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We are always looking for dedicated and passionate volunteers to join the Our Past, Our Future scheme and help deliver a wide range of projects across the New Forest.

Your help as a volunteer is central to the success of the scheme and helps us safeguard the Forest for the future.

There are a variety of opportunities available to volunteers that are summarised below. Each project page has additional details on the volunteering opportunities they offer, or alternatively, download the volunteering role descriptions from the side of this page.

Wildlife conservation

Surveying and monitoring

The New Forest Land Advice Service and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust require volunteers to survey and monitor wildlife habitats around the Forest. In the summer, butterfly, dragonfly and damselfly, bumblebee, bat and reptile surveys are carried out. No previous experience is necessary as training is provided.

Monitoring wetland habitats

The Freshwater Habitats Trust is recruiting volunteers to help them test water quality at 20 locations within the Beaulieu River catchment. Volunteers will be trained to use the testing kits to measure levels of nitrate and phosphate in the water.

Practical conservation tasks

Each winter, volunteers are needed to clear invasive scrub from valuable grassland and wetland habitats. No experience is needed, just the desire to work in the outdoors.

Invasive non-native plants

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are looking for volunteers to pull up Himalayan balsam throughout the summer from important habitats which support a wide range of plant and invertebrate species.

Archaeology and heritage

Practical archaeological survey tasks

Volunteers will join the archaeology team to survey and record a variety of archaeological sites including woodlands, churchyards and old industrial sites that include features such as old brick works and ice houses. Community excavation work and graveyard surveys began in summer 2016.

Archaeological researcher tasks

Volunteers are required to join an existing team at the Christopher Tower Reference Library based at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst. The team need help digitising the history of the New Forest and have scanned in excess of 1,400 items to date including photographs, maps and postcards.

Social history tasks

Volunteers will work with the project co-ordinator to make visits across the Forest to record stories of the history of commoning. Volunteers will scan photographs and documents to help bring the history of commoning into the present day.


Events volunteer

Volunteers can assist rangers with the mobile information unit and help with guided walks and talks at our public facing events, such as the New Forest Show or the annual Volunteer Fair.

Get involved

If you would like further information about volunteering or would like to receive our volunteer newsletter, please contact:

Richard Austin – Volunteer, Training and Mentoring Co-ordinator
Email: or tel: 01590 646661

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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