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.
Examples of how volunteers help us
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.
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 Ecologists 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.
Visitor Centre Volunteer
Visitor Centre 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 Hoveton Tourist Information Centre, or Toad Hole Cottage at How Hill.
Communications volunteers work in reporting, information, social media design, website and photography roles to help the Broads Authority Communications Team. They help to research news stories to bring information to the attention of Broads Authority staff, volunteers 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 you can learn a variety of new skills.
Yacht Station Volunteer
Yacht Station Volunteers give support to Quay Rangers at the Broads Authority Yacht Stations at Yarmouth, Norwich and Reedham Quay. They are often the first Broads Authority affiliated person visitors to the park experience. Essential qualities for Yacht Station Volunteers include confident communication skills and a willingness to engage with the public to help them enjoy their time in the National Park safely at busy tourist locations.
Potter Heigham Volunteer
Potter Heigham Volunteers are a 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 needed.
Barton Boardwalk Volunteer
Barton Boardwalk Volunteers are locally based and carry out site checks and help with maintenance tasks on the Barton Boardwalk, associated car parks, footpaths and toilet block. They carry out activities such as mowing, litter picking, keeping signs clean, update notices and engage with the public. They may also find themselves working with the Ranger Team for the area when needed.
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 need capable volunteers to handle spreadsheets, databases and data manipulation. The Database and Administration Volunteer roles can either be separate or combined roles dependent on the interests and skills of the volunteer.
As an Administration Volunteer you will provide support for our Education Officer and other Broads Authority staff 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. The Administration and Database Volunteer roles can either be separate or combined roles dependent on the interests and skills of the volunteer.