Volunteering in Lincoln - Open Spaces

Become a volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering your time to one of our much loved green spaces please contact us using the details at the end of this page to discuss how you feel you might be able to help. We would love to hear more about you, your interests and abilities and how you feel you can help us make a difference. We also need to know when you are available in order to find a volunteering opportunity to best suit your schedule.

Sites you may wish to become involved with include:

  • The Arboretum
  • Birchwood Nature Park
  • Hartsholme Country Park
  • Lincoln’s Common land
  • Swanholme Lakes

Volunteering sessions are flexible but follow the management requirements for each site as set within our management plans.  We’ve outlined a number of the opportunities available to our volunteers below.  

Conservation volunteering

Below is a brief summary of the types of conservation and practical tasks volunteers may be involved in.

Throughout the year

We need help with general tasks such as litter collection, leaf clearing, general repairs and construction of footpaths and fences.

Summer months

We will be very busy keeping our access routes clear for our visitors, this involves cutting back and clearing away vegetation with hand tools. You will also find us clearing invasive weeds such as ragwort and rosebay willowherb. This would involve hand pulling and bagging the weeds in our meadow and heathland habitats, great areas for spotting wildlife. You will learn more about the butterflies, damsel and dragonflies we have on site.

Autumn months

After the final cuts of the year we will be raking grass meadows and clearing any litter from these areas. We are always on the look out for fungi at this time of year, there are over 480 species found within Hartsholme Country Park alone. You might want to help us start new lists in the parks less recorded. Also during autumn we may carry out ditch clearance, keeping the channels free of fallen logs, trees and general debris.

Winter months

Winter is the time that most work is carried out within our woodlands. Thinning trees and clearing away invasive scrub is important to keep help these areas thrive. Scrub clearance is a major task on the heathland within our nature reserve, Swanholme Lakes. This would involve volunteers using hand saws and loppers to remove the scrub and small trees. We might also build brash hedges with the cut material, providing further habitat for birds and invertebrates and create new fencing to protect fragile areas. Over winter the reserve is an important site for wildfowl so there should be plenty to see.

Wildlife monitoring

Wildlife monitoring is encouraged on all green spaces, this ensures that priority habitat is conserved whilst overall biodiversity value is improved.

Since the development of online recording apps many wildlife organisations have developed systems which can be used to record a wide range of species; this information can be gathered whilst exploring our sites and is a powerful way of measuring the health of our habitats. This data can then be provided to the Local Records Centre through our local county wildlife recorders.

Species we record regularly include the wetland birds of Hartsholme Country Park and Swanholme Lakes SSSI. These are recorded by a volunteer as part of the national Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) and Surveys are carried out monthly.

The island on Hartsholme Lake is an important site for herons. Over the breeding season the heron population is monitored and this information also feeds into a national survey run by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Events and activities

We run many family events in our green spaces and are often looking for volunteers to help support these events. This may be outside delivering an activity or by helping greet visitors at our Visitor Centre within Hartsholme Country Park.

Other skills

You may have other skills which can help enhance these important spaces. For instance volunteers have helped us with information displays and by maintaining websites. If you think you can make a difference please get in touch and tell us more about yourself and your ideas.

Becoming a regular volunteer

If you decide to volunteer with us regularly we do have an application process in order to record and set our commitment and duty to you. At this stage we would ask you to fill out a brief application form. We have provided our volunteer policy on this page so you can find out more about the process.