Become a biodiversity volunteer

An otter

Are you wild for wildlife? We need volunteers to help our legally protected species and their habitats in Oxfordshire!

Join Oxfordshire County Council's biodiversity team out and about across the county, surveying some of our most-loved species and gaining new skills.


Volunteer Role Description: Biodiversity Volunteer

Aim of volunteering experience role: To work within the Biodiversity Team and assist with undertaking protected species and habitat surveys.

The objective of the volunteering role is to: Help ensure that legally protected species, habitats and designated sites are protected, maintained and enhanced appropriately.


  • To assist with the following surveys should they be required
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisals
  • Bat potential roost assessments in trees and built structures
  • Bat dusk emergence and dawn re-entry surveys
  • Badger surveys
  • Great crested newt habitat suitability index, eDNA and population size estimate surveys
  • Water vole surveys
  • Otter surveys
  • Reptile surveys
  • UK Habitat Classification Surveys
  • Ecological Clerk of Works including nesting bird pre-commencement surveys
  • Any other ecological field survey

Time: Volunteers are welcome to spend as long or as short a time working with us, so long as it is by arrangement with the Volunteer Supervisor. It is suggested that you volunteer for as many surveys as you are able to attend in order to get the most out of the experience. The requirement for surveys will be determined by external factors outside of the Biodiversity Team, therefore the type and number cannot be guaranteed.

Place of volunteering: Our base is at County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1DN, although most of the work will be throughout Oxfordshire under the guidance of the volunteer supervisor. 

Volunteer supervisor: Jack Wheeler, Biodiversity Officer 

Transport: Access to a car is recommended as public transport links cannot be guaranteed. Lift sharing can be arranged, depending on location, where car and public transport access is not available. 

Skills required:

  • Interest in and commitment to the environment, particularly with protected species, plants and habitats
  • Interest in and ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • A good communicator, a sense of humour, flexibility and a team player 

References: Two references from people who have known you 2 years or more are needed for all volunteers involved with the council. 

Materials required: Walking boots and/or wellington boots and warm waterproof clothing. All tools and Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) are supplied if required. 

Benefits offered:

  • Training on ecological survey and assessment methodologies
  • Full insurance cover
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