Events & Volunteering

Volunteers in action

Currently volunteer days are every Thursday 10:00-15:00 and all are welcome to come and join us. We normally meet at the hide just before start time.

We are now also running Sunday work parties on the second Sunday of each month. So put 10th Oct, 14th Nov & 13th Dec in your diaries! Meet at the hide at 09:30 and we will aim to finish by 13:30. If possible confirm you will be coming along by emailing warden@unstead-reserve.org.

We volunteer all year round and our work is usually seasonal, the bulk of the conservation work will take place outside of the bird breeding season (March to end of August).

During the Spring and Summer months we concentrate our efforts on keeping footpaths and access open by cutting back any vigorous vegetation growth such as Bramble and Nettles. Late Summer activities will include Bracken control and grass mowing of an experimental strip of the South Meadow.

Floating Islands
Black Headed gull chicks on the ‘Tern raft’

Autumn and Winter tasks will consist of Hedge trimming, hedge laying, rotational  Coppicing, scrub clearance, bank-side restoration and repairs, Bird box maintenance installation and construction.

Because we are not allowed fires on site, to get rid of the arisings from these activities we will endeavour to use this material sustainably in various ways.

Straight lengths of Alder will be split, cut and used as support stakes for dead hedging and hedge laying.

The thinner straight lengths of Coppiced Willow will be used as either material for woven Willow living fences and structures or as “binders” for hedge-laying.

Long lengths of twiggy brash will be formed into faggots and used as part of the bank-side repairs we have planned for the North meadow and Dry lagoon.

The remaining “brash” will be used to create new dead hedging in selected areas of the reserve.

North Meadow (before clearing and flooding)
The newly planted ‘Lockdown’ Hedgerow

All of our volunteer sessions will be supported by members of our core team of experienced volunteers who will help and guide you through the days tasks, so you don’t need to be an expert. 

All you will need is lots of enthusiasm and I’m sure you will benefit from healthy exercise in the fresh air helping to restore Unstead to its best.

If you have any questions or require specific details about volunteering with us please contact our warden Keith Lightfoot on: warden@unstead-reserve.org.