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Get Outside and Give Back: Outdoor Volunteering Opportunities in Wales

3 teenagers high-fiving in a forest, wearing gardening gloves and bin bags

Looking for a way to connect with nature, make a difference, and boost your wellbeing? Volunteering outdoors is a great way to do all 3! There are loads of opportunities to get your hands dirty (in a good way!) and support some fantastic causes.

Picking up plastic bottle from sandy beach
Outdoor Volunteering

Tackle marine pollution

The Marine Conservation Society organise volunteers to come together to help tackle coastal and marine pollution. Picture yourself walking across Welsh beaches in search of plastic waste, fishing gear, and other debris to collect, protecting our coastlines and marine life. You might also be involved in data collection efforts, logging and categorising the types of pollution found, which helps inform future conservation strategies. The Marine Conservation Society offers opportunities to raise awareness about marine pollution through educational talks or community events.

Group of children and teenagers in community garden, smiling at camera, surrounded by freshly picked produce and flowers

Help your local community bloom

Many towns and villages have initiatives for maintaining parks, allotments, or community gardens. Lend a hand with tree planting, a rewarding activity that creates fresh green spaces for everyone to enjoy. You could also get involved with coppicing, a traditional woodland management technique that involves cutting trees to promote new growth, creating a diverse and healthy habitat for wildlife. General garden upkeep tasks like weeding, planting, and maintaining flowerbeds can also use your helping hand. Volunteering with local community gardens is a great way to meet new people who share your passion for the outdoors.

Group of people planting a tree in a forest
Outdoor Volunteering

Become a steward of the forests

Forestry projects often look for volunteers to help with tree planting, woodland management, and path maintenance. Planting native trees like oak, ash, and birch helps to create vital habitats for birds, insects, and other wildlife. Woodland management tasks could involve removing invasive species or clearing fallen branches to ensure healthy growth. Volunteering with path maintenance helps keep these beautiful spaces accessible for hikers, cyclists, and other nature enthusiasts.

Wooden bug hotel

Support your regional Wildlife Trust

Each trust offers diverse voluntary opportunities to participate in species surveys, helping to monitor populations of everything from red kites to otters. You could assist with habitat management, creating and maintaining nesting boxes for birds or building bug hotels to encourage insect biodiversity. Gardening projects might involve planting wildflowers that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Public engagement events, like guided walks or talks on local wildlife, are also a possibility.

Teenage boy walking a dog on a sandy beach
Outdoor Volunteering

Lead the pack

Volunteer to walk dogs in your community for those who may struggle to do so themselves. It’s a win-win – you get exercise and fresh air alongside a furry friend. The dog will get a fun outing and some much-needed social interaction. Contact your local animal shelter, vet, or retirement village to see if they have a dog walking program that needs volunteers. If you’re looking for something less formal, you could ask neighbours you already speak to, or introduce yourself to new ones.

Teenage boy mowing the lawn

Become a local legend

Keep your neighbourhood looking its best. If you see a neighbour’s lawn is overgrown or their garden is becoming unmanageable, offer your help with mowing or basic gardening tasks. A little act of kindness can go a long way. Perhaps an elderly neighbour finds it difficult to keep up with their garden chores. Mowing their lawn or trimming their hedges could make a big difference in their ability to enjoy their outdoor space.

Don’t forget…

Volunteering outdoors offers a chance to improve your physical and mental health while connecting with nature and contributing to worthy causes. So, lace up your trainers, grab your gloves, and get ready to make a positive impact!

Meic has lots of information about getting involved in volunteering, looking after the environment, and ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

If you want to talk to a trained Meic advisor, you can do so between 8 am and midnight every day. It’s a free way to access information, advice and advocacy without judgement. You can call (080880 23456) or chat with an advisor using our online chat function on our website.