Search site
»

Getting involved - volunteering

Do you have any spare time? Do you enjoy being out in the fresh air and meeting new people? Do you care about your local countryside? Yes? Then how about lending a hand working with the Countryside Team and become a Volunteer Ranger?

  

Weekend Volunteer Ranger (18+ yrs)

Volunteer Walk Leader (18+yrs)

Visitor Centre Volunteer (18+yrs)

Monday Volunteer Ranger (16+yrs)

Who is the Countryside Team?

Who are the Colchester Volunteer Ranger Service.

Weekend Volunteer Ranger (18+ yrs)

Time: Usually one Saturday or Sunday a month, 10am - 4pm.

Location: The start and finish base for the days activities is High Woods Country Park but throughout the day you could be working on any one of our many sites in and around Colchester.

The Role: A very varied role. Volunteers will mostly work in pairs and be given a list of tasks to work on independently throughout the day. These tasks could include the following; carrying out practical maintenance and conservation work, assisting visitors, patrolling, litter picking, removing graffiti, helping on guided walks & activities. Some tasks are quite physical and will involve carrying, bending and lifting. A wide variety of hand tools are used, on the job training will be provided. The terrain can be rough, muddy and slippery. We work in all weathers. Please be aware that toilet facilities are only available at High Woods Country Park.

Qualities: Good people/interpersonal and communication skills, enjoy outdoor, practical work/dealing with the public. You need to be relatively fit and mobile.

Benefits to you: Meet new people, gain the sense of giving something back to your local environment, fresh air and exercise, learn new skills. Hot drinks and biscuits provided. As a volunteer you become a member of the Colchester Countryside Volunteer Rangers (CCVR), a constituted voluntary 'Friends' Group that has worked in close partnership with the Countryside Team for many years. 

Training: 1 day training programme. (Dates arranged throughout the year depending on demand).

For further details or to apply for a volunteer role, please email Nicky.Payne@colchester.gov.uk

Volunteer Health Walk Leader (18+yrs)

Time: Health Walks take place on alternate Fridays and Sundays from 11am to 12.30pm

Location: High Woods Country Park

The Role: Help lead Health Walks and motivate walkers. The Friday walks are short, up to 2 miles, and a great form of low impact exercise, suitable for most people's abilities, where attendees walk at their own comfort pace. About 20 participants of varying ages and some with health needs attend. The Sunday walks tend to be more of an informal stroll around the Country Park of up to 3 miles. The tea, biscuits and chat afterwards seem to be a very popular part of the activity!

Qualities: Enjoy being with people and walking.

Benefits to you: Support people to get active and meet new people. Be a part of the Healthy Walks programme run by Colchester Borough Council. As a volunteer you become a member of the Colchester Countryside Volunteer Rangers (CCVR), a constituted voluntary 'Friends' Group that has worked in close partnership with the Countryside Team for many years. 

Training: You will need to attend a free one day training course.

Unfortunately we are currently unable to take on any new volunteers in this role. We hope to be able to offer this position again in the Spring 2017.

Visitor Centre Volunteer (18+yrs)

Time: Weekends throughout the year and some weekdays in the summer. Volunteers commit to at least one day a month. 10am to 4pm winter months, 10.30am to 5pm summer months.

Location: High Woods Country Park Visitor Centre.

The Role: Working in the Centre you would deal with visitor enquires, in person and on the telephone. Carry out retailing activities such as stock replenishment, till operation, merchandise display, making hot drinks. Some cleaning is required including emptying the bins, washing and wiping up, to maintain the cleanliness of the facilities for visitors.

Qualities: Able to work efficiently on own initiative and enjoy engaging with the public. Confident with cash handling and till operation (training given in both).

Benefits to you: Gain experience of customer service; be part of the small and friendly Countryside Team. Hot drinks and biscuits provided. As a volunteer you become a member of the Colchester Countryside Volunteer Rangers (CCVR), a constituted voluntary 'Friends' Group that has worked in close partnership with the Countryside Team for many years. 

Training: You will need to attend a general volunteer one day training programme. (Dates arranged throughout the year depending on demand) and a half day visitor centre specific training session.

For further details or to apply for a volunteer role, please email Nicky.Payne@colchester.gov.uk

Monday Volunteer Ranger (16+yrs)

Time: 10am to 4pm Mondays. Starts at 10am at the Visitor Centre at High Woods Country Park or at approximately 10:20am at other sites. Volunteers do not have to commit to coming out every Monday.

Location: A variety of sites including High Woods Country Park. A three month programme of task activities and locations is available in advance.

The Role: A very varied and practical role which involves working on conservation and general park maintenance jobs for example coppicing, fencing, path work, wildflower management and much more. Between 8 to 15 volunteers attend and all work together under the supervision of a ranger. Tasks are quite physical and will involve carrying, bending and lifting. A wide variety of hand tools are used, on the job training will be provided. The terrain can be rough, muddy and slippery. We work in all weathers. Please be aware that toilet facilities are only available at High Woods Country Park.

Qualities: You need to be relatively fit and mobile. Good at working in a team, enjoy outdoors/practical work.

Benefits to you: Be part of a team of people, the sense of giving something back to your local environment, fresh air and exercise, learn new skills. Hot drinks and biscuits provided. As a volunteer you become a member of the Colchester Countryside Volunteer Rangers (CCVR), a constituted voluntary 'Friends' Group that has worked in close partnership with the Countryside Team for many years. 

Training: 1 day training programme. (Dates arranged throughout the year depending on demand) Training in the safe use of tools is given on the job.

For further details or to apply for a volunteer role, please email Nicky.Payne@colchester.gov.uk

If you are interested in one of the above roles please email kelly.sharp@colchester.gov.uk or you can visit High Woods Country Park to speak to a member of staff or ring the park on 01206 853588.

Once we have received your enquiry, we will give you a call to discuss your application, so please be sure to include your telephone number.

Please note that there may be a waiting list for the Monday Volunteer Role and the turn over rate is quite low so you may want to consider another role, or volunteering for TCV - Essex or Essex Wildlife Trust 

 

For more information on volunteering with the countryside team then email countrysidevolunteers@colchester.gov.uk 

Who is the Countryside Team?

The team comprises Country Parks Manager, Countryside Rangers and Visitor Centre staff, and is responsible for:

  • Maintaining High Woods Country Park - a 370 acre park with woods, ponds, meadows and a fishing lake.
  • Maintaining 14 other country parks, nature reserves, woods and farmland including Salary Brook Local Nature Reserve, Colne Local Nature Reserve, Gosbecks Archaeological Park, Cymbeline Meadows and Hilly Fields.
  • Managing a team of volunteer rangers, visitors centre volunteers, health walk leaders and conservation volunteers. There are over 70 regular volunteers provided over 1,000 volunteer days.
  • Managing High Woods Country Park Visitor Centre. The Centre is open 7 days a week in the summer and only at weekends during the winter.
  • Providing environmental education programmes for visiting schools.
  • Providing children's activities during the school holidays.
  • Managing the Health Walks programme.
  • Working with and supporting many local community groups.

Who are the Colchester Volunteer Rangers?

The Colchester Countryside Volunteer Rangers (CCVR) is the Park's Friends group. Its members represent a wide cross section of the local community ranging from students to the retired, school teachers, health-care workers, professionals and those registered as disabled.  They patrol, assist with events, carry out estate management, lead health walks, deal with visitor enquiries and provide front-of-house services. Under the aegis of their own management committee the CCVR is consulted on management issues and the Chair of the committee attends the monthly staff meetings.  The group is thriving with a current membership of sixty five.