Forestry volunteering opportunities
Volunteering can make a real difference to your own employability but also to the long term success of organisations you volunteer for. Volunteers within the forestry and woodland sector are provided with the opportunity to gain new or build on existing skills, knowledge and experience. There are a range of different opportunities within forestry from practical woodland management to supporting the long term aspirations or aims of a forestry charity/organisation.
There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer both personally and professionally. For some volunteering is an opportunity to build their skills, knowledge and employability and at the same time their CV. For those looking for volunteer opportunities to boost employability remember what the right volunteer opportunity can do for you;
- Improve or learn new forestry and urban forestry practical skills
- Develop a greater knowledge of forestry and urban forestry methods and ways of working
- Gain further experience of working within the forestry and urban forestry sector
- Volunteering provides you with the opportunity to give specific examples of employment skills, responsibilities and achievements when apply for jobs
- Volunteering with a forestry or urban forestry employer provides you with an industry associated referee
- Some volunteer posts will provide you with professional training
- Volunteering provides you with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your skills to others within the industry. Volunteering will never guarantee you employment but you may one day be employed by or even employ someone who you met while volunteering.
For others volunteering is a more selfless act, instead it is seen as an opportunity to improve social, health or community wellbeing. For those who volunteer for a more personal reason the value of volunteering within the forestry and urban forestry sector are still as rewarding;
- Give something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person’s life, either directly or indirectly
- Improve personal physical and mental health and at the same time social wellbeing.
- Make a difference to the lives of others including humans, flora and fauna.
- Assist with improving or maintaining valuable trees, woods and forests.
- Help others who cannot achieve what you are able to do
- Feel valued and part of a team and make new friends
- Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle in amazing environments
- Gain confidence, self-esteem a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
You should be aware of some of the mistakes people make when applying to volunteers. The following are some common misconceptions that often leave people disappointed after volunteering.
- While some volunteer posts lead to the offer of a paid job this is not common practice so don’t apply for a volunteer post assuming you will get a job offer.
- Volunteering posts still require you to meet the professional and legal standards of the organisation and thus require you to follow the same rules and producers as an employee of the organisation you are volunteering for.
- Do not assume that because you are volunteering that an organisation should just be grateful of your presence. Volunteer posts often require you to work on specific tasks and to meet set deadlines so you shouldn’t assume that because you are volunteering you will be allowed to “do what you want”.
Below is a selection of links to organisations advertising volunteer opportunities to help you find a volunteering opportunity that suits you.
Volunteering in the UK
- Countryside Jobs Service (CJS) – Volunteers Page
- Royal Forestry Society/Chiltern Society woodland management – Volunteering
Volunteering in the US