Flora Volunteer

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum (Forestry Commission)

Tetbury, Gloucestershire

Volunteer • Part Time

volunteer.westonbirt@forestryengland.uk Alice Chadwick

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Westonbirt is a haven for wildflowers, grasses and ferns, some of them rare and endangered. Flora volunteers support staff in collecting vital data for the continued conservation of diverse species at the arboretum, whilst contributing to a national register. Surveying methods used include an adaptation of the rapid assessment method for monitoring grassland designed by Natural England (Robertson and Jefferson 2000). This role supports and informs management of our wild flora in accordance with the arboretum’s 2015 Flora and Sward Management Plan.


Monitoring and recording takes place in accordance with the Flora and Sward Management Plan during the season from February to October. Team meetings are held at the beginning and end of the season.

What’s involved?

  • Identifying herbaceous plants (both in and out of flower), often with the use of a hand lens; some work close to ground level is required.
  • Undertaking National Vegetation Classification (NVC) based quadrat surveys.
  • Accurately monitoring and recording flora data.
  • Sending information to the data recording volunteer via email or hard copy
  • Attending review meetings.

NB. There could also be the opportunity to join our group of Fauna volunteers (surveying for bumblebees and butterflies) for those interested.

We’d like you to

  • be enthusiastic with a positive attitude and the ability to be part of a team
  • have a sound knowledge of wildflowers and flora in general
  • have good attention to detail and a keen willingness to learn more
  • be keen to expand/share specialist knowledge.

We will

  • Provide training to cover all aspects of the role, with ongoing help and support
  • Provide all materials and equipment with appropriate instruction
  • Advise that terrain may be uneven, rough or muddy and you will be walking on and off pathways with some steep inclines; sturdy boots/shoes are needed
  • Invite you to regular meetings/training.
  • Pay a contribution to the cost of volunteering travel.Have copies of the Vegetative Key to the British Flora by John Poland and Eric Clement, and the New Flora of the British Isles by Clive Stace for you to use; the ‘Wildflower Key’ by Frances Rose (published by Warne) is also recommended.

Please send your application to us

By email to volunteer.westonbirt@forestryengland.uk or by post to Alice Chadwick, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury GL8 8QS

Please mention environmentjob.co.uk when responding to this ad.