Volunteering on the Quantocks
Volunteers play a vital role in the AONB and how it functions in a wide variety of ways: they enhance and conserve the landscape of the hills; engage with people using the hills and monitor the wildlife, biodiversity and heritage sites on the hills. Without the hard work and effort of the volunteering teams, the Quantock Hills would be a very different place without them.
Within the AONB there is a wide variety of volunteering opportunities to suit everyone and the time they have spare. Below are just a few of the opportunities available, if you would like to find out more, please get in contact using the information below .
Volunteering During Covid -19
Here at the AONB, following government guidelines, we are currently altering and updating the way our volunteering takes place to ensure that our volunteers and visitors to the AONB are as safe as possible.
We are still taking volunteer enquiries and are happy to answer any questions that you might have but please be aware that we are not running at full capacity and you may be required to be on a waiting list or wait until further Covid 19 restrictions have been eased.
Why Volunteer For Us?
Volunteering with the Quantocks Hills AONB Service, gives you the chance to work across the beautiful protected landscape which the AONB has to offer. You can learn new skills such as practical conservation techniques, heritage monument surveying, wildlife monitoring and engaging the public and other groups on the hills. It is also an opportunity to meet like-minded people living in your local area. We offer various training opportunities to our volunteers.
Volunteer Rangers hedge laying
Where does Volunteering Take Place?
Volunteering takes place all across the Quantock Hills but is often focussed at Cothelstone Hill (which is managed by the AONB). We work with other landowners on the hills (including the National Trust, Forestry England and private landowners) so volunteering sites do vary and we get to work with groups in a wide variety of locations over the hills. The AONB team is based at Fyne Court in Broomfield, so if you have any questions please feel free to pop in and see us.
Bluebells at Cothelstone Hill
The opportunities available can change throughout the year so keep checking our website and social media for updates. If you would like to find out more, then please contact the Volunteer Coordinator using the information below.
This is a key part of conserving and enhancing the AONBs rich flora and fauna. There are various different (often seasonal) biodiversity surveying roles within the AONBs included nightjars, bats and butterflies. We also have a small number of trained specialist volunteers that carry out regular monitoring of protected / rare species such as dormice and pied flycatchers.
Maintaining and conserving the beautiful landscape of the AONB requires constant hard work. This is done by the AONB Service Rangers supported by the Quantock Conservation Volunteers, in collaboration with the National Trust. They do a wide range of activities such as coppicing, scrub removal and dry stone walling to name but a few activities! This is great way to be active in the AONB, learn new skills and work to maintain and conserve the AONB.
Our Volunteer Rangers act as the eyes and ears on the ground doing patrols around the hills, they engage with the public and keep an eye on what's going on. Issues that the Volunteer Rangers notice on their patrols such as fallen trees or broken stock fencing feeds back into the AONB work programme. They also work on public engagement activities such as information points, events or leading guided walks.
Community Engagement Volunteers play an important role in our outreach programme. They help with activities that raise awareness of the natural environment and the local history of the AONB. They also encourage visitor involvement and engagement by assisting with various activities, visits and events and work with groups who otherwise struggle to access the hills. It can be a very varied role with different opportunities to work with a wide variety of groups.
Heritage Monument Volunteers monitor the 51 scheduled monuments which are found within the AONB. These range from the widely known ones such as Trendle Ring, Dowsborough Hill Fort and Dead Woman’s Ditch to the small barrows and cairns hidden amongst the heather on the Northern Commons. This information is used in conjunction with Heritage England to monitor, maintain and preserve the monuments.
Get in Contact:
Email the Volunteer Coordinator at AONBVolunteer@somerset.gov.uk to find out more
and see how you can get involved.
Or sign up here for our the Volunteer Newsletter for the Quantock and Blackdown Hills AONBs
with news, events and opportunities to get involved.
Visit our blog page to see what some of our volunteers have been up to lately!