In over five decades of inspiring people and improving places, The Conservation Volunteers has consistently supported people working locally to improve their environment and their life chances, and created resilience in the most vulnerable communities.

Welcome to The Conservation Volunteers blogs. Where we share what we do.

Fancy a tile painted with lichens?

Fancy a tile painted with lichens?

Hello! Are you enjoying the warm weather? Fancy a walk along the beach? 🙂

So today I´m going to talk about a project part of my traineeship.

What do you think about man-made structures on our shoreline?

Do you think is there any way to make them more environmental friendly?

Over time, we have been building unstoppable next to the coast, using it for houses, industry or paths. We have built sea walls, rock armour revetments or groynes.  By doing so, we are reducing the available habitat for coastal species. I say ecosystem restoration is the key.

So, is there … Continue reading

An EPIC Launch in Clackmannanshire

An EPIC Launch in Clackmannanshire


Conservation and Community Engagement in Clackmannanshire

Recently there has been the launch of a new partnership between The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Enabling Projects In Clackmannanshire (EPIC). The partnership seeks to raise awareness for the distinctive landscape features and biodiversity around the Ochil Hillfoot Villages and promotes the need to safeguard such cultural and natural heritage through Community Engagement and Volunteering opportunities. Steered by EPIC, my role as TCV’s Senior Project Officer will be to identify the unique local environments, habitats and species of Clackmannanshire and devise the best means to conserve and enhance such features for the environment, … Continue reading

First month as a TCV trainee :)

First month as a TCV trainee :)

Hello! My name is Aroa Sampedro and I’m happy to be a TCV Natural Talent trainee, studying lichens and seaweeds on the Edinburgh shoreline. My office is in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh,  amazing right?

During the first few weeks, I have been learning a lot about lichens! I promise I will be talking about seaweeds later on, but right now, let´s talk about lichens.

What is a lichen?

A lichen is a symbiotic association between a fungus and algae and/or cyanobacteria.

The lichen symbiosis is a mutualism, where the fungi are “heterotrophic” and need an external source for getting … Continue reading

My first month in Mudflat Madness

My first month in Mudflat Madness

Hello I’m Annan, a Zoology graduate, and I am completing one of the TCV traineeships based in Liverpool. My traineeship explores the flora and fauna found on a Mudflat, I am working with Liverpool World Museum and Lancashire Wildlife Trust to do this.

What are mudflats and why are they so important?

Mudflats are areas found on beaches that are more of a wet and muddy consistency than sandy. Areas of mudflat can actually move, and do so regularly at one of my survey sites Crosby, this movement is dependent on the tide and currents.

Although they may look barren, … Continue reading

My First Month as a Natural Talent Trainee

My First Month as a Natural Talent Trainee

I’m Phoebe, a new Natural Talent Trainee alongside five others across the UK, each with our own specialist area to discover. This is the first of many blogs, where you can read all about what I get up to throughout my traineeship.

My Research Area

During my year as a Natural Talent Trainee, I will be based at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff. It is here I will be studying Hemiptera as indicators of grassland quality and management.

Hemiptera is a diverse order of insects, many of which can look very different. However, they all share the common characteristic of … Continue reading

Twenty Sphags a day? An introduction….

Twenty Sphags a day? An introduction....

Hello! I’m Sue Loughran and I’m delighted to be a TCV Natural Talent trainee for the next 12 months, studying lower plants and invertebrates of heaths and mires. I’m based at Head Office, Field Studies Council (FSC), Shropshire, where I’m housed in the Biodiversity office. This is a fantastic place to be…no two days are the same, and Sue, Charlie and Rich have been incredibly welcoming; ensuring that I’ve been included in any relevant opportunities that will help me make this year successful.

Biodiversity is at the centre of the FSC ethos and this post is already giving … Continue reading

Mental Health Awareness Week – Wild Ways Well

Mental Health Awareness Week - Wild Ways Well

Stick your hand up if you know someone who has suffered – at some point in their lives – from poor mental health…

So that’s everyone then.

This week is mental health awareness week.  It’s a brilliant initiative, anything that brings mental health issues into focus should be applauded.  But when you think about it, it’s also a bit of a strange idea.

Why do we need to have mental health awareness events?  Every single person reading this will know someone with a mental health issue.  1 in 4 readers will be sufferers themselves.  We don’t have broken leg awareness … Continue reading

Become a Flood Warden Volunteer!

Become a Flood Warden Volunteer!

Do you want to learn more about your local area and help reduce flood risk?

Become a Flood Warden Volunteer!

We will provide all FREE training, support and guidance for the project to:

Monitor, record and clear debris from burns Identify and record invasive non-native plant species

*No previous knowledge of the subject required*

Express an interest or find out more contact Amanda Malcolm, a.malcolm@tcv.org.uk or Mobile 07917 460488

Snails, Sunshine and more Snails, plus the benefits of being a Volunteer

Snails, Sunshine and more Snails, plus the benefits of being a Volunteer

Hello again,

Seems like time is speeding away from me, it’s now the end of week three of the traineeship and the past 10 days have been crazy. I’ve spent a lot of time out of the office, meeting different volunteer groups and visiting some amazing things like the National Museum of Scotland Collections Centre in Edinburgh, basically an archive of everything that’s currently off-show to the public including historic records dating back to the 1880’s of my beloved pond mud snail, and meeting our captive rearing counterparts at Edinburgh Zoo.

I’ve realised that much like the TCV tagline (Join … Continue reading

Hello from Marvellous Mud Snails

Hello from Marvellous Mud Snails

I’m Kirsty, one of six new TCV Natural Talent trainees for this year. For the next 365 days I’ll be training up on all things invertebrate at Buglife Scotland.


This year has been the start of a new adventure for me. I moved from my job at the Zoological Society of London back home to Scotland.  While studying MSc Wildlife Biology and Conservation as a part-time distance learner at Edinburgh Napier, I set out to look for a job in a related field and gained one of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) traineeships, working with Buglife Scotland. … Continue reading