Through our environmental volunteering projects, you have the opportunity to make a real difference to the environment and gain invaluable experience along the way.
Through our regional and national partnerships, students can volunteer with environmental and conservation organisations to develop new skills, enhance their employability and turn their passion into positive action both on campus and in the local area. Opportunities range from volunteer work with organisations such as The Wildlife Trust, RSPB and National Trust to residential trips that venture to exciting environmental locations such as the Isle of Eigg in Scotland. We also have a lot of environmental activity on the university campus, where volunteers have the opportunity to plant and grow organic vegetables, plant trees in the orchard and participate in gardening at the campus eco-hub amongst the free-roaming chickens.
Our environmental volunteering is part of Green Lancaster; a partnership initiative between Lancaster University Students’ Union and the facilities department of Lancaster University which exists to champion environmental and sustainability projects at Lancaster University. Projects such as Dr Bike and Exodus are supported by Green Lancaster, as well as our Keep Cup and Hydration Station campaigns.
How to become an Environmental Volunteer
Campus Eco Hub
We have a brand new campus eco-hub project which is a new space developed on campus for students to grow their own vegetables, look after chickens and share environmental/ sustainability ideas.
The location of the site is the compound to the rear of Brandrigg Barn, adjacent to South West campus. The site features a number of fantastic facilities, for which we have successfully received funding of up to £13,000 from the NUS as part of the Student Eats project for funding.
The Edible Campus project, for which LUSU received funding in August 2013 from the NUS, will transform six acres of high visible campus land in growing spaces that reconnect our university community with the food they eat. By engaging students in producing, cooking and appreciating food, we will bring the issues of food sustainability to the top of our community’s awareness. We are currently preparing a packed schedule of landscape changes and engagement initiatives like campus food festivals, cooking demonstrations and growing lessons which we hope will inspire a passion for sustainable food and positively change behaviours.
Volunteer Action Days
Our Action Days are perfect if you are pressed for time or have loads of coursework, as they provide an opportunity to volunteer for just a day. Spend a day taking part in action packed practical environmental work with one of our local and regional environmental and community organisations who we have strong partnerships with which enables us to offer an exciting programme of seasonal events throughout the year. These can take place either on campus or in the local area. The only commitment required is attendance at the event once you have signed up and providing your own suitable clothing, footwear and equipment.
For example, if you like practical conservation work, through our partnership with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, we hold Action Days at a number of local nature reserves across Lancashire. You can even make a big difference to green space right in the centre of Lancaster with the Fairfield Association. This organisation has a community Orchard and recently completed Urban Nature Reserve called FAUNA. There’s lots of maintenance and ongoing tasks at Fairfield and we usually hold one event per term on either a Saturday or Sunday.
If you’re taking part in an action day, check out our essential kit list for what to take.
If you fancy going further afield to volunteer, spending nights away with a fellow team of volunteers working on an environmental project, we have some fantastic residential experiences for you to get involved with! Our residential experiences are all about sustainability, right from the transport used to the food that is eaten. These experiences give you the unique opportunity to discover, learn and volunteer whilst developing your teamwork and interpersonal skills. LUSU have developed two uniquely different residential experiences;
Isle of Eigg Residential Experience
Travel to the remote, wild and rugged hebridean Isle of Eigg in Scotland with LUSU. Our journey starts aboard the Caledonian sleeper to the highlands followed by a majestic ferry crossing to Eigg from Mallaig. Staying in the self catering accommodation, it’s always an action packed week of discovery on this tiny island community of just under 100 people. Activities in previous years have included conservation work with the Isle of Eigg heritage trust, environmental education at Eigg Primary School, history and cultural exploration with the island historian and geographical and geological exploration on this unique island. The cost for this full week of action usually comes in at around £250, but all will be confirmed closer to the time.
Middle Wood Ecological Trust
The Middle Wood Ecological Trust and study centre is based in beautiful Roeburndale just on the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland AONB. This weekend trip is all about sustainable living, and gives you the opportunity to practice sustainable and traditional techniques. Right from the buildings to water and energy use, the study centre and accommodation is built with environmental sustainability in mind. The site is surrounded by extensive and rich native woodlands which feature as an outdoor classroom for our visits. Activities include nature walks and foraging, traditional woodcraft skills and cooking with a difference! It’s a great place to spend some chilled out time with fellow environmental volunteers and the clear views of the night sky alone are sure to make you come away feeling inspired for environmental conservation! The trip usually takes place over a weekend during the Lent term, and the cost is usually less than £30.