Volunteering at Rufford Abbey Country Park

Volunteering can be a very rewarding way of helping a worthy cause. Not only are you helping the Country Park, you can also meet new people, make new friends, socialise and develop new skills – or pass your skills onto others!

The Company recognises the immense benefits that volunteers bring and the bridges that they can build between Parkwood Leisure and the local community. In return we give volunteers an opportunity to exercise their skills in a different environment and to undertake new experiences, learning new skills to benefit their future.

Would you like to volunteer?

Parkwood Leisure offers information and advice to encourage and support you as a volunteer. There are many volunteer opportunities available, whether you are a parent, relative, retired or working person, graduate, looking to gain experience or add to your CV or if you simply have a love of the outdoors. You don’t have to have a skill, just a commitment to what we are trying to achieve!

What is a volunteer?

A volunteer is a person who gives freely of their time, skills and experience. Volunteering can take many forms.

As a volunteer you under no obligation to do the work, it’s a free choice to volunteer. You aren’t obligated to do tasks given to you and you should be able to set hours that are convenient to you. Some tasks require particular skills whereas others require none. Volunteering may be for a limited time to complete a particular project or may be on an ongoing basis.

Will I be paid for being a volunteer?

You won’t be paid a salary for being a volunteer but you may be paid for any out of pocket expenses. You could be reimbursed for costs incurred whilst you were volunteering, for things such as food and travel.

How much time do I have to give?

This is up to you! Some club or event opportunities will require you to help for just a few hours, others may require a few hours over a number of weeks. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or if you have a disability. You can volunteer your time at weekends, during weekdays or in the evenings. We aim to find a volunteering opportunity that will fit in with your commitments.

Will I be classed as an employee of the Company?

No, you will not be classed as an employee of the Company whilst you are a volunteer.

What types of volunteer opportunities are available?

Conservation volunteer

At Rufford Abbey Country Park we hold regular conservation volunteering sessions throughout the year. As a conservation volunteer you will have the opportunity to get hands on with nature and play your part in keeping one of Nottinghamshire’s historical landmarks alive.

Work can include undertaking footpath maintenance, scrub control, woodland management, coppicing, litter picking and hedge laying.

How fit do I need to be?

Tasks are undertaken at your own pace and there are plenty of opportunities for refreshments. However, if you are unsure and wish to further discuss what is involved, please get in touch and we can give you more information.

What kind of things will I do?

The types of work undertaken are extremely varied but conservation work such as tree planting, hedge-laying and access improvements are popular.

What do I need to bring?
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Strong footwear or wellies – steel toe caps are ideal
  • Warm clothes (lots of layers)
  • Waterproofs
  • Packed lunch
  • Gloves (if possible)
  • Hats (for shade in hot weather)
What is provided?
  • Instruction on how to use tools safely
  • Tools and equipment
  • The reasons behind the task and how it will benefit the habitat and the wildlife that lives in it
  • Refreshments – hot drinks and maybe even the odd biscuit or two
  • Any specialist Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) relevant to the task
  • In return for volunteering you will gain access to free activities in the park for example – Boating, Adventure Golf and Archery

Events volunteer

The park has a busy events programme and is often in need of volunteers to help on the day. Volunteers can help with many different activities such as marshalling, manning information points, running stalls, helping bankside during water activities, carrying out surveys, preparing the site and packing down at the end of the day. There is always a great atmosphere during an event and it’s a fun way to get involved and meet new people.

How do I register my interest in becoming a volunteer?

We have volunteer opportunities for a range of ages and abilities and accept applications from ages 16+. For more information on our programme or to request to meet with any member of the team please contact us.

So, go on, get in touch!

Email us at ruffordabbey@parkwood-leisure.co.uk.