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Volunteering news

Welcome to the volunteering news page. Here you can read our latest volunteering news, updates, volunteer stories, and explore opportunities to get involved with us. Whether you’re already a volunteer, or you’re looking for opportunities to join in and make a difference for wild plants and fungi, read our news articles to discover more about what our volunteers get up to and the difference they make to the work we do.

A teenager and a woman looking closely at a wildflower whilst crouching low in a wildflower field on a sunny day

Get involved

As a Plantlife volunteer there’s always something you can get involved in. Here’s a roundup of upcoming talks and training opportunities.

wildflower lawn

Online talk: Let it Bloom June – Wednesday 12 June 7pm

A talk for our members and volunteers.

So maybe you didn’t mow in May – but what now? Our green space and road verge team will share how #NoMowMay can open up a world of different habitats and ways to manage your garden, green space or road verge through the rest of summer. They will be joined by a representative of a local authority who will share their #NoMowMay experiences.

Booking link will be sent via your Volunteer Manager.

A person wearing sunglasses amongst wild plants

Smartphone Filmmaking – Online Training Workshop for Plantlife Volunteers

Session 1: Wednesday 26th June,10:00 – 12:30

Session 2: Wednesday 3rd July,10:00 – 12:30

Join an experienced film maker in this 2-part online smartphone filmmaking course. No experience necessary for this introductory course, just access to a smartphone. Participants will be guided through the film making process, skills for story telling and filming, along with set up and editorial skills and practice.

We would like volunteers accessing this training to pledge to provide a short video clip about their volunteering using the new skills learned from the course, with support provided. We can’t wait to see your stories!

Booking: This course is for registered Plantlife volunteers only. We have limited spaces, so early booking is essential. Please only book if you are able to make both sessions.

Further Information: This is an online 2-part workshop via Zoom video call. You do not need a Zoom account to join, just a computer/laptop, tablet or mobile device connected to the internet. Registered participants simply follow the joining instructions sent ahead of the meeting.

Trainer: Ben Langdon – Mile 91 Ltd.

Hemlock flowerhead

Online talk: Murder most florid- Thursday 11 July 7pm

A talk for our members and volunteers.

Plants too are silent witnesses to crimes. Their presence in many crime scenes can help an investigator identify a suspect or locate a victim. Forensic botanist Dr Mark Spencer will share how apparently mundane plants such as brambles and nettles can provide valuable insights into when a crime was committed or place a suspect at a scene. Plantlife’s Dr Rachel Murphy will talk about other ways in which botanical records can be used for good.

Booking link will be sent via your Volunteer Manager.

Learn more about Plantlife on our YouTube channel

Learn more about the subjects that spark your interest on Plantlife YouTube channel.

Plantlife – YouTube

Plantlife e-learning course – Identifying Woodland Ferns

Get familiar with ferns! Develop the skills you need to identify woodland ferns and learn more about the history of ferns and their cultural significance in this e-learning course.

Identifying Woodland Ferns e-learning course

Featured projects

Here’s a roundup of some of our featured projects all of which involve volunteers, or will be involving volunteers in the future. This section will be added to over time as we shine the spotlight on our different projects. Be sure to check back in to keep an eye on the variety of different ways volunteers are working with us.

Peak District Scarce PlantsBurnt-Tip Orchid (Orchis ustulata).

Peak District Scarce Plants

Ann Cantrell, Senior Ecological Advisor (Peak District) – 'With funding from Natural England, we are running a pilot project to monitor some of the Peak District’s rarest plants. This work will help us understand how the populations of these plants are faring across the White Peak landscape, what changes are happening, and to learn more about their needs, so we can better protect them and secure their long-term future. With volunteer support, we will collect data from multiple sites and monitor species to learn about their specialist habitat requirements and the threats they face.'

National Plant Monitoring Scheme

National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS)

Dr Rachel Murphy, NPMS Volunteer Manager – ' The NPMS is a nationwide partnership project, supported by hundreds of volunteer citizen scientists, who do botanical surveys every year at their allocated sites. These long-term surveys are providing data that enables us to study the abundance and diversity of plants over time across 30 different semi-natural habitats. Our volunteers have access to an ongoing programme of training and events both online and in person.

Glaswelltiroedd Gwydn  (Resilient Grasslands) projectWildflower meadow landscape with a variety of species near Cardiff, Wales

Glaswelltiroedd Gwydn (Resilient Grasslands) project

Lawrence Harris, Project Officer Resilient Grasslands – 'Our native grasslands in Wales are a huge asset; vital for nature and people to thrive, for food production, biodiversity and to help combat climate change. Our project is working to conserve and enhance some of our most important grassland habitats. Over the next 2.5 years there will be opportunities to help with grassland surveys, take part in land management days, take part in training and take part in the Waxcap Watch anywhere in Wales using our app.'

Cairngorms Rare Plants & Wild Connections

Cairngorms Rare Plants & Wild Connections

Sam Jones, Project Manager Cairngorms Rare Plants and Wild Connections – 'This project is in its final few months. Our volunteers have made an excellent effort this summer through some terrible weather to get the last of the hard work done. From watering Twinflower cuttings during an exceptional dry spell, surveying our mob grazing trial meadows in the pouring rain, to watching the flood waters rise and cover our waxcaps during fungi surveys. It’s been an eventful year! Thank you to all volunteers who dedicated their time helping out.'

Natur am Byth!tiny green cup like lichens

Natur am Byth – Mini Wonders of the Welsh Marches

Ellie Baggett, Project Officer Natur am Byth! – 'Summer 2023 saw the launch of Natur am Byth, Wales’ largest natural heritage and outreach programme to save species from extinction and reconnect people to nature. Through our Welsh Marches project, we’re working in Powys, focussing on rare and fascinating lichens and bryophytes of veteran trees and dry rocky outcrops; communities which are increasingly at risk. Watch this space for upcoming events, training, and volunteering opportunities!'

Species on the Edge

Species on the Edge, North Coast

Louise Senior, People Engagement Officer, Species on the Edge, North Coast – 'Species on the Edge is a collaborative approach to environmental action across Scotland’s coasts and islands. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the programme is overseen by NatureScot with partners from 7 conservation charities. On Scotland’s north coast, Plantlife is delivering work on behalf of Butterfly Conservation, Buglife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Volunteers can help conserve the Great Yellow bumblebee, Small Blue butterfly and the Leaf beetle, as well as Scottish Primrose, Oysterplant and Purple Oxytropis.

The website and the images on this Volunteer page is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, CC BY 4.0.

The project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to recruit and develop our Digital Volunteers programme.