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.

A FEVA Event – Green Health in Later Life

A FEVA Event - Green Health in Later Life

One of my first tasks as a trainee was to organise a FEVA event – that’s a Forum for Environmental Volunteering Activities – half a day full of local speakers and workshops to share ideas around promoting green health in later life.



Abby Boultbee from Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust, described the success of the ‘Branching Out’ programme of woodland activities, working with people living with mental health problems. The programme will be expanded for people with dementia and carers this year!

After Abby, Michelle Kirkbright from the West Lothian Council’s Health Improvement Team presented all their fantastic healthy activities and … Continue reading

My first months as a Volunteer Officer at TCV Skelton Grange Environment Centre…

My first months as a Volunteer Officer at TCV Skelton Grange Environment Centre...

Skelton Grange Environment Centre is recruiting another batch of Volunteer Officers, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery and National Grid. Run by the charity The Conservation Volunteers, access2nature is a five year project working to improve the life prospects and wellbeing of people in Leeds, by providing a range of social, learning and volunteering opportunities in the natural environment. We asked one of our current Volunteer Officers to explain a little further as to what it’s like volunteering at Skelton Grange…

“I am a Volunteer Officer at Skelton Grange Environment Centre and I have been asked to … Continue reading

Lovely Levels, aquatic snails, amazing parasites and more…

Lovely Levels, aquatic snails, amazing parasites and more...

Hello from sunny wales!

It’s been a busy and eventful couple of months full of snails, with things hotting up for the summer season. Here is your latest Mollusc update from National Museum Wales, Cardiff…

March roundup

The 16th March saw National Museum Wales host the AGM for Cardiff Scientific Society. This was a great opportunity to show them the Mollusca section and the work we are doing, including talking to them about my traineeship. They were a really interesting bunch of people, who host a fascinating and entertaining set of lectures between October and March in Cardiff.

Continue reading

March: Month of planning and collections!

March: Month of planning and collections!

Hi folks! Looks like March continues the trend of me visiting museums as I get the chance to visit Manchester University’s museum to learn to catalogue solitary bee specimens from the collections.

We were looking through the collections to retrieve historical data on the location of different solitary bees. These species records are part of an on-going mapping project at the World Museum and will be added to a modern Cheshire Atlas of Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants). Museum collections contain vast amounts of data – which can tell us important information on the distribution and abundance of different bee … Continue reading

Blog 1

Blog 1

Hi, My name is Matt, and I’m a TCV Natural Networks trainee based in Kent down in the South East of England.

This is my first blog as a natural networks trainee, actually it’s my first blog ever… so I shall begin at the beginning.

I work in Kent; it’s where I live, and where I was born and grew up, and I love it here. Contrary to some people’s ideas, Kent is not actually just a bit of London, it’s a great big, green, wooded and diverse county, with some amazing landscapes and habitats, some of which you’d struggle … Continue reading

My weirdly spiritual encounter with a wall, and a caddis fly

My weirdly spiritual encounter with a wall, and a caddis fly

A few weeks ago, I would never have thought that I would ever be excited about walls, or proud of a wall for that matter! But this month I signed up to one of TCV’s courses in Drystone Walling, or dry stone dyking as it’s known in Scotland, and I have to say, I am now very excited by walls….

Peter Holmes is a rural skills instructor who teaches all sorts of courses from walling to hedge laying to live willow sculpting, and it was Pete who emerged through the wind and rain at Harperrig reservoir to teach … Continue reading

VAT’s The Way I Like It

VAT's The Way I Like It

As well as awash with showers, April’s been filled with events, training opportunities and rewilding.

Initially though the month started with a community consultation led by Urban Roots on ideas for the Broomloan Road Pocket Park. Not only was I attending as an opportunity to shadow but also as a local resident. I then set up 2 meetings to further investigate the community engagement techniques used by both the Forestry Commission and Glasgow City Council Countryside Rangers. Taking a visit to Cuningar Loop also gave me the chance to see on-going work carried out by the Forestry Commission to transform a … Continue reading

Spring wildlife to look out for in May!

Spring wildlife to look out for in May!

Hi there! This month there is loads of exciting wildlife appearing all over the country and taking part in Citizen Science gives you a fantastic excuse to get out there a see it! Here are some lovely May beauties to spot this month!

Swift  Apus apus

Swifts wings are long and narrow. The tail is slightly forked, but not as much as a swallow’s. They are dark, sooty brown all over, but swifts often look black against the sky. If you get a good look, you might see their pale throat. They eat flying insects and airborne spiders

Swifts have … Continue reading

British Science Week with St Mary’s Primary School

British Science Week with St Mary's Primary School

Thanks to funding from the British Science Association, we were able to run two Citizen Science sessions with a class of P5’s from St Mary’s Primary School in Maryhill. This was part of British Science Week, and what a lovely week it was!

In our first session we introduced the children to the world of lichen and used it to help them understand the importance and impacts of air quality. Lichen, that funny plant like structure we see growing everywhere, is a fantastic indicator of air quality as it is very sensitive to nitrogen and ammonia … Continue reading

‘Citizen Science in Communities’ Film

In partnership with OPAL we have created a ‘Citizen Science in Communities’ film showcasing two community groups – Friends of the River Kelvin and Space to Grow. Our film illustrates Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM) approach and highlights each community groups learning journey to becoming Citizen Scientists.

This film nicely compliments the ‘Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring Citizen Science Pilot Projects’ and the shorter version ‘Top Tips for Co-creation and CBEM Citizen Science Projects’.

Happy viewing!