Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are vital to the reserve. By becoming a Foxglove Volunteer you have the opportunity to meet friendly, like-minded people, enjoy time in beautiful surroundings, and make a real difference to your local environment.

Without the efforts of the volunteers it would be impossible to keep the reserve in such good condition. Volunteers play many different roles in the day-to-day life of the reserve, from helping to manage and improve the habitats through to meeting and greeting visitors, fundraising and assisting with surveys.

Hands-on Habitat Management

Volunteers can help us with every task around the reserve, from coppicing and woodland work in the winter months to painting and maintenance in the summer. We need help all year round to keep on top of the ever growing job list. Most of our volunteers come to help on a Tuesday, although there are other opportunities throughout the week, just send us an e-mail or give us a call and we will be happy to talk in more depth about what is on offer.

The majority of the habitat maintenance work is done during the winter months, from November to March we have ‘Winter Worky Days’ on the first or second weekend of the month. These fun days bring in many families and other volunteers who work during the week. We always provide a hot lunch for everyone and they are a great way to meet the team and begin your time volunteering with us.

We work out in all weather and some of the work can be hard, but it is always very rewarding and enjoyable to be out with a friendly and dedicated group.


Meeting and Greeting Visitors

There are opportunities, particularly through the summer and school holidays for volunteers to spend time helping visitors in the Field Centre. Visitors appreciate a friendly welcome as they are shown around and pointed towards the best spots to discover the wildlife that can be found here.

Bird ringing

The Swaledale Ringing Group operates from Foxglove; there are many interesting activities and exciting opportunities you can become involved with throughout the year. To date over 190,000 bird records have been added to our database from ringing activities on the reserve and further afield. Foxglove is well known as one of the premier bird ringing sites in the country. More information on how to become involved is available on the Bird Ringing pages.

Helping with educational visits

Over 1,000 people visited the reserve during 2015 on educational visits. We have an increasingly busy school programme during the spring and summer terms with many local primary schools visiting year on year. Volunteers who have previous experience working with children and have some knowledge of wildlife are needed to help out on these days.


We host many fundraising events throughout the year including Coffee Mornings. Help is always needed at all these events. 

Species Recording

looking at LichensWe maintain records of all species on the reserve. Records can come from formal surveys or sightings as volunteers or visitors are walking around the site.

We undertake weekly moth surveys, monthly flower walks and during the summer, weekly butterfly surveys. In addition to these there are many other opportunities to join our dedicated team of volunteers as they ‘root around’ to see what they can uncover.


If you are interested in helping us in any way please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the reserve managers to find out more. You can reach us on 01748 830045, 07754 270980 or e-mail us at