Volunteering is a great way to make friends, get outside and contribute to the running of the Broads National Park. The Broads began their life as peat diggings which means that due to their human-made nature they're in need of maintenance all year round to benefit the wildlife, boaters, locals and tourists alike.
There are a number of different ways that volunteers help us look after the Broads National Park.
Please view our current volunteering opportunities page to see which roles we currently need volunteers for.
The Broads Authority also offers opportunities for group volunteering experiences.
The role of practical volunteer is perfect for anybody eager to get outside and help the Broads National Park in a hands-on way. Duties can be as varied as responding to incidents (perhaps clearing a fallen tree or mending a quay heading) to more seasonal duties such as fen management through the winter months and in the summer months the removal of invasive plant species. It’s the perfect role for keeping fit and making friends.
Winter Practical Volunteer
If you fancy volunteering through the winter months, when many other outdoor activities have finished, then a seasonal role as a winter practical volunteer could be for you. Volunteering from October to March you would be mainly working on the management of vegetation in key areas. It’s a great way to be part of a team and to enjoy the Broads when they are at their quietest.
The ranger volunteer role is there to help Broads Authority Rangers in their day-to-day activities and is perfect for individuals who are happy to split their time between land and water. Duties mainly come in the form of liaising with the public and enhancing and protecting the national park. Likely activities will include mooring maintenance, management of countryside sites, maintenance of navigation signage, patrolling the river catchment and assisting with the distribution of Broads Authority publications. All ranger volunteers take a modular training programme over a two to three year period.
Disclaimer: Ranger volunteers work in teams based on river catchments and recruits will preferably be local to the specific Ranger Team Area Base. This is done to maximise local engagement and knowledge of the area while minimising carbon footprint and travel costs. As a result of this preference is given to individuals best placed in the River Catchment.
The role of survey volunteer is to assist the Broads Authority’s Environment Officers with their survey work covering a range of species and habitats. The data gathered by these volunteers is important for monitoring the Authority’s work throughout the Broads National Park. Survey volunteers do not need a history of survey work but they must be prepared to learn new techniques to a high standard so as to collect the most accurate information possible.
Education volunteers are individuals with a passion for the environment and engaging with young people. The role works to support our Broads Authority Education Officer with school engagements. The role will focus on an array of educational subjects and you will work with a variety of children from different backgrounds. There will be times when you come into contact with children excluded from mainstream education who find it easier to engage in an outdoor setting. If you think you have what it takes to inspire young people then this could be for you.
Events volunteers are the ambassadors for the Broads Authority. As an organisation the Broads Authority runs a large number of events every year and finding volunteers to promote an understanding of the Broads to a wide audience is essential. Events volunteers will be involved in activities, interactive displays and discussions. The key attribute that we are looking for in this role is an enthusiasm to engage with people and a willingness to talk about the remarkable qualities of the Broads National Park.
Tourist Information Volunteer
Tourist Information Volunteers are the faces of the Broads, often being the first Broads Authority affiliated person visitors to the park experience. Essential qualities in these positions include confident communicating and a willingness to engage with the public to help them enjoy their time in the national park. Sites these volunteers can choose to work from include Whitlingham Country Park, Hoveton Tourist Information Centre, or Toad Hole Cottage at How Hill.
Communications volunteers work in reporting and photography roles to put together a newsletter on volunteering activities. They can help to hunt down press release stories for the Broads Authority Communications staff and help to bring the news and on goings of volunteers to the attention of in-house Broads Authority staff and the wider public.
Do you like getting your hands dirty and have good mind for a technical challenge? Fitter volunteers are part of a hands-on team who volunteer from Thorpe maintaining, re-fitting and repairing all plant, vessels and kit which are in need of attention. Experience is not vital but an enthusiasm to learn is. This team is involved in maintaining a large range of assets and as such will you can learn a variety of news skills.
Yacht Station/Reedham Quay Volunteer
These volunteers work in much the same capacity as the volunteers in the sites above however they are situated close to the water and may be required to help in giving advice regarding boats and navigation. It is another customer facing role and will require a confident personality to help guide newcomers to the Broads and provide the correct information for them.
Potter Heigham Volunteer
Potter Heigham volunteers are a fun locally based team who work to maintain the Broads Authority owned areas of Potter Heigham. They work as a team to carry out activities such as mowing, litter picking, keeping signs clean, maintaining an information board and engaging with the public. They will also find themselves working with the ranger team for the area when occasions require it.
Do you live within a three mile radius of Whitlingham Country Park? If the answer is yes then you might be the perfect candidate to assist the Whitlingham ranger team and Tourist Information staff with their day-to-day activities. This volunteer group is independently run and consists of vegetation management, litter picking, and weeding as well as other similar activities which keep the park well cared for and ready for visitors. While Whitlingham volunteers have a practical side to their role it is also vital that they are personable and willing to communicate with members of the public who pass through the park and may ask questions.
Are you a wizard with figures? If so you’ll love our position as a database volunteer. With so many projects on the go and often at the same time, the Broads Authority’s Environment Officers and Ecologists require capable individuals to handle spreadsheets, databases, data and data manipulation. This role involves the collating of information and the analysis of it, bringing together the results of a study or survey. Projects will vary.
When Broads Authority staff have a lot to do, the administration volunteer has a vital role to play in the smooth running of the authority. Supporting our Education Officer and Ecologists, the admin volunteer will provide help with the day to day preparation of education and events materials, data inputting, and general administrative tasks to ensure that we deliver a high level of service to the public and stakeholders.