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Volunteering

More than 150 volunteers help to make Durlston a very special place. Whatever your skills or interests, we need your help! Dry stone walling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How You Can Help

Here are just a few examples of how you could get involved. If any of them interest you please get in touch via durlston@dorsetcc.gov.uk or by calling 01929 424443.

Work Parties

Every week Durlston runs three volunteer work groups that carry out vital maintenance and conservation tasks around the park. Joining one of these sessions is a great way to get some healthy exercise, enjoy the outdoors and make new friends, not to mention enjoy some tea and cake. 

  • Pleasure Grounds Work Party - Tuesdays 10.00am - 1.00pm.
    As part of the Durlston Pleasure Grounds project help us to enhance the heritage, accessibility and habitat throughout the Victorian landscape of the park.

  • Conservation Work Party - Wednesdays 10.00am - 1.00pm.
    Scrub cutting, bonfires, hedge-laying, tree planting, sign painting, path clearing, wildlife surveys and more.

  • Dry Stone Walling Work Party - Thursdays 10.00am - 1.00pm.
    Come along to learn and build experience in this ancient craft, whilst helping us to maintain the six miles of dry stone walls found across Durlston.

Tasks are available for all ages and abilities - just be prepared to get muddy!  All equipment and training provided.

 

Fence maintenance

Hurdle making

Castle Clearance

                       Mending fences                                             Castle working party                                                    Hurdle making

Visitor Centre Volunteers

Durlston welcomes 100,000 visitors a year.Visitor centre volunteer
The Castle visitor centre is OPEN every day (except Christmas Day & Boxing Day)  April - October from 10.30am to 5.00pm and November - March from 10.30am to 4.00pm. 
This role involves staffing the counter, answering questions and taking money from shop sales.  Training is given and a Ranger is always available to help out.

 

 

 

 

Dolphin Watch

Run by the Durlston Marine Project since 1988, volunteers have been helping, through regular watches, to develop our understanding of the ecology of the Dolphin Watch Hut and Volunteerdolphins along the south coast.  Full training provided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surveys

  • Bird surveys - on a designated patch throughout the year - some knowledge of bird identification is needed. Butterfly Survey
  • Butterfly surveys - 2 transects are surveyed weekly from April - September - some initial knowledge of butterfly identification would be useful. Additional holiday cover is often needed.
  • Flower surveys - Orchids are counted annually from May - August depending on species. Other plant surveys as required.  Training provided.
  • Guillemot survey - counts daily, breeding and feeding surveys via the cliff camera in May and June.
  • Visitor surveys - data on visitor numbers and their comments need to be collected and analysed.
  • Photo-monitoring - We need keen photographers to help us with monitoring the park by taking regular photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Rangers

A group of volunteers who provide support to the Ranger team on a regular, long-term basis by patrolling the Park, assisting visitors, supporting events as well as project work within a specialist area. 
Training, development and uniform is provided.

Computer Record Updates

Wildlife records and much more need recording, updating, analysing and reports written. Weather Data Entry
We are also currently transferring manual records onto a computer database.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photography

Please send us your photos of Durlston, especially any featuring people, views, wildlife and activities. Old photos of days gone by would also be very welcome.

Interpretation

If you have a flair for interpretation your help would be appreciated to work on new displays and repairs to old ones, including carpentry, painting and drawing.

Publicity

We want as many people as possible to enjoy Durlston, so help us get the name out there. From putting up posters for our events, to promoting us online, we'd greatly appreciate assistance in spreading the word.

Education

Durlston receives dozens of visits by school groups each year.  Would you like to help with the delivery or development of our education services?  If you have knowledge about the natural world you want to pass on, get in touch and help us with our education programme, not to mention all the lifelong learning opportunities we provide.

Corporate Volunteering

Would you like to bring a group from your organisation to volunteer at Durlston? If so, please contact us and we can arrange a corporate volunteering day with a diverse selection of different practical conservation tasks.  We can find work or activities that will accommodate your groups needs.

Friends Executive Committee

The Friends of Durlston play an active role in supporting the management of Durlston Country Park, including helping to guide park management policy. This is co-ordinated by the Friends of Durlston executive committee, who also help with fundraising and organising events within the community.
Members meet approx. every 2-3 months to consider these and a range of other Park issues.  Each year members step down to give the opportunity for fresh blood to join and  bring in new ideas.  If you are interested in becoming involved with the committee, please contact the Rangers.

Get In Touch

If you would like to help with any of these projects or have an idea of your own, please drop us a line, e-mail or come and see us at the Visitor Centre.

Take a look at the latest newsletter for specific projects needing your help.

Car parking is free when doing voluntary work for us - ask for a permit at the Visitor Centre.

For more information about volunteering at Durlston, download the information sheet below:

Volunteer Information Sheet and Volunteer Form