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The Woodland Improvement Team, join in and feel good, helping to improve some of Reading’s green and wooded spaces

Conservation / Restoration volunteers needed for The Conservation Volunteers Reading

During lockdown 3.0, most of our volunteer opportunities were suspended. We have since started a gradual resumption of our activities, scaling these back with small numbers of experienced/existing volunteers. Whilst we are not able to invite new volunteers to tasks just yet, we hope to do so in April when participant numbers might be able to safely increase. If you would like to register your interest in volunteering, please read the information below and get in touch.

Join in and feel good, helping to improve some of Reading’s green and wooded spaces for improved biodiversity and help us create healthier happier communities for everyone.

After starting to run small-scale volunteer tasks with existing volunteers, we will soon be ready to open up our activities to new interested volunteers in Spring! To keep activities safe, please follow the latest government guidance and only volunteer if:

  • you’re well
  • nobody in your household has coronavirus symptoms (or awaiting a test result)
  • you do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus

To keep everyone safe and minimise transmission risk, we will be disinfecting tools before and after use, not tool sharing, start the session with a thorough tool talk and risk assessment, encourage social distancing, offering regular hand sanitation breaks and running shorter sessions. Booking for each session is essential as we are capping numbers to reflect current guidance.


The Woodland Improvement Team will be meeting every Tuesday at various sites across Caversham (Bugs Bottom and Clayfield Copse & Blackhouse Wood), Tilehurst (Blundell’s Copse), and Woodley (Aldermoors & Highwood Nature Reserve).


The project aims to enhance Reading’s woodland sites for people and wildlife whilst connecting local communities with their local green spaces. The project will run for 3.5 years and involve various tasks such as:

  • Tree planting
  • Invasive species removal (rhododendron, laurel & snowberry)
  • Bracken and bramble clearance
  • Coppicing
  • Sapling maintenance
  • Ecological surveys (plants, birds, butterflies etc)
  • Site maintenance
  • Other habitat improvements


  • Tools and equipment
  • Work gloves for everyone (although you may wish to bring your own)
  • Trained leader(s)
  • First aid cover
  • Public and personal liability insurance
  • Refreshments (such as tea, coffee and biscuits) would normally be available (but during the pandemic, unfortunately, we are not able to provide these and instead request that you provide your own)


You don’t need any special skills to join in, other than a willingness to get involved and have a go. We don’t ask for a commitment from anyone for more than a session at a time. We provide on-site, informal training and guidance.


Please come prepared for the likely weather conditions on the day and wear suitable work clothes. We recommend sturdy boots and long-sleeved tops and trousers. If you require them, bring along your own waterproofs, camera, money and personal medication.


This 3+ year project is being funded by Network Rail as part of the No Net Loss Biodiversity on the Great Western Programme – which seeks to compensate for any removal of habitat during railway upgrades. It is also supported by the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) and made possible thanks to Reading and Wokingham Borough Councils.

Volunteers 16+ are welcome but please note Under 18’s will need written consent from a parent or guardian

Contact person firstname
Ruth Coxon, Biodiversity Offset Project Officer (Woodland Improvement Team)
Contact person's position
Their phone number?
0118 956 8959
07740 899 609
Contact instructions?
Generally available Mon-Fri 9:30 - 17:00

Location description
Woodland Sites Across Reading (Tilehurst, Caversham, Emmer Green & Woodley)
Wheelchair accessible?
Car parking for the volunteer?
Secure bicycle parking?
Not specified
Near public transport?
How much time?
A few hours a month
What times and days of the week?
Tue AMTue PM
Availability required
Any of these times
Additional timing details
Regular task days occur each Tuesday, generally between 10:00 - 15:00 at one of 5 woodland sites around Reading. Please note: during the pandemic, task times are often shorted to be half-day sessions, meeting at 10:00 and finishing between 12:30-14:00 depending on the task. Attendees are free to leave early if they wish.

You do not need to attend each week, it can be once, monthly, weekly or anything in between!
Task type?
Conservation / Restoration
Will suit someone like this:
Enjoys variety and changePrefers a regular scheduleKeen learnerInventiveLeaderFollowerSociableSupportiveWants to get out and aboutEnjoys working outsidePhysically fit
Post suitable for supported volunteering?
Not specified
Is training given?
Training description
Informal on-site task-specific tool training
Is support given?
Description of support
Each task day will have at least one Project Leader to support, guide and answer questions
Are expenses paid?
Will I need my own transportation?
Will the volunteer be CRB or DBS checked?
Are references required?
Will there be an interview?
Are they properly insured?
Minimum age
Do they need a specific gender?
How many volunteers needed?
Opportunity added on
16 March 2021