Conservation Volunteering

The CNCC relies of a pool of conservation volunteers to work on our conservation projects.

We are always looking for new volunteers to call upon for upcoming projects. Therefore, if you can spare a day or two (or more) now and again to help out, and become part of a fantastic community, please register with us as a CNCC conservation volunteer. By registering with us, your details will be added to an email list of people who will receive invitations to help at planned conservation projects (typically several each year). Your details won’t be used for any other purposes.

If you are able to help out with a specific project on the date given, you simply need to reply to our Conservation Officer and she/he will take it from there and confirm further details closer to the time.

Register as a Volunteer

Frequently asked questions:

What sort of conservation projects do the CNCC volunteers assist with?

The conservation work itself can take many forms, including surface works on stiles and footpaths, or restoring areas affected by caver traffic. Alternatively, at cave entrances work can involve removal of historic waste, landscaping, stockproofing or construction work to make the entrance safe and stable. Finally, within the caves themselves work can include removal of litter or washed-in debris, restorative works to stal or sediments, documentation, taping, and photographing.

What does a typical day of conservation work involve?

While of course this varies from project to project, often it does involve what you might call ‘hard labour’ including lifting, carrying, moving, above or below ground, sometimes in the most inclement of weather. There are also many activities which do not require great physical stamina and strength. Please ask the organiser of each individual event if you have any concerns about your ability to participate.

Why would I want to do that?

To meet some great people, have a great time, for fresh air and exercise, to give something back to caving and to help conserve the fantastic caves of our region for the future.

Are any costs covered?

Reasonable transport costs will be reimbursed for conservation volunteers who commit to a full day of work (unfortunately we cannot cover costs for shorter shifts). Wherever possible we will encourage car-pooling to avoid excessive mileage costs and make best use of the limited parking available at many sites. For multi-day projects, local bunkbarn/camping accommodation fees will often be covered. The cost of food, drink and personal clothing/equipment is not covered.

What skills do I require?

There are no specific requirements. However, we will always try to take advantage of the strengths or skills of each individual conservation volunteer. Please feel free to discuss these with the event organiser or make the Conservation Officer aware of any particular skills that you feel could be put to good use in cave conservation.

What about training?

No prior training is required; general training will be on-the-job. However, as part of being a conservation volunteer, there may be occasional opportunities for more specific training from time to time. In the past this has included specifically CNCC-arranged training, and use of surplus spaces on training courses from other organisations, and has covered first aid and winch training. This training is however ad-hoc and it should not be assumed to be available.

Do I need to bring my own equipment?

All tools/materials will be provided (although if you have any specialist equipment which you feel may benefit the project we may gladly take advantage of this). You will need to provide your own protective clothing; stout footwear (steel toecap preferably), gloves, appropriate weatherproofs, helmet, and for underground projects, appropriate personal caving apparatus. A packed lunch and drinks are also requirements for all conservation projects.

What is my obligation by signing up?

There is no obligation and no minimum attendance by simply registering as a volunteer; you are essentially only signing up to a mailing list to receive a ‘call for volunteers’ for specific projects as and when they arise. However, we do wish to keep this mailing list up to date, so we encourage those who no longer wish to participate to ask for their name to be removed.

When are conservation events held?

Events are organised both mid-week and at weekends at any time of the year. Some projects will last several days; however there is no requirement to sign up for all of the days. After signing up as a conservation volunteer, simply watch your email for notices and dates of upcoming projects.

I want to help, but cannot commit as a conservation volunteer. What can I do?

See what can be done to promote the message of conservation within your group/club. Maybe your club could consider electing a conservation officer. Perhaps you could organise your own cave clean-up events (we would greatly encourage you to contact the CNCC Conservation Officer to make them aware if you are doing this and to see if they can offer any help/advice, and also to make sure it isn’t already scheduled as a CNCC project). Proactively remove rubbish you see in caves. Ensure the Minimal Impact Caving Code is available and promoted to everyone who you cave with.

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