Volunteer Opportunities

Lloyds bank volunteers at Levenhall Links

Way out Westers (WOW)

A new edition for 2024, undertaking conservation tasks at countryside sites in the west of the county— from Gifford to Wallyford, Macmerry to Humbie, and all points between. The type of work varies but tasks will include maintaining paths, scrub clearance, meadow management and litter picking.WOW meet on the 2nd last Wednesday of each month

DunbarConservation Volunteers

Dunbar Conservation Volunteers help to maintain sites around Dunbar such as John Muir Country Park, Traprain Law and Barns Ness. DCV meet on the last Wednesday of every month

Friends of Levenhall Links (Musselburgh)

The Volunteers at Levenhall Links in Musselburgh help keep the site in tip-top condition and meet on the last Tuesday of each month. They spend a lot of time maintaining the bird Reserve. 

Longniddry & Gullane Volunteers

A roving countryside volunteer group in the Longniddry to Gullane area meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Assisting with various practical tasks (scything, sea buckthorn control, path upkeep, beach cleans etc.) and Butterfly transect monitoring opportunities available

North Berwick Conservation Volunteers

The North Berwick Conservation Volunteers help with practical conservation tasks at the Law, Glen and beaches in North Berwick. Meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month. 

Friends of Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve 

Sea buckthorn control; species monitoring; Checking grazing sheep and electric fence. The Aberlady volunteers meet on th e1st Wednesday of each month.

Friends of Yellowcraig 

Friends of Yellowcraig  help to manage landscape, wildlife and access at Yellowcraig, near Dirleton. Tasks include path work, sea buckthorn control, species (pirri-pirri bur) mapping and removal. Friends of Yellowcraig meet on the first Thursday of each month.

Junior Rangers

An environmental group for young people in East Lothian aged 11-18, running on every second Friday afternoon during term time.

Path wardens

There is a group of 50 local volunteers who care for the paths of East Lothian. They go out once or twice a month and meet also for group tasks on the 3rd Thursday of each month.


The Bumblebees volunteer at North Berwick Law, Traprain Law, Barns Ness and Aberlady Bay. This involves heading out once every two weeks to count bees that you see. New volunteers are welcome.

Plant monitoring

Plant monitoring is undertaken as part of grazing scheme management (and also within the site based volunteer groups). 

Animal checkers

Stock undertaking consevation grazing on  East Lothian Council sites need a daily welfare check, which volunteers undertake.The animals are distributed as follows - ponies at North Berwick and Traprain Laws and sheep (winter only) at Aberlady, Barns Ness and North Berwick Law.

Eider Surveying

Eider surveys in the North Berwick area  (April - July).  Volunteers take 1 hour slots to watch over the Eider colony and record breeding / disturbance signs


East Lothian Countryside Volunteers (ELCV)

A new group is underway organised and delivered by ELCV  to control the extent of 3 invasive plants; concentrating upon the banks for the River Tyne.Training and safety guidance will be given, if you would like to help please email hogweed@elcv.org.uk.


If you would like to be involved with any of the above groups, please contact: ranger@eastlothian.gov.uk

What sort of training could you get?

  • induction - a chance to meet you all and make sure what we offer and what you want are the same thing
  • safety - will be covered in all the tasks you undertake, tools talks and risk assessments are undertaken for all activities
  • tools usage - how to use hand tools safely. Occasional use of some power tools will be on a needs basis and will always be optional
  • species ID training - if undertaking some of our monitoring work, we'll ensure you are trained up to identify what it is you are monitoring!
  • survey skills - along with identifying things, you'll need to know how to record and survey them. So we will assist
  • how to destroy stuff - all conservation work is really about destroying things, but you need to know how to do this effectively!
  • how to eat and drink in the great outdoors - hard work merits rewards, at least in biscuit and tea format. We'll train you in this for sure

What will we give you in return?

  • our unequivocal thanks
  • training - informally through the work you undertake. Hope to formalise in-house training opportunities for 2013
  • an annual get-together to say thanks and so you can meet other volunteers
  • biscuits, copious amounts of; plus tea and coffee on occasion
  • camaraderie, bonhomie - well, it all sounds much better in French!
  • free exercise, fresh air, moisturiser (or is that rain?!)
  • references, should you wish and need them, for job applications etc.
  • some travel expenses. Optional, some ask for these, others do not, but they are negotiable
  • involvement in our projects. We're doing these pieces of work for the good of the planet, but we like your input too - ideas on how to do things always appreciated
  • occasional emails to inform you of some training course that may be of interest