Why conservation volunteers are important to Defra

The April 2009 issue of Landscape, the Defra staff magazine, includes a feature on conservation volunteering in the UK.

Conservation volunteering provides far more than just environment benefits – it can improve community safety and spirit, promote health and well being, and provide job skills and employment opportunities.

Defra’s Third Sector Strategy aims to promote environmental volunteering and recognise the role of unpaid volunteers in Defra affairs. In particular, the Strategy commits us to -

  • Develop an environmental volunteering campaign to enhance biodiversity by working with a range of NGOs and delivery bodies, under the umbrella of the Department of Health’s ‘Change 4 Life’ initiative for healthy active lifestyles. Defra worked closely with the BTCV to develop this new campaign - ’Muck-in4Life’ – which will be launched in the spring;
  • Use Defra’s intranet and annual volunteering fair to encourage staff in participate in environmental and community volunteering opportunities;
  • Promote green volunteering through a new direct.gov search facility linked to do-it.org (the national volunteering database) and explore ways of linking this to Defra’s NDPBs and delivery partners.

To download the Landscape feature, and learn more about conservation volunteering, click here [pdf 800KB].

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