Canoe Safari Support

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire

Volunteer • Full or Part Time 01453891240 Sarah Hall

Reference: CSS-SL-18

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental education

Closing date: Monday, 4th June 2018  

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 the canoe safari, visitors can take to the water to see the wetlands and wildlife from a new perspective.

In greeting our visitors with a warm welcome to the canoe safari and assisting with the day-to-day operations you will be helping visitors enjoy a memorable experience every time they visit.

Who will be responsible for your role? Grounds Manager

Where will you be based? Canoe Safari

How much time will it take? The canoe safari is open from Easter throughout the summer season until the end of September. It is then open during weekends and holidays until the end of October.

Part-time and full-time placements are available. The Canoe Trail is open from 11am – 4pm but we will mutually agree the hours you are able to contribute.

What will you be doing?

  • Greeting visitors, explaining how to engage in the activity and sharing seasonal highlights about the wildlife and wetland habitat of the canoe trail
  • Supporting the canoe safari operator in the preparation, hiring and clearing away of canoes and associated equipment
  • Ensuring the canoes are safe to use and that all canoes and accessories are checked between each use, cleaned if necessary and kept in good working order
  • Assisting with providing instruction and advice to visitors on using the canoe safely and to ensure buoyancy aids are provided and fitted correctly. Ensuring health safety instructions and standards are strictly adhered to
  • Reporting any damage or repairs to the canoe safari operator and to assist with keeping accurate records of all canoe hire and maintenance
  • Ensuring visitors read and sign the conditions of the canoe hire agreement
  • Assisting with taking payment for the hire of the canoes and buoyancy aids. Ensuring accurate financial records are kept for all hires
  • Supporting with the maintenance of the canoe trail habitat and the grounds around the canoe safari through regular cleaning, horticulture and clearance work.
  • Assisting the Grounds team with the smooth running of events and group bookings.

Who are we looking for?

Please note that due to the levels of responsibility and insurance arrangements volunteers in this role must be over 18 years of age.

To carry out this role, you will need:

  • Experience of successful face-to-face contact with the public
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and a commitment to excellent customer service
  • An interest in and enthusiasm for the work of WWT
  • An understanding of the safe operation of canoes
  • An ability to use initiative, take responsibility and seek help from staff when necessary, when responding to the visitors and their enquiries
  • An interest in hands-on conservation and a desire to develop practical experience

How will you benefit?

  • An exciting opportunity to contribute to an internationally important wetland centre
  • Volunteer in an amazing environment with a friendly, sociable team
  • Discover more about conservation and gain experience in this field
  • Training, support and uniform provided
  • 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.

General notes:

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 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 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

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.

Please mention when responding to this ad.