Access programme

Career development

Access programme

Get the skills you need to make the next step

(c) Beth Alvey

Change your future

Using conservation volunteering to give young people access to new practical and employability skills.

Conservation volunteering can provide many secondary benefits including increasing employability. Volunteers build skills including communication, team work, project management, presentation and conservation. Our Access programme acts as a platform to move into further volunteering, employment or education.

During the six-week scheme, participants spend two days a week taking part in practical conservation tasks on the Trust's nature reserves. They also design, budget and carry out a specific project to improve an area of a chosen reserve for wildlife, then present on it upon completion.

Volunteer activities

Volunteers carry out tasks on our nature reserves such as scrub removal, invasive species control and improving the access for the public by building paths and steps. Alongside the practical work volunteers improve their employability skills by gaining in confidence, learning how to work as a team and how to make presentations. Health and Safety is also covered including completing risk assessments, all important aspects to add to a CV or talk about at a job interview. 

Volunteer stories

Volunteers on our Access programme come from very different backgrounds and hope to gain very different things. Some want to gain experience within the conservation sector, improve their confidence, meet new people or secure a solid reference. See what some of our volunteers have to say.


The programme has meant I have been able to try new things and enjoy the outdoors. It has been great to meet new people and make new friends. As a result of the programme I am now starting my new job in social care and taking more knowledge with me.


I have really enjoyed working outside and meeting people on this programme. It has given me a chance to improve my identification skills, following my degree, as well as the opportunity to network with people in the industry. This course has opened up new opportunities, especially within Cheshire Wildlife Trust, I will continue volunteering to gain enough experience to work in this industry.


I got lots of things out of coming to the programme, but the best thing was learning to work as a team.


I came onto the programme because I wanted to commit my time to something interesting and valuable, as well as gaining new skills to apply to my CV. Having a new experience to add to my university personal statement is brilliant. I have been able to get over some social anxiety and have improved my communication and team work skills.

Current Programmes

We have run Access programmes in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Winsford, Congleton and Warrington. We have strong links with the Job Centre Plus as referral partners as well as other local organisations and also utilise social media. Access programmes are reliant upon securing funding. See below if there are any that are currently recruiting or running.


The programme will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays for six weeks, starting in Wednesday 31st October 2018. It’ll be on several sites across Stockport, where we will meet at 10am each morning. We will aim to finish by 3pm. The majority of the tasks will be restoring meadows and orchards across the Borough, along with some invasive species control and finishing with a project to reseed and create species-rich grassland on one of the sites.

If you're interested in volunteering on our Stockport Access programme:

Email Adam Linnet on

Call 01948 820728

Our Stockport Access programme is funded by the Transpennine Express Transform Fund.

Cheshire West

The programme will run on Tuesday and Wednesdays for six weeks, starting in Tuesday 18th September 2018. It’ll be on several sites across the West Cheshire area. Transport will be available if required, alternatively we are able to reimburse travel expenses to participants. Days will run from 10am to 2pm. You'll get a chance to complete a wide variety of conservation tasks including removing invasive species, improving access to reserves and managing sites with cutting and burning.

If you're interested in volunteering on our West Cheshire Access programme:

Email Fiona Megarrell on

Call 01948 820728

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Volunteering at Cheshire Wildlife Trust is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through our project Natural Futures.