Grounds Support Placement

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire

Volunteer • Full or Part Time

www.wwt.org.uk sarah.hall@wwt.org.uk 01453891240 Sarah Hall

Reference: GSP-SL-18

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental education

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!


At WWT, we believe the best way for people to understand and connect to wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close and let it do the talking. At WWT Slimbridge we offer our visitors an exciting opportunity get closer to some truly amazing wildlife by managing a bio-diverse, natural environment to enjoy all year round.

Our Grounds team are looking for a long-term volunteer to support them in undertaking a range of hands-on practical tasks that will directly enhance the grounds at the centre and our visitors’ enjoyment of it. These will be predominantly outdoor tasks and take place throughout all seasons of the year. This is an ideal opportunity for someone who is looking to develop their skills in the area to support their studies or who may be looking for a career in the field.

Who will be responsible for your role? Grounds Manager

Where will you be based? Slimbridge

How much time will it take? Minimum three months for between three and five days a week.

What will you be doing?

  • Helping with exhibit preparation and maintenance including weed control, pruning, mowing and the use of strimming equipment.
  • Assisting with the horticultural work within the tropical house, including pruning, watering and planting.
  • Operating machinery with proper regard to safety regulations, using all tools safely and correctly; and observing and applying Health & Safety regulations at all times. All training will be given and PPE will be supplied.
  • Ensuring the safety, welfare and enjoyment of the visiting public.
  • Assisting with volunteers and volunteer groups.
  • Assisting with off-show nursery work and managing our composting site with the use of a shredder and occasional bonfires.
  • Assisting when necessary with rota duties such as path cleaning, litter picking and bench cleaning.

Who are we looking for?

  • Someone who can commit to volunteering for a minimum of three months. The start date is negotiable if doing it as part of a college placement.
  • Someone with experience of horticulture/ grounds management or who is completing a course in a related subject. All training will be provided.
  • Someone with knowledge of native and non-native plants or who is very keen to learn.
  • Able to work independently when needed and see a task through to its end.
  • Able to work as part of a team within the grounds department, alongside other volunteers and occasional volunteer groups.
  • As nearly all our volunteering roles take place in view of the public, you should have good communication skills and be willing to engage with our visitors to answer any queries and promote WWT as a whole.

How will you benefit?

  • This is an excellent opportunity to volunteer within an internationally important wetland site and gain outdoor experience within an established horticulture team
  • Suitable uniform is provided to all volunteers along with any PPE that is required
  • Discount is available in the cafe and shop on the days of volunteering
  • Free entry to all WWT wetland centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge.
  • Training opportunities will be provided on such machines as mowers, strimmers and tractors
  • We will support you to undertake a project if required for any course that you are undertaking
  • Accommodation in the volunteer hostel may be available for full-time volunters

General notes:

This position may require volunteering during evenings, weekends and public holidays to ensure the objectives of the project are met. The exact hours you are able to contribute will be discussed prior to placement and advance notice will be given if we require a change of day.

The grounds department working hours are between 8am and 4.30pm and we would require this volunteer placement to volunteer to the same hours where possible.

There are various options for travelling to WWT Slimbridge. Cam & Dursley rail station is a 3.5 mile cycle or taxi ride away. Unfortunately there is no bus service directly to Slimbridge: the nearest services stop is at the A38 leaving a walk through the village to reach us. Ample car parking spaces are available at the Centre, and there may be opportunities to lift share with other WWT staff or volunteers.

This position is entirely voluntary and is therefore unpaid. Any offer of a volunteer placement is not intended to create a legally binding contract between us and any agreement may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.

How to Apply:

Please go to www.wwt.org.uk/volunteer and complete the online application form which can be found along with full details of this role. Any problems finding or completing the application form should be reported by emailing volunteer.slimbridge@wwt.org.uk

Applicants will be asked to come to the centre and meet the team, find out more about the role and discuss availability before being offered a placement.


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