Conservation Volunteer Groups FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about Conservation Volunteer Groups:

Do I have to be over 18?

Yes. For reasons of health and safety, our projects are unsuitable for those under 18 years of age.

What should I bring?

Packed lunch (on day projects only); warm clothes to work in; wellies and/or boots; waterproofs; full change of clothes; warm sleeping bag; toilet kit and towel; torch; hat, scarf and gloves; personal medication; sun block; wide-brimmed sun hat; midge repellent. 

Sturdy footwear is essential.

Volunteers wishing to participate in drystone dyking are required to wear boots or wellington boots with steel toecaps.

What does the Trust provide?

Transport, accommodation, food (on overnight/weekend projects), refreshments (on day projects), crockery, cutlery, tools, work gloves, insurance and first aid kits. If you have any dietary requirements, please let your project leader know in advance.

Can I be a project leader?

Leading a project is worthwhile and good fun. If you’re interested, please contact one of the committee at a planning meeting.

Can I be a minibus driver?

If you would like to drive minibuses for weekend projects you’ll need to take a Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme test. This certificated course covers all aspects of safe and defensive minibus driving and is recognised nationally. The course is free to members of all outdoor volunteer groups who are aged over 21 with two years’ driving experience and D1 on their licence. To discuss your training needs please get in touch with us using our contact form.

How can I provide feedback?

If you’d like to draw our attention to anything or if you’d just like to let us know how much you enjoyed your weekend, please ask the project leader for an evaluation form.

Are there adequate health and safety measures in place?

The Trust is committed to a safe and healthy working environment for everyone. We consider all volunteers as staff for the purposes of health and safety management and legal compliance. In practical terms, this means that volunteers should be aware of their general responsibilities to look after their own safety and that of anyone else around them, and to co-operate with the Trust fully in adopting our safe working practices. The normal arrangements in relation to footwear, clothing, preventive steps and sensible working practices apply equally to staff and volunteers.

The Trust staff member co-ordinating the activity should carry out a specific risk assessment of the activity before it takes place, to identify the significant risks and their control measures, and provide volunteers with the information prior to the activity starting. Property staff should familiarise all volunteers with:

  • the summary of the risk assessment
  • any relevant emergency procedures
  • detailed instructions for specific equipment
  • detailed instructions for specific techniques, as required

Further support can be obtained from:

  • the current National Trust for Scotland Health, Safety and Environmental manual – particularly the model risk assessments
  • Trust staff involved in the activity
  • the National Trust for Scotland Health and Safety Executive
  • the Safe System of Work where one exists at a Trust property

If you have questions at any time, or feel uneasy about the level of risk being faced, please let the project leader know immediately.

Please note that Health and Safety legislation requires that items such as aspirin are not included in our first aid kits. If you suffer from migraine or require any form of medication, you must provide this yourself. Volunteers are strongly urged to have an anti-tetanus injection or booster, if required.