Voluntary Coastal Wildlife Engagement Assistant

Reference: WPWCVP2019
Location: Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 5QH
Opportunities are available to gain experience working within a professional conservation organisation, up to four days a week based between the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre on Portland and Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre in Weymouth for 8 weeks between June and August 2020, although longer placements will be considered.

Position details



Contact details

To apply please email a CV and covering letter by Monday 27th April to Sam Dallimore sdallimore@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk or if you would like to discuss this opportunity further please call on 01305 206191.

Voluntary Coastal Wildlife Engagement Assistant. 

The Dorset Wildlife Trust is the largest conservation charity in Dorset with over 25,000 members. We are committed to ensuring that there is a secure future for Dorset’s nature -its distinctive wildlife and natural spaces.

We are seeking enthusiastic individuals to assist at our two popular visitor Centres in Weymouth and Portland. The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre has 80,000 visitors a year and aims to inspire and engage the public about the wildlife around the iconic Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon. Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Weymouth is set in a 75 ha nature reserve of grasslands, woodland and ponds. Both Centres host education visits, provide varied volunteer opportunities and engagement programmes.

Opportunities are available for up to four days a week based at both Centres, for 8 weeks between June and August 2020, although longer placements will be considered.

Role description:

  • Support day-to-day running of marine and terrestrial visitor centre. 
  • Engage with and provide information to visitors.
  • Assist with school groups, public events and activities.  
  • Help manage visitors on the surrounding nature reserves.
  • Communications - publicising events, including social media.
  • Working with our regular volunteer team.  
  • Wildlife surveys.
  • Developing interpretation and learning resources.

Experience provided:

  • Assisting with all aspects of running a wildlife visitor centre.
  • Public engagement and awareness of wildlife issues.
  • Delivering activities for school groups.
  • Working with volunteers.
  • Planning and delivering wildlife events for the public. 
  • Social media and other communications.
  • Species identification and survey.
  • Health and safety including risk assessment design.
  • Practical habitat management

Dissertation/thesis opportunities:

  • Anglers awareness of marine conservation.
  • Visitor Perceptions of marine litter and impacts on wildlife.
  • Visitor and stakeholder perception of the introduction of Marine Protected Areas locally.
  • Visitor use/perceptions of an urban nature reserve
  • Pond biodiversity - seasonal versus permanent ponds, coloniser species, etc.

This unpaid opportunity would suit a student of marine or environmental biology, ecology, conservation, or similar with aspirations in marine/environmental education and awareness. Applicants must be able to confidently communicate with the public, be willing to turn their hand to a range of tasks and have a passion for UK wildlife. The placement is for a minimum of 8 weeks, but longer placements may be considered. Training will be provided. Availability to work occasional weekends is desirable, accommodation essential, own transport is preferable. Own transport is essential. All posts may be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

To apply please email a CV and covering letter by Monday 27th April, to Samantha Dallimore at sdallimore@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk. If you would like to discuss this opportunity further please phone 01305 206191.