Volunteer crouching down planting a tree sapling in the ground with a spade next to him
Volunteer

Give your time and make a difference

Our amazing army of volunteers helps us with all aspects of creating and managing the Forest, including tree planting, wildlife surveying and assisting with our education programmes.

There are a variety of ways that you can volunteer with the Heart of England Forest:

  • You can support our estate management and help to grow and preserve the Forest, planting trees and looking after our existing woodlands.
  • There are opportunities to support our biodiversity programme, growing our understanding of the changing face of our landscape.
  • You can get involved with Forest events, increasing the profile of the Forest and engaging with our local communities.
  • If you are interested in supporting us from home, we also offer a range of micro volunteering activities.
Infographic showing the number of volunteer hours given in 2019/20
Infographic showing the number of volunteer hours given in 2019/20
On

Practical volunteering in the Forest

Two volunteers sitting on the ground helping to construct the metal frame for a polytunnel in our tree nursery

We pride ourselves on the flexibility of our regular practical volunteering sessions. You can volunteer as much or as little as you would like, giving you the best opportunity to fit volunteering into your daily life.

We do also offer some roles which provide a longer term experience for those looking to further their commitment to the Forest.

Keep up to date with upcoming activities and register to take part.
"Living in the heart of Birmingham I have truly appreciated the opportunity to continue to do voluntary work in the great outdoors. It was truly restorative, and I came away with an intense feeling of being at peace."
Pete, volunteer
Volunteer Pete standing in the Forest holding loppers
"Micro volunteering has given me a challenge that I could do in my own time and at my own speed. It has kept me going over the long gap from being out in the countryside and I have learnt a lot.”
Janice, micro volunteer
Janice sitting at a desk at home carrying our micro volunteering tasks

Frequently Asked Questions

Which days of the week can I volunteer?

At present our regular volunteering days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. We also have volunteering opportunities which you can perform in your own time. Sign up for volunteering news to see what activities are coming up.

Our normal volunteering days run from 9.30am to 3.30pm, some activities will vary.

How much time do I need to volunteer?

How much time you give is up to you. For our regular volunteering activities, there is no fixed time you need to volunteer. We like to keep our activities flexible and open to all.

There are some activities which will require a longer-term commitment; however we will ensure you are aware of this before you begin.

We also occasionally offer opportunities which can be performed at home. If you would like to learn more about this, please sign up to receive volunteering news for current micro volunteering opportunities.

What do I need to bring?

For our outdoor activities we recommend that you bring a solid pair of work boots (including steel toecaps if possible) or a pair of wellies, lunch and any refreshments you may need through the day.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are also asking that you provide your own pair of work gloves.

We will provide all of the tools and equipment that you will need.

If you need anything beyond this it will be noted in the activity description in volunteering news. 

Where do the practical volunteering activities take place?

The Heart of England Forest covers 7,000 acres of land, with volunteering activities occurring in multiple locations.

The meeting point for volunteering activities will be provided when you sign up for an activity.

What age do I need to be to volunteer?

To attend our group practical volunteering activities, you need to be 18 years and older. 


We do offer other activities for different age groups under 18.

I would like to plant trees, when can I do this?

Our winter work programme, including tree planting, is normally held between November 1st and March 31st. During this time we will hold tree planting days on some of our regular volunteering days, alongside additional event days.

During the winter we also focus on maintaining our existing woodland. During the summer we focus on various tasks across the Forest, maintaining and managing our existing woodland.

How can my company get involved in volunteering?

We already work alongside a variety of companies and organisations who support our work and help us to grow and maintain the Forest. 

If your company would like to get involved please visit our corporate volunteering page.

How can my community group get involved in volunteering?

We are keen to have a wide range of people to come and volunteer with us in the Forest, and we can facilitate volunteering days for community groups. 

If your community group would like to get involved, please contact alicia.turner@heartofenglandforest.org

Will I get any training as a volunteer?

We provide all the training needed to take part in our activities and to support our work, and we like to see our volunteers develop and grow their skillsets. There will be a variety of on-the-day training opportunities, as well as some special training opportunities on occasion.

We also provide appropriate training for formalised volunteer roles, ensuring that they have the skills needed to perform their role.


 

Do you offer any residential volunteering opportunities?

We do not at present offer any residential volunteering opportunities. However, this is something we would like to offer in future for those who would like to commit to an extended volunteering experience out in the Forest.

Keep up to date with upcoming activities and register to take part.