inverness-shire, Highland and the West coast.
View our project map here.
The benefits for you
- Employees finish a Volunteer Conservation Day feeling re-energised, de-stressed and motivated.
- Team building and communication skills have improved as the group has worked together in a fresh unfamiliar environment, with opportunities for employee bonding and relationship building, and achieved a meaningful task.
- Employees have grown in self-confidence and have better morale through having fun outdoors and helping a nationally and locally important project.
- The day will meaningfully demonstrate your Corporate Social Responsibility values, build staff engagement and loyalty and enhance their (already positive!) view of their employer as they see your genuine commitment to them as individuals and the local environment.
- Positive and beneficial publicity - we can profile and promote our corporate partners in the media, on our website and social media channels to celebrate the great work we have done together. Even better – we can do this together.
- The potential to establish long term volunteering opportunities and partnerships with SISI and local partners.
All we ask for is your time and enthusiasm – as much as you want to offer!
We do however need you to provide your own transport to site, make your own individual catering arrangements and to provide your team with the required personal protective equipment – usually just a pair of work gloves each. We can help you with these arrangements if you like.
Safety & insurance
The activities are all fully risk assessed, and your leader will carry out a safety briefing at the start of the day. All our staff are qualified first aiders and first aid kits will be on site. The organisation hosting the activity has the relevant insurance in place to cover your volunteering activity.
Why do we need you?
Invasive species are a great threat to the native wildlife of Scotland, (read more about the impacts of invasive species). Our project is funded for 4 years, so to be successful and create a long-term sustainable solution to controlling invasive species we need your help.
By recruiting volunteers, building strong partnerships and providing training, we aim to embed invasive species control at a local level, within communities and local businesses and supported by the local fishery trusts. That way there will be a long-term commitment to continuing the good work after SISI has ended.
To discuss working with us, please get in contact;
Project Manager; Callum Sinclair. [email protected] - 01671 404705 - 07880 601951 - NatureScot, Holmpark Industrial Estate, New Galloway Road, Newton Stewart, DG8 6BF
We'd love to hear from you!